The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) unanimously approved a county match of up to $375,000 in order to receive State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) funding from the state of Florida for the Summit Villas redevelopment.
The funds are deposited into the Sadowski Trust Fund, which funds affordable housing programs. The exact match amount was not discussed during the meeting. According to the information in the agenda, “funding will be secured by a subordinate recorded note and mortgage. The loan would be a zero-interest deferred for fifteen years.”
The affordable housing project on the table is the redevelopment of Summit Villas, which was abandoned in 2012. The complex is located on the northwest corner of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Hale Avenue. These structures were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s and contain lead-based paint and asbestos, and lack firewalls in the attics. The plan is to demolish these existing structures and replace them with buildings containing a total of 80 units.
The community will be age restricted to 62 and over. Sixty-four of the 80 units are expected to be one-bedroom apartments, and 16 will be two-bedroom units in a garden-style three-story building. Five apartments will be reserved for households meeting the state’s definition of “special needs,” ten units are to be reserved for residents earning 33% of the area median income (AMI) and 72 units will be set aside for residents earning 60% of the AMI.
Hernando County Housing Authority Executive Director Terri Beverly appeared before the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) at the regular meeting on June 14, 2022, to request the match, explaining that SHIP funds are given selectively.
“The developer applies [to the] Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) to build the development. It’s a point system and a lottery, and with a Local Government Contribution, [Hernando County] is higher on that list of being approved for that tax credit,” Beverly explained.
The county committed to the $375,000 loan in Aug. 2021 for last year’s cycle. If the project is not selected, they can reapply annually.
The Housing Authority received the SHIP funding request from Summit Villas Senior, LLP, which is a partnership comprised of Summit Fortis Development, LLC and BHA Summit Villas Senior Incorporated, a not-for-profit corporation, which is also an arm of Brooksville Housing Authority.
Connie Green, President of the Tax Redevelopment Advisory Committee (TRAC) spoke during the Public Comment segment, and said, “We were so thankful when [Beverly] came to our meeting and presented this [Summit Villas] project … we’ve been speaking in the community about it.” Green said that many are excited about the project, however, the question has been raised of when those under the age of 62 will have access to affordable housing in South Brooksville.
“They don’t want to move to Spring Hill,” Green said. “They would like to be able to have a home in South Brooksville.”
Green also asked the board if the developer of Summit Villas could be contracted to work on private properties in need of repair.
Chairman Steve Champion said he “is a fan” of programs that provide funding for individuals to live where they choose. Beverly added that the county has the HELP (Housing
Enhancement Loan Program) loan available to assist individuals in obtaining funds for code-based home repairs up to $90,000. Eligibility is income-based.
Information on the SHIP and HELP programs can be found here: https://www.hernandocounty.us/departments/departments-f-m/housing-authority/ship-program