Low-income housing project proposed near area elementary

A Columbus-based nonprofit organization is looking to build low-income housing near Cox Elementary School in Xenia.

The city council has approved a change in the planned development called Greene Acres proposed by Buckeye Community Hope Foundation. The potential building site is on about seven acres of vacant land and concrete behind Dollar General and the Community Action Partnership building at Dayton and North Allison avenues.

Plans were originally submitted more than a year ago to build a 32-unit apartment complex on the site, but the new proposal calls for 50 units on the property, which is owned by Cleveland-based Paran Management, according to city records.

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The council’s vote was needed to allow more units as well as quadplexes in addition to duplexes, according to Xenia City Planner Brian Forschner.

“The general zoning regulations allowing this development are now in place,” Forschner said. “The developer will still need to submit detailed final development plans to city staff and the planning and zoning commission and obtain building permits before beginning construction.”

The plans call for construction of 12 four-unit buildings and one two-unit building to house 24 two-bedroom and 26 three-bedroom apartments, according to city records. Eight units will be handicap-accessible flats, and the rest will be townhomes, according to city records. The plans include a separate building for laundry facilities and a community room, as well as a playground, walking path and large field for play, according to the records.

The total project is expected to cost up to $13.5 million, and Buckeye Community Hope Foundation plans to apply for funding from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency in February 2019, according to Ian Maute, BCHF vice president of development.

Maute said financing didn’t make sense with the original plan because of “extensive site and infrastructure work that needs to be completed.” The project will primarily be paid for through low-income housing tax credits ans also through conventional debt, he said.

“We will sell those credits to investors to raise equity to construct the project,” he said.

Maute said if funding gets approved, the Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield, a subsidiary of BCHF, will purchase the property.

“If our application for funding is successful our goal is to start construction in the spring of 2020. Construction will last 12 months,” Maute said.

BCHF is working on a similar 50-unit low-income housing project in Port Clinton in Northwest Ohio.

Potential residents cannot make more than 60 percent of the county’s median income in order to eligible to live there. Maute said some units may allow residents to make up to 80 percent of the county’s median income, Maute said.

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