Written by News Bulletin News Sources
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 00:00
The City of Aurora and the Aurora Housing Authority are embarking on a joint initiative to improve neighborhoods and increase affordable housing opportunities for some of Aurora’s most vulnerable residents.
Under the plan, 40 foreclosed homes, scattered throughout in neighborhoods throughout Aurora, will be purchased and rehabilitated. The homes will be used to house low-income veterans, seniors and people with disabilities.
“This is the type of cooperative partnership that I envisioned when I originally formed the Affordable Housing Task Force,” Mayor Tom Weisner said. “I commend the AHA Board for pursuing innovative strategies that serve to strengthen Aurora’s neighborhoods.”
The national foreclosure crisis has lowered housing prices in communities across the nation. Neighborhoods with older housing stock have been hardest hit by foreclosures and vacancies, causing steep drops in property values. By renovating these vacant homes in Aurora, the City and the AHA hope to help stabilize neighborhoods and increase property values while at the same time provide quality affordable housing for families in need.
Last year, the Mayor’s Affordable Housing Task Force recommended exploring ways to renovate and repurpose foreclosed and vacant housing throughout the city. The advisory taskforce enthusiastically endorsed pursuing a scattered site housing approach over the rebuilding of more concentrated subsidized housing on the Jericho Circle site.
In addition to providing affordable housing for low-income families, the collaboration also aims to stabilize older neighborhoods, keeping the homes on the tax rolls and preventing the decrease in property values that follows when neighborhoods have high vacancy rates. The AHA will not own or operate the new scattered housing. Instead, the AHA will provide Housing Choice Vouchers to help subsidize the rents paid by the low-income veteran, senior or disabled residents.
The 40 homes will be renovated and subsequently managed by Brinshore-Michaels Development, a private, for-profit developer, ensuring that the properties not only remain on the tax rolls, but actually help to increase overall property tax revenue following improvements that will be made to the homes.
The scattered-housing redevelopment project will be funded by $840,972 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, recently awarded to the proposed project. The credits are expected to generate $7 million to $8 million in capital for the rehabilitation of the 40 homes.
The City of Aurora has proposed contributing $524,000 in federal funds the City receives from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to seeking final commitment of these federal funds by the Aurora City Council, the City will publish a notice of the plan in a local newspaper, accept public comment and hold public hearings.
“This project is the culmination of a lot of hard work and signals a dedication on the part of the Aurora Housing Authority to provide high quality, affordable housing while meeting the needs of some well-deserving families in Aurora,” AHA Executive Director Keith Gregory said. “This will give dozens of lower-income families the opportunity to raise their families in the type of neighborhood setting that many AHA families have been seeking.”
--News Bulletin news sources
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 13:51