The city council will meet on Tuesday, February 7th at 5:30 p.m. at the council chambers downtown across from Dolli’s Diner. While the final agenda has not yet been posted, one of the agenda items will include a hearing on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) proposal for the Northeast Ward, Ridgebrook Senior Village to be located near Stallings Drive and North University.
As you may remember from last year, awards of tax credits for low income housing are competitive and based on a number of factors that make the Northeast Ward of Nacogdoches very competitive for the funding, particularly since this census tract has not received an award for more than 20 years.
As I stated last year, I believe the city and particularly the neighborhood should not have to be reactive, but should be in the driver’s seat; they should lead the discussions and exploration of projects proposed in their census tracts. Therefore, when I was approached this year about a new proposal I directed the contractor to the Kenbrook neighborhood for their input and their conclusions about the project.
I held an initial meeting to introduce Inter-faith Texas, a non-profit organization, to Kenbrook neighbors. They had an informative discussion and residents thought the project promising enough to hold their own neighborhood meeting, inviting Interfaith Texas and all neighborhood members to determine whether the neighborhood wished to support the proposal. The Kenbrook group of about 40 residents supported it unanimously. I then held a ward meeting January 12, 2023 and it resulted in unanimous support for the following reasons.
· Inter-faith Texas worked hand in hand with the neighborhood and would not have submitted a proposal if the neighborhood was opposed.
· The proposal is for housing for low-income seniors.
· It is a non-profit organization that also pays city taxes, and hires local sub-contractors for work.
· The organization puts dollars into extensive resident support (Portfolio Resident Services).
· The site is not accessed from Maroney Drive but from Stallings Drive.
· The Interfaith Group maintains their properties, and keeps properties rather than selling them after the tax credits have been received.
Based on this support, the proposal for Ridgebrook Senior Village will be heard at the council meeting on February 7th. Again, please don’t hesitate to call me if you have questions, thoughts, concerns. You are the city.