After three years of hard work, the Madison County Affordable Housing Partnership's application for low income housing tax credits was approved, receiving the highest point total of any application in the state.
Meadows of Fredericktown, LLC has been formed and will be the name of the 40-unit complex set to break ground in the location of east on Pine Castle Boulevard, north of Great Southern Bank, this summer. It is estimated the project will be a completed late 2022.
Madison County Affordable Housing Partnership President Dennis Siders said the endeavor began three years ago when a needs assessment was conducted for the Senate Bill 40 Board and Madison County Service Coordination, MCSC.
"We got a lot of focus groups together and discussed what are the needs of the mentally disabled and what is the best way to use the Senate Bill 40 money coming from the county," Siders said. "The two big items were employment and housing."
Siders said he was introduced to RCH Development President Chad Hartle, through his work on the board of Community Counseling. Then talks began that this was something that could be done.
"We did a partnership with MCCDD (Madison County Council for the Developmentally Disabled) and MCSC and we formed a not for profit housing just for here in Madison County, Madison County Affordable Housing Partnership," Siders said. "They recently formed a LLC, Meadows of Fredericktown. That is the entity that we will be building under."
Siders said the project was awarded federal tax credits of $5,630,000 and state tax credits of $3,941,000 which will be divided over a ten year period.
"The federal government decided a long time ago that it makes more sense to give tax credits to build affordable housing then to make grants or loans," Hartle said. "The reason being whenever they award the tax credits we sell those to investors and the investor, in this case the federal investor, would use $563,000 worth of tax credits each year for the next 10 years. Likewise with the state investor."
Hartle said the $9,371,000 in tax credits will be sold to investors at a discounted rate because it is stretched out over a long period of time for the investors to get the benefit of the tax credit.
"They do that on purpose because we have to operate this property as affordable housing for the next 30 years and if we fail in any way doing that then the investor loses their tax credits," Hartle said. "In other words if we move someone in and they don't qualify income wise then we are subject to recapture and the investor loses their tax credits."
Hartle said the bottom line is they will build this and comply with all the regulations for 30 years.
"It's an extremely competitive process," Hartle said. "The city of Fredericktown, Missouri is not the only place that needs affordable housing, and that is why they had four times as many applications as tax credits to go around."
Hartle said it is expensive to put applications together and hundreds of hours are put into every application.
"I feel extremely good that we received more points than any other application in the state this year," Hartle said. "A lot of it is from the region, where we are, and then of course how we put the application together and the team we assembled."
Architect Mike Kleffner from Wallace Artchitects gave an overview of the design of the project. He said there will be 20 duplexes with 30 two-bedroom, one bath units and 10 three-bedroom, two bath units. Each of the 40 unites will have a one car garage.
"We wanted to be sensitive with this particular location, with adjacent properties, making it feel like a residential development," Kleffner said. "Some of the developments that are funded with these tax credits are high rises, multi-story breeze ways. Some do construction. Some are renovations, but we are doing a duplex plan with an efficient layout."
Kleffner said the units will be built following the National Green Building Standard to the bronze level. He said the HVAC equipment, lighting, plumbing, windows, attic and wall insulation will all be top of the line.
"As we progress through this thing, we will be making selections as we go, right on up to the end," Hartle said. "If we have money left over, which is typical, we will beef up the landscaping. We've done solar in the past for supplemental electric. It just depends on how the budget holds up."
Siders said 10 of the units will be set aside for developmentally disabled individuals. He said the Senate Bill 40 board will be subsidizing those rents.
"Most of our individuals get $700 a month in social security and they try to live on that," Siders said. "They try to pay rent, utilities, food and everything else. So subsidizing that will bring down those rents a little bit for those."
The rent amount of the units will be determined based on income and there will be two waiting lists, one for the 30 low income units and one for the 10 set aside for the developmentally disabled individuals.
Hartle said pest control is part of the plan, so every two or three months they will go in and spray all the units and that will be management's turn to go through and look. He said the state will come in every year and inspect both the paperwork and the units themselves.
MCSC plans to provide a wide range of established services and programs to all the tenants of Meadows of Fredericktown. They will have a full-time service coordinator on site and will provide help with housing stability, employment, mental health, quality of life, and social and community connections. There will also be a food pantry on site.
Director of MCSC Lora Dyess said they will offer financial literacy classes at least once a month to help individuals learn to finance and budget. She said they will help with GED courses, resumes, filling out job applications and more.
"Quality of life, they mentioned this just a little while ago," Dyess said. "We will go in at least quarterly to look at the tenants' homes and, if they are struggling to keep their home clean, they will be referred to us. We will meet with them one on one to help them learn better skills."
Dyess said there will also be organized events at the community building such as movie nights, game nights and potlucks.
"We will have a full-time maintenance man that will work there," Siders said. "We will have in the lease that we go into each unit, either monthly or quarterly, look it over make sure there is no damage in there. These will be maintained better than anything else you see around. These are going to stand up and be good units for a long time."
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at email@example.com