AP NEWS

Housing project would target growing number of seniors

February 7, 2019

An Indianapolis-based developer is seeking support from the city to build an affordable housing apartment complex in northwest Beaumont with 77 units for seniors.

The company is planning to apply for housing tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for the complex to be called Laurel Vista. Those credits are awarded by the state to offset a portion of federal tax liabilities.

The complex is in the early planning stages, but it’s expected to be built on 11.5 acres in the northwest corner of Veteran’s Circle and reserved for income-eligible seniors.

“Laurel Vista will provide residents with high-quality, modern appliances and finishes, as well as planned activities and many community amenities,” according to a letter from company representative Teresa Bowyer. More details are expected to be finalized prior to construction.

In the spring, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs will host public hearings to decide whether to award the credit.

The complex is one of many that could provide a place for local seniors to live, Beaumont Housing Authority Executive Director Allison Landrum.

More Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age without enough savings, she said. At the same time, people are living longer.

“Couple that growing need with the lack of affordable housing in the region — especially after Harvey — an affordable senior property would be beneficial,” she said.

Such a complex would be even more ideal if it is located near bus stops, stores, pharmacies and doctors, she said.

While the city is experiencing only slight population growth, Beaumont Community Development Director Chris Boone said the trends show that some residents are moving out of aging homes and into apartments.

“In general, what the numbers show is folks are renting older houses that get more and more expensive to maintain so they’re eventually moving to multifamily units,” he said.

But Landrum said some developers may becoming discouraged from seeking tax credits to build new units. The Laurel Vista group needs City Council support because the city has already exceeded the number of tax credits it is allotted from the state based on its population.

But it’s the only group in the area seeking a credit. Most years, several developers are usually doing so, Boone said. That could mean the repeat developers are finishing up projects.

Landrum said affordable housing providers are getting creative to find other sources of financing to build these types of units. For example, the Beaumont Housing Authority is looking at Harvey recovery funds and private financing.

The Beaumont City Council is expected to vote on a resolution to support the project at next week’s meeting.

kaitlin.bain@beaumontenterprise.com

twitter.com/KaitlinBain

AP RADIO
Update hourly