Millions of dollars in tax credits have been allocated for a housing project in Colusa.
The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee announced last week that $5,336,070 in federal low-income housing tax credits will be awarded to fund renovations for the Devonshire Apartments, a 39-unit affordable housing project located on Wescott Road.
Renovation work is expected to total $7.5 million dollars and will cover repairs of the roof, the central water heating and boiler system, the heating and air conditioning systems, interior updates and the instillation of ADA compliant walkways, said Gus Becerra, Regional Housing Authority Executive Director.
This property, currently owned by Regional Authority, was partially renovated in 2017 through a partnership between Real Estate Development Services, the city of Colusa and the Regional Housing Authority but Becerra said no other work has been done since that time.
According to Becerra, the last renovation project at this site replaced the dangerous balconies that were close to falling down and replaced exterior siding.
“We took care of the most urgent matters during the last renovations but there is still a lot of work to be done there,” said Becerra.
“The infusion of tax credits for the Devonshire Apartments allows us to fully renovate the complex and preserve the affordability of the units for years to come,” said Beckie Flores, Planning and Community Development manager for Regional Housing Authority.
Becerra said the city of Colusa was instrumental in securing these tax credits, providing sizable local leverage to the Devonian project.
“The more public leverage you have the higher you score,” said Becerra.
According to Becerra, the city provided $1,116,000 in funding which helped get the application approved on the first attempt.
“Tax credits are extremely competitive – less than half the projects that applied in this last round were funded,” said Flores.
According to Becerra, only about 25 credit applications get approved each round out of the 60 to 90 that are submitted statewide.
“We are extremely luck to have both of these project get approved for these tax credits,” said Becerra.
The renovation of the Devonshire Apartments is expected to start in spring of 2020 and will take approximately nine months to complete, said Becerra.
While renovations are being completed, Becerra said residents will likely stay in one of the empty unit at the complex while work is done on their home.
“No one will be displaced during the renovation process,” said Becerra.
If construction moves fast and there are not enough vacant units, Becerra said the Regional Housing Authority may temporarily house residents at a nearby hotel and provide them with temporary relocation assistance as well.
The CTCAC has also allocated $8,796,140 to fund the New Haven Court housing project, a 39 unit site located at 448 Garden Highway in Yuba City that will provide permanent supportive housing for homeless persons as well as chronically homeless individuals with severe mental illness.
According to a press release issued by the Regional Housing Authority, the award of tax credits to New Haven Court was the final step needed to fully fund the project that is expected to break ground in spring of 2020.
“We are very excited about the award of tax credits to the New Haven Court project that will address the needs of homeless and mentally disabled individuals in our community,” said Becerra. “Many thanks to our partners and stake holders that have committed funds and services to the project.”
Becerra said this project has been a great regional effort, with financial commitments coming from both Yuba and Sutter County.
According to Becerra, this is the second time this project has applied for these tax credits and was able to successfully out compete other applications due to increased community backing.
“We went back to our original contributors the second time around and they really stepped up,” said Becerra.
According to Becerra, the Behavioral Health boards for both Yuba and Sutter County adopted a resolution to collectively contribute the $1,547,000 they were awarded though Mental Health Services Act funding. Yuba County has committed all of the No Place Like Home grant funding they have been awarded, totaling $696,000. Sutter County has also committed their $500,000 NPLH funding in addition to $200,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding. The Sutter-Yuba Homeless Consortium designated $690,000 in Homeless Emergency Access Program funding, Yuba City Unified School District has put up $54,000 in Development Impact funding and the city of Yuba City contributed $800,000 in capital funds. Regional Housing Authority also contributed the value of the land for this project.
Becerra said the project will cost $13 million and is expected to be completed after 12 to 14 months of construction, weather permitting.
The intended site currently houses the former Regional Housing Authority building, a structure that Becerra said will be demolished by the end of the year to prepare for New Haven Court.
According to the release, the complex will provide 19 units of housing for homeless persons with support services provided by Hands of Hope and 20 units of housing for chronically homeless individuals with severe mental illness with support services provided by Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health once complete.
Becerra said the Housing Authority should be receiving a letter from the CTCAC in the comping days that allows them to move forward with this process. From there, they will working to secure construction financing.
Becerra said like a mortgage, these tax credits are based on equity. Once each project has been completed, these tax credits will be put up to bid and will be sold to an investor, usually a bank or an insurance company.