Villas on Sixth
The Villas on Sixth are sited less than two miles from the state capitol, on an abandoned parcel of land that had once been occupied by a railroad round house. The land, which is leased on a long-term basis to the developer and property manager, is owned by the Austin Housing Finance Corporation and as a result receives an exemption from property taxes. Designed to be in compliance with Austin's S.M.A.R.T. Housing Initiative, developers benefited from an expedited permitting process and other program advantages.
The S.M.A.R.T. program is an innovative self-funded program that uses expedited reviews and fee waivers to stimulate the production of affordable homes. Residences built under this program are intended to be safe, mixed-income, accessible, reasonably priced and transit-oriented (hence the S.M.A.R.T. acronym), and must also meet Austin's "green" building standards. Developers of projects meeting S.M.A.R.T. Housing certification standards receive an expedited review that averages about half the time of conventional projects. They also may receive waivers of the city's capital recovery fee, development review and inspection fee, and certain construction inspection fees. Typical cost savings for homes produced under the program are $600 per unit for multifamily homes and $2,000 per single-family home from fee waivers, as well as reduced carrying costs from the expedited review process.