Wheelersburg Lofts will be a $9.5 million project that provides 46 units of affordable housing for families and seniors in Wheelersburg, Ohio. This apartment community will contain both one-, two- and three-bedroom units. On-site amenities will include a community room and small playground area, among others.
Is there a need for affordable housing?
Households between the ages of 25 and 64 will make up approximately 62% of all households in the market in 2025 and approximately one-third (32%) of all households will be renters in 2025. Additionally, more than half (56%) of all renter households are projected to earn between $10,000 and $50,000 in 2025. Our market study identified that all rental housing segments surveyed are 100% occupied, so it is clear that affordable apartments are in high demand in the Wheelersburg market.
What do you expect to be typical rents?
Because the project will be primarily funded with low-income housing tax credits, rents will be affordable and the quality of the apartment units will be very high. We anticipate rents ranging from $350 to $900 per month, although final rents will not be set until the project has been completed. Residents must income qualify based on State of Ohio guidelines. Rents are based on both the number of family members and the household annual income. For example, a single person with an income of $14,000 per year would pay the lowest available rent and a family of five with an income of $49,000 would pay the highest available rent.
Will everyone qualify to live at Wheelersburg Lofts?
No. Tax-credit apartments are designed for low- to middle-income people. If someone's income is too high, they would not qualify to live at Wheelersburg Lofts. If someone's income was too low to afford the rent, they also would not be able to live at Wheelersburg Lofts.
Will this be a Section-8 (subsidized) property?
No. Tax-credit housing is not subsidized housing. While the rents are typically 25% lower than market-rate rents based on the quality of apartment units, residents must be able to pay the rent.
Who are your typical residents?
Our typical residents are people with low- to middle-incomes who find it difficult to afford a decent apartment in which to live. Usually, about 25% of our residents are seniors living on a fixed income. A single person with a full-time job making $13/hour would qualify to live at Wheelersburg Lofts. This includes many people working in retail stores, offices, childcare centers and at service companies.
Is the site in a flood plain?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website was used to determine the flood zoning for the site. The site is located in 0.2% annual Chance Flood Hazard Flood Zone X, and all other properties parallel to the site and to the river are in the same zone. For Wheelersburg Lofts, the building, parking areas, pedestrian and vehicular ingress and egress areas will all be at least one foot above the 100-year flood plain elevation when the project is complete. See FEMA site. The Ohio EPA requires that all water run-off by Wheelersburg Lofts be managed on the site and not allowed to go to other areas, which is how the site will be designed.
Will the project add a lot of new children to local schools?
Wheelersburg Lofts will not likely add many new children to local schools. Our experience is that of the 46 apartment units, approximately 25% (12) will be occupied by seniors, who do not typically have school-age children. There will be 15 one-bedroom apartments, 22 two-bedroom apartments and 9 three-bedroom apartments. Our experience from past projects similar to Wheelersburg Lofts is that most people interested in living in the apartment community already live nearby.
Why did St. Mary pick this site?
St. Mary builds affordable apartment communities using housing tax-credits that are awarded by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA). Each year OHFA creates a competitive scoring process based on where they would like to see new affordable apartments built. For the past two years, OHFA has given a significant bonus to projects located in Appalachian Counties in Ohio, including Scioto County. That's why last year St. Mary was awarded tax credit to build an affordable apartment community in Portsmouth. In addition, OHFA has dozens of other scoring attributes, such as how close the site is to amenities, which determines which projects will be funded. Wheelersburg provides nearly all the attributes preferred by OHFA and this site is the only site in Wheelersburg that provides a competitive score.
Will the project decrease home values?
The opposite has actually been shown to be true regarding home values. This article summarizes the research. "One large study determined housing within 0.1 miles increased in value by 6.5 percent after a development was placed in service. Five additional studies found modest impacts."