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Senior housing denied state funding

Springfield complex still gets city money for smaller renovation project.

Tubman Towers will seek new ways to fund a renovation project after being denied a tax credit from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

Tubman Towers, an apartment building for senior citizens that is owned by Lutheran Social Services, applied for a tax credit totaling $733,520 from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. The tax credit would have been used to renovate the building.

According to the proposal that Tubman Towers submitted to OHFA, renovations would have included a new gurney-sized elevator, modernization of the existing rental units, expansion of the current efficiency units into 1-bedroom apartments, a face lift to the exterior, addition of square footage to living spaces, and more area for community space.

“We were very disappointed to learn that the project wasn’t funded, and we felt our application was very compelling related to the need,” said Rick Davis, vice president of operations for Lutheran Social Services in a statement released to the Springfield News-Sun.

In order to have the request accepted, Tubman Towers had to submit a proposal and application to OHFA. Once all of the applications and proposals are submitted, the projects in the same pool are ranked in the order of their scores from highest to lowest. Scores are given based on a number of criteria, including local collaboration, project characteristics, economic characteristics and rehabilitation characteristics. Each pool has a set amount of funding, and the pool that Tubman Towers was included in, called “Existing Rental Units Pool - Urban Areas,” had $3.8 million in funding.

According to Karen Banyai, program manager at OHFA, Tubman Towers didn’t get approved because of score rankings and the amount of credit requested. Banyai stated the amount requested was over what the pool could fund. But had they had a higher score and been higher on the list or had a lower amount requested, they probably could have received funding.

Even the though tax credit from OHFA was not approved, Tubman Towers will receive funding of up to $216,000 from the Springfield City Community Development Department. This funding will be used for roofing, windows and other small modifications.

Tubman Towers can apply for credit from OHFA again next year.

According to Shannon Meadows, community development director for Springfield, if Tubman Towers were to request additional funding, the community development office would look into it, if there were still funds available.

“We are currently assessing options that will allow us to be able to afford the improvements we feel are necessary to improve both the building’s infrastructure, resident quality of life and external marketing appeal,” said Rick Davis in his statement.

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