Missouri Housing Development Commission denies tax credits for Lambeth Drive project

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 | 5:23 p.m. CST; updated 8:38 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 15, 2013

COLUMBIA — The Missouri Housing Development Commission denied a request from the Columbia Housing Authority for $1.3 million in tax credits to help finance a planned affordable housing project northwest of the intersection of U.S. 63 and Interstate 70.

The tax credits would have helped fund construction of 47 apartments on a four-acre swath of land on Lambeth Drive as part of the authority's affordable housing initiative. The housing authority was working on the plan with New Horizons Community Support Services and planned to offer assisted living services in 23 of the 39 proposed one-bedroom apartments.

The homes were intended to serve individuals and families who earn between 40 percent and 60 percent of Boone County's median household income: $18,849 to $28,273.

Tina Beers, director of operations at the Missouri Housing Development Commission, said the tax credit program is very competitive. She said that there were 112 applications across the state for similar projects and that only 42 could be approved. 

The Columbia Housing Authority had a site-control contract to buy the property if the tax credits were approved. The land will remain with the current owners now that the credits have been denied.

Phil Steinhaus, Columbia Housing Authority CEO, said he was disappointed the funding didn't get approved. 

"We put some work into what we thought was a great project," Steinhaus said. "We understand there is a great need for that type of housing in Columbia."

Steinhaus said that the low-income housing tax credit program is highly competitive and that there just isn't enough money to go around. Affordable housing projects in Jefferson City and Kirksville, as well as in numerous other towns outside St. Louis and Kansas City, were approved.

Despite the setback, the housing authority is looking to continue its efforts this year.

"We are continuing to focus on our renovations and revitalization of our public housing," Steinhaus said.

The authority will turn its attention toward developing the six properties near the intersection of Garth Avenue and Sexton Road that it bought in December. Steinhaus said the agency plans to work with the city and the Columbia Community Development Corp. on that project because they own adjacent properties.

"Everyone is excited to work together to develop opportunities for affordable housing there," he said. 

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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