First African-American Public Housing Complex in US Breaks Ground in Texas for Renovations

First African-American Public Housing Complex in US Breaks Ground in Texas for Renovations

Renovations for the first African-American public housing complex in the United States, Pathways at Rosewood Courts, broke ground in Austin, TX on Dec. 15, according to CBS Austin.

The renovations in the historically Black East Austin community are long overdue, as the price of rent and homes have skyrocketed. The re-imagined Pathways at Rosewood Courts will provide residents with modern amenities and affordable housing while also honoring the history of the property.

The renovations will preserve the property’s original eight buildings while creating an open, safe, and beautiful area with green spaces and expanded parking. The project will also offer affordable homeownership for first-time homebuyers.

Alexis Henderson once lived in Rosewood Courts and says she was pushed out of Austin due to the high rent, but is now thinking of moving back. “It’s very important. The cost of living is so expensive now. I couldn’t stay in Austin. I had to go out of Austin because of the cost of living,” said Henderson. “They are going to have houses here and my main goal is to be a homeowner, so I am on the fence.”

The finished project will include 184 units as well as houses and townhomes. A rent-to-own program will also be available to help residents buy their own homes. The project should be completed in 2024, and residents who have been relocated will be offered first dibs to return when Pathways at Rosewood Courts reopens.

HACA spokesperson Jeff Patterson said he expected that many residents will want to return and noted that all moving expenses would be paid for the residents.

“We will be keeping tabs with all relocated families throughout construction and anticipate that at least 60%-80% of families will want to return,” he said. “Families have the first right to return upon construction completion. All moving expenses will be covered.”