EXCLUSIVE: Bon Air Apartments owners not selected for 2022 tax credits
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - First on FOX54: Through a Freedom of Information Act request, FOX54 has learned Redwood Housing, the owner of the Bon Air Apartments, was not selected for tax credits to help renovate the property in the most recent round.
This includes both the 2022 9% HTC and 4% HTC/Bonds. According to the state, Redwood’s application did not meet the requirements of the 2022 Qualified Action Plan. Some language in the notice of final determination of threshold failure includes “insufficient documentation,” “shortage of financing sources,” and “unmet required debt coverage ratio.”
Below is the Affordability Loss Risk Rubric which shows how Redwood Housing scored low in the urgency of needed preservation funding, but high in local supply/demand gap for comparable affordable housing.
In previous interviews, Redwood Housing said this funding would be a big resource for moving renovation forward.
"Well, look, I think our highest probability of being able to move that renovation forward comes from having appropriate community support.” said Nick Boehm.
FOX54 contacted Congressman Rick Allen's office for interview. A representative says he is not available for interview this week, but offered the following statement.
"Redwood has made it clear in conversations with our office that the company will proceed with internal and external renovations to the Bon Air this year, regardless of the outcomes of its state tax credit applications. Congressman Allen expects this commitment to be honored, and he has requested more information on the planned renovations as well as a detailed timeline to maintain oversight of their progress. In the meantime, he will continue working closely with local leaders to ensure our neighbors at the Bon Air have the adequate housing they deserve and that updates are made in a timely manner."
Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight also shared a statement in response to this development.
"It’s a disappointment that Bon Air did not receive the tax credits needed to get the ball rolling. It’s been over two years now since Redwood has taken ownership of both the Bon Air and the Richmond Summit yet nothing is happening fast enough. I’m concerned that Redwood is kicking the can down the road. I have met with Redwood on several occasions and I keep hearing the same record song being played over and over. Redwood should never have bought the Bon Air in the first place if they can’t afford to do anything with it. Redwood has shown me on paper all the bells and whistles of what they plan to do with the Bon Air but their plans have not come to fruition. At this point, I don’t expect them to, unfortunately. My main concern is the well being and safety for my constituents living there and in the surrounding areas. I have lost faith in Redwood. The only way I can trust anything else they say is when I see construction going on from the inside out. When I see bulldozers and heavy equipment parked out front, then I will believe that they are serious about investing in Augusta."
The owner reportedly does have intent to continue repairs throughout 2023 at Bon Air, according to a document shared with us from Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight. Some of that includes asbestos and lead-based paint abatement, 15 window replacements, new cabinet installation, accessibility upgrades in 5% of units.
Redwood Housing also owns Richmond Summit located in Downtown Augusta. This property was also not selected for tax credits. FOX54 is awaiting a response from the owners. It's unclear if they plan to apply again for these tax credits. In a prior letter, HUD officials said Redwood has no plans to locate other investors or to sell the property if the LIHTC
transaction does not materialize. Redwood also previously told HUD if the LIHTC applications are not approved, they will explore alternative financing options, which will include a meaningful investment in the property in an effort to provide the highest quality affordable housing available.
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