Apartments aim for renovations: Brownstown housing complex might get multimillion-dollar improvements


Photos:


Tribune photo by Aaron Piper/ One of several apartment buildings in the Country Apartments Complex located in Brownstown.


BROWNSTOWN

A 30-year-old apartment complex in Brownstown soon could undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation.

“It desperately needs it,” Michelle Speeks said.

Speeks, a development analyst with Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, was referring to the 56-unit Country Apartments Complex at 600 N. High St.

The Columbus, Ohio-based foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of providing affordable housing to families and individuals. The foundation does so by accessing a federal low-income housing tax credit program.

That program was enacted by  the U.S. Congress in 1986 to provide the private market with an incentive to invest in affordable rental housing. Federal housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified projects.

Developers then sell the credits to investors to raise capital (or

equity) for their projects, which reduces the amount the developer would have to borrow. Because the debt is lower, a tax credit property in turn can offer lower, more affordable rents.

In this case, the foundation is in the process of applying for $7 million through the program. The town council recently gave its blessing to the project, which is required, Speeks said.

Some of the funds will be used to refinance the mortgage on the complex to take advantage of lower interest rates.

“We will spend about $40,000 to $50,000 to remodel each unit,” Speeks said. “We don’t skimp.”

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