PADDOCK LAKE — The groundbreaking at the Whitetail Ridge senior and multifamily development in Paddock Lake Thursday capped the announcement of more than $6.6 million in state housing tax credits to help fund nine projects statewide.
Whitetail Ridge, which will have 50 senior apartments and 10 townhomes, is an example of what can be accomplished through housing tax credit programs, Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch said. That project is supported by a 2017 federal housing tax credit.
Bear Development will also receive $1,025,919 in 2018 Wisconsin housing tax credits for Creekside Commons, a 140-unit development in Pleasant Prairie.
“The new state program is tremendous news for Wisconsin as it provides a tax incentive for private investment in the development of affordable housing,” Kleefisch said. “The economic benefits are incredible, including the stimulation of quality rental housing, the creation of construction jobs and a reduction in cost burdens for renters.”
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Kleefisch said the 13,000 workers Foxconn will bring to the area will need affordable, new housing.
“Housing is going to be one of the biggest needs in the very near future,” she said, calling it “a key factor in growing Wisconsin’s workforce.”
New state tax credits
The new state tax credit program will be matched with $6.6 million in federal 4 percent tax credits, increasing the leverage and enabling more affordable housing across the state. Overall, the new state program will generate $191 million in total development, Kleefisch said.
A total of nine developments statewide will be supported by the $6.6 million in tax credit awards announced Thursday, according to Wyman Winston, executive director of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority..
WHEDA received 15 applications this year representing $10.4 million in requests.
The state tax credits will help finance projects in the following communities: Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Fitchburg, Green Bay, Pleasant Prairie, River Falls, Sheboygan and Superior.
In exchange for receiving the state tax credits, developers agree to reserve a portion of their housing units for low- and moderate-income households for at least 30 years. Remaining units are rented at market rates to seniors and families without income limits.
Winston said these developments will create 1,065 affordable housing units.
“So many of our working families are paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing,” Winston said. “When people are paying more than that, it means something is going missing.”
S.R. Mills, president of Bear Development, said the new “4 percent program” will help make projects that were just not quite financially feasible come to fruition.
“Through our partnership with WHEDA, we have eight projects in the state of Wisconsin right now, totaling 658 new homes for hard-working families and seniors,” Mills said.
Two of those are supported by 2018 tax credit awards. Five are in Kenosha County.
“The goal for the project (in Paddock Lake) was not only to create some really high-quality housing, but really to have this development act as a catalyst,” Mills said.
Fills a void in village
Paddock Lake Village Administrator Tim Popanda said Whitetail Ridge will not only lead to complementary commercial development, but will also fill a need for this type of housing.
“Our residents who are aging do not have to leave our community to find housing,” Popanda said.
The new development is near shopping, just south of Highway 50 off of Highway F. It fills a void left by projects that were abandoned when the economy suffered.
The village will assist Bear by paying for road, sewer and water infrastructure for the development with Tax Incremental Financing District funds. Some special assessments on the property will also be waived.
Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser lauded the village for “taking a leap of faith” to help spur development.
“This whole area is ready to development now ... which is good for our whole county,” Kreuser said.
The overall project also includes a single-family section not supported by tax credits.