WINNSBORO — A non-profit organization from Columbus, Ohio, approached the Town of Winnsboro regarding the purchase of the Deer Wood apartment complex during the Feb. 18 council meeting.
Steven Boone, president of Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, would like to apply for allocation of tax credit that is administered by S.C. State Housing.
Part of application requires a support letter from the the highest elected official, in this case — Mayor Roger Gaddy.
“It is a very competitive application,” Boone stated. “I wanted to take this opportunity to seek that letter of support.”
Boone has been with RLJ Management Company Inc. for 26 years working directly with daily operations, financial analysis and project development.
In 1991, he founded Buckeye Community Hope Foundation as a 501 (3) (c) not-for-profit corporation and continued to be a hands-on- developer and manager of affordable housing.
The foundation has done work in six states and five projects currently in South Carolina, with the first being in Hilton Head in 1991.
According to their website, Buckeye Community Hope Foundation has fulfilled its affordable housing development mission with the assistance of numerous partners-developers, builders, bankers and financing intermediaries, investors, federal, state and local government agencies and community groups.
After negotiations, the foundation purchased the Deer Wood apartments that are located off 647 US 321 Bypass in Winnsboro.
Boone said he has invested over $300,000 ($10,000 in 30 units) for renovation costs to rebuild roofing.
Currently there are 72 units in the complex — 12 one-bedroom units, 24 two-bedroom units and 36 three-bedroom units.
“The housing is great and is something needed,” Boone noted. “But this project is about creating something for the people inside the housing.”
Boone advised council that the non-profit organization has social workers that will help residents with credit, transportation as well as drug and alcohol issues.
Gaddy asked for specific statistics on complex before writing a letter of support.
Boone said he would return during the March 4 council meeting with sketches and the specifics requested by Gaddy.
“We’re excited about this project,” Boone said. “We’re trying to sustain what is already here.”
Total expenses are projected to reach $3 million, according to Boone.
Friends of Mt. Zion Institute (FOMZI) chairwoman Vicki Dodds informed council that property and liability insurance has been obtained for the Mt. Zion property.
“For now, the coverage is sufficient to cover the cost demolition and cleanup if the building is lost,” she stated to council.
FOMZI has been given 18 months to bring the buildings up to code and 30 months to acquire economic development for the property.
The Herald Independent misstated in the Feb. 18 edition that FOMZI was paying a $2,840 premium monthly. The $2,840 is the annual cost of the insurance coverage ($237 per month).
Dodds noted that the entire year has already been paid.
After an executive session, a motion to continue with a second reading regarding the deed transfer for Mt. Zion from the Town of Winnsboro to FOMZI was unanimously approved.
During the March 4 meeting, the second reading and public hearing will be held.
Gaddy said following that meeting, the two sides could close the sale of Mt. Zion the next day.