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March 15, 2014

New Albany Housing Authority denied credit for sizable housing project

Organization may bond for $12.1 million makeover

NEW ALBANY —

A makeover of one of the largest continuos public housing sites in Indiana has hit a snag, but officials said they will persist in finding other funding sources to make the project a reality.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, or IHCDA, denied a tax credit for the New Albany Housing Authority that would be used toward restructuring the public housing site that includes Broadmeade Terrace, Parkview Towers and Parkview Terrace near Bono Road.

The project is estimated to cost $12.171 million, and would include the demolition of 116 units, which would be replaced with 70 energy efficient, affordable housing units.

Under a one-to-one replacement mandate, the NAHA would eventually fill-in the 46 units that would be removed at various public housing sites in the city.

The goal is to make the Parkview housing site less dense, and the NAHA has partnered with New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan to pursue the project.

The NAHA had requested a $1.175 million tax credit, but IHCDA denied the application last month.

It was the NAHA’s first attempt at garnering the Rental Housing Tax Credit, and the organization will apply again next year.

“We see this as a bump in the road,” NAHA Executive Director Bob Lane said Friday. “The process has not stopped, it is just delayed until we find another funding mechanism to make it happen.”

The project is designed as a six-phase effort, and the NAHA planned to have the 116 units razed and replaced with the 70 new units within three years of securing funding.

The NAHA is “an outstanding housing authority” as proven by distinctions such as being recognized with the Excellence in Housing award by Nan McKay and Associates last year in San Diego, Gahan said Friday.

“We’re disappointed but we’re sure the housing authority will continue to put their best foot forward, and will continue to seek opportunities,” he said.

The NAHA will apply for additional credits and won’t let this denial discourage the organization’s desire to see the project completed, Lane said. Thinning the density of the Parkview site is important to the city and the NAHA, he continued.

“It was the first time we’ve applied for a tax credit and there were a few lessons learned,” Lane said of the Rental Housing Tax Credit, which is a public/private venture overseen by IHCDA.

NAHA officials have meet with IHCDA representatives since its application was denied. Lane said NAHA may consider bonding the project if other funding sources aren’t identified soon.  

The organizations that received the credits are primarily redeveloping existing units or pursuing housing for seniors compared to the family units the NAHA is attempting to build, he continued.

Only the NAHA applied for the Rental Housing Tax Credit in Floyd or Clark counties.

Statewide,15 of the 44 applications for the funding were awarded.

On a side note, the city of Columbus was awarded a tax credit by IHCDA for its Gateway Apartments project. Former Deputy Mayor Carl Malysz, who served as director of community housing Initiatives for the city under Gahan until being fired about a year ago, was hired as Columbus’ Director of Community Development shortly after being terminated from his post in New Albany.

One of Malysz’s responsibilities was to work with the NAHA on the Parkview project before he was let go by the city, which never officially provided a reason for his termination.

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