They called it an “Intercommunity Leadership Visit.” Dozens of business, community and government leaders from the East Coast boomtown Greenville, South Carolina came to Austin on November 11th to spend a few days studying the ways of the “wierd city.” Why Austin? Peter Greenberg, travel writer for CBS News, has called Greenville, “the next Austin.” That said, the South Carolinians felt it would be beneficial to study Austin’s “arts, connectivity, entrepreneurism, festivals, green space, medical innovation, talent attraction, technology, good music, food and people” up close.
Like Austin, rapid growth has created an affordable housing crisis in Greenville. Soaring housing prices have caused new and existing residents to flee to towns on the city’s periphery, and services are having to be extended to accommodate the urban sprawl. The Greenville leaders believe affordable housing is part of the solution. They turned to HousingWorks Austin to learn about the various ways Austin has been able to fund and develop housing that’s not only affordable, but also attractive.
On Thursday, November 12th, HousingWorks hosted a bus tour for the visitors to some of Austin’s most innovative affordable housing developments for the visitors. That includes The Mueller Community, Wildflower Terrace, Capital Studios, M Station, and the Rebecca Baines Johnson Center. Executive Director Mandy De Mayo served as a tour guide, along with Rebecca Giello of the City’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development office and Kelly Weiss, Co-founder of Community Wheelhouse.