|Sep 26, 2012 --
Outline of Need:
The City of Marksville is located in Avoyelles Parish, which is in Central Louisiana. Avoyelles is bordered by LaSalle, Catahoula, Concordia, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, Evangeline, and Rapides Parishes. The economy historically has been agri-business but there is development in gaming, oil services, and banking, which has increased the demand for affordable housing in the area. Local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Paragon Casino (the largest employer), Housing Authority and others were interviewed and supported building a new housing development for the growing town. The general population growth in Marksville has increased significantly over the past several years with the anticipation of new residents moving into the area.
How Rural Development Helped:
USDA Rural Development helped to transform an open pasture of grass into an affordable housing complex. The developer of Richardson Place used Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which are credits administered by the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, private investments, and with the help of a Rural Development Section 538 Guaranteed Loan, in the amount of $560,000, through Bonneville Mortgage Company to construct the 30 unit family complex.
As a result of USDA Rural Development providing a guarantee on the loan, this lowers the lender’s rate of interest and offers longer terms of repayment over the conventional rates and terms used in financing an apartment complex. “Affordable housing opportunities are now available for residents desiring to live where they work,” said Rural Development State Director, Clarence Hawkins.
Richardson Place Apartments will serve low-income households and provide housing for larger families, single parent households, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Twenty-three units are three-bedroom and seven units are four-bedroom apartments. Rent will be somewhere between $486 for three bedrooms and $545 for four bedrooms. Each unit will have central air, refrigerator, stove, mini-blinds, washers and dryers, and carpet. Each unit is equipped with all necessary hardware for cable, DSL, or wireless Internet access. All units also have energy efficiency appliances. An on-site community building with meeting rooms, computer access and instructions, kitchen, and playground equipment is available for all. The access for quality and safe housing opportunities is much better in Avoyelles. There are future plans to start work on developing phase two of Richardson Place Apartments.