Apartments for People With MS Opens

MINNEAPOLIS Kingsley Commons, one of only three apartment communities in the country specifically designed for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), recently opened in the northern section of the city. The project is the result of a joint effort by the Minnesota chapter of the National MS Society, the Powderhorn Community Council, and CommonBond Communities, the nonprofit developer.

The community features 25 oneand two-bedroom affordable units and services that help individuals with MS. Approximately 150 people have applied to live in the three-story, 26,000-squarefoot project located near Shingle Creek. CommonBond is exploring similar affordable housing opportunities in other states.

Project funding sources include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority’s Affordable Housing Incentive Fund; the city of Minneapolis; the Minnesota chapter of the National MS Society; and corporate grants from the Bremer Foundation, GMAC ResCap, Pentair Foundation, and The Travelers Cos., Inc.

Hundreds of Seniors Apartments Ready

CHICAGO The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) has announced that 600 seniors apartments in 12 buildings across the city are available for move-ins. The apartments are being made available as part of the CHA’s 15-year initiative to renovate or replace its entire 25,000-unit portfolio. The portfolio includes 9,600 seniors apartments.

Seniors will pay no more than 30 percent of their income for rent at any of the CHA developments, with a minimum rent of $50 per month.

All 55 of the CHA’s senior apartment buildings have received extensive renovations, including new heating and cooling systems, exterior improvements, and landscaping.

The initiative is expected to be 80 percent complete by 2009.


HUD Rejects Starrett City Bid Again

NEW YORK CITY Federal officials have shot down another attempt by Clipper Equity to buy Starrett City, the nation’s largest federally subsidized housing complex, located in Brooklyn. Current owner Disque Dean tentatively accepted David Bistricer’s $1.3 billion offer in February, spurring fears that Bistricer would raise rents at the 5,881-unit development in order to turn a profit.

The sale was blocked in March by HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. But Jackson left the door open at that time for Clipper. Since then, Bistricer submitted plans for maintaining affordability after the sale, but HUD again has refused to approve the sale on grounds that the company would not likely be able to keep rents affordable in the long-term.

A contract between the owner, Starrett City Associates, and the would-be buyer will remain in place until August. The owner has not decided how to proceed.


Partnership Acquires Apartments, Plans Rehab

HOUSTON Boston Capital has partnered with Montgomery, Ala.-based Summit Asset Management to acquire Summit Point Apartments here. The partnership plans to rehabilitate the 291-unit development at a cost of more than $21,000 per unit.

The 11.4-acre, garden-style project encompasses 19 two-story buildings and will include 48 one-, 187 two-, 54 three-, and two four-bedroom units. The development will target households earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). Renovations will include new roofs, windows, kitchens, cooling and heating systems, and a leasing office. New amenities will include parking for 400 cars, a community building, a pool, and a playground.


Senior Apartments Planned in Florida Panhandle

PENSACOLA, FLA. Beneficial Communities, Inc., plans to build Englewood Senior Apartments, a 92- unit affordable community for seniors, on the west side of the city. The Sarasota, Fla.-based developer has finalized a purchase agreement with TPS Realty for a 2.8-acre site.

The $13 million development will feature a 30-seat movie theater, a fitness center, a swimming pool, a convenience store, a laundry room, and a computer café. It is expected to be completed by the fall of 2008, according to Don Paxton, president of Beneficial Communities. The developer has applied for low-income housing tax credits.

Monthly rents are forecast to range from $332 to $570 for a one-bedroom unit, and $399 to $684 for a two-bedroom unit.


Affordable Units Planned in Green Mixed-Use Project

BERKELEY, CALIF. A mixed-use development featuring affordable housing is under construction in this city’s downtown. The David Brower Center, named for the Sierra Club’s first executive director, is partnering with Resources for Community Development to build the Brower Center, office space for primarily nonprofit firms, and the adjacent Oxford Plaza, the site of 97 affordable housing units.

Oxford Plaza will feature a courtyard and a roof deck with views of the San Francisco Bay. The complex also will include a computer center, laundry facilities, and a community room. The mixeduse building will house a theater, an art gallery, and a restaurant. Both the Brower Center and Oxford Plaza will incorporate green elements.

Meta Housing Completes L.A. Apartments

LOS ANGELES Meta Housing Corp. has opened Pico-Gramercy Apartments, a 71-unit affordable apartment community, just west of downtown. Units will target households earning no more than 50 percent of the AMI.

The $16.5 million development includes 52 one- and two-bedroom units and 19 studio apartments. Monthly rents will range from $390 to $773. The project also features a community center with computers, as well as a playground and outdoor grills.

Financing included an $8.5 million construction loan from Wells Fargo, $3 million in HOME funds, $2.4 million in low-income housing tax credits, a $770,000 grant from the Community Redevelopment Agency, and $365,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

CTCAC Proposes New Basis Limits Plan

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. A new methodology proposed by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC) would significantly decrease the number of lowincome housing tax credit projects whose cost basis exceeds program limits. The committee said it is using data that is more relevant than the federal Sec. 221(d)(3) limits to establish reasonable development cost maximums for establishing basis limits. In a June 15 memo, CTCAC Executive Director William Pavao described the proposed changes, saying that staffers studied adjusted cost data from more than 1,000 new construction projects awarded 9 percent and 4 percent credits between 1997 and 2006.

The proposed method would significantly reduce the current number of 9 percent projects with basis exceeding program limits. CTCAC estimates that under the new method, about 17 percent of projects would have basis in excess of the new proposed limits compared to 41 percent of the 2007 applicants. For more information, visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac.

CTCAC reported receiving 110 applications for 9 percent federal low-income housing tax credits and seven applications for 4 percent credits plus state credits in its second allocation round of 2007. Applications were due in July.

In the first round, the committee received 92 applications and funded 31 projects. California has approximately $72 million in credit authority this year.