A nearly $1.2 million Ohio tax credit will help Kent land some new affordable senior housing, replacing some of what was lost when the Silver Oaks Place retirement community was sold and turned into student apartments.

The city, which received the word from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency this month, will also contribute $250,000 from its Community Housing Improvement Program toward the development project, which is being called Four Seasons at Golden Pond.

The city’s money will probably be used for land acquisition for a 68-unit complex, Community Development Director Bridget Susel said.

Of 102 applications for the Ohio tax credit, targeted at subsidizing the senior housing market, only 37 were awarded.

“It’s unusual that we would get funded in the very first application,” Economic Development Director Dan Smith said, but he said the Silver Oaks story was a big reason that Kent jumped to the top of the list.

Silver Oaks made headlines last year when the 13-acre property was sold, forcing some 250 elderly residents — some who had lived there for more than 20 years — to relocate with only a couple of months’ notice.

When the dust from that controversy settled, the city met with the developers of the Four Seasons at Kent and another developer who owns property adjacent to KentRidge at Golden Pond to plan a new senior complex adjacent to KentRidge off Sunnybrook Road. The Kent Planning Commission has already approved the preliminary site plan.

Because there is already a fair amount of middle- and upper-income senior housing in the area, the development would reach out to lower-income seniors. The tax credits were critical in bringing down the construction costs and making rents cheaper.

Susel said officials will meet with developer NRP Group today to discuss how to finance the project.

Basically, Susal explained, NRP will sell the tax credits to companies that use them to lower their own tax liability, and the proceeds generated will help pay down the cost of the project.

“It’s the only way you can finance affordable housing,” Susel said. “You cannot charge enough in market rent to afford development [of a lower-income complex] without help.”

Paula Schleis can be reached at 330-996-3741 or pschleis@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/paulaschleis.