‘Legacy’ DeSoto Bass public housing gets state aid for second phase of new housing



Greater Dayton Premier Management has been awarded millions of dollars worth of federal tax credits to build new townhomes and flats at the DeSoto Bass Courts, which is Dayton’s largest and oldest public housing development.

DeSoto Bass is a “notorious, large, isolated and legacy” public housing development that was built under federally segregated housing policy that shows its age and has struggled with a concentration of crime and a reputation as being unsafe, according to information GDPM submitted to the state as part of its application for tax credits.

GDPM, the local public housing authority, plans to spend about $15 million to replace aging and outdated subsidized apartments with 44 new affordable rental units.

This project is in addition to the 50 new subsidized apartments GDPM plans to construct at the former Day-Mont Behavioral Health Care facility, located down the street from DeSoto Bass.

GDPM wants to improve the quality of housing for current and future residents in the Miami Chapel area, said Kiya Patrick, the agency’s vice president of development.

“How we will redevelop the (DeSoto Bass) site is in phases,” she said. “We will demolish units as we are funded for construction of new units.”

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency recently announced that it has awarded $10 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to a project called Renew Miami Chapel — phase 1. The tax credits will be spread out over 10 years, getting$1 million annually.

Developers and their investment partners claim the tax credits over a decade to offset construction or rehabilitation costs, the state said.

This announcement came one year after the state awarded GDPM $12 million in low-income housing tax credits for a new housing project at the Day-Mont site, which also seeks to create new units to replace existing DeSoto Bass apartments, which were built in the early 1940s. That project is expected to cost about $15.5 million.

GDPM proposes constructing buildings containing a mix of townhouses and flats at the northeast corner of the DeSoto Bass site, by Germantown Street and Danner Avenue, with the newly announced tax credits.

There will be 14 one-bedroom units (830 square feet), two dozen two-bedroom units (1,024 square feet) and six three bedroom-units (1,224 square feet).

Many units will have porches, and there will be programmed outdoor space for residents, GDPM said.

Third-party physical capital needs assessments that were completed in 2016 and December 2022 concluded that DeSoto Bass has substantial physical issues, including critical structural problems, deficiencies in major systems and other deterioration that cannot be corrected in a cost effective manner, according to information GDPM submitted to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

A 2023 market study conducted by Vogt Strategic Insights for GDPM’s tax credit application rated the condition of DeSoto Bass housing as a D+.

The more recent 2022 capital needs assessment concluded that repairing and replacing DeSoto Bass’ 350 apartments would cost more than $50 million in the next several years while rebuilding the entire site would cost about $84 million.

GDPM wants to redevelop the site in phases, which could take years, depending on how long it takes the agency to secure funding.

The Miami Chapel neighborhood has about 950 housing units, and about 350 of those are in DeSoto Bass, Patrick said.

“Redeveloping that site will touch almost 40% of the housing in Miami Chapel,” she said.

GDPM is waiting for an environmental review to be completed before it asks the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to approve the first phase of demolition for DeSoto Bass.

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