Low Income Options Aren’t New
One of the weird complaints about the proposed Hide House Lofts has been the suggestion that its offering of low-income housing will make the neighborhood less desireable. Maybe most of the neighbors aren’t aware of it, but they live in a Targeted Investment Neighborhood — a program that offers forgiveable home rehabilitation loans to landlords in exchange for renting their rehabed properties out to… low income families. Another TIN program provides low-interest and forgiveable loans to existing elderly… low income homeowners.
Furthermore, as much as the developers have failed to adequately inform the neighborhood about it’s plans, the housing market isn’t coming back anytime soon to save the existing neighborhood homeowners who see the Hide House Lofts as an anchor on their homes’ inflated assessed values. If anything, the utilization of WHEDA low-income housing tax credits might prove to be one of the only games in town. Since private developers are increasingly hesitant to take on risk, their preferred option has become leveraging public-private partnerships (example: UWM). Unlike many of the vacant condo towers catering to higher-income professionals who can find better deals renting, there’s a significant demand for low-income housing which, in turn, should help drive more development in the neighborhood’s main commercial strip on Howell Avenue and, at a minimum, keep the neighborhood’s home values from falling significantly further.
There’s a lot about this project to be satisfied with. At this point, it’s in the best interests of the neighborhood to work with the developer to ensure the project is as mutually agreeable as possible.