Mortgage And Real Estate News

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Availability of affordable housing rentals to increase for veterans

In the next 18 months, individuals who served in the military will find more affordable rentals from south Phoenix to Sunnyslope to call home.

For the most part, the new projects are financed by low-income housing tax credits.

The Valley has more than 28,000 veterans with annual household incomes below $16,000.

This year, the Arizona Department of Housing added a veteran preference for the tax credit, creating an incentive to build apartments for qualifying veterans who earn less than $15,000 annually.

Brad Bridwell, the state's homeless veterans services coordinator, said veterans need permanent, affordable housing.

"It prevents homelessness for those at risk," he said. "Veterans are 10 percent of our citizen population, but 20 to 25 percent of our homeless population."

NRP Group plans to build Madison Point, two buildings with 60 units, at Ninth Street and Indian School Road, "in the shadow" of the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix.

"The tax credit is the engine that drives the train," said Mark Shoemacher, vice president of NRP Group. "That provides the bulk of the financing. There are very few multifamily projects because financing is so difficult to get."

NRP Group is in escrow to buy the property, which is now a mobile home park. Shoemacher expects construction to begin next summer, with veteran families moving in by the second quarter of 2012.

Cloudbreak Phoenix is building 75 apartments as the third phase of Victory Place, near Ninth Street and Jones Avenue, in south Phoenix. At Victory Place, U.S. Vets provides stable, temporary and transitional housing and services to homeless veterans. Before joining the Arizona Department of Veterans Services, Bridwell was director of U.S. Vets-Phoenix.

Mary Ellen's Place, a home for women veterans, is relying on grants and donations from veterans groups and the community to become a reality. Named in honor of the late Mary Ellen Piotrowski, former chairwoman of Unified Arizona Veterans, the Sunnyslope community calls for 16 apartments that would rent for $250 month.

Louisa Stark, executive director of Community Housing Partnership, said the non-profit agency is not using veteran housing tax credits. Stark said residents, identified by Veterans Affairs, are expected to move in by spring.

"We found that it was a real need. Almost all of the (veteran) programs in town, males outnumber females," Stark said. "As a result, women simply get overlooked. Mary Ellen's is a place where they can live as long as they need to and as long as they want to."

by Sadie Jo Smokey The Arizona Republic Dec. 18, 2010 06:30 AM

Availability of affordable housing rentals to increase for veterans

1 comment:

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