Welcome to 2020- the year of the virtual! You might be saying to yourself “How can a groundbreaking be virtual, exactly?” Well, the team at Civilitude figured out a way to make it possible. We provided VIP attendees their own miniature “dig kit” so that they could participate in all of the fun. That way, everyone involved was able to be part of this historic moment in Austin. So, as fun as in-person groundbreakings are, this virtual one for our newest affordable housing project was just as interesting… if not better! According to Mayor Steve Adler, in fact, it was the “coolest groundbreaking ever.” Why thank you, Mr. Adler, we thought so too.
Some of the other invitees included Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Travis County Commissioners Jeff Travillion and Brigid Shea, Austin City Council members Greg Casar and Leslie Pool, along with many others. Overall, we had about 70 individuals joining us for this event!
So why was this moment so historic? The project was financed in part through public funding from the historic affordable housing bond approved by voters in 2018, and is the first to break ground under allowances passed by Austin City Council as part of the “Affordability Unlocked” ordinance. At this site at Lamppost Lane, situated in North Austin, there will be 17 new affordable housing units provided to Austin families. And what’s really special about this project is that it is headed by a husband and wife duo, Civilitude’s Eyad Kasemi, who presides over the developer, Capital A Housing, and Kenda Dawwami, who owns the general contractor, Constructinople. They immigrated here from Syria about 10 years ago, and are very passionate about providing affordable homes for other immigrants like them. They are very excited to undertake this project at Lamppost, and we are excited to watch them do it!