NOW is the time for rosewood courts

Rosewood Courts, the first public housing project for African Americans in the country, has been home to residents with low-income in East Austin since 1939. Rosewood was built with non-insulated cinder block walls, narrow doors too small for wheelchairs, and no central air conditioning or heating. The eighty-year-old buildings have outlived their usefulness as repairs and maintenance have become difficult and costly. The residents of Rosewood have waited long enough for a better quality of life. That’s why NOW is the time for Rosewood Courts.

Construction is well underway at Rosewood!  In the preservation buildings, crews have removed modern fixtures, roofs and paint to make way for new materials that will mimic the 1930s era construction of the original project.   The underground work that will allow vertical construction to begin on the new building at the corner of Rosewood and Chicon continues, despite some delays caused by a rainy spring season.  Foundations on the other two multifamily buildings at the center of the property have been poured and framing will begin this summer. The first multifamily units should be complete in the second half of 2025.  The last phase to get started is homeownership townhomes along Poquito Street, which are being developed in partnership with Austin Habitat for Humanity.  Site prep will take place in the fourth quarter of 2024 and volunteers will start their work in 2025.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Built on Legacy and Focused on the Future

Rosewood Courts was established in 1939 as part of the New Deal, which was lobbied for by then-Congressman Lyndon Baines Johnson. Built during an era of segregation, Rosewood Courts is the first African American public housing in the United States and sits on the original Emancipation Park site.

The barrack-style complex was built with cinderblock walls, no central air conditioning, and constructed during a time when accommodations were not made for wheelchair accessibility. Despite the best efforts of maintenance staff, the buildings at Rosewood are now well beyond their useful life cycle. The residents living at Rosewood Courts deserve the common decency to feel pride in where they live.

Since 2012, HACA has worked closely with our residents, our Rosewood neighbors, and our community partners to create this new vision for affordable housing in Austin. 

A Preview of the NEW ROSEWOOD

The newly re-imagined Pathways at Rosewood Courts will provide more deeply affordable housing for residents with essential modern amenities. At the same time, we will also take care to honor the past and history of this property by preserving and restoring eight original buildings. New Rosewood will feel open, safe and beautiful with a new community green space, expanded parking, and an exciting opportunity of affordable homeownership for first-time homebuyers.


A successful new Rosewood is one built on community support and feedback. Current resident living at Rosewood have waited along time for a new home. Please watch this video Rosewood Courts: Now is the Time to hear from the residents, and gain a better understanding of why this redevelopment is so needed.

We also need to hear from you. Please contact HACA with any questions or comments regarding the new plan for Rosewood Courts. You can send an email to, or leave a comment HERE. Thank you!

Homeownership at rosewood

Through HACA’s partnership with Austin Habitat for Humanity, qualified residents will have several opportunities to purchase their first home at Rosewood Courts.  For over 35 years, Austin Habitat for Humanity has been helping hardworking families achieve their dream of homeownership, and they look forward to this opportunity to help families at Rosewood.

To learn more about the Rosewood Homeownership Program visit


The success of Rosewood Courts depends on an ongoing strong connection with the community. We need to hear from our community partners and neighbors with ideas on how Rosewood can continue to help the most people on their journey to self-sufficiency. 

HACA hosted several online community engagement events, and an in-person event for the residents of Rosewood Courts in 2021. The purpose is to stay connected to the residents and the greater Rosewood community for feedback and suggestions on the future of this property.  

On June 17, 2021, HACA had an in-person, socially distant get together with the residents of Rosewood Courts, allowing them to ask questions, and give their ideas on what features they’d like to see in the next phase of their property.  You can view photos of this event HERE

On June 29, 2021 HACA hosted a virtual community workshop, giving community partners and the public the latest updates on Rosewood, and allowing time for conversation, questions, and collaboration. You can view a recording of this workshop at the video below:

On November 12, 2021, HACA hosted an online virtual community meeting: “Rosewood Courts Section106 Consulting Parties Meeting Overview and Zoom Chat.”   You can read and review notes from that meeting HERE, or watch a video recording here: