New apartments offer affordable housing

By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
Some 48 Madison families in Madison are now living in better housing thanks to the Alabama Housing Finance Authority's Housing Credit program.
The newly constructed Eagle Pointe Apartments, located off Royal Drive, offer 48 units for low to moderate-income families in the area. The Madison complex was built with the benefit of $304,227 in housing credits. AmSouth Bank of Huntsville provided $1.6 million in additional funding for the development.
Karen Echols, manager of Eagle Pointe, said all 48 units are occupied. The complex offers two and three bedrooms at $500 per month for a two-bedroom unit and $580 per month for a three-bedroom unit.
"Our complex was completed last December and we've been fully occupied since May," Echols said. "We are very proud of this complex and it will be maintained to the highest standards as long as I'm the manager here."
Eagle Pointe offers a pool and playground and a newly opened computer resource room. Echols said a few minor details are being worked out on the computers now.
The credit program encourages business interests to increase the supply of rental housing for economically disadvantaged families. It provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal tax liability for developers of income-restricted housing. In exchange, the developer must reserve at least 20 percent of the units for residents who earn 50 percent or less of the area median income or 40 percent of the units for residents who earn 60 percent or less of the area median income. A family of four can earn up to $36,360, while the limit for couples is $29,100.
Echols said the blend of residents living at Eagle Pointe range from singles, to couples and families.
"For those who are interested in living in an apartment complex like this can look in an apartment guide and look to see if it is a tax credit property," Echols said.
Congress established the program as a financial incentive in 1986.

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