Construction could begin in the spring on a six-unit duplex subdivision planned by Urbandale-based Capax Infiniti Housing Inc. for the lot directly north of Veterans Park and across Eighth Street from the Perry Elementary School.
The Perry City Council approved preliminary platting documents for the project submitted by Dan DeCamp, project manager with Grimes-based Abaci Consulting, which represented Capax Infiniti at Monday night’s council meeting.
The Perry Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed and approved the platting documents at its Oct. 13 meeting and recommended the council approve the housing project, called Casalina Chateau.
La Toya Guevara of Urbandale addressed the council for Capax Infiniti, which describes itself as “a tax-exempt, charitable organization dedicated to strengthening the communities we serve by providing permanent supportive housing with supportive services to low-income families in Iowa.”
Guevara contrasted her company’s project with the rental housing projects in the works for Perry by Newbury management and Bear Development, both scheduled to break ground this fall.
“This project is a little different,” Guevara said, “because it would be serve those harder-to-serve households, and we would hopefully be working with the city and collaborating with other organizations to help meet their needs.”
Although a newcomer to Dallas County, Capax Infiniti received $211,200 from the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) in 2013 to support a Polk County program offering security deposit and rental and utility assistance to eligible residents.
Capax Infiniti was also awarded $67,000 in 2012 by the IFA for the same Polk County program, a tenant-based rental assistance program called the Iowa Self-Sufficiency Rental Assistance Program.
Answering questions from the council, Guevara said the project’s three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath rentals will not be subsidized housing.
“We build the units using federal monies,” she said “and then we just bring down the rent limit to make them more affordable. They’re subsidized from HOME funding but when you move in, the tenant still has to pay rent.”
Guevara estimated the monthly rents in the Perry units would range between $700 and $900.
Capax Infiniti is staffed, according to the company’s website, by “a group of diverse individuals, with over 15 years of combined experience in the nonprofit sector, who were compelled to ‘take action’ to resolve the unmet housing needs of the most-at-risk individuals in our community.”
They claim to use an “innovative collaborative approach to achieving housing stability for low-income persons, which addresses the ‘underlying issues of poverty’ with an ultimate goal of placing our clients in a home as quickly as possible.”
The duplexes would be Perry’s first affordable-housing project with supportive services, Guevara said, although she said her company has been working in Perry “for at least two years now, providing rental assistance already, so we’ve already been working with some other non-profits here, with CIRHA (Central Iowa Regional Housing Authority) and New Opportunities.”
Guevara said Casalina Chateau residents would receive such services as state-protective services, ESL services, collaboration with local schools and other “non-traditional resources” aimed to keep the tenants in their houses.
Council member Phil Stone asked whether the new properties would be liable for property taxes. Many publicly subsidized properties built by non-profit companies are tax exempt, Stone noted. Guevara assured the council the new houses would be on the property tax rolls.
“The ownership entity for Casalina Chateau is technically a for-profit entity that’s owned by the non-profit, therefore we pay property taxes,” she said.
“There’s a lot of need coming from Perry,” she said. “We target homeless families, veterans and people 55 and older.”
Guevara and DeCamp were joined in their presentation by Jessica Marroquin, Capax Infiniti treasurer.