by Sheila Gardner

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January 11, 2013
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Low-income senior housing looks for fall opening

Beginning in October, Douglas County's low-income seniors will have their first subsidized housing option.

On Monday, county commissioners approved a planned development for Parkway Vista, a 30-unit affordable housing complex for seniors aged 55 and older.

The complex, the first affordable senior housing development in Douglas County, will include 12 two-bedroom units and 18 one-bedroom apartments including three handicapped equipped units.

The project is being developed by New Beginnings Housing, LLC, of Caldwell, Idaho.

"We've been kind of looking at projects in this area for some time, but the economy just didn't work out with high land prices," said New Beginnings Housing owner Greg Urrutia in an interview Thursday.

"With prices down at more reasonable levels, we were able to apply for some funding and at least be able to be close to making the project economically viable," Urrutia said.

He estimated rent at $450-650 for unit, depending on the applicant's income level. Applications will be taken 120 days before the project is open. Urrutia said the New Beginnings Housing hires an independent company with experience in affordable housing management.

New Beginnings Housing has been awarded low-income housing tax credits for the senior community. Seven units will be provided for applicants who earn approximately $18,834 a year, or 35 percent of the area median income of $76,900.

Eighteen units will be at 40 percent of the AMI, or $21,525, and five units at 45 percent of the AMI, or $24,215.

The property will remain deed restricted for 50 years as affordable housing, and will be monitored by the Nevada Housing Division.

Commissioners approved variances Monday to reduce required parking spaces from 68 to 57; reduction in the number of storage units from 30 to 23 and eliminating a need for recreational vehicle parking spaces.

The 8.26-acre project is at 1331 Stodick Parkway in Gardnerville.

"We think this is a terrific project," said Commissioner Greg Lynn. "Our community needs something like this."

Urrutia said each apartment comes with high efficiency heating and air conditioning, standard appliances, and washer/dryer hookups. Tenants will have storage space within the building and an assigned covered carport.

The building will have a community area with a small kitchenette, exercise room, library and computer room, on-site laundry, and television and game room.

The project does not offer assisted living, but Urrutia said the apartments are fully handicapped accessible, and each two-story building has an elevator.

"We're on a very aggressive time frame," Urrutia said. "The county has been great to work with. The planning department bent over backwards to help us."

Each apartment must be leased to a resident who is 55 or older, but the tenant may have a younger family member live there.

"There is a pretty thorough application process," Urrutia said. "Any resident has to income qualify which involves review of personal financial information."

He said the leasing office will be on-site.

"Our market study and appraisal show a fairly strong demand for senior housing in the area just in the fact that there is no affordable subsidized senior-only housing in the county. We feel the demand should be very strong," Urrutia said.

He said New Beginnings Housing LLC uses a general contractor based in Boise, Idaho, but bids are being solicited from local contractors in Douglas County and Western Nevada.

"We anticipate the majority of contractors to be local," Urrutia said. "We make a real effort to use local contractors and materials."

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The Record Courier Updated Jan 14, 2013 11:46AM Published Jan 11, 2013 09:18PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.