Low-Income Housing for Seniors Gets County Help

The Herald Times (February 12, 2020) – Plans to rehab more than 100 affordable housing units and build 50 more for low-income seniors in the towns of Ellettsville and Stinesville are moving forward.

On Tuesday, the Monroe County Council approved a resolution reflecting its intent to issue economic development revenue bonds, which are estimated to raise up to $12.5 million, towards the Richland Housing project estimated at almost $20 million.

“Our community and our society is aging and this is exactly what we need,” Monroe County Council member Peter Iversen said.

County Attorney Jeff Cockerill said the council will act as a pass-through entity for the private activity bonds, so the petitioner, Ellettsville Senior Citizens Communities, LLC, can take advantage of certain federal benefits. This includes eligibility for tax credits and tax-exempt interest.

David Umpleby, an attorney with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP representing the petitioner, said as a pass-through entity, there is no economic liability to the county. He added the bonds issued are paid for by the project.

“It just essentially flows through the county because they have to be issued by a governmental entity under federal tax code,” Umpleby said.

The Richland Housing Board of Directors, which currently owns and manages the properties associated with this project, plans to rehabilitate 111 existing affordable housing units for low-income seniors, ages 62 and older. This includes working on 75 units located north of the downtown area along Allen Street and 22 units of the Maple Shade Apartments located on West Main Street, all in Ellettsville; and 14 units along Walnut Street in Stinesville.

Cockerill said with the resolution from the council signed, the petitioner will submit an application to the state, which would make a determination on tax credits. According to the council packet, once the state has completed its review all the necessary documents will be prepared to move forward with the bond issuance and the petitioner will come back to the county council and the economic development commission for final approval.

According to council documents, the project is scheduled to start construction by March 1 and be completed next year.