By Alyssa Schnugg
After passing Oxford’s first Affordable Housing Incentives Policy, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved $144,000 in credits to the new Belle River workforce housing project being built off University Avenue.
“This is the first affordable housing developments that we are offering incentives to and we hope we have more on the way,” said Mayor Robyn Tannehill.
The Belle Rivers development will be located on 20 acres just east of the now-empty Riverside Place Apartments off Slack Road. The land is in the process of being cleared.
The aldermen approved waiving $5,640 in planning department review fees, $33,792 in Building Department fees; $102,000 in tree mitigation fees and $2,568 in water and sewer connection fees.
The new policy allows the Oxford Planning Department to offer several incentives to developers who present plans for affordable housing developments where 100 percent of their units are considered affordable housing for at least 15 years, up to $1,000 per bedroom in each category.
Incentives offered include waiting or reducing fees for the site review from the Planning Department, Building Department fees, tree mitigation fees, sewer connection fees, water connection fees and stormwater and other utility requirements considered with value established by estimates performed by the developer with approval by city staff.
The incentives are geared to help developments that offer housing in a price range that is affordable to those who earn 60 to 80 percent of area median income that is adjusted annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Developments where 100 percent of their units are affordable for less than 15 years but at least 10 years will receive $750 per bedroom for the incentives. Developments that will have at least 50 percent of the units marked as affordable for more than 10 years will receive a percentage reduction up to $1,000 per bedroom equivalent to the percentage of affordable units, less an additional 5 percent unless the mandatory incentives exceed the maximum incentive offered.