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Austin Chronicle: Low-Income Austin Renters Negotiate For Better Deal

Posted in Austin, Austin Chronicle, and Journalism

In the most recent issue of the Austin Chronicle, I wrote about how residents from The Old Homestead apartments are negotiating with the developer that wants to demolish their homes:

Low-income residents of a North Austin apartment complex are putting  pressure on a developer intent on demolishing their homes, and they’re  having some success in getting concessions. The Old Homestead, located on Clayton Lane near the intersection with Cameron Road, is set to be rezoned for vertical mixed use – meaning developers JCI Residential, an affiliate of the Journeyman Group,  will be allowed more height and building size in exchange for  affordable units. While the new property will have more units than the  current 16-unit complex, residents say they’ll struggle to find  apartments as affordable – or with a community so closely knit – amid  Austin’s surging rental prices.

Viridiana Bello, a cosmetologist and resident for almost five  years, told us she’d likely be forced to find a new job since her  current one is just a few blocks away. “It makes me really sad to think  of machines coming in here and destroying this place and tearing down  all the trees,” Bello said, speaking via a translator. “Since I found  out about having to move I’ve fallen into a depression, and there are  times I go out and I cry thinking about what I’m going to lose.”

Read more on Austin Chronicle. I’ll have more on this developing story in the near future!

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