Housing Project

The Housing Authority of the City of Frederick has proposed building an apartment complex for seniors and low-income families on West South Street including the site of Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home at far left. The project will go before the Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday.

The Housing Authority of the City of Frederick is hoping to bring a new apartment community for low-income residents and seniors downtown.

The project, to be discussed at Thursday night’s Historic Preservation Commission hearing, will be mostly on South Street properties, including 110 W. South St., where the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home currently resides.

Angie Liddiard, economic development director for the Housing Authority, said Wednesday the plan is for 152 new units available to both seniors and low-income families, with about two-thirds of them filled by the former. The project is being dubbed South Street Centre.

“There’s a huge shortage of affordable housing in Frederick,” Liddiard said. “These are hardworking folk that will be going in there. Schoolteachers, police officers, firemen. The prices in Frederick keep going up, but the wages haven’t quite caught up.”

While the project won’t be a public housing initiative, which she said is typically deeply subsidized, the units also won’t be available at market rate. Instead, the South Street project finds itself in what she called an in-between space that will offer housing at a price not necessarily labeled as one that provides “huge savings.”

Even so, the project will be made possible via the Low Income Housing Tax Credit that the city recently earned in which the city uses money that comes from the federal government that is ultimately funneled through the state. As such, Maryland then decides which projects to help fund with the money, and this year, the South Street project was one in a group of about a dozen statewide that won the award. It was the only project in the county to receive the credit.

Frederick has completed similar projects via the LIHTC such as 520 N. Market St. and Sinclair Way off West South Street.

In addition to the 152 living units at South Street Centre, the project will also feature such amenities as a community room, fitness center, office space and day care center, which will be at the current funeral home site, according to the proposal.

The tax credit ensures that the project doesn’t have to be otherwise subsidized, Liddiard said. Because the credit will fund part of the construction, the money to get it up and running won’t have to be repaid. This, in turn, changes the operating budget enough to offer residents slightly lower rent.

“The goal is to try and help people be able to afford their housing and move into a more financially stable position,” Liddiard explained. “We’re still more than 4,000 units short of units to live in, so it’s exciting to receive this award.”

The Housing Authority expects to close on cementing the funding for the project next fall before a 12- to 15-month construction period begins. Because of that, the city is most likely about two years away from a ribbon-cutting, Liddiard said, before it can then apply for a certificate of occupancy. To live in the units, prospective residents would then have to qualify by disclosing their income, and depending on how much they make, rent costs could vary depending on the size of the family.

It’s unclear what will happen with the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home business. The funeral home did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The HPC meeting begins at 6 p.m. Thursday in the City Hall boardroom.

Follow Colin McGuire on Twitter:

@colinpadraic.

(11) comments

riccicc

Like someone said in the last article about this, can we bring DC and Montgomery County here any faster?? No more or less crime than before?? Well, that's encouraging, I guess that makes it ok then...not.

pfitzgerald

From what I've seen, looks like a good plan. Likely, no more crime, or less, than before.

Joey Pesto

Isn't this area in the historic district? Why did the FNP not address that issue? Are they going to knock down historic houses to build these apartments? Why is the historic commission law different for the City vs the people?

public-redux

Second sentence of the article: "The project, to be discussed at Thursday night’s Historic Preservation Commission hearing, ..."

Ruthcf

Low income and Seniors don't go together.

Can you see the problem with that?

Why disrupt a business that people can walk to?

Who are you trying relocate?

sue1955

Ruth and ricci, those are my thoughts exactly. I wasn't going to comment again in this subject, but changed my mind. As usual, also, is the sales pitch that this type of housing is directed to "teachers, firemen and police." This is to make the housing palatible to the general public. I've said before that those professions are not interested in dealing with a "housing authority." Moreover, the salaries are generally too high to qualify for such housing, especially if spouses are involved --- which brings the household salary upward. Nobody wants to live in this area of Frederick with its' crime.



Low-income housing is bare-bones in terms of amenities that people really need and want; e.g., good washers and dryers in the units. The vast majority of renters are sold on a "lifestyle" with an exercise room and party/community room, which most do not really care about nor use.



So, are the seniors (or anybody) expected to hoof it to a local laundromat? Do they really need a child care center? Uh...no. Beside that, buildings that are meant specifically for rental property are poorly built. This is true regardless of the rent. There is no sound-proofing. I'm sure that the seniors are going to love the "patter of little feet" running and jumping off of furniture (if they are not on a top floor). (Sarcastic)

riccicc

Oh, how wonderful! They're going to put frail seniors down there with low income crime. Now, that's what I call "smart growth."

glenkrc

"The tax credit ensures that the project doesn’t have to be subsidized..."



What is a tax credit, if not a subsidy?



Perhaps the intent is to say "The tax credit ensures that the project doesn’t have to be [further] subsidized."

Burgessdr

This is good news

Burgessdr

A subsidy is direct cash. A credit is a credit. DUH.

glenkrc

Thanks for the comment, Burgess. I didn't convince you, but I evidently managed to at least partially convince the FNP staff. They inserted the word "otherwise" into the sentence under consideration.

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