Quincy city leaders hope to turn vacant buildings into affordable housing

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QUINCY (WGEM) – A 2020 housing data study shows that Quincy has about 3,900 units which are vacant and uninhabitable. The city of Quincy wants to turn that around through the Small Rental Rehab program proposal.

City officials are working to provide incentives to people to take over properties, rebuild them, and rent them out.

Planning and Development Director, Chuck Bevelheimer, is looking to spend $250,000 of city money to help pay for renovating 12 properties in the next four years.

He wants to focus on properties west of 18th Street between Harrison and Gardner Park Drive.

“The developer is required to put in the full renovation amount up front, and the city will participate upon providing up to $20,000 per unit, or 50 percent of the renovation cost. So, if it costs $10,000 to renovate, it would participate up to $10,000,” Bevelheimer said.

Bevelheimer said it would be a five-year forgivable loan as long as they meet all requirements. That would also include annual inspections of the property.

Local developer Andy Caley, and his workers, were putting together a one-bedroom apartment on Thursday at 735 State Street. The property used to be a bank but it’s been sitting vacant for 20 years. He was inspired to buy abandoned buildings on 8th and State Streets and repurpose them into affordable housing units and businesses when he heard there was a need for it. The one-bedroom units cost around $675 a month.

“A young woman stopped me. She was in her mid-20s, single mother with two kids, and desperately needed a new place and she just couldn’t find anything. And that motivated us to consider larger development ideas for providing housing for Quincy,” Caley said.

Caley said he revitalized six units last year and will continue forward. He said the Adams County Housing Authority establishes fair market rent to make it affordable in the area. Caley, himself, also ensures the tenants won’t be living in squalor.

“When it comes to safety, what we’re talking about for renters is heating systems that are properly installed, properly ventilated. We’re looking at plumbing systems, hot water heaters that are new and efficient, and we’re also considering things like lead paint and things we need to remove or seal,” Caley said

Bevelheimer said he hopes the council will approve a supplemental budget request of $1 million to be budgeted over a five-year period.

“We’ll be doing an annual inspection during that five-year period, that person can’t appeal their taxes, so we’ll be able to monitor the progress and the impact that property has had on property value,” Bevelheimer said.

Caley and Bevelheimer both have seen the rise of vacant buildings in Quincy and the need for affordable housing, and said the Small Rental Rehab program will be beneficial.

“People are coming here, and they need safe housing. So, that’s what we’re trying to do,” Caley said.

The next council meeting will be on Monday night where they will find out whether or not the council will authorize the $1 million pledge for this rental rehab program.

Copyright 2022 WGEM. All rights reserved.

via https://www.wgem.com

January 7, 2022 at 09:17AM

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