As 10,000 people a day turn 65 in the U.S., the need for affordable senior homes grows. To help St. Mary Development Corp. provide more affordable housing in Ohio, NeighborWorks Capital is providing a $1.7 million predevelopment line of credit. The line will help finance predevelopment expenses for low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) projects, expanding St. Mary’s real estate development capacity and advancing their strategic plan to provide affordable homes for low- and moderate-income seniors.
“The line of credit is so valuable. It helps make this process seamless. We are fully responsible for predevelopment costs, so if we had to continuously invest in that and close out development deals, it would be a lot tighter. This is very helpful in allowing us to continue to move forward,” said St. Mary Executive Vice President Wesley Young.
St. Mary will use NC’s line right away to get fully-committed- developments in Portsmouth, OH and Lima, OH to start construction in 2021.Competition for awards in Ohio is fierce, Young said – just 40 percent of those who applied were funded last year.
“There’s very little affordable housing in both of these cities, and the need is great, particularly for senior housing,” Young said.
Portsmouth Senior Lofts will feature 53 one- and two-bedroom apartments for seniors earing $13,000 to $42,0000 (30%-70% AMI). Portsmouth is in Appalachia on the Ohio River, next to a former shoe factory that was recently bought by The Counseling Center, who will consolidate their operations there, providing amenities available to the future residents of the Lofts.
Shawnee Lofts will be 54 apartments in greater Lima, for families earning between $20,000 and $47,000 (30%-70% AMI). It is in the highly rated Lima-Shawnee school district, which makes all the difference for a family development, Young said.“Amenities that everyone would appreciate drive the selection of the site.”
St. Mary’s has a vibrant resident services system that helps seniors age in place, remain independent, and access resources such as meal and utility assistance. After the pandemic hit, St. Mary devoted resources to ensure their senior residents didn’t feel isolated, using a call system to stay in touch.
St. Mary also suspended rent increases and have not had to evict anyone during the pandemic.
“Residents come up to us at open houses or building visits a year or two after moving in and thank St. Mary’s that they have a nice place to live. That’s the reward we take home,” Young said.
ABOUT ST. MARY
St. Mary Development Company has over 31 years of experience as an affordable housing developer and service provider based in Dayton, Ohio. St. Mary works in 9 states (Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania). Development experience includes sole developer, co-developer with for-profit developers, nonprofit sponsor, and community liaison. Since 2011, St. Mary has developed 37 projects comprising 1,947 units.