You probably don’t spend much time in Austin’s alleys — those unpaved no-man’s-lands that bisect city blocks. You might store your garbage bins in the one behind your house. You might take an occasional shortcut through one. But if you’re a law-abiding citizen, you probably don’t see Austin’s alleys as full of opportunity.
But that’s exactly what the Alley Flat Initiative does; they view alleys as a solution to Austin’s lack of affordable housing. When you think of affordable housing, you might envision overcrowded apartment complexes or new tract homes on the outskirts of town. Instead, the Alley Flat Initiative tucks small, single-family homes behind the existing main house on large lots in central East Austin. The second house, accessed via the alley, is highly sustainable and earmarked for residents who