At last week’s city council meeting, officials in Grand Rapids heard a report from HRA Excutive Director, Jerry Culliton, who briefly outlined the three-component structure of the authority.
Public Housing component consists of subsidized one bedroom units located at 411 NW 7th Street and 401 River Road. Culliton said that the Grand Rapids HRA owned these properties in their entirety.
The second arm of the HRA consists of Crystal Lake Townhomes where six buildings provide 48 living units. Half of the units provide two bedroom accommodations and the other half provide three bedroom accommodations. Rent at these units is based on 30 percent of the tenant’s gross income. Culliton said there were two mortgages on the property. The first mortgage has an outstanding balance of $2,724,428.
The third portion of the HRA consists of Forest Park West and Lakeshore Place. The properties include four buildings with 96 living units, ranging from one to three bedrooms. Culliton noted that the HRA had eight years remaining on the outstanding principal. Annual debt service is $326,875.
HRA will be eligible for capital fund improvement money in 2017. Culliton indicated that his agency has applied for the funding and if successful, the HRA would commit the funds to the dwellings at 411 NW 7th Street and 401 River Road. The the amount of funding expected is approximately $90,000.
The results of the HRA’s unaudited fiscal standing for 2016 show a year-end balance of $22,182, while the public housing fund showed a year-end net income of $107,745. Crystal Lake Townhomes had year-end net income of $29,155 and Forest Park West and Lakeshore Place had a year-end net income of $389,778.
Culliton concluded his remarks by noting that the HRA does not levy a tax against the residents of Grand Rapids.
“We’d like to note that the Grand Rapids HRA does contribute to the property tax base of Grand Rapids and in 2016 we paid our PILOT taxes (payment in lieu of taxes) in the amount of $90,403.”
During a question and answer period that followed the presentation, Mayor Dale Adams expressed concern over the occupancy rate at Crystal Lake Townhomes, and inquired about the break-even point.
Culliton responded that at least 60 percent of the units would have to be occupied to break even. The Mayor asked what was preventing Crystal Lake Townhomes from being closer to full occupancy. Culliton said it was due to the number of applicants.
Adams pressed Culliton further, saying “I understand that but you just put a lot of money in that place. What’s holding it back from being at full occupancy?”
Culliton referred to the number of applications again, adding “we vet the applications. We put them through credit and criminal background checks and depending on how they come back, some are rejected quite frankly.”
In other business, the council:
• Awarded a contract to Radotich, Inc. in the amount of $155,546 for replacing the dehumidification system at the IRA Civic Center.
• Approved a quote from Hammerlund Construction Inc. for storm water maintenance at Hale Lake in the amount of $7,750.
• Accepted a matching grant in the amount of $7,182.33 from the State Homeland Security Program and authorized the police Department to purchase a Bi-Directional Amplifier system.