Developers Seek Government Funding

There's a growing interest among developers to build moderate to low-income apartment projects in East Texas.

In Nacogdoches there's a low income apartment complex on the south loop and another off University Drive. Then there's another complex on East Main that serves residents with a slightly higher income.

Those developers, plus many others behind them know there's a niche for affordable housing.

"The average income for a family here in Nacogdoches is below the state average, while our housing costs are relatively high," said City Planner Aaron Kulhavy.

In fact, higher than the state average.

"So a lot of people picked up on that and made application for the state funding that helps with that program," explained Kulhavy.

Developers apply for the federal tax credits through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The rating they receive from their local governments helps their standing in obtaining the funding.

The Nacogdoches City Commission could support all, some or none of the proposed projects that are seeking tax credits. Commissioners will look at the developer's reputation and success of previous projects to help them with their decision.

Developer Louis Williams hopes his project will be selected to receive a $258,000 federal tax credit to build a complex for the elderly. He must compete against other applications from Lufkin, Diboll and surrounding areas.

"There's eight people competing and it looks like with the funding resources available only two will get it," said Williams.

Proposed projects in this area target single families and senior citizens. Proposed Nacogdoches locations are Park Street, Harris Street and North Stallings at U.S. 59.

Easily with so many government subsidized projects in the mill there could be the concern of an over saturation of the market.

Yet apartment manager Rhonda Remo doesn't feel threatened by the competition.

"Right now we're leased up. We only have one apartment we're leasing that's still opened. I think everything is going quite well," said Remo.

Still the business venture can be risky. Williams has $10,000 invested in his project that he could lose.

"If we don't get the funding it's a dead project," said Williams.