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Salisbury City Council approves bonds and additional CDBG funds for the Ford

Salisbury City Council approves bonds and additional CDBG funds for the Ford City Motor Lofts project

Published 12:05 am Saturday, December 9, 2023

SALISBURY — At their Dec. 5 meeting, the Salisbury City Council decided to issue multifamily housing revenue bonds for the Ford City Motor Lofts project valued up to $9.5 million. Back in 2021, the developers, Osceola County Council on Aging, Inc., asked Salisbury to be the conduit issuer of the bonds to go towards the affordable senior-housing development. Meaning, the city will be issuing the bonds, but the developer will be responsible for paying them back. City Attorney Graham Corriher said that even if the project is not completed, Salisbury will not accrue any debt from this decision.

“This is just a way for the city to support this project which provides low-income housing for seniors,” Corriher said. “The developer can use the money to build this project.”

The facility is going to be located at 419 South Main Street, where the former Ford dealership and City Consignment Company once operated. It will have 64 total units with most of them designed for people 55 years old or older and for those earning between 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income.

Mayor Karen Alexander described this as a “win-win situation” for Salisbury and its residents, stating that there is a “need for senior housing in our community.”

Council also endorsed a letter of intent to commit $200,000 of Community Development Block Grant funds for the project. Planning and Neighborhoods Director Hannah Jacobson said that during the planning process, a “financial gap has emerged,” but advised that this is “not uncommon.” CDBGs are federal funds given to the city on an annual basis “to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low and moderate income persons,” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website.

Jacobson said the money would come from future year funds for the fiscal years of 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 in order to not restrict the programs that the city’s current CDBG funds are paying for. This is going to be done on a reimbursement basis so that if the project is never fully realized, Salisbury can still apply those same funds to other community development projects.

“I think this is a fabulous use of CDBG funds,” Council Member David Post said. “It’s one of the best I’ve seen.”

Construction for the Ford City Motor Lofts project is set to begin in the summer of 2024.

Read More: Salisbury City Council approves bonds and additional CDBG funds for the Ford

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