PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island Housing has awarded preliminary approval for $1.9 million in federal tax credits to two development projects that will collectively create 107 new homes in Providence.
Sankofa Apartments, developed by West Elmwood Housing Development Corp., and Phoenix Renaissance, developed by Omni Development Corp., were selected from among 13 applicants for tax credit funding in the first 2014 tax credit round.
Located between Elmwood Avenue and Dexter Street in Providence, Sankofa Apartments will turn the brownfields site of a fire-destroyed factory into new homes, gardens and a community center. In addition to building 50 new homes for families, West Elmwood Housing will also construct a community facility and urban farm to be used in part for urban agricultural education and jobs training.
A total of $787,916 in tax credits have been reserved for the Sankofa Apartments project, to be awarded upon its completion. Additionally, so long as the project remains in compliance with Rhode Island Housing standards, West Elmwood Housing yearly will be able to claim the same amount in federal credits for an additional nine years.
“The creation of good homes in our state involves a number of important funding programs on the federal and state level,” said Richard Godfrey, executive director of Rhode Island Housing, in a statement. “These funds, in addition to creating safe, healthy affordable homes for Rhode Islanders, will also create 125 good jobs in our hard-hit construction sector.”
The Phoenix Renaissance apartments, located at the corner of Linwood and Cranston streets in Providence’s West End, similarly will be granted $1.2 million in federal tax credits upon completion of the project, with $1.2 million available for the next nine years under the same conditions as for the Sankofa project. The development will combine two existing multifamily developments as well as a number of properties in the surrounding neighborhood. Existing properties will be rehabilitated and reconfigured to reduce density will providing for essential upgrades.
Once complete, Phoenix Renaissance will serve families and individuals at risk of homelessness and provide on-site supportive services for residents.
Both the Sankofa Apartments and Phoenix Renaissance projects are expected to begin construction this summer, and will be completed within about two years. Rhode Island Housing said the two developments represent a total investment of more than $23 million – $12.7 million for Sankofa and $10.5 million for Phoenix Renaissance – and will generate more than $75,000 each year in tax payments for the city of Providence. Oftentimes, the transferable tax credits are used to attract private investment into the projects.
The homes made available through the two apartment sites will be affordable to individuals and families with an annual household income of up to $45,000.
According to Michael Milito, deputy assistant director of Rhode Island Housing, about $620,000 in federal tax credits are still available, and a second tax credit application round will likely be held sometime this summer.