Summit County Council members have added their support to four developers who want to build affordable senior citizen housing in Tallmadge, Cuyahoga Falls and the Kenmore area of Akron.
The developers are applying for competitive federal tax credits to help with the buildings targeted at potential tenants age 55 and older.
The federal tax credit provides lower-cost financing for the projects.
The NRP Group, of Cleveland, wants to build 100 cottage-style units on State Street in Cuyahoga Falls and call it Patrick’s Walk.
Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, of Columbus, wants to build a 40-unit development on Kenmore Boulevard and 12th Street Southwest — on the site of the former Heminger Elementary. It would be adjacent to the Kenmore Senior Community Center.
LW Construction Services has plans for the Tallmadge Senior Village Housing Development that would consist of up to 42 units on Colony Park Drive in Tallmadge.
Also in Tallmadge, a Testa Companies’ proposal for North Avenue would be called the Village at Town Center. It envisions as many as 62 one- and two-bedroom units plus a mixture of commercial, retail and office space, along with residential housing for renters of any age in lofts on the top floor.
Representatives from each group spoke before Summit County Council over the past two meetings asking for support.
During the presentations, Councilwoman-at-large Ilene Shapiro asked developers if they received support from the officials of each specific community where they planned to build and asked them to supply letters of support from the cities’ mayors and councils.
Councilwoman Tamela Lee also wanted to know how much it would cost seniors to rent the one- and two-bedroom units in the various developments and whether it would be affordable. Monthly rent for most units was estimated at $450 or $475.
Hearing no reasons to object, council mailed letters of approval last week.
The tax credits the developers are seeking from the state are based on a point system. Additional points are awarded for rehabbing an old facility or reusing land.
The competition will be keen.
“There are 130 to 140 projects applying for the tax credits, but only 35 to 40 will get approved,” said county Councilman Tim Crawford, who represents District 7, which includes Kenmore. “That’s not even one per county for the entire state.”
Crawford said such a building in Kenmore would fill up as soon as it was built.
He said there is a need for affordable housing for seniors throughout the county.
“There are so many people retired who don’t want to move out of the area they live, but would love to get out of their homes and not have the maintenance costs,” Crawford said. “They are tired of paying for lawn care and to have their driveways plowed. They would rather have one payment a month that includes all of their maintenance.”
Although the credits are federal, the state’s Housing Finance Agency determines which projects get them. A decision will be announced in April or May.
The projects that do win the tax credit could begin construction as early as this fall.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.