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December 12, 2022

Foundation Communities Uses a Support-Based Approach to Solving Austin’s Housing Crisis

  • , community impact

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“I’m ready to conquer it all. This is my stepping stone and I’m ready to do what’s needed to become successful.” That’s how Brionna Watters, a single mother of two, describes her outlook on life since recently becoming a resident of Foundation Communities through the organization’s Children’s HOME Initiative (CHI) for families who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.

The mission of Foundation Communities is “creating housing where families succeed.” That’s what the Austin, Texas, based nonprofit has been doing since it was founded in 1990. And thanks to decades of steady growth, it now owns and manages 26 affordable apartment communities in Austin and North Texas—19 for families and seven for single adults. Seven more affordable communities are currently in the construction or planning stages. When the construction is complete, Foundation Communities will be home to more than 8,000 people, many of whom will have come directly out of homelessness.


CHI client Brionna Watters and case manager James Ortiz pose with Brionna’s new laptop at a Foundation Communities property. 

But affordable housing is just part of the story. Over the years, Foundation Communities has also expanded its portfolio of supportive services for its residents and lower-income Central Texans. This includes educational programs like: onsite Learning Centers that provide afterschool and summer enrichment for children and higher education opportunities; financial stability programs such as free tax preparation, affordable health insurance enrollment and financial coaching; and health initiatives such as free healthy food pantries and exercise programs. All these opportunities are made possible because of the power and reliability of digital connectivity. 

“We don’t want to just provide a cheap apartment,” said Foundation Communities Executive Director Walter Moreau. “We want to provide great communities where people are proud of where they live and have opportunities right at their doorstep.” 

Foundation Communities resident Robert Rangel enjoys a book and his support animal Tony at a Foundation Communities property

As a part of that holistic support model, Brionna Watters’ family is one of those receiving a free computer from Foundation Communities which was made possible through a grant from Google Fiber, as a part of its digital inclusion efforts to increase communication and learning opportunities for lower-income Americans. Watters says for her family, the timing couldn’t be better. “I plan on going to college for real estate,” said Watters. “So, I was actually going to have to purchase a laptop.”

Each resident at Foundation Communities’ M Station Apartments also has access to high-speed internet service provided byGoogle Fiber to ensure they have internet connectivity to achieve their online goals.

James Ortiz knows firsthand how transformative Foundation Communities’ affordable housing + supportive services model can be — and how vital it is to have access to programs and resources online. His parents divorced when he was nine years old which made the family’s economic hardships even worse. Ortiz says it was very fortunate that his mother was able to get herself, him and his sister into a Foundation Communities apartment, which provided much needed stability. After graduating from college, Ortiz immediately sought employment with Foundation Communities. Now, he works as a case manager in the CHI program helping families like his overcome their struggles. 

“In this role, I have been able to work directly with a number of families, in a collaborative process that fosters individual and family growth,” said Ortiz. While this role has its challenges, the rewards I garner from the work are immeasurable.”

You can learn more about Foundation Communities and its Children’s HOME Initiative at

Posted by Norris Deajon, Communications and Marketing Manager for Foundation Communities