Sprucing up Blue Spruce Apartments
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 2, 2016
The Mississippi Home Corporation recently held a public hearing to discuss the renovation of a low-income apartment complex in Picayune.
Owners of the Blue Spruce Apartments are looking to renovate the existing 48-unit multi-family housing development at 2801 Cooper Rd.
In 1986, the state implemented a low-income housing tax credit program that allows for a public and private partnership to produce affordable housing, said Bradley Joyner, vice president of program operations at MHC.
When developers produce affordable housing, they get dollar-for-dollar tax credits. No one developer has that kind of tax liability, so the credits are sold off to investors, said Joyner.
The cash generated from those investments is immediately injected into the housing development, said Joyner.
“The good thing about this program is you qualify one time at move-in and are still eligible to remain as a tenant even if your income increases,” said Joyner.
Joyner said the program aims to supply rent restricted housing for those making below 60 percent of the area’s medium income.
That often includes the elderly, single parents and working individuals.
The public hearing was the first step in the process that will take about six to nine months before work begins, pending offers from investors, said Joyner.
The existing structures will receive new roofs, new windows and whatever else the property needs to last another 20 to 30 years, said Joyner.
“The intent is to have them at least as nice as market price properties, but keep them rent restricted,” said Joyner.
The MHC was founded in 1987 to be the housing arm for the state of Mississippi, said Joyner.
According to their website, the core function of MHC is to help low-income, working families find homes.
MHC is responsible for allocating the tax credits and ensuring that developers pass inspections and file audits with a 100 percent score every three years, said Joyner.
“Some of the tax credit properties in Mississippi absolutely look the best,” said Joyner.