USA Properties Expands Presence in Reno, Nevada| Housing Finance Magazine

USA Properties Fund and Community Services Agency Development Corp. ensure that 132 homes remain affordable in Reno, Nevada.

USA Properties Fund has become a partner in two affordable apartment communities in Reno, Nevada, ensuring low-income residents can stay in their homes and benefit from major property rehabilitation.

The company is the new partner and manager of Carriage Stone, a 55+ apartment community, and former Dakota Crest community. Community Services Agency Development Corp., a nonprofit with 13 affordable apartment communities in Reno, is the other partner.

USA Properties, one of the largest affordable apartment companies in the West, is doubling its number of properties in Reno with this partnership.

The communities will share the Carriage Stone name after being grouped together to receive bonds assigned by the Nevada Division of Housing for the purchase and rehabilitation of properties. Under the agreement, the combined 132 apartments will remain affordable housing for decades.

“Reno, like most cities in the West, faces a severe housing shortage, especially when it comes to affordable apartment communities,” said Geoff Brown, president of USA Properties in Roseville, Calif. . “We saw the incredible need to keep apartments affordable, while taking advantage of a great opportunity for expansion in Reno and Nevada.”

Apartment communities are within half a mile of each other, close to shopping malls, restaurants, healthcare providers including Renown Regional Medical Center and VA Medical Center , and the Riverwalk District along the Truckee River.

“Apartment communities are at the heart of it all,” said Steve Gall, executive vice president of development and acquisitions for USA Properties. “It’s in a booming area of ​​MidTown.”

The central location coupled with the growing demand for housing that has led to record rents in Reno has caused some residents and housing officials to worry about whether their homes will remain affordable.

“Unfortunately, many existing affordable housing projects in the area are being sold to for-profit investors after the affordability period ends, and rents are then reduced to market rates,” said Leslie Colbrese, CEO of Community Services Agency Development Corp. “The affordable housing sector is losing more properties than we are developing, and it’s hard to keep up with the private sector in terms of buying power.”

The move from affordable prices to market prices has forced many low-income renters to pay much higher rents or scramble to find hard-to-find, low-cost housing. For example, low-income residents who apply for the Community Services Agency’s affordable apartment communities have at least a two-year wait, Colbrese said.

“We need more affordable housing not soon, but now,” she said.

Carriage Stone rents are below the 30% threshold and significantly lower than neighboring properties at market rates. And the apartments “will remain affordable for another three decades and will not be marked to market and further reduce our already scarce supply of affordable housing,” Colbrese said.

In addition to ensuring low-income residents have affordable housing, the USA Properties and Community Services Agency will spend at least $7.9 million on apartment community rehabilitation, or about $60,000 per unit.

New energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, low-flow showers and toilets, and many other upgrades are planned for the units. The apartment communities will also benefit from new heating and cooling systems, new roofs and other improvements, such as improvements to the apartment community’s fitness room, library and TV room. for the elderly, as well as new furniture and outdoor play equipment and improvements to the swimming pool. swimming pool at the other property.

The rehabilitation effort will be completed over a period of 18 to 24 months.

Julio V. Miller