Affordable Housing Projects On DP Road Slated To Begin This Month

A rendering of the affordable apartment complex planned for development on DP Road. Courtesy/LAC

 

Community Development Department Director Paul Andrus

 
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
kirsten@ladailypost.com

This coming year will see a lot of building activity on DP Road. The two affordable housing projects – Canyon Walk and The Bluffs apartment complexes – are slated to begin construction.

Los Alamos County Community Development Director Paul Andrus told the Los Alamos Daily Post Friday that grading work by Bethel Developments, Inc. on the Canyon Walk apartment complex is expected to begin this month.

Meanwhile, for the Bluffs project, it is anticipated the developer will submit a site plan application to the County in early 2020 for review by staff before it goes before the Planning and Zoning Commission for approval. The developer is expected to submit a building permit application in late spring for the Bluffs and construction is scheduled to begin in November.

Andrus said the two affordable hosing projects follow the same process as any other housing development; however, the Community Development Department can waive planning and building permit fees for affordable housing projects and the developer is required to provide progress updates on the project to the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority as well as the County.

Having two new affordable housing offerings in Los Alamos will be a real benefit to the community, Andrus said.

“In the County, there’s an acute housing shortage for housing of all types and price ranges. These will be the first new affordable housing construction projects in the County in many years,” he said.

Both apartment complexes are being developed by Bethel Development Inc. Not only will the Ohio-based company and its subsidiaries build the complexes, but also will operate and manage them. Affordable housing projects is Bethel’s sole focus. The work doesn’t stop there. Bethel also aids its renters with assistance including family support services such as case management, support groups, vocational training, life skills and more.

For its part, Los Alamos County donated the land for both projects and the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority granted Low Income Housing Tax Credits for each apartment complex.

Each apartment complex caters to a different demographic.

The Bluffs will be a 64-unit apartment complex geared toward senior citizens 55 years of age and older. The units will either be one or two bedrooms. Six units in the Bluffs are to be restricted to households earning up to 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI), 52 units will serve households earning up to 50 percent of AMI and six units will serve households earning up to 40 percent AMI – as calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In actual dollar amounts, a two-person household may earn up to approximately $58,000.

The Canyon Walk complex will feature 70 units in seven buildings. Units will range from one to three bedrooms. Eleven units are to be restricted to households earning up to 60 percent of the AMI, 49 units will serve households earning up to 50 percent AMI and 10 units will serve households earning up to 40 percent AMI – as calculated by HUD.

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