Courtesy Hettig-Khan Companies
Elderly residents in Cypress will have two more housing options from which to choose since the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs allocated more than $2.4 million in tax credits for the development of affordable housing complexes in Cypress.
Fairfield Creek Estates will be located off Hwy. 290 between Mason and Mueschke roads, and the AT Villages at Cypress will be constructed on the corner of Huffmeister and Cypress North Houston roads. Fairfield Creek Estates will feature 140 one-and two-bedroom units restricted for senior citizens, or adults over the age of 55.
“Many people today, particularly the elderly, want to be closer to their kids,” said Ryan Hettig, vice president of Hettig-Kahn Companies, the project developer. “With such a large master-planned community like Fairfield nearby, we thought it would be the perfect fit for the surrounding area. If you have elderly people who want to be close to their kids and grandkids, they are right there.”
Residents can qualify to live in the facility if they do not make more than a certain percentage of the area’s average median gross income. Requirements can state that an applicant make no more than 30 to 60 percent of the monthly rent to qualify.
Under the tax credit program, a developer and investor partner together and apply for the credits, which can be used each year for the next 10 years after they are awarded. The developer is given equity to build the complex so they can apply it on a dollar-for-dollar basis against the federal tax liability for 10 years, said Gordon Anderson, spokesman for the TDHCA.
“The developer has to keep those rents at set levels and meet all other program requirements for 30 to 40 years,” he said. “Even if the property were to change hands, the affordability follows those units.”
Several other complexes proposed for Cy-Fair were up for approval by the TDHCA earlier this year, but they did not score high enough to receive tax credits. Scoring criteria involves issues such as financial feasibility, the amount of support from the community in which the property is proposed, types of amenities and income levels of the tenants the developer is targeting.
“This program is for working people on limited incomes who can’t afford to live in market-rate properties,” Hettig said. “The elderly are on fixed incomes, many have downsized, many are widowers, and this enables them to have decent housing close to families. It’s not subsidized housing: it’s affordable housing.”
The TDHCA awarded $48.6 million in tax credits this year statewide, which will help build or improve 4,700 units of affordable housing.
“These are, without fail, the most attractive properties on the block,” Anderson said. “People are always surprised when they find out the nature of affordable housing.”
Construction is expected to start on the new units by spring 2013.