Millions will be spent to renovate hundreds of affordable housing units in Springfield

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 10:51 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A multi-million-dollar project to overhaul affordable housing is happening in Springfield.

The housing complexes are currently managed by the Housing Authority of Springfield. They will be sold to Keystone Family Homes, LP who will use a private developer to renovate nearly 300 homes.

"This is very exciting. I’ve actually waited for this for about three years, " said Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Springfield, Katrena Wolfram.

She explained that the renovations to hundreds of homes throughout the city are not only aesthetic but very necessary and long overdue.

“All the plumbing that was built in 1972 and the 1960′s is all going to be revamped. You’re not even going to recognize Bolivar Road Apartments, Cedarbrook, Villa Marie, Norton Road and Dogwood Square,” said.

The Industrial Development Authority of the City of Springfield is helping the project along. Housing revenue bonds of up to $22 million dollars will be issued. They will be used to finance a portion of the of the costs of the sale and rehabilitation of the units.

“They are transferring the units into private ownership. The private owners are going to be able to borrow against the value of the properties in order to rehab the properties,” said Director of Economic Development for Springfield, Sarah Kerner.

She said that the city is playing a big role, there is no cost or risk to the taxpayers and does not affect the city’s debt.

“It allows the bonds to be obtained at a tax-free status. The liability is between the bank that’s financing the project and actually purchasing the bonds and the developer,” said Kerner.

Additionally, the project is set to boost the local economy.

“It also brings quite a bit of work and labor into the community, about $35 million dollars, just for this first phase,” said Wolfram.

Tenants will be relocated at no cost while the improvements are being made. Their rent will not increase once they move back.

“I’ve been doing this 31 years. To actually see and feel the tenants' compassion and excitement for this change is great. We’ve got a great partnership and a lot of work to do,” said Wolfram.

Rehabilitating the family units is just the first of three phases in this project.

Construction will last a few years and is set to start in just a few months.

A public hearing about the issuance of the bonds and the project will be held via teleconference on September 22. Those interested can call 877-230-5394 and use the access code 2188566# to join the call.

Written comments may be submitted to:

Sarah Kerner

Economic Development Director

City of Springfield

840 N. Boonville Ave.

Springfield, MO 65802

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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