Creating affordable housing in one of the nation’s least affordable cities

The company’s approach is to include an array of mixed-rate units – income-restricted units, permanent supportive housing and market rate versions – across the city. The efforts come as Austin already surpassed such markets as Boston, Miami and New York in terms of lack of affordability, according to Zillow.

Read more: Leveraging the power of nonprofits to create affordable housing

Statistics buttress claims of affordability erosion. Last October, the median home sale price settled at a record high of $536,000 last October, up from around $441,250 the year prior – far greater than the median sales price of $216,000 in 2011, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. Apartment dwellers get no -reprieve from high costs either, now shelling out $1,600 monthly for an average apartment encompassing 864 square feet of space. 

Enter Civilitude with its efforts to mitigate the trend. Kazi is a self-described activator of people and disruptor of industry through an expertise in engineering, development and entrepreneurship aiming to nurture the next wave of leaders through mentorship, investments, and philanthropic efforts. He’s hoping to leverage his two decades of leadership and engineering experience to create opportunities for future leaders to make a difference in the community.

Kazi described the beginnings of his company, launched in 2010 from his dining room. “It was kind of a leap of faith,” he said. “I was teaching at the university [University of Texas at Austin] at the time as a part time gig and working as an engineer full time, which is the job that I left to start my own venture. The teaching gig was putting food on the table for my family, but I had to take this risk and sort of charge my own path.”