As the Central Texas economy grows, many families are struggling to build financial stability and improve their quality of life. An increased cost of living makes it more challenging for them to find affordable, stable housing. And without a stable place to live, it’s harder to improve their health, build savings, continue their education, and chart a stronger future.
To support these families, Foundation Communities connects them with a combination of affordable housing and health, education, and financial services. The organization serves more than 30,000 people through apartment-based communities and resource/learning centers across Austin, providing children and their families with opportunities and skills to thrive.
What I like about Foundation Communities is that they aren’t just focused on one thing. They focus on several aspects of your life.Carmen, Foundation Communities Resident
How It Helps
By providing housing coupled with on-site support services, Foundation Communities enables families — and especially children — to learn, build stability, and progress toward self-sufficiency.
This approach is critical right now in the midst of Central Texas’s economic boom. In the last 10 years, average rents in Austin have increased by more than 50%, while the median income has only increased 9%, pushing affordable housing further out of reach for families earning minimum wage. This has only been exacerbated in the past couple years by supply chain issues and booming population growth. In addition, few young people from lower-earning families are pursuing postsecondary education that could prepare them for financial success. Recent data from the Texas Higher Education Board show that only 841 out of 10,000 regional middle school students from low-income backgrounds went on to earn a postsecondary degree.
Foundation Communities is steadily expanding its services to meet the community’s growing need.
Providing Crucial Services
To support education for young people, the organization’s 12 learning centers help children build study skills and become stronger readers through homework help and tutoring. In partnership with neighborhood schools, these education programs engage not just the children but their entire families.
To build financial resiliency, its Prosper Centers connect residents and community members with tax help, savings programs, Marketplace insurance and benefits enrollment, and college support. For example, through its College Hub/Education Pathways program, nontraditional and first-generation students receive financial incentives and intensive support to earn college degrees so they can find stable, higher-paying employment. And Foundation Communities’ tax help program has helped people file more than 20,000 tax returns annually, yielding $34 million in refunds and $13.5 million in earned income tax credits in the last few years.
The Children’s HOME Initiative supports families with extremely low incomes or who are experiencing homelessness. They receive intensive services from community partners and low-cost, stable housing — living among working families so they are surrounded by models of success.
Because affordable housing and services are in such high demand, Foundation Communities is committed to open at least one new affordable housing community each year, on track to open at least four new communities in the next three years. These four communities will include 485 new apartment homes and serve approximately 1,100 new residents, including 50 new families transitioning from homelessness.
Together, Foundation Communities’ services and programs give Austin-area residents vital stability and resources to prepare them for educational achievement, higher earnings, and long-term success for themselves and their families.