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Madison poised to deliver $5.9 million for three low-cost housing projects
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MADISON | LOWER-COST HOUSING

Madison poised to deliver $5.9 million for three low-cost housing projects

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Affordable housing

The proposed "Heights Apartments" by MSP Real Estate at 2208 University Ave. is one of three projects poised to get city financial support to provide a total 252 apartments with 208 units for those with lower incomes.

Madison is poised to deliver $5.9 million to three housing projects with a combined cost of $64.3 million that will deliver 252 apartments, including 208 units geared to those with lower incomes.

Ten City Council members have introduced a resolution to tap the city’s Affordable Housing Fund to support the projects, enabling the developers to combine local investments and Low Income Housing tax credits secured through the Wisconsin Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway strongly supports the Affordable Housing Fund, proposing $7 million for it in the capital budget in 2022 and the same amount annually in the nonbinding, five-year Capital Improvement Plan.

“I think the program is doing what we set out to do in terms of creating new affordable housing units,” said Jim O’Keefe, city community development director.

The projects, all with most apartment units for those making no more than 60% of Dane County’s median income, or $55,680 for a family of three, and with some units for those making less, are:

Gorman & Co. “Courtyard Lofts,” a $23.4 million project to remake the Madison Plaza Hotel

  • at 3841 E. Washington Ave. on the East Side into housing with all 105 units for those with lower incomes. Would receive $1.85 million in city support and is expected to seek tax credits through WHEDA. The developer must still secure city land use approvals.
  • MSP Real Estate. “The Heights Apartments,” a $23.6 million project at 2208 University Ave. on the Near West Side with 62 of 79 units for those with lower incomes. Would receive $2.35 million in city support. Awarded $1.45 million from Dane County subject to County Board approval. Has already secured tax credits through WHEDA and city land use approvals.
  • Odessa Affordable Housing. “Avenue Square Senior Apartments,” a $17.3 million project at 1802-1818 Packers Ave. and 2102 Schlimgen Ave. on the North Side with 41 of 68 units for those with lower incomes. Would receive $1.64 million in city support. Awarded $860,000 from Dane County subject to County Board approval. Has already secured tax credits through WHEDA and city land use approvals.

The city’s Community Development Block Grant Committees have approved the support and the Finance Committee is scheduled to consider the resolution Monday with the City Council expected to make a final decision on Oct. 19.

St. John’s Lutheran Church/MRB Holdings withdrew a request for $1.9 million in support from the Affordable Housing Fund for a $31.6 million redevelopment of its property at 322 E. Washington Ave. on the Near East Side with 82 of 98 units for those making up to 60% of county median income.

That team decided its proposal needed more refinement, O’Keefe said, adding, “It’s a project we’re very interested in and hope to see again.”

Since 2014, not including the projects now before the council, the city’s affordable housing initiative has helped create a total 1,835 apartments, including 1,464 units for those with lower incomes. The city has invested about $30 million in the developments, which have attracted a total $204 million in federal tax credits.

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