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MHDC staff releases recommendations before the meeting

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Housing Development Commission released its staff recommendations for LIHTC awards for 2015.

The staff recommended the commission approve 32 projects that include 1471 units that will be a spur millions of dollars in economic development in the state.

The recommendations included 9 projects in the St. Louis area that will construct 446 units, 6 projects in the Kansas City area that will construct 354 units, and 17 projects in outstate Missouri that will include 671 units.

One project that was not included in the recommendations was the Riverbend Estates development, despite the need touted by local leaders.

The MHDC staff comments said the project was an “average proposal, but other developments in the region were more competitive.”

About 20 percent of the population is over the age of 62 and only one other LIHTC project has been approved in the area since 2002. Local Representative Dave Hinson and Representative-elect Justin Alferman have both stated their support for the development along with state Senator-elect Dave Schatz. Washington Mayor Sandy Lucy has also been a very outspoken supporter of the project.

There is the possibility that the commission might not add the project for this year, but will provide a forward allocation of next year’s credits so construction can begin.

“I’ll be disappointed if they don’t approve it,” Schatz said. “One thing I’ll want to do is educate myself more on these properties and find out what makes them projects that are attractive to the commission. It’s my assumption that the developer would want to go through the reapplication process, so I’ll be looking to be helpful in that way.”

The proposed project will have 48 units for elderly residents. 12 of the units would be 1 bedroom while 36 would be 2 bedrooms. The units would specifically be designated for residents aged 62 and older who can demonstrate a need for affordable housing.

The MHDC will formally award LIHTC projects at their regular meeting tomorrow, and while an MHDC staffer would not comment on past meetings, the commission typically does not drastically deviate from its staff recommendations.

Hinson said he would happily work to lobby commission members to encourage them to reconsider the project – if locals or the project developer, MOCAP Development Company LLC, asks him.

“If this doesn’t go through, it’s missing a really great opportunity to provide seniors in the Franklin County area with affordable housing,” Hinson said. “Something [lawmakers] can do is contact committee members and talk and lobby them on the project. If that’s something that is needed, I would happily do that.”