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Mon, Sept. 23

Investment group boosts construction of affordable housing

B. Spreitzer/Courtesy illustration<br/>In this rendering of the Sungate Villa II Senior Community in Prescott Valley, the upper right corner shows a portion of the roof of the first phase and the lower right shows the connection between phases one and two. Construction of the second phase began in January and runs through this fall.<br/><br/>

B. Spreitzer/Courtesy illustration<br/>In this rendering of the Sungate Villa II Senior Community in Prescott Valley, the upper right corner shows a portion of the roof of the first phase and the lower right shows the connection between phases one and two. Construction of the second phase began in January and runs through this fall.<br/><br/>

The growing call for affordable housing has Bill Spreitzer working overtime.

Spreitzer, president of WESCAP Investments, said this week construction is underway on 54 units at the Sungate Villa II Senior Community in Prescott Valley.

Phoenix-based WESCAP has six affordable housing complexes in the tri-city area, with 400 existing units and three additional complexes either under construction or set to start within the next 30 days, according to Spreitzer, who said more than 150 people are on the list to move into the first phase of Sungate Villa.

"We have a pretty substantial wait list for those units at this time," he said.

Spreitzer anticipates construction will wrap up on the second phase of 54 units in October and leasing will begin in the fourth quarter of 2010 for seniors who have incomes of 60 percent or less of the area's median income.

Households earning up to $25,800 annually qualify, and rents range from $400 to $700, depending on the size of the unit and income level.

In late 2009, WESCAP got a $1 million federal tax credit from the Arizona Department of Housing to build an additional 46 units at WESCAP's Bradshaw Senior Community on Bradshaw Drive in Prescott.

And Spreitzer said WESCAP, which specializes in building affordable workforce and senior housing, has three additional complexes in the pipeline in Prescott and Prescott Valley with 132 more units.

WESCAP also built the Valley View family apartment complex near the Civic Center in town and the Antelope Valley apartment complex in Chino Valley.

The Arizona Department of Housing issues an annual report showcasing the growing need for affordable housing.

Kristina Fretwell, legislative liaison with the state housing department, said the report prepared for the 2009 Governor's Housing Forum this past September gives a snapshot of the market and paints a picture of affordable housing in communities.

"(The report lets people) see what the needs are throughout the state, and it helps the housing community," she said.

The report breaks out the hourly wage needed to rent and the median hourly wage paid in each of the state's 15 counties.

In Yavapai County, the hourly wage needed to rent is $16.23 and the median hourly wage paid is $10.72.

By comparison, the Maricopa County hourly wage needed to rent is $16.87 and the median hourly wage paid is $10.51. The state average is $15.03 and $10.29, respectively.

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