PSJ commissioners back to square one on affordable housing

Affordable Housing
Special to The Star
Published: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 09:30 AM.

So close, yet so far.

During last week’s regular meeting of the Port St. Joe City Commission, city manager Jim Anderson notified the board that the Paces Foundation, which operates out of Smyrna, Ga. had failed to secure federal housing tax credits it would use to leverage funds for an affordable housing complex that would bring approximately 70 single family homes to Port St. Joe’s North side.

“The property is still viable for affordable housing, just not with Paces right now,” said Mayor Mel Magidson. “We have the property, we just need someone to come and develop it.”

In August, Paces President Mark du Mas presented his plans to commissioners during which he said he would apply for a tax credit program that would require the foundation to go to Tallahassee to compete for housing credits.

Once awarded, Paces planned to sell the credits to banks in order to fund the structures.

While Paces did not receive the housing credits, they would be able to reapply next year.

During the meeting’s Fair Housing Workshop held by Bruce Ballister of the Apalachee Regional Planning Council, Ballister commiserated with commissioners over the setback. Ballister said that he knew of other foundations that may be able to help get affordable housing into Port St. Joe if Paces was unable to do so.

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