Potter County lends support to senior housing initiative


Potter County has joined the city of Amarillo in supporting an effort designed to convert the former Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital property into 125 senior-housing units.

The Commissioners’ Court voted 5-0 in favor of a resolution backing an application for Affordable Housing Tax Credits to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Housing Tax Credit Program.

“We are competing with Lubbock and certainly they have a leg up on us,” Commissioner Alphonso Vaughn said. “But we’re hopeful. The city of Amarillo approved a resolution to support that effort and I’d like to see the county piggyback on that as well.”

Commons at St. Anthony’s, LLC, is proposing The Commons at St. Anthony’s, a development for affordable rental property located near the southwest corner of Amarillo Boulevard and North Polk Street, officials said, noting THCA uses federal tax credits for such projects.

Additionally, the initiative is strictly for low- to moderate-income housing and is to be used for redevelopment and rehabilitating existing buildings and historic properties, per guidelines. There’s a non-competitive 4% and the 9% competitive process, with Commons at St. Anthony’s LLC pursuing the latter.

Andrew Freeman, the city’s director of Planning and Development Services, previously noted the Housing Tax Credit Program seeks to provide a source of equity financing for the development of affordable housing by maximizing the number of units added to the state’s housing supply; ensuring the state’s affordable housing supply is well maintained and operated, serving as a credit to the communities in which such housing is constructed and operated; and preventing losses in the state’s supply of affordable housing.

According to Freeman, the project cost is about $25 million and would be made up of 125 units including 25 efficiencies, 30 one-bedroom units and 70 two-bedroom units. Rents would range from $279 to about $800 based on the area median income, with income levels ranging from $27,000 to $32,000 for a one- or two-person household.

If the project gets state approval, which officials estimate would be determined in July, construction would begin in March 2020 and take 16 to 18 months.

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