Archive for Wednesday, January 16, 2002

KC firm considers housing for elderly

January 16, 2002

A Kansas City, Mo.,-based real estate company is seeking the city's support for a housing project for people 55 and older.

On Monday, Robert Rousey, managing partner of Cohen-Esrey Housing Partners, asked Tonganoxie City Council members for a resolution of support for the project. The resolution is necessary, Rousey said, for his group to obtain federal affordable housing tax credits, administered by the state.

The council will consider adopting a resolution at its Jan. 28 meeting.

Rousey said he hopes he can build a 24-unit complex that would include two-bedroom units featuring washer-dryer hookups and garages, as well as a bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room. Two units would be fully handicapped accessible, he said, and the remaining 22 units could be converted to fully accessible units.

A unit would rent for $435 to $450 a month, plus utilities, which represents about 60 percent of market value.

The owners also would handle outdoor tasks, such as snow removal, he said.

Rousey has not yet secured a site for the project, but said he is looking at several in the city.

A requirement of obtaining tax credits is that Rousey's group owns the housing complex for 15 years.

"I have to be proud of what I do because I have to live with it for a long time," he said.

Rousey said he's optimistic he can secure the tax credits, which would be awarded in May.

"The state of Kansas is currently supportive of tax credits," he said.

Chris Donnelly, a member of a local group that was exploring the possibility of constructing housing for the elderly, said he's pleased

Cohen-Esrey is looking at Tonganoxie.

"To make the project work you have to be experts at building and developing and financing," said Donnelly, executive vice president at First State Bank and Trust.

"And you have to understand the tax side of it. But we didn't have the experts locally who could manage the tax credits. We were missing a key piece of the puzzle."

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