The Fort Wayne Housing Authority is moving ahead on its $1.9 million South Side Senior Villas project without the help of the city of Fort Wayne.
The city had awarded the project, a complex to house up to 32 low-income seniors, a $300,000 loan through the federal HOME program. However, FWHA Executive Director Maynard Scales said the agency was set to close on the financing package last week when city officials suddenly started raising questions, asked if there was another source of funding and said FWHA needed to start the process over and re-apply for the funds.
Because construction costs are already increasing, Scales recommended the FWHA board vote to use surplus funds the agency has on hand to begin the project and forget about the money from the city. The board voted unanimously to use its own $325,000 to make up for the loss of funding and cover increased costs from the delays already experienced.
The complex is planned for 7200 John Street and will be similar to the Village at Brooklyn Pointe off Nuttman Avenue.
City officials said they did not pull the funding.
Heather Presley-Cowen, deputy director of community development for the city, said Wednesday that because FWHA has made so many changes to the project – including wanting to change the funding from a forgivable loan to a grant and adding a third-party limited liability corporation to own the complex – that they just needed a new application filled out so they had everything in writing. Presley-Cowen said the process would only take 10 days.
“I don’t know why they don’t want to give us up-to-date information,” Presley-Cowen said.
But Scales told the board he expected that if FWHA did reapply for the money, it would be denied.
“That’s unfortunate,” Presley-Cowen said.
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