Affordable Housing At Risk

1 decade 1 year 8 months ago Thursday, June 21 2007 Jun 21, 2007 Thursday, June 21, 2007 9:54:23 PM CDT June 21, 2007 in News

The CHA was supposed to have a contractor in place to build McBaine Townhomes by the end of next week. But no one could build the homes with the money the agency has to spend.

Now there's a little more time thanks to a deadline extension. The CHA's construction budget is just over $580,000. But the lowest bid is $85,000 more than that. The Columbia Housing Authority wants to show it can build affordable town homes.

"We've found that there is a shortage of affordable housing being built that falls under the $100,000 range," Phil Steinhaus of the Columbia Housing Authority, said.

The design the CHA has in mind for its affordable homes is five one-story units, each costing about $75,000. To come in at budget, architects suggest getting rid of outdoor garages and using a type of plastic for plumbing instead of copper. Even with the compromises, the CHA still has big hopes for the project.

"We certainly want to see it as an example of what affordable housing can look like in our community," Steinhaus said.

The CHA is accepting financial donations as well as building materials. And Steinhaus says the agency offers tax credits for donors. Funds will come from the Missouri Housing Development Commission, which extended the deadline.

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