The Austin Housing Coalition (formerly Austin CHDO Roundtable) is a coalition of nonprofit agencies and other interested organizations, businesses, and citizens who support the development of safe affordable housing for Austin residents. The Austin Housing Coalition serves and advocates on behalf of the needs of Austin’s low income populations, including seniors, people with disabilities, both chronically and non-chronically homeless, veterans, teens aging out of foster care, single-headed households with children, and low-income students.
To learn more about us, click here to view our 2016 membership profile.
The Austin CHDO Roundtable, now the Austin Housing Coalition, formed in 2003 as several nonprofit housing organizations began working with the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce on a short-lived initiative called Project American Dream. This project proposed delivering vacant, tax-delinquent properties into the hands of capable nonprofits for development as affordable housing. It was expected that the newly formed CHDO Roundtable would make recommendations to Travis County about which Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) should have priority acquiring the properties. As this effort faded away, the Roundtable turned its focus on establishing an Affordable Housing Capacity Building Program to increase the number of CHDOs in Austin and to expand the capacity of existing CHDOs. The Roundtable worked throughout 2004 with the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office (NHCDO) and with Washington Mutual (WAMU) to establish the Capacity Building Program and, in January 2005, WAMU awarded the Roundtable $45,000 to administer the program. This funding, remarkably, supplemented by membership dues, has sustained the organization’s efforts to this day!
The first fruits of the Roundtable’s labors were realized on April 18, 2005 when WAMU, the Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC), and the Enterprise Foundation publicly announced grant awards of $256,000 to ten local non-profits. The same year, as part of its Capacity Building Program, the Roundtable co-sponsored training sessions on “Property Tax Exemptions for Nonprofit Affordable Housing,” “Roles and Responsibilities of Boards of Nonprofit Organizations”, a “Needs Assessment of Nonprofit Housing Organizations,” and a forum for nonprofit and for-profit housing developers to share ideas about the challenges of developing affordable housing.
2006 was a key year for the Austin CHDO Roundtable as it played an active role in Austin’s first affordable housing bond election, resulting in $55 million in funding for affordable housing development. It also helped secure the passage of the House Bill 525, enabling Homestead Preservation Districts in Texas, and it participated in a working group studying Community Land Trusts. By mid-2006, with over 25 member organizations, the Roundtable formally incorporated. The goal of expanding the capacity of nonprofits working to provide affordable housing and services to the residents of Austin and Central Texas continues to this day. In 2015, the Austin CHDO Roundtable changed its name to the Austin Housing Coalition because the narrowly defined term CHDO no longer seemed appropriate for an organization with ever-expanding membership and participation and with priorities that reached beyond the production of affordable housing.
We collaborate with HousingWorks on the local level to advocate for issues affecting affordable housing in our community and with the Austin Home Repair Coalition to address home repair needs in our community. On the state level, we partner with Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (TXLIHIS) and Texas Association of Community Development Corporations (TACDC) to present information about legislative activity concerning affordable housing.
CHAIR: Sunshine Mathon, Design + Development Director, Foundation Communities
VICE CHAIR: Charles Cloutman, Vice President for Home Repair, Meals on Wheels & More
SECRETARY: Nicole Joslin, Executive Director, Austin Community Design and Development Center
TREASURER: Mark Rogers, Executive Director, Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation
PAST CHAIR: Isabelle Headrick, Executive Director, Accessible Housing Austin!