Affordable housing still a vexing issue

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Planning session seeks realistic housing ideas for workforce, town's future

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Affordable housing is back on the drawing board.

The third time wasn’t a charm for McDonald Corp., as it was denied a tax credit from the state to bring affordable apartments to Fredericksburg.

The plan was to build roughly 90 units of market rate housing and around 80 affordable units for Phase 2 of the project at the corner of North Llano and Lower Crabapple. The firm cannot wait forever, so plans are changing to add townhomes instead of the affordable units.

Those state credits help offset the builder’s costs in offering subsidized housing. Construction costs, of course, are the same no matter what is being built and they are considerable in this market.

Projects around the state are limited and are weighted on need and whether tax credits have been received before. This is a frustrating situation for a town that desperately needs affordable housing options for its many tourism-related service workers.

Enter the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce, which will host a planning charrette to talk about the community’s housing shortage. The feel, rightly, is that this problem threatens workforce growth, business development and quality of life.

 

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