No place like home
Published 9:53 am Tuesday, September 22, 2015
AHOSKIE – What are now just concrete slabs will serve as the foundation for quality, affordable housing for decades to come.
Construction is underway on a new apartment complex in Ahoskie. Located directly behind Newmarket Shopping Center, Cypress Court Apartments will spring from the earth and open in the summer of next year providing a total of 48 one, two and three bedroom units.
The $6.5 million public-private project is the work of The Affordable Housing Group of North Carolina (TAHG), the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA), Community Affordable Housing Equity Corporation, Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas, and BB&T Bank.
“A lot of partners came together to make this happen,” said Dr. Harold Barnes, a board member of the non-profit TAHG, who is the project’s developer. “This investment here in Ahoskie would not have happened without the work of our many partners, to include the Ahoskie Town Council and the Hertford County Commissioners.
“These apartments are part of the American dream. The dream still lives; it’s still alive. It’s what we call passing it along; the work we do here today helps a family live that dream of tomorrow,” Barnes added during comments made on Friday at a ceremony held at the project’s site.
TAHG has been working actively since 1966 to enable and encourage affordable housing through education and training, technical assistance to other organizations, and the development, ownership, and management of affordable housing. TAHG’s existing portfolio includes 23 properties in North Carolina totaling 875 apartment homes. Upon the completion of Cypress Court, TAHG’s portfolio will total of 923 apartments.
“At Cypress Court, families will enjoy affordable, well-conceived, and convenient housing due to the efforts of The Affordable Housing Group with the strong support of North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, CICCAR, CAHEC, and BB&T,” stated Kathy Stilwell, TAHG’s Executive Director.
“Many of North Carolina’s rural communities face struggles with aging housing stock and are in need of new housing options for their hard working families,” Stilwell added. “Finding the necessary financing to build housing in our rural communities often requires a public/private partnership. Cypress Court is made possible through public investment including Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and State Tax Credits being leveraged in partnership with private investment. This partnership makes it possible for Cypress Court to make this investment that will provide safe decent housing with affordable rents to this region for many years to come.”
Stilwell also praised the local partners that help make the dream of affordable housing come true.”
“This project also owes significant gratitude for the support provided by our community partner, Choanoke Area Development Association of NC, and the Town of Ahoskie as we work together to provide new opportunities for local families to thrive. We greatly appreciate the support we have received to make it possible to provide needed housing and investment to HertfordCounty,” she said.
The new property is located at the eastern extension of Everett Street.
“This is an exiting time for us here in Ahoskie. These apartments are much needed; you’ll have no problem with finding residents,” said Ahoskie Town Council member Linda Blackburn at Friday’s event.
Parker General Contractors of Benson will oversee the construction at Cypress Court. The project will create construction opportunities for regional subcontractors. It is estimated over 160 construction jobs will be created and or supported during the construction of the property.
“This development not only represents tax base for the town of Ahoskie, but it also represents jobs,” said Will Parry-Hill of the NCHFA. “These foundations we’re standing on today are not just for the buildings, but the very foundation for family and Ahoskie. We’re proud to be a partner for this project.”
Parry-Hill praised the efforts of local legislators Howard Hunter III (NC House) and Erica Smith-Ingram (NC Senate) for their support of state tax credits, and the federal credits supported by U.S. Senator Richard Burr.
“People need safe, affordable housing and Senator Burr is a strong supporter of those wanting to improve their quality of life,” said Betty Jo Shepheard, Eastern Regional Field Representative for Burr. “He has been here and he knows the need of folks here in northeastern North Carolina.”
The federal tax credits for Cypress Creek amounted to $403,800.
All of the apartments are affordable for households earning 60 percent of a county’s median income, and many are affordable at 50 percent or 40 percent of median as the result of the additional financing. The state’s Key Program operating assistance makes apartments affordable for persons with disabilities living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is currently $721 a month.
Cypress Creek will be a mix of one bedroom (660 square feet), two bedroom (900 square feet), and three bedroom (1,100 square feet) apartments. The units will have an open floor plan and will incorporate energy efficient features. Six of the apartments will be handicap accessible.
In addition to the apartments, the property will include a community building with a manager’s office, a community meeting room with kitchen, computer lab, and laundry room. It will also feature a playground, tot lot, covered picnic area, and open lawn space with several seating areas.
TAHG selected the property due to its convenient location in a residential neighborhood with easy access to shopping, employers and services.
For leasing information, contact Excel Property Management at (252) 332-1950.