Low-Income Housing Tax Credits Build So. Illinois Apartments

October 01, 1998
By  Judy Armstrong
Residents of the Cache Valley Apartments in Ullin, Ill., are able to enjoy an independent lifestyle in quality, affordable housing.

Cache Valley Apartments in Ullin, Ill., was the first in a series of facilities being developed for a national program providing an assisted living option to seniors who otherwise would not be able to afford it. Through the efforts of River to River Residential Corporation, a nonprofit organization formed to create high quality, affordable housing for senior citizens in southern Illinois, the Cache Valley Apartments became a reality. River to River has a volunteer board with representatives from health care, social service and educational service providers in the region.

Apartments are available to anyone at least 60 years old who meets the income and need guidelines. These are strictly apartments—tenants can come and go as they please, or they can entertain guests in their apartments or in one of the four living rooms. Each apartment has air conditioning and heating units and a kitchen furnished with a stove and a refrigerator. Tenants are responsible for their own telephones and other options such as cable TV.

The building has 40 units (22 studios which rent for $321 a month; 17 one-bedroom units for $405; and one two-bedroom for $478). There are three wings in the building, each having a living room and a laundry room. In addition, a large living room and dining room are located in the front of the facility. Meals are served in a communal dining room, but residents can also fix food for themselves in their kitchenettes.

Toby Saken, chairwoman of the River to River Residential Corporation, said, "The idea is for residents to have assistance when needed but to live on their own as much as possible."

A second facility, Big Muddy River Apartments, has been completed in Murphysboro, Ill., and River to River plans to build others in Herrin and Metropolis. River to River would like to add one per year and, so far, the organization is right on target.

Tax credits for the Ullin project were bought by Mercantile Bank of St. Louis and First National Bank of Carbondale. Mercantile also purchased all the tax credits for the Murphysboro project. To begin work on the other projects, River to River is looking for smaller local banks to partner with large banks to buy additional tax credits. For more information, contact Toby Saken at (618) 985-8221.

River to River Project, 1997 (in thousands)

Construction & 5% contingency $2,585
Developer fee 270
Furniture, fixtures & equipment 209
Predevelopment, acquisition & land preparation 236
Financing fees, interest & carrying charges 208
Architectural, attorney, consultant fees 248
TOTAL $3,756
Banks' Limited Partner Equity $2,200
Southern Illinois Healthcare & Illinois Trust Fund loans 1,180
Predevelopment: R. W. Johnson
Foundation & National Coop.
Bank Development Corp.
Deferred fee & general partner equity 103
R. W. Johnson Foundation 80
TOTAL $3,756

Bridges is a regular review of regional community and economic development issues. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the St. Louis Fed or Federal Reserve System.

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