June 16, 2014 Updated: June 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm
A new development aims to boost the amount of affordable housing for seniors in Colorado Springs.
Christian Church Homes plans to begin construction of Hatler-May Village after recently receiving millions in federal subsidies to help finance the $11.5 million project. When completed, the project at Union Boulevard and Vickers Drive will feature 77 rental units for low-income seniors, according to a news release.
The announcement comes on the heels of a preliminary assessment spearheaded by Colorado Springs that found a 18,406-unit shortage in affordable housing - a number projected to increase by nearly 8 percent over the next five years. One of the top reasons: Developers generally build high-end units that do little to help low-income residents.
A difficult rental market across the state has compounded the issue, said Jerilynn Martinez, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.
"We've always had ... a need for affordable housing, a lack of affordable housing, but the tightening of the rental market has really exacerbated the issue," Martinez said.
The latest development aims to help meet that need.
A $1.2 million federal low-income housing tax credit from the housing authority helped finance the project - the biggest tax credit awarded in May among seven projects across the state.
The Hatler-May Village project also received a $500,000 pledge from Colorado Springs, according to the Christian Church Homes release, though details of that arrangement were not provided.
Fitness, craft and computer centers are planned for the village, along with a multipurpose room.
Construction start and completion dates were not announced. A call to Christian Church Homes' director of marketing wasn't returned Friday.
The project is named for two people - retired Rev. Gay Hatler and Bill May, a retired Air Force officer - who helped spearhead another affordable housing complex called Village at the Bluffs, a 51-unit facility built in 2002.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been changed to correctly spell the name of the Hatler-May Village, as well as Rev. Gay Hatler.