Woodland Park Apartments is getting 96 more affordable housing units, and the city may help foot the bill.
The Gainesville City Commission voted unanimously Thursday to nominate the complex, located on 1900 SE 4th St., for a $460,000 tax credit to help fund a 96-unit expansion. The total project cost is estimated at $22.25 million.
The rest of the project will be funded through project loans and investors, according to the project proposal by its developers, Gainesville Housing Authority and Norstar Development USA.
The Woodland Park Apartments extension is estimated to be completed by March 2023.
The complex already has 170 affordable housing units. The three-story addition will add 86 low-income and 10 extremely low-income units to the complex, according to the proposal.
The maximum rent for a four-person apartment in the expansion will be capped at $1,215 a month for low income renters and $688 a month for extremely low income renters, according to the proposal.
Renters are defined as low income if their family income is 60% or less of the median household income of their community, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Renters are defined as extremely low income if their family income is 33% or less of the area’s median household income.
Gainesville’s median household income was $36,389 dollars in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The funding for the tax credit will be fronted by the city’s ConnectFree program, which provides financial assistance to affordable housing projects, said John Wachtel, the city’s neighborhood planning coordinator. The developers will be required to pay back the credit with 1% interest within 15 years after the project is funded, Wachtel said.
While the commission nominated the project, it still must be approved for the credit by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. Florida Housing was created by the Florida State legislature to oversee how federal affordable housing funding gets distributed to projects in the state.
Five different housing projects across the state receive the $460,000 tax credit annually. Each municipality in the state can submit one project a year for consideration, according to Wachtel. Florida Housing will select their five projects at the start of 2021, he said.