Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Artspace Not Chosen for Housing Funds

State Awards Tax Credits to Three Other Area Projects

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has decided not to award any tax credits to the Artspace Lofts artist housing project planned for downtown El Paso. The agency opted to give tax credits to three other qualifying projects in the area.
Artist's rendering of what the Artspace Lofts project may look like if built in downtown El Paso. (www.artspace.org)

Artspace had applied for $1.077 million a year for ten years in housing credits but was ranked lowest out of six El Paso projects that applied under the “Urban” category. Officials with the project may apply again in the future, or may look for financing assistance elsewhere.

If built, the project will bring 51 affordable live/work units in a five-story building to the corner of Missouri Avenue and Oregon Street, next to the downtown Doubletree Hotel. It will also include 7,500 square feet of multi-purpose non-profit space.

City officials donated the land for the project last year to the El Paso Community Foundation, the former home of the El Paso Saddleblanket store which the City received in a land swap deal. City Council will meet in executive session at its next meeting to discuss the project.

Two other projects won tax credits from the TDHCA in the “Urban” category, Verde Palms, a 152 unit development on El Paso’s east side, and Villas at West Mountain which would bring a 76 unit complex to the west side. Another project, Montana Vista Palms, also received tax credits under the “Rural” category. It will be a 48 unit development on the far east side of the city.

The TDHCA awarded $57.8 million in tax credits statewide. The credits are part of the federal Housing Tax Credit Program which are used to offset federal tax liability dollar-for-dollar. Developers who receive funds will offer reduced rents for a specified number of units once construction is complete.

For more information on the program and awarded funds, visit the TDHCA website, www.tdhca.state.tx.us.