Brooksville City Planner Steve Gouldman Introduced the request from Housing Trust Group LLC for a $36,500 no-interest loan to build a 4-story, 120 unit affordable housing complex. The loan would become due in 15 years with no periodic payments. The Brooksville City Council unanimously approved the loan at the November 2, 2020 meeting.
The location of the planned project is at the corner of Hale Avenue and Lamar Avenue. According to City Attorney Becky Vose recalled that the total cost of the project is estimated to be between $15-20 million at the time of the November 2, 2020 meeting. Housing Trust Group LLC is also the developer of the Freedom Gardens low income housing project.
The loan constitutes a Local Government Contribution (“LGC”) from the City to financially assist the project and such LGC is necessary to compete for the developer’s application to be filed with Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC).
Council Member William Kemerer expressed concern over the height of the building, to which Gouldman explained that the height limit of 50 feet could accommodate the 4 levels. Kemerer also questioned why the developers of this $20 million project would be asking for so much less than what the Brooksville Housing Authority requested ($340,000) for the $20 million Summit Villas redevelopment.
City Manager Mark Kutney remarked that Housing Trust Group LLC originally wanted an impact fee deferral, however the city was not in the position to offer such a financing vehicle.
Vose, appearing via telephone, explained that the Summit Villas project leaders Landtrust LLC wanted to make sure that they would be chosen for state funding, as “there is a ‘set aside’ for each county for proposals that include humongous local government contributions. Those are chosen first, then if there is still money left over then the ones with smaller contributions are able to be put essentially into a lottery, and they can be chosen at that point.
Kemerer commented, “So basically they were buying priority?”
Vose said, “Exactly. They were buying priority with the city’s money.”
No funds will be distributed before construction begins.