Break Ground. Build the Future.

Caritas Breaks Ground on Espero Rutland.

In order to dramatically decrease the number of people experiencing homelessness, we know that we must expand our housing options and scale services. On August 9th, we marked a major milestone in our expansion plan to provide housing services to more of our neighbors experiencing homelessness.

Partners Caritas of Austin, The Vecino Group and Austin Housing Finance Corporation broke ground to begin construction on Espero Rutland with a ceremony at the building site. Espero Austin will be a permanent supportive housing apartment community for 171 individuals experiencing homelessness and is Caritas of Austin’s first housing community.


L to R: Council Member Greg Casar, Jo Kathryn Quinn, Caritas of Austin, Donnell McGhee, Vecino Group, Rosie Truelove, City of Austin/Austin Housing Finance Corporation, and Mayor Steve Adler

Meaning “I hope,” Espero is a deeply affordable and intensely supportive housing community for individuals experiencing homelessness. With 171 studio apartments, Espero will provide high-quality living with soothing indoor and outdoor spaces. Residents will receive tailored case management, on-site supportive services and community-based services.

Partners of Espero Rutland

AHFC and the City of Austin invested a total of $7.5M in this development. This funding facilitating the purchase of the 2-acre Espero Rutland property to be developed.

The Vecino Group is the developer of Espero Rutland. A national developer of mission-driven housing, Vecino has a specific focus on affordable and supportive housing partnerships.

Caritas of Austin will provide management and on-site support services.

  • Caritas will provide evidence-based social supports to all residents of Espero.
  • Residents will receive personalized support in housing, education, employment, food, and connection to mental and physical health services.
  • Case managers will work alongside peer support specialists who have experienced homelessness, PTSD, substance use or other shared experiences to provide an additional layer of support.
  • Residents will have 24/7 access to on-site Community Access and Support

AMENTITIES

Espero Rutland courtyard rendering
  • Secured entry
  • Community dining room
  • Business center
  • Furnished community room
  • Interior resident courtyard
  • Community laundry rooms
  • Bicycle parking
  • Fitness center

Funding for the Project

Funding to build Espero is complicated but thanks to the entities listed here, it is complete.

  • 4% Housing Tax Credits through Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and Private Activity Bonds through Texas Bond Review Board.  Austin Housing Finance Corporation is the Bond issuer.
  • City of Austin
    • $7.5M in General Obligation Bond Proceeds
    • The City of Austin awarded 51 project-based vouchers
    • $650,000 in annual rental subsidy
  • The Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) awarded a total of 50 project-based vouchers. This includes 25 Housing Choice Vouchers and 25 Veteran Administration Supportive Housing vouchers.  
  • Austin Public Health providing $2.2 million over five years for wrap-around supportive services
  • Boston Financial is the provider of the tax credit equity through a fund created by Aetna. Aetna who will buy the tax credits as an investor in the project.
  • Citi Community Capital is the construction and permanent lender.

Timing

Site preparation to build began in August. Construction of Espero Rutland will be completed in late-Fall 2022 and we will begin leasing at that time.

How you can help

Your support of Caritas now will help us to expand our capacity. What does this mean?  Providing individualized support for our clients is key to permanently ending their homelessness. Your support will allow us to hire the additional professional staff to provide case management and other services. Please consider making a gift today.

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