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Families move into Austin Habitat for Humanity's affordable Mueller townhomes

With rising home prices, becoming a homeowner in Austin was a dream one mother of two didn't think would happen.

AUSTIN, Texas — Eleven families now own affordable townhomes in the Mueller community thanks to Austin Habitat for Humanity. This comes at time when the median home price in Austin is over $500,000.

Tabitha Perez and her two boys were one of the families who moved into their new home in June.

AJ, 7, loves counting and his older brother, Xavier, loves to climb. 

"This is where we hang out," said AJ while at the park.  

The two have been spending a lot of time at the park right across the street from their new home.

"I have been to the park so many times and met so many people I lost actually count," said AJ. 

While they love the park, the townhome is their favorite part about the move. 

"We have three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths," said mom Tabitha Perez.

This is the first home Perez has owned. 

"I thought I was going to be stuck renting forever," said Perez. 

After hundreds of hours of volunteering and meeting other qualifications, Perez was able to purchase a home through Austin Habitat for Humanity's Affordable Homeownership Program.

"It's been awesome," said Perez. "It's just, we wouldn't have had this option, I don't think, without this program. And the rate of Austin is going up – so expensive now. I don't think we would have lasted in Austin too much longer."

So how affordable are these homes? Habitat for Humanity sold them for just over $185,000.The median home price in Austin is $500,000. In the Mueller community, some homes are selling over $800,000 to $1 million. 

Michael Hsu Office of Architecture partnered with the nonprofit to build their first set of multifamily row homes in Austin. Habitat for Humanity traditionally builds single-family homes. 

"The ability to put more dense product in the city is really key to us being able to deliver affordable homes close to the city so folks that live and work in Austin can be close to their work, can avoid long commute times," said Phyllis Snodgrass, CEO of Austin Habitat for Humanity. " 

Austin Habitat for Humanity is working on its biggest project yet, Persimmon. 

The Southeast Austin community will have 126 townhomes and condos. The nonprofit is expected to break ground In 2022. 

To qualify, you must earn 80% or less than the median family income, but you'll be surprised who qualifies as the median salary in Austin continues to rise. 

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