Tax credits will set pace of Latrobe’s Mary Street housing development | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Tax credits will set pace of Latrobe’s Mary Street housing development

Jeff Himler
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Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
A winding section of the Loyalhanna Creek can be seen at right on Feb. 25, 2019, beyond grass-covered property along Latrobe’s Mary Street, recently cleared of blighted structures for a planned housing development.

As officials move forward with a Hempfield housing project, funded in part through state tax credits, a proposed Latrobe housing development remains on deck — with word of its own hoped-for tax credits still pending.

The nonprofit Homes Build Hope expects in May to hear if the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency will award it tax credits that it can sell to help pay for construction of 18 affordable dwelling units along Mary Street.

With an estimated cost of $6 million or more, the project is meant to revitalize a blighted area of Latrobe by placing 10 residential buildings on property recently cleared of old housing stock. The development is expected to include nine dwellings with three-bedrooms each, six with two bedrooms each and three one-bedroom units.

“If we do not receive the tax credits through the PHFA in May, it is our intention to start construction regardless,” said Kristin Zaccaria, executive director of Homes Build Hope. “We have some funding to use on that project.”

But, without the tax credits, she noted, the buildings may go up over a period of several years as alternative funding becomes available.

Westmoreland County has committed to covering a portion of the project cost with future funding allocations. Because the Latrobe project isn’t yet “shovel-ready,” county officials have reassigned housing funding from the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years to a project that is ready — the Westmoreland County Housing Authority’s planned Odin View Apartments senior housing facility.

That four-story, 47-unit building is to be constructed along South Greengate Road in Hempfield, at a cost of more than $10 million. The county is providing more than $1.2 million in grant funds from the state, with other project costs to be covered with proceeds from the sale of state tax credits.

“It’s to start construction this summer,” said Brian Lawrence, deputy director of planning and development for the county. “We’re working on preparing agreements with the housing authority now.”

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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