The city of Waupaca is applying for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to purchase land for a low-income rental housing project in the city.
Details of the plans were the subject of a public hearing Monday afternoon in the council chambers at City Hall.
Heidi O’Brien, of CAP Services’ Stevens Point office, explained the scope of the project, which would be called “LeRoy Butler Townhouses.”
The city is requesting $200,000 in CDBG-Special Projects funds to purchase property that is behind the Butler-Wilson Ford dealership in the city.
O’Brien said that CAP Services would then build 24 units of affordable rental housing.
The townhouse-style rental project would include attached garages and a laundry for each unit. Plans call for there to be six, three-bedroom units and six, two-bedroom units in each of the two buildings.
The estimated cost of the project – including the purchase of the land – is $3.2 million.
O’Brien said the city currently has an active CDBG award for the rehabilitation of housing. Of the $300,000 grant the city received, there is presently $15,832 left, she said.
Through that grant, homeowners apply for and receive deferred, low-interest loans. As the loans are repaid, the funds are returned into a revolving fund to be loaned out to other homeowners, she said.
O’Brien said the city identified the need for rehab funds, and also identified was the fact that there are presently 24 units of low-income rental housing in the city.
However, Waupaca County Health and Human Services indicated that 96 families are receiving a variety of services.
“Twenty-four families are living in the one unit here,” O’Brien said. “Others are renting elsewhere in privately owned.”
She said CAP Services did a private marketing survey that identified the need for low-income rental housing – housing that has at least three bedrooms, washers and dryers, and attached garages.
CAP Services is applying for funds for this project from sources such as HOME Rental Housing Development, CDBG-Special Grants, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Affordable Housing Program, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and private, conventional financing. O’Brien said CAP has been working on this plan for about nine months and has already secured some funds.
The city’s request of $200,000 in CDBG-Special Projects funds for the purchase of the land means the city would then lend the funds to the project as a zero percent interest, deferred loan for a 30-year term.
When the funds are repaid, CDBG funds will then go into a revolving fund the city administers to be used for other CDBG-approved projects in the city.
This is not the first time that CAP Services is working with Butler.
CAP Services began working with Butler in 2009 when he was putting together a financing package to open a Ford dealership in central Wisconsin.
Now Butler-Wilson Development, which is run by Butler and Scott Wilson, plans to install a stand-alone, eight-land quick service center and a carwash next to its dealership.
Butler has committed to identifying at least two individuals for master technician training, O’Brien said. They would then be provided with company-paid Ford Master Technician training, which would result in an increase in their hourly wages.