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MHDC holds first hearing in road to funding new housing projects

  

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Housing Development Commission met in Columbia to hold a public hearing for the first round of permanent financing and tax credit applications across mid-Missouri. Roughly 100 people attended the hearing to pitch projects from Boonville to Osage Beach and Moberly to Warsaw.

Two members of the commission heard from stakeholders supporting and opposing, but mostly supporting, 21 different projects scattered around the area. Rep. Wanda Brown, R-Lincoln, even showed up to vouch for a housing project in her hometown.

The Columbia public hearing was the first of five to be held by the MHDC. Four others are planned for the next three weeks in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield. St. Louis will have two hearings. The developers behind the projects are requesting Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LITHC) for their projects.

The MHDC did not take any final action on these plans as this was just the first round of public hearings. The commission works to provide tax credits and financing options for low-income, affordable housing in various communities.

The number of projects that will actually receive approval for funds varies year by year, but the MHDC has various selection criteria when making a final decision. Those criteria include basic information, such as the project location, energy efficiency, historic character, and housing needs, while also focusing on more specific metrics like the tenant population of those with special needs or children.

Roughly half of all credits given out by the MHDC are from projects not in the Kansas City or St. Louis metropolitan areas.

Most people who came to the Columbia hearing did so to vouch for their respective projects that aimed to provide housing to seniors as well as families. However, one project from Entrepreneuers Enterprises, LLC planned for Jefferson City was derided by attendees.

Five people voiced concern that the development would have a negative impact on the neighborhood by overcrowding the school system, taking up space that could be used for commercial development and disrupting the historical nature of the state capital’s Central Eastside Neighborhood.

Donna Deetz, a residential property and business owner from that part of Jefferson City, added that the developer had not contacted anyone in Jefferson City about the project and did little footwork in developing the project.

“Nobody’s talked to anyone in our town about this. We were kind of surprised by this,” she said. “They did no investigation of Jefferson City other than the market value they could get for the apartments.”

The MHDC did not take any final action on these plans as this was just the first round of public hearings.

The MHDC works to provide tax credits and financing options for low-income, affordable housing in various communities.