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Cape Council to consider housing loan

By Staff | Oct 3, 2019

Cape Coral City Council will consider a proposal to loan a developer money toward an affordable housing complex for seniors in the South Cape.

The elected board is expected to vote Monday on a resolution to authorize a commitment of a loan in the amount of $560,250 from the city and funded by the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency for the development of an affordable senior citizen rental community on Miromar Street.

“It’s in an area we’re looking to support. It won’t be subsidized housing. It’s low income. We want seniors 55 and over that need financial assistance to have a nice, decent apartment to live in,” Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello said. “I think downtown is a perfect location and I think it will help a lot of our senior citizens.”

Madison Square, a subsidiary of American Residential Communities (ARC), based out of Winter Park, is a private sector residential development company that utilizes low income housing tax credits to develop senior affordable housing throughout the state.

ARC has built more than 2,200 affordable housing developments in the last 15 years and is currently building an elderly high rise in Clearwater, according to information provided by the city.

According to the staff presentation, the housing will be for seniors earning a minimum of 33 percent of the area median income (AMI), with 10 percent of housing going toward that, with the rest going to those who earn 60 percent of AMI.

Half of the 33 percent units (5) will be for those with special needs, with the possible projects being for survivors of domestic violence or with a disabling condition or persons with a disabling condition.

For those at 33 percent, a one-bedroom, one-bath unit would cost $358 per month, with a 2/2 starting at $421 per month. At 60 percent, it would be $698 for a 1/1 and $829 for a 2/2.

Amenities would include access to property management support 24/7, supervised activities, light housekeeping, grocery shopping and laundry, and daily checking in on each resident.

The project is expected to produce around 200 construction jobs and is estimated to generate between $50,000 and $80,000 in taxes.

The loan would be repaid at a rate of 3 percent over 18 years. Funds would not be necessary until Sept. 1, 2021, with the first payment not due until the second quarter of 2022.

The loan would be funded by the CRA but the loan agreement will be between the city and the developer. An agreement will be entered into between the city and the CRA outlining the funding of the loan and its terms.

There are sufficient funds in the CRA budget to fund this project, officials said. The estimated cost of the development is $19.2 million.

Also on Monday’s Council agenda will be a presentation to Council on the impacts the city can expect to face in the face of climate change and how to prepare for it by creating a group designed to address it.

Mike Savarese and Maya Robert will talk about the development of a Southwest Florida Regional Resiliency Compact, a collaboration created to improve resilience for sea-level rise, storminess, increased precipitation, and rising temperatures.

They will encourage the city and other local governments to share best practices, resources, and information, align their respective initiatives and efforts, and co-produce assessments, public policy interventions, and other materials beyond the scope of any one single partner, according to the presentation.

This compact would unite Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties, and their 10 cities.

Cape Coral City Council meetings begin at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.