In response to Mr. Jonathan L. Wolf’s guest column in the Feb. 28 Times, I ask a few questions about the proposed Denton Cove project.
1. How are you defining “affordable” in your column’s six references to “affordable housing?” What income brackets are you attempting to provide housing for?
2. Is Denton Cove being built with the anticipation of receiving federal financial incentives? If so, under what federal program?
3. What income restrictions will a potential Denton Cove tenant be required to meet?
4. What will the rent be for an income qualified household of one, two, three and four?”
5. Will there be any fair market rate units in Denton Cove? If so, how many? And if so, what are the proposed rents for a one, two and three-bedroom apartment?
6. If Denton Cove is being built with federal financial incentives, how can you ensure applicants from Franklin County will be given priority over applicants from elsewhere?
7. Would you characterize Denton Cove as low-income or workforce housing?
8. Wendover Housing Partners, of which you are founder and president, identifies six types of communities on your website. Under your “Future Properties” you list Denton Cove as a “1, 2, 3 bedroom affordable family community.” How does your company define “affordable family community?”
9. How long will the units be rent restricted and available to low-income persons?
It is my understanding Denton Cove will be built using federal “Low-Income Housing Tax Credits” (LIHTC). I also understand a household must earn 60 percent or less of the area median income to qualify for rental units in LIHTC financed housing.
Therefore, an applicant for Denton Cove must meet these income restrictions as defined by the federal government, HUD, for Franklin County.
The FY 2018 Area Median Income for Franklin County for a household of four is $51,200. It is my understanding the income qualifications for LIHTC apartments in Apalachicola are one person $21,900; two persons $25,020; three persons $28,140; and four persons $31,260.
The starting salary for a Franklin County Sheriff’s corrections officer or a deputy is $32,000. The starting base salary for a Franklin County teacher is $34,838.
If my understanding is correct, it appears neither a starting deputy nor a starting teacher, even with a household of four, in our county would qualify for housing at Denton Cove. If my understanding is correct, and Denton Cove receives federal financial incentives, any financially qualified person whether from Apalachicola, Eastpoint, Atlanta, Detroit, or anywhere else is eligible to apply for an apartment and Denton Cove by federal law cannot discriminate in favor of nor give priority to a local applicant.
I certainly don’t know many of the details behind the Denton Cove project but I truly believe details are extremely important. As they say, the devil is in the details.
I, too, am very concerned about affordable housing for members of our community. By affordable housing I mean housing our law enforcement officers and teachers can afford and most importantly are eligible for. To knock them out of the game because they earn too much money does not serve the young professionals of our community.
I believe it would be disingenuous to tout a project as addressing the need for affordable workforce housing when one knows full well our young professionals are not even eligible to apply.
You believe opposition to Denton Cove will disappear when we learn more about the planned Denton Cove community. Please respond to my questions when you address our community’s opposition.