The Fort Lauderdale developer planning to build an affordable apartment complex in the Meadowcrest subdivision still faces hurdles after the Citrus County Commission voted down land use changes needed for the project.
Green Mills Group’s project faced strong resistance from many of Meadowcrest’s residents who said the development was not a good fit for their community, would attract crime and create too much traffic.
Although the county commission voted Tuesday to allow the project to move forward, the developer said there is still a long way to go; that is, getting the money for the project through federal tax credits.
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“I wouldn’t say (the process) was complex,” project manager Shaun Mosheim told the Chronicle Friday. “The likelihood of being awarded is difficult. It has become very competitive over the last few years.”
Mosheim said there are many more developers now building affordable housing for federal aid.
The process goes like this.
A developer planning an affordable housing project applies for tax credits to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The developer then sells those tax credits to businesses and uses the cash to build the project.
The amount of money involved is substantial.
Green Mills Group will ask for $1.7 million over 10 years for a total of $17 million. HUD allows the developer to use the money for construction, but not things like land purchases, designs or impact studies.
HUD creates a point value system for developers when they apply for money, which includes things like community support and financial buy-in, and the need for affordable housing in the area.
Applications will be submitted by the end of the year, and Green Mills will know by the end of January 2023 whether it will receive the federal aid.
Mosheim said the project will be built in two phases and consist of just under 100 apartments. It has not yet been determined whether the project will be exclusively for seniors or a mix of families, couples and singles who meet the financial and other requirements.
The 14.79 acres the developer is considering in the Meadowcrest subdivision off State Highway 44 in Crystal River. Green Mills does not own the property, but plans to purchase it at some point during the development application process and is in communications with the owner, Mosheim said.
HUD also annually sets the maximum rent for affordable housing, which is currently $697 per month for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment and $837 per month for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.
Green Mills also built an affordable housing complex in Inverness.
Mosheim said the apartment complex will have the same amenities as the 106-unit project in Inverness, which included a pool, indoor common area, fitness center and meeting room for residents. This project cost $11 million.
And if the Green Mills project doesn’t get federal money next year, “we’ll try again,” Mosheim said.
“These are some of the many challenges in our business,” he said. “It’s just part of the process.”