Plans for first affordable housing complex for local educators are moving forward in East Austin. The Austin Independent School District signed a contract with Ohio-based multifamily development and management company NRP Group to develop a 500-unit housing complex on a 20-acre site at 4900 Gonzales Street in the Govalle neighborhood, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

District administrators expect construction on the site of the Anita Ferrales Coy Facility, formerly Allan Elementary School, to begin within two years. AISD will retain ownership of the land and lease it to NRP, which will own and manage the complex. 

The housing complex will be a first for AISD, which seeks ways to keep teachers and staff in an increasingly unaffordable Austin. The district requires NRP Group to set rents for at least half the units at less than 80 percent of market value, and teachers and other district staff will have priority over other applicants for apartments in the development, the Statesman reported. 

A new Alternative Learning Center, currently housed the former elementary school on the site, will be built before the planned housing begins. A district official said construction of the residential complex will start in summer 2025 at the earliest. 

The site is the first of AISD's planned repurposing of old elementary school sites, and it closed several of them in 2020 to that end. The district has partnered with United Way for Greater Austin to create an affordable child care facility, which will give priority to children of district staff, at the former Pease Elementary School at 1106 Rio Grande Street. The district also plan to repurpose the sites of the former Sims and Rosedale elementary schools.

AISD also formed Public Facility, a corporation that will manage the property NRP is developing and seek future opportunities for district-supported housing. Public Facility can also direct allows AISD's property tax breaks and other construction benefits to the company to keep costs lower, according to the Statesman.