On Sept. 21, 2020 Donald Singer, Executive Director of Brooksville Housing Authority (BHA), presented a request to Brooksville’s city council for a $340,000 low-interest loan from the City for the redevelopment of the Summit Villas public housing project. Located at the corner of Hale Ave and Dr. MLK Jr Blvd, the property has been vacant since 2012 and does not meet current building codes, Singer said.
Combining that property with the adjacent 3.5 acres from the City, Singer proposed demolishing the villas and building 80 affordable apartments for seniors. The co-developer, Fortis, has built similar housing units in Florida.
With an approximate cost of $20 million, BHA and Fortis will need to obtain financing from both public and private sources, including $2.3 million tax credits (incentives). Each funding source has criteria to meet. Some, like Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), want to see support from local government agencies before approving low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC).
On Sept. 21, council members requested further information before committing to the loan.
City staff ultimately recommended that city council deny the request, so Brooksville Housing Authority withdrew their application at the November 2, 2020 city council meeting.
Brooksville Housing Authority Director Donald Singer cited poor timing and commented that he would bring the request before the council in one year.
Robert Battista however remarked that he would never vote to approve the loan.