$90,000,000 is one step closer for the acqusition, rebranding and rehab of four of Jacksonville’s most troubled low-income housing developments, which contain 768 units total.
Jacksonville City Council resolution 2017-671, which would authorize $90,000,000 in Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority bonds for Millennia Housing Management (MHM) to “finance, acquire, rehab & equip four Multifamily Rental Housing Developments,” was approved by Council committees of reference Monday and Tuesday.
That approval clears the way for full Council approval next week.
Along with the new money was supposed to come new names; 400-unit Eureka Gardens, 94-unit Moncrief Village, 74-unit Southside Apartments & 200-unit Washington Heights would be known as Valencia Way, Estuary Estates, Oyster Pointe and Charlesfort Commons, respectively.
However, Finance Committee members balked at the renaming, saying there wasn’t any local connection to the names. This led to a floor amendment to strike the new names from the bill.
A representative of the Jacksonville Housing Finance Authority (HUD) said that MHM’s national project-based Section 8 portfolio factored into the JHFA’s confidence in them.
HUD had a “vested interest” in ensuring MHM could handle taking on the Global Ministries Foundation national portfolio, the JHFA rep added.
“It is a significant step forward,” marveled Councilman Greg Anderson on Monday. “They’re going to rename … rebrand, significantly invest in these.”
“I looked at the cost per unit,” added Councilman Jim Love Monday, “and it came out to almost $140,000 per unit.”
Such capital would drive capital rehabilitation, a shortfall of current ownership that led to national scrutiny on that portfolio, said a JHFA representative.
There would be a credit underwriting report before the transaction was OK’d by JHFA; the idea is for work to begin on the properties early next year.
MHM has pledged significant resources to facility rehabilitation in the past, as a 2014 tax incentive application makes clear.
In acquiring a 160-unit Section 8 complex in upstate New York, the company pledged to spend $8.8 million on the “soft costs” of renovation. Pro-rated, this comes out to $55,000 a unit, as the company vowed to address a “multitude of capital needs” for the apartments, including kitchen and bathroom renovation and installing new windows.