Housing development proposed for 5th Street

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By Nick Nunn staff writer

At a town hall meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at St. Paul AME, A. Gregg Bayard, representative for Parallel Housing, Inc., spoke regarding a potential senior housing development off Fifth Street, which could be completed by the winter of 2016.

The development would create 40 to 45 units, providing low to moderate cost solutions for citizens 55 years old and older.

According to Bayard, the timeline for the project begins with an application by Parallel Housing for federal low-income housing tax credits.

The application comes due in June, but tax credit awards will not be announced until November or December.

If Parallel Housing receives a tax credit award for the project, they will be locked into a 30-year commitment to provide affordable housing at the proposed development.

Bayard stated that construction would begin mid-summer of 2015 and be complete by December of 2016 if the tax credits are awarded for the housing project.

Awards are granted based on the application, which will involve site plans, environmental studies, and other research, which Parallel Housing will complete by the June deadline.

Applications are scored on a set of criteria, which the judging body uses to determine tax credit grants.

Bayard said that he feels that Parallel Housing’s project in Madison will rank very highly.

“It looks like we’ll score very, very favorably,” said Bayard. Bayard said that rentals will be based on one-year lease agreements, and that rental prices will be determined once they receive their award specifications.

Bayard added that Parallel Housing creates “highly energy efficient… sustainable housing” with average combined utility bills totaling from $30 to $60, and that the development will contain amenities such as an exercise room, a computer lab, an elevator, parking, and wifi throughout.

Bayard said that local sub-contractors will be used as much as possible during the construction process, and that the development will enjoy on-site management once complete.

Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan said that the Parallel Housing development will help to develop a “series of housing in town” and that the proposed development will be “low to moderate housing.”

Callahan stated that, right now, they are only taking the “first step” but they will have a “good idea of what the [development] looks like” by the time the application is submitted.

Once submitted, Parallel Housing will be committed to the plan as described in the application.

Bayard stated that this is a “very successful program” for developing this type of housing and that there will be “a lot of oversight on the compliance” with the standards set forth with the program.

Callahan added that, although Parallel Housing is a non-profit organization, the project will be taxed. “This will grow our tax base,” said Callahan.

Bayard continued by saying that the project will be developed with aging in mind and no health-related restrictions will prevent tenants from being considered.

Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Chair Shandon Land asked that everyone in attendance “please spread the word” about the project, considering its benefits.

Callahan also briefly mentioned other DDA projects in the Canaan area, including the Gilmore house and the stormwater improvements.

According to Callahan, the grand for the Canaan Corner Store came in during December, and construction will begin this month on the project, which will include three “first-come, first-served” affordable housing units.

Callahan told audience members that sign-up for the units would begin that night, and that they hope to have the housing available by June.

Callahan also stated that construction on stormwater improvements in the Canaan area would begin in the next couple of weeks and continue until completion sometime in August.

“We are going to ask you to be patient until August,” said Callahan, who added that, in exchange for the community’s patience, “by the end of August, a lot of people will feel the next 10 inches of rain in a completely different way.”

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