San Antonio Housing Trust Paves the Way for Innovative Universal Design Multi-Family Housing Development in VIDA Community

San Antonio, TX (May 17, 2024) – The San Antonio Housing Trust (SAHT) is proud to announce the approval, in concept, of a groundbreaking 600-home multi-family development in the vibrant VIDA community in south San Antonio. The project will provide much needed housing to one of the fastest growing sectors of the City, driven by the expansion of Texas A&M University-San Antonio and thousands of new jobs at the new University Health Hospital and JCB manufacturing facility, . This three-phase development marks a significant milestone as it would be the first disability-forward housing project developed project in San Antonio.

Development site rendering

The San Antonio Housing Trust is committed to providing housing that is accessible and usable by all residents, regardless of age, ability, or body type, and is soon to release new Multi-family Universal Design Standards that will be required of all future SAHT-partnered projects. SAHT is eager to implement these new standards at the VIDA development to ensure that inclusivity and accessibility are front and center in the design. Universal design features will include a wide variety of elements including wider corridors and doorways, zero-step entries, slip-resistant flooring materials, and outlets placed at convenient heights.

“We need to go beyond 20th-century thinking regarding how homes are designed and built. We must start meeting the housing needs impacting our population in this century,” said SAHT Executive Director Pete Alanis, emphasizing the departure from cookie-cutter designs of the past. “Our community is both growing and aging. We need to acknowledge that the human experience changes over time, sometimes rapidly. Our homes must be designed flexibly enough to meet our needs through those changes”.

This visionary concept aims to provide several housing types and unit sizes to support residents throughout different stages of life, whether they are young families, seniors, or individuals with temporary or permanent disabilities. The buildings will be connected to a pedestrian-friendly network of green spaces and community amenities that will aim to create a thriving neighborhood for all.

The journey towards this innovative development began with the 2022 SAHT Strategic Plan which set forth a goal to acquire and self-develop new affordable housing projects. The acquisition of 19.68 acres in Phase II of the VIDA Master Development laid the foundation for this transformative project. Through meticulous due diligence activities and strategic partnerships, SAHT successfully closed the sale, paving the way for the next development phase.

SAHT has been working diligently with Alamo Architects to design a master plan concept aligned with the organization’s mission and strategic objectives. The proposed development encompasses universal design principles, multi-generational housing options, sustainable practices, and community-centered design elements.

Looking ahead, SAHT will continue its efforts to secure necessary approvals, conduct financial analyses, and select project partners to bring this visionary concept to fruition.

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