AUSTIN (KXAN) — It seems like no matter where you turn the price of rent keeps going up. Many are leaving the city for greener pastures and lower mortgages, and restaurants suddenly shuttering their doors.

"As Austin continues to gentrify and get larger and more expensive the need for affordable housing continues to grow," Jolene Keene, executive director for Accessible Housing Austin said.

On Friday, AHA! will break ground on its new apartment complex in east Austin. The new complex will be located off of Briarcliff Boulevard near Wheelis Lane and will consist of 27 units for low-income and disabled people.

At present, the agency has nine homes across the city for families. Tomika Williams and her family of six moved into their southeast Austin home four years ago after searching for affordable housing.

"It has come down enough for us to breathe and that’s all we want, just to be able to breathe."

Keene said rent is anywhere between $600 to $800 dollars and its set by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Here’s a breakdown of who qualifies for housing:

Household Size Maximum Annual Income Maximum Monthly Income
1 person $30,100 $2,508
2 people $34,400 $2,866
3 people $38,700 $3,225
4 people $43,000 $3,583
5 people $46,450 $3,870

AHA! officials said they focus on integration with Keene stating, "There are misconceptions of persons with disabilities and the way they have to live and we really want that integration to show it’s a normal life just like everyone else."

The complex will take 12 to 13 months to build with construction getting underway in March. It will cost around $5 million and the City of Austin has donated $2.2 million to the project through a grant.

The group has plans to build more affordable housing units down the line.

If you want to become a tenant, you can contact AHA! at (512) 640-7781. AHA! officials say they will contact people who qualify for an apartment in the fall to fill out an application.

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