This story was originally published at fresnobee.com on November 24, 2021.
Integrated Community Development and its partner nonprofit — the Corporation for Better Housing — are set to break ground on the Clinton Avenue Apartments on the corner of Clinton and Blackstone avenues in the spring of 2022. The group recently opened The Link on Blackstone and McKinley avenues.
“We’ve seen the vision that the city has for Blackstone, and we’re just happy to be part of bringing that to life,” said Jake Lingo, the senior vice president of Integrated Community Development.
The four-story project, located only a mile away from their first Fresno project, will provide high density infill housing in Fresno’s urban core along the Blackstone bus rapid transit corridor, Lingo said.
“It’s kind of almost like a bookend project, complementing the one we did down the street,” Lingo said, adding that the two projects will have similar design but won’t be exactly the same.
According to a city of Fresno news release, the complex will consist of 30 one-bedroom apartments, 21 two-bedroom apartments, 21 three-bedroom apartments and six four-bedroom apartments on the 2.75 acre property in Fresno’s District 7.
Lingo said the project is still in the planning stages, but will likely be finished around late 2023.
All apartments will be reserved for families who earn between 30% and 60% of the area median income, according to a city news release. The apartments will be designated affordable housing for 55 years.
Nelson Esparza, City Council vice president who represents District 7, said “opportunities like this don’t come around every day.”
“This project represents everything that we need in housing here in the city of Fresno,” Esparza said. “Seventy-eight families are going to have an affordable place to live when this is all said and done. …It is the kind of project that will slowly but surely help us out of the housing crisis we are in.”
Disaster relief tax credits funding affordable housing
During the city of Fresno budget hearings, Esparza said the city was able to budget for a $3 million loan to Integrated Community Development to gap finance for the roughly $26 million project, making the project more competitive when applying to receive Disaster Relief Tax Credits. Esparza said Integrated Community Development gave the City Council “the confidence we needed” to aggressively seek opportunities to support the project financially because of their success with The Link — which took years to fund.
The tax credits were made available to Fresno County because the county was affected by wildfires in 2020.
Lingo said Integrated Community Development was granted 9% Disaster Relief Tax Credits, which ultimately gave them the funding they needed for the project.
“We know that there is a high level of demand in the market for affordable housing,” Lingo said. “We love the community of Fresno and want to do more; thankfully the city and its leadership have made housing one of its top priorities, affordable housing.”