SRHA receives grant, tax credits

Published 8:29 pm Friday, November 29, 2019

The Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority has received a $500,000 grant to apply toward renovation of the Cypress Manor Apartments.

The grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta comes just months after the authority’s board approved a financing plan to tear down and rebuild Parker Riddick’s 93 units and rehabilitate Cypress Manor’s 113 units. The 206 total housing units will be converted into Section 8 project-based voucher assistance housing.

“It’s money that’s strictly for the Cypress Manor/Parker Riddick project that we’re doing there,” said SRHA Executive Director Tracey Snipes, who announced the award at the board’s Tuesday meeting. “It’s exciting, it’s competitive, and we got $500,000.”

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The board approved a resolution in July authorizing the issuing of $22 million in bonds for the restoration of those two apartment communities after the authority lost out on a 9-percent tax credit to rebuild the Parker Riddick apartments due in part to what has been acknowledged by Snipes as mistakes made in the application process. That’s when the authority approved an alternative plan to finance the two projects. City Council approved the bond issuance in August.

SRHA consultant Peter Behringer, a managing member of TCFG Development Advisors LLC, said the two developments would be combined into a single 4-percent tax credit application, and, as long as that meets the thresholds for the financing, it would receive it.

He said the rehabilitation at Cypress Manor would cost about $146,000 per unit, or nearly $16.5 million, while the teardown and rebuild of Parker Riddick would cost about $161,000 per unit, or nearly $15 million.

By the terms of the grant, the project must have its funding sources committed by Oct. 31, 2020, and the project finished by Jan. 31, 2023.

The most recent grant award is part of the bank’s awarding of more than $30 million to help pay for 71 affordable housing initiatives around the United States.

Snipes said the grant money would offset the amount it would need to finance the projects.

“The plans for the project have been submitted to the city for their final approval,” Snipes said. “But we are making some traction with the project.”

The authority also received about $10 million in tax credits from the Virginia Housing Development Authority to apply to the work on both housing communities.

“Everything right now is monies toward that project,” Snipes said, “because there are many pools of money that’s going to be needed to make this work.”

With Cypress Manor and Parker Riddick changing from public housing to the Section 8 program, Snipes said she plans to address a possible reorganization of the agency at the board’s next meeting in January.

“We are getting rid of 206 units of public housing, so we will have a different model of how we’re operating,” Snipes said. “So I will just bring some suggestions at that time to start the conversation on reorganizing the department.”