Troubled South Bend apartment complex Cedar Glen received state funding in 2019

An 2019 annual report from the Indiana Housing Community and Development Authority
An 2019 annual report from the Indiana Housing Community and Development Authority

SOUTH BEND — An apartment complex under fire from tenants and elected officials for what many have called unacceptable living conditions received more than $7 million in Indiana tax dollars to provide affordable and habitable housing in the city.

The complex was originally considered for money from the city of South Bend before ultimately benefiting from state money, according to records and officials.

A 2019 report shows the city of South Bend’s Economic Development Commission’s proposal to the Common Council to finance the acquisition, construction, renovation, installation and equipping of certain economic development facilities to be developed by Merchant’s Affordable Housing Corp, now known as RDOOR Housing Corporation.

According to their current portfolio, RDOOR has 2,580 units and provides various types of affordable housing.

The 2019 proposal tasked Merchant’s Affordable Housing Corp. and the owner MAH Cedar Glen, LLC, who are the same company housed at 441 W. Michigan Street in Indianapolis, to undertake the 179-unit affordable multi-family housing facility at 425 S. 25th Street, South Bend, with an estimated project cost of $12.1 million. The project was expected to create six full-time jobs.

According to city resolution EDC #2019-1, the Economic Commission and the city proposed giving the project $7,300,000 in bonds.

The city’s Executive Director of Department of Community Investment, Caleb Bauer, did confirm an initial authorization request to the EDC to issue bonds to remodel the property, however, this would have required approval from the Common Council and a second EDC approval to issue the bonds, he said.

“The developer opted in 2019 to instead proceed with financing through the Indiana Housing and Development Authority (IHCDA) instead of through the EDC process,” Bauer told The Tribune, saying no debt was issued by the city.

Cedar Glen received a Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Exempt Bond Awards from the Indiana Housing and Development Authority in 2019 through the Rental Housing Tax Credit Program. LIHTC is a dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit given to incentivize the investment of private equity in developing affordable housing.

Cedar Glen received $373,058 in tax credits, which is $2,084.12 per unit, and $7,300,000 in bonds, according to the IHCDA's public records.

Upon receiving the funds, Cedar Glen was held to the requirements of the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) it was funded under, the IHCDA compliance manual, and the HUD NSPIRE standards for the physical condition of the building.

NSPIRE standards include Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilation standards and Water Heater standards.

According to the IHCDA, the owner is obligated to submit Annual Owner Certifications of Compliance to IHCDA each year for review and IHCDA will conduct file audits and building inspections at least once every three years for the duration of the affordability period.

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: Cedar Glen received state funding to ensure housing in South Bend