Workforce housing project gets state tax credits


HUNTINGBURG — The workforce housing development planned for Washington and Fifth streets in Huntingburg will get tax-credit funding from the state.

This morning, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority approved $794,541 per year in rental housing tax credits for the project that is being developed by Indianapolis-based Paragus Group at 419 N. Washington St., the former Wagon Works site.

“We are very pleased to hear the award has been made,” Mayor Denny Spinner said this morning. “This helps us complete one of the major goals of providing affordable housing in our community in different forms. It will be near the downtown area and allows for growth in our workforce, and adds to the quality of place that we are building as a Stellar Community.”

The plan is to construct a 56-unit housing development at a cost of  $5.8 million. The development will have 28 studio, 24 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments in three housing units on the site; an additional building on the site will have a community room. The site will have bike racks, a fenced dog-walking area, a picnic area, a parking space for each apartment and on-site management. Each apartment will have curtains or blinds; a porch, patio or balcony; a garbage disposal; dishwasher; and hookups for cable and for a washer and dryer.

The dollar amount of rent for the apartments is limited based on state standards for the tax credits. Rent has been estimated between $230 and $390 for a studio apartment, $470 to $530 for a one-bedroom apartment and $600 for a two-bedroom apartment. The smaller studio apartments will be 468 square feet and the larger ones will be 572 square feet. The smaller one-bedroom apartments will be 728 square feet and the larger ones will be 832 square feet. The two-bedroom apartments will be 936 square feet. Residents will be responsible for their own utilities, which is just electric, and the owner will provide trash service.

Restrictions attached to receiving the tax credits also dictate that an apartment can have only two people per bedroom. So, the number of people living in a studio or one-bedroom is limited to two people and the number allowed to live in a two-bedroom apartment is four people.

Tenants’ income is also limited by state standards. As of May 1, 2017, the maximum verifiable income is $28,440 for one person, $32,520 for two people, $36,600 for three people and $40,620 for four people.

A favorable component on Paragus’ application is that the company has Tri-Cap, a certified housing development agency, as a general partner in the development. The agency will provide residents at the development various services at no cost, such as high school equivalency classes, parenting classes, vocational training, nutrition courses, energy efficiency classes; there will be more than 25 services to choose from.

Another plus for the project is that Huntingburg is a Stellar Community, a designation it received in 2014. The state has $1.5 million in rental housing tax credits that have been designated for use by Stellar Communities only. Paragus co-owner Gary Ritz has said that the city’s Stellar designation is what made Paragus actively pursue the development in Huntingburg.

Paragus will now get its other funding in place for the project and take care of other behind-the-scenes work. A timeline for that has not been released, but it will take at least a few months.

More on