Workforce housing project in Seymour receives state funding

Shortly after announcing his goal last month of increasing housing options in Seymour, Mayor Matt Nicholson received some good news.

A $10.2 million project first proposed by TWG Development in 2019 to address the need for more affordable workforce housing is now able to move forward.

Construction on Seymour Lofts, a 50-unit apartment complex, should get underway in late fall and be completed by fall of 2022.

Last week, TWG Development in Indianapolis was awarded $7.4 million in federal housing tax credits from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to build the apartments.

“I’m glad this project received approval,” Nicholson said. “This will help with the workforce housing shortage we are facing.”

The tax credits were essential to getting the project off the ground, said TWG spokesman Ken Bretz.

“With the IHCDA program and requirements for keeping the rents affordable to our tenants, the state tax credits are crucial to the project as they are the reason we are able to provide new, safe, affordable housing for the 15-plus years that are required by the IHCDA program,” he said.

The apartments will be constructed on 2.5 acres of vacant property in the 500 block of South Jackson Park Drive behind the former Poynter Ford dealership across from Margaret R. Brown Elementary School.

That property is located in Seymour’s Opportunity Zone, which is a federally designated area targeting low-income areas for development.

The city rezoned the property from commercial to residential in September 2019.

The three-story building will consist of two- and three-bedroom units and target families making an annual salary of $30,000 to $40,000.

Apartment rentals will be between $228 and $719 for two-bedroom units and $319 to $825 for a three-bedroom unit.

“This project is unique as although it is affordable/workforce housing, it will have all of the modern amenities one would see in a multi-family development,” Bretz said. “Additionally, the development will offer a range of services to our tenants to help them in a number of areas.”

In April 2020, the Seymour City Council committed to supporting the project with a 10-year tax abatement totaling around $330,000 and an additional $50,000 for sidewalks and other improvements in the area.

Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., said the project will benefit the community’s workforce.

“Companies are looking for employees, and when you look at the housing market, it doesn’t bode real well for people moving in because we really don’t have a lot of housing,” he said. “This is definitely a step in the right direction.”