A residential development started this summer on Waupaca’s east side will provide housing for 24 low- and moderate-income families.
Located off of Lawson Drive behind LeRoy Butler Ford, Waupaca Town Homes is a CAP Services project.
“It was LeRoy Butler’s original vision to bring low-income housing to Waupaca,” according to Mike Olson, the project manager with CAP Services.
Olson noted that Butler, who grew up in a crime-ridden housing project in Jacksonville, Fla., “wants to make young people’s lives better.”
Butler sold the property to CAP Services, and the private road from Lawson Drive leading to the homes will be called “LeRoy Butler Drive.”
CAP Services, a private, nonprofit corporation headquartered in Stevens Point, has several programs in Portage, Waupaca, Waushara and Marquette counties to help provide housing opportunities for those living in poverty. The programs range from low-cost weatherization and home rehab to homebuyer assistance and rental properties.
“This project will give CAP Services over 600 units of rental housing,” Olson said.
Waupaca Town Homes will have three buildings with a total of 24 units. Eight of the units will have two bedrooms and 16 will have three bedrooms. The two-bedroom units will be 1,200 square feet and the three-bedroom units will be 1,600 square feet. All the units will have an attached garage.
Rent for the two-bedroom units will range from $420 to $495 per month, while the three-bedroom units will range from $565 to $615 per month.
Families must also meet income guidelines in order to qualify for living in Waupaca Town Homes. A household of four can make no more than $37,000 a year and a household of five can make no more than $40,000 a year.
City Administrator Henry Veleker estimated that up to 80 families in the city of Waupaca need low-cost housing.
“Over half of our low-income families have no good housing options,” Veleker said.
Veleker said the city discovered while doing its comprehensive planning that there was a shortage of rental units.
“With the mortgage crisis, there has been even more of an increased demand for rental units. People who lose their homes still need a place to live,” Veleker said.
Olson said CAP Services expects to have all of the units filled within six months.
“When we did a market study, we found that there is a need for more affordable housing for moderate- and low-income families in Waupaca,” Olson said.
Waupaca Town Homes represents an investment of more than $3 million. CAP Services’ partners in the project include Boston Capital, M&I Bank, and Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.
Olson said the city of Waupaca also helped CAP Services obtain a federal grant.
“The city applied for and received a Community Development Block Grant for $200,000,” Veleker said. “That was loaned to CAP Services with no interest.”
Veleker also pointed to how the city provided technical expertise to the project.
He said the original plans called for access from the homes to Royalton Street, just east of LeRoy Butler Ford. However, there were safety concerns with that plan.
John Edlebeck, the city’s engineer and public works director, arranged a meeting between the developers and the property owner who provided access from Lawson Drive to Waupaca Town Homes, Veleker said.
“Our role is always to help a developer do a job that’s engineered well and is cost-effective,” Veleker said.
Olson said the homes would be ready for occupants in December. For more information, call 877-377-1434.