Villages at Mager Lane Community Meeting
Wednesday 02/11/2015 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Hutto Lutheran Church 402 Church Street
Amtex is proposing an 80 unit multifamily development for workforce housing on Mager Lane, east of Hutto Elementary School. Please join us for an informal Q & A about the project. The following information may answer some of your questions. We hope to see you on the 11th
Q: Why is Amtex interested in building in Hutto?
Hutto is conveniently located at the crossroad of US 79 and SH 130 and poised to be an economic hub for the region. Industries seek a diversity of housing choices, good schools, and high quality of life for location decisions. Amtex believes that Hutto is a great market for their quality workforce housing product.
Additionally, the proposed site has great access to amenities for residents to live, learn, and play. In the future, there will be direct access to Highway 79. The site is next to Cottonwood Creek Trail and the 33 acre Fritz Park for playing, team sports, and exercise. It is a 500 step walk to elementary school and less than a 1-mile walk to dining at local establishments like the Texan Café and Mario’s Mexican Restaurant. The proposed development is a prime example of a healthy community subscribing to the principles of the City’s recently adopted Sustainable Places Project.
Q: What is Low Income Housing? Is this Section 8 Housing?
The government labels the financing program Low Income Housing Tax Credits and it is not Section 8 Housing. Low Income by definition for this development is 60% or less of the area median income. As a family of four, a new Hutto ISD teacher and City of Hutto Patrol Officer would qualify to live at the Villages at Mager Lane, with incomes less than $45,240. An HISD clerk with a salary of $20,899 would qualify and would pay about $550 per month for a 1-bedroom. A Chase Bank teller would qualify for a 1 or 2-bedroom making $24,573.
Q: How does this housing bring a different dynamic for the schools, our taxes, our home value?
There are many news articles and studies which emphatically agree that the impact is positive for cities and for neighbors and does not adversely affect property values. A long, helpful list was compiled by the National Association of Realtors. Home values for nearby residents are not negatively impacted. In fact, developing this currently vacant land with taxable improvements adds to the city's tax base.
A development like Villages at Mager Lane adds quantitative and qualitative value to the families that live there. To compare, the median household rent in Hutto on Homes.com is $1,375 and the rent limits at Villages at Mager Lane range from $588 to $1176. The housing savings can eliminate economic hardship, one of the primary risk factors in students. Qualitatively, with decreased financial stress and the need for a 2nd job eliminated, affordable housing provides valuable family time for little things such as making and eating dinner together, helping with homework, and attending ball games and dance practice.
Q: Will this affect Hutto Independent School District at all?
First, it is worth considering who is eligible for housing at Villages at Mager Lane. A family of four living in Hutto with an income of $45,240 or less would qualify to live at the Villages at Mager Lane. The most recent American Community Survey Census Estimates report approximately 25% or 1,400 households living in Hutto are within this population segment.
Second, using the industry standard of .4 students per multifamily unit, we estimate the 80 unit community will yield 32 school age children, approximately 16 elementary, 6 middle school, and 10 high school students.
Q: How will Villages at Mager Lane be funded?
There is an illustrated step-by-step walkthrough of the process called "How It Works." In short, the tax credit program provides tax incentives to investors that choose to invest in a development such as the Villages at Mager Lane in Hutto. This makes up the difference in rent between an "affordable" unit and a "market rate" one. The tax credits are administered by the State of Texas, in accordance with the rules that they set every year to ensure that the tax credits work best for Texans in need.
Q: What will it look like? Are there examples of Amtex developments or other housing developed through the Tax Credit Program?
You can visit the Amtex/Amcal website to see their previous developments. Under the “Communities” tab, select "Family" under the "Type" menu and "Completed" under the status menu, you'll find 36 Family apartment buildings that they have already built, along with their addresses and websites. Amtex has a similar development in Houston, named Villages at Cypress, and will be breaking ground on a 160 unit community in Fort Worth this spring, called Avondale Apartments.
For examples to see in person, there are a two new communities close by in Austin that were developed under the Tax Credit program by companies other than Amtex, named M Station and Wildflower Terrace.