PLAQUEMINE — The Iberville Parish Council unanimously gave Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso approval Tuesday night to issue a $6.1 million loan commitment letter to a Mississippi-based company to build affordable housing in St. Gabriel.
The parish’s loan to New Horizons Group is part of more than $40 million in federal grant allocations under the Disaster Recovery Program for Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, said Thomas David, manager of Iberville’s Community Development Block Grant program.
The parish is already using more than half of the grant money to build a $20 million medical complex in Plaquemine.
The loan will serve as leverage money toward the developer’s construction of a 120-unit, multifamily apartment complex on a 16-acre site off La. 74 east of Plantation subdivision in St. Gabriel, David said.
Total cost of the project, called Windsor Court, is approximately $16.3 million, David said.
The company will have to secure the additional funding needed to complete the project through possible tax credits or other financing, David said.
New Horizons was recommended to the council Tuesday by a committee of experts who reviewed proposals from seven different developers for various sites in both Plaquemine and St. Gabriel, David said.
The committee’s recommendation was based on criteria established in the parish president’s Request for Proposals issued May 18, David said.
Iberville will enter into a 30-year agreement with the developers as part of the loan agreement which stipulates the parish can be refunded on its investment should New Horizon renege on its commitment to construct a “high-quality” development, David said.
David Strange, of New Horizons Group, said his company has developed approximately 15,000 affordable housing units throughout the Southeast and helped in the recovery efforts along the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.
“We look at this as not only a housing development, but an economic development as well,” Strange said. “We operate under a buy local; spend local initiative.”
According to New Horizon’s proposal, Windsor Court will have two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. The two-bedroom units will range in a rental price range from $155 to $650 per month and the three-bedroom units will be as high as $695, depending on a family’s income.
David said the development’s target audience is working class individuals earning from $35,000 to $38,000 annually.
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