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Mon, Sept. 23

Housing Dept. awards tax credits to expand senior apartment complexes

The Daily Courier/Jo. L. Keener<br>
Sun Gate Villas as seen Wednesday are for low-income seniors who qualify under Arizona Department of Housing guidelines.

The Daily Courier/Jo. L. Keener<br> Sun Gate Villas as seen Wednesday are for low-income seniors who qualify under Arizona Department of Housing guidelines.

PRESCOTT VALLEY - The Arizona Department of Housing recently awarded $1 million in tax credits for the second phase of a low-income apartment complex for seniors near the Prescott Valley Civic Center.

The federal low-income housing tax credits will apply to the second phase of 54 units for the SunGate Villa Senior Community at 3850 Civic Drive, according to a press release from the department.

The department in 2005 awarded $964,504 in tax credits for the 64-unit first phase, said Charlene Crowell, government relations and communications administrator for the department.

The state agency awarded a total of $154.6 million in tax credits to 16 proposed housing developments in 11 Arizona counties. The credits will help to finance building or repairs of 887 units of affordable rental housing for individuals, families and the elderly.

"This means they will be permanently affordable housing," Crowell said.

SunGate Villa is the only project on the list from Yavapai County. Crowell estimated total project cost for the 54 new units at about $10.5 million. The additions will consist of 28 one-bedroom units and 26 two-bedroom units.

SunGate's developer, WESCAP Investments Inc. of Phoenix, also built the Valley View Apartments for low-income families nearby on Lakeshore Drive and Windsong Road.

WESCAP's president, Bill Spreitzer, was out of the office Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

The developer's use of tax credits drew praise from affordable housing advocate Kathern Mitchell, executive director of Choices AZ Inc. in Prescott.

"I think it is an excellent idea, and I would like to create tax incentives for developers to build affordable house-ownership projects," Mitchell said. "Our goals are to create home-ownership opportunities for medium-income families."

Mitchell explained housing programs generally target people who earn 80 percent or less of the median income of an area, using guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The median income for the tri-city area is $50,050 for a family of four.

Contact the reporter at khedler@prescottaz.com

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