Project Helps Residents Get an Education

BOWLING GREEN, KY. Some low-income parents trying to further their post-secondary education and become self-sufficient have a new place to call home.

The Bowling Green Scholar House, which was completed in October 2008 by Housing Assistance and Development Services, Inc. (HANDS), and Wabuck Development Co., is part of a housing and education initiative administered by the Kentucky Housing Corp. It is the third scholar house to open in the state.

Tracey Glasscock, vice president of Wabuck, commends the Kentucky Housing Corp. for its scholar house efforts. “This is something so needed everywhere that benefits families and communities socially and economically,” she says.

“Any time that you can remove barriers for parents so they can complete their education, you've not only assisted the parents, but you have helped the children to better themselves in the future and seek higher education,” says Deborah Williams, executive director of HANDS.

Residents at the 56 two-bedroom development must be full-time students, maintain a 2.0 grade-point average, and attend resident council meetings and workshops in parenting skills, budgeting, nutrition, and study skills. Two retired teachers with counseling degrees serve as housing service coordinators. Community Action of Southern Kentucky provides child care and HeadStart services.

The units are subsidized with Department of Housing and Urban Development Sec. 8 rental subsidy from the city of Bowling Green and the Kentucky Housing Corp., with residents paying no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.

The $8.7 million development, which was a brownfield site, was funded with lowincome housing tax credits syndicated by the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. HANDS also contributed 75 percent of the developer fee back to the project in the form of an equity contribution and a lowinterest 30-year deferred loan. —Christine Serlin

Seigle Point Fosters Change

CHARLOTTE, N.C. The Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) is helping to revitalize the inner-city Belmont neighborhood with Seigle Point Apartment Homes, a HOPE VI redevelopment, as the cornerstone.

The site was the former Piedmont Courts, which consisted of 34 barrackstyle dilapidated buildings and 242 units of family housing built in 1941. The buildings contained lead-based paint and asbestos and had become a health hazard to the residents.

“The residents of Piedmont Courts were very adamant about tearing that community down and building a new mixed-income community,” says Charles Woodyard, CHA's president and CEO.

Seigle Point Apartment Homes has a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, with 123 units set aside for families earning at or less than 30 percent of the area median income (AMI) and the remaining 81 units for families earning less than 60 percent of the AMI.

Residents of Seigle Point have access to free preschool and after-school programs for their children because of a collaboration with Seigle Avenue Partners and Seigle Avenue Preschool. CHA also has partnered with several organizations to add extra outdoor amenities for their residents, including tennis courts, basketball courts, and soccer fields.

“Providing services for our residents is a crucial component of our developments. Our goal is to help residents move up; therefore, we've provided services such as child care, transportation, a computer lab, job readiness and training, as well as recreational amenities,” says Michelle Allen, a senior development offi cer at the CHA.

The $23 million development combined federal and state low-income housing tax credits, syndicated by RBC Capital Markets, with a city of Charlotte Housing Trust Fund loan, a CHA Replacement Housing Factor Funds loan, and a federal HOPE VI loan. —Christine Serlin

Mobile Home Site Transformed

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA What once was the site of an overgrown and environmentally contaminated mobile home park is now 80 units of mixedincome family housing within the city's first town center.

Working with a private development partner and the local government, Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA) was able to complete environmental remediation so it could build Grass Creek Village, the first phase of its Creekside Town Center development in the Northeast Anchorage neighborhood.

The partners received grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a local environmental trust to restore the creek on the property, which now flows freely with salmon and trout.

Completed in September 2008, Grass Creek features 78 townhouse-style homes and two ranch-style houses with a mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedrooms. Eight of the units are set aside for residents earning 50 percent of the area median income (AMI), with 48 units for households earning 60 percent of the AMI and 24 units at market rate.

All residents will have the opportunity to buy their homes in 15 years, with CIHA giving credits based on how long residents have been in their homes, reducing the sale price.

Carol Gore, CIHA president, says the rent-to-own program is a great incentive for residents. “It causes residents to treat the property differently. It changes their attitude for where they live and their respect for the common areas. They're already acting like owners.”

CIHA received the single-largest lowincome housing tax credit award at the time from Alaska Housing Finance Corp. for the $25.6 million Grass Creek Village. CIHA's other development plans for the town center include a partnership with a private builder on 68 condo units and an intergenerational housing facility. —Christine Serlin

Big Project for Small Site

BELMONT, MASS. Affirmative Investments, Inc., took 1.34 acres with a steep grade and turned it into 40 garden and townhouse-style apartments for low-income households. The site was donated by neighboring McLean Hospital to this wealthy suburb of Boston and set aside for affordable housing.

“I'm still amazed at how we were able to create so many homes on such a small site and to make it feel more communityoriented,” says Tara Mizrahi, vice president of Affirmative.

To address the site challenges, architect Mostue and Associates designed tiers of housing built into the natural slope of the land. The development features six buildings with pockets of green and gathering spaces for the residents.

Waverley Woods also features many sustainable elements. The project received $1.75 million in Transit-Oriented Development (Priority Development) Funds from MassHousing because of its proximity to public transportation and a main commercial center. Mizrahi also says Affirmative strived to get the building envelope as tight as possible.

Waverley Woods has a mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units and will serve families earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), with deeper targeting for those earning up to 30 percent of the AMI. Mizrahi also says the development serves seniors and residents with special needs. Affirmative has partnered with numerous area groups to provide services.

In addition to the transit-oriented funds, the $11.5 million development was financed through low-income housing tax credits from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), syndicated by Sovereign Bank; Housing Stabilization Funds from DHCD; a permanent loan from MassHousing; HOME funds from the city of Belmont; and an Enterprise Green Communities grant. —Christine Serlin


Developers: Housing Assistance and Development Services, Inc., and Wabuck Development Co.

Major Funders: Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing; Kentucky Housing Corp.


Developer: Seigle Point Development, LLC

Major Funders: RBC Capital Markets; City of Charlotte; Charlotte Housing Authority; North Carolina Housing Finance Agency; Department of Housing and Urban Development


Developer: Cook Inlet Housing Authority

Major Funders: Alaska Housing Finance Corp.; Centerline Capital Group; Department of Housing and Urban Development; Wells Fargo


Developer: Affirmative Investments, Inc.

Major Funders: Sovereign Bank; MassHousing; Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development; City of Belmont; Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.