January/February 2015   |    SAHA.org   |   Moving to Work

Lourdes Castro Ramírez
President & CEO

The San Antonio Housing Authority is committed to creating dynamic communities where people thrive by providing quality affordable housing that is well integrated into the fabric of neighborhoods and serves as a foundation to improve lives and advance resident independence.

Board of Commissioners
Morris Stribling, DPM, Chair
Charles Muñoz, Vice-Chair
Karina Cantu
Ramiro Cavazos
Yolanda Hotman
Stella Burciaga-Molina
Lisa Rodriguez

   Equal Opportunity Employer


Click the video below to view
the December 2014
San Juan events.

Gardens at San Juan Video San Juan Events
San Juan Events

New Westside Community Provides Housing and Economic Opportunities  
In December, San Antonio’s Westside celebrated the grand opening of SAHA’s third and final phase of the $63 million, 539-unit master-planned, mixed-income, mixed-use redevelopment of the former San Juan public housing community – Gardens at San Juan Square.

Gardens at San Juan Square is a new and vibrant community, featuring 252 units (63 public housing units, 31 project-based voucher units, and 158 affordable tax credit units), a clubhouse, and 4,200 square feet of commercial space to provide economic development rental spaces to the neighborhood. The project also includes 12 live/work units rented to families at 60% of area median income.

Additionally, Bexar County and SAHA officials announced the nation’s first all-digital public library, BiblioTech, will open its second full branch in Gardens at San Juan Square. The BiblioTech will include 40 iMac desktop computers, a study room and a children’s area. Patrons will be able to check out laptops and iPads for use within the library. For patrons who do not have e-reading devices, the library offers basic e-readers that can be loaded with up to five titles for external circulation.

“This partnership between the San Antonio Housing Authority and BiblioTech directly addresses the President's challenge of connecting 99% of our nation's students to broadbrand by 2018,” said Julián Castro, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Today, brainpower is the currency of success and every student deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

The site is built to meet Build San Antonio Green (BSAG) Level II standards, and the design promotes walkability, with green spaces, walking trails and a plaza, to connect with the adjacent neighborhoods.

The former San Juan Homes public housing development was originally constructed in 1951 with additional construction in 1967. The revitalization of San Juan has resulted in the 2008 completion of the 143-unit San Juan Square I, the 144-unit San Juan Square II in 2010, and this final phase.


Living and Working at Gardens at San Juan Square  
One of the most exciting aspects of Gardens at San Juan Square are the live/work units, where business owners can live right above their retail businesses, and community residents can conveniently access their products and services. This creates a strong sense of community and connectivity.

SAHA’s partnership with the Westside Development Corporation (WDC) helped to identify existing and prospective business owners for the live/work units. WDC will also provide supportive services to the entrepreneurs during their first year at the Gardens of San Juan Square.

Artist Nina Donley is seeing the return on her investment of an art gallery at the new Westside development.

“My gallery features my creations in paint, ink, woodwork and Aztec drawings,” says Donley. “I’m also partnering with fellow artists to showcase their work along with mine, as well as hold community classes on painting, sewing, and music – right here on the Westside.”

Donley says there has been a lot of interest in the live/work units and other business owners are welcoming the concept. She also appreciates the safe feeling in an affordable community with beautiful architecture.

“I have no complaints,” says Donely. “Thanks to SAHA, I am able to showcase my passion of art, as well as help my community thrive.”


Renovated Downtown Gem Welcomes Residents  
SAHA’s newly-remodeled downtown community for elderly and disabled residents - The Lofts at Marie McGuire - is an architectural gem, built in 1924 and originally named The Ogilvie Building.

After being retro-fitted using the existing footprint and shell, the like-new building boasts 63 units in a six-story mid-rise, in the heart of downtown San Antonio. Special consideration was made during the renovation process to preserve the original architectural features.

Located just two blocks from the Alamo, at 211 N. Alamo, the now-energy-efficient building surpasses the Build San Antonio Green (BSAG) Level 2 Energy Retrofit standards. The HVAC system is ductless, which significantly reduces the costs of maintenance and cleaning. Upgrades to the elevators, improved interiors, new appliances and a spacious community room are highlights of The Lofts at Marie McGuire.

Over the past several months, eagerly-awaiting residents began relocating back home to the Lofts at Marie McGuire, even as one exterior facade of the building was undergoing final renovation. Today, The Lofts at Marie McGuire is near occupancy capacity.

SAHA invites you to tour this most recent example of the Agency’s activities to preserve and expand its affordable housing resources, by joining us for the grand opening celebration of The Lofts at Marie McGuire on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 at 10 a.m.

San Antonio Housing Authority
SAHA provides housing assistance to over 65,000 children, adults and seniors through its Public Housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Mixed-Income housing programs. The Agency employs more than 500 individuals, with an annual operating budget of $187 million, and real estate assets valued at over $500 million. SAHA’s affordable housing programs include 71 public housing properties, more than 13,000 vouchers in the Housing Choice and Special Voucher programs, and 45 properties in a Mixed-Income Portfolio. The Agency empowers and equips families to improve their quality of life and to achieve economic stability through the agency’s commitment of funding and allocated resources, and with the direct involvement of our local partners.