The Alley Flat Initiative is a joint collaboration between the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development (UTCSD), the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation (GNDC), and the Austin Community Design and Development Center (ACDDC). The Alley Flat Initiative proposes a new sustainable, green affordable housing alternative for Austin. “Alley Flats” are small, detached residential units, accessed from Austin’s extensive network of underutilized alleyways.
The initial goal of the project was to build two prototype alley flats- one for each of two families in East Austin – that would showcase both the innovative design and environmental sustainability features of the alley flat designs. These prototypes were built to demonstrate how sustainable housing can support growing communities by being affordable and adaptable. The first of these prototypes celebrated its house warming with the community in June of 2008, and the second prototype was completed in August of 2009.
The long-term objective of the Alley Flat Initiative is to create an adaptive and self-perpetuating delivery system for sustainable and affordable housing in Austin. The “delivery system” would include not only efficient housing designs constructed with sustainable technologies, but also innovative methods of financing and home ownership that benefit all neighborhoods in Austin.