Milford City Council Sets Date For Public Hearing On Downtown Housing Project

Tue 11-10-2015

(Milford)-- Plans to build a housing development on the former Smith Lumber site in downtown Milford continue to move forward. The city currently owns that land. The city council Monday evening set Monday, November 23rd as the date for a public hearing on a proposal for the city to sell the property to Community Housing Initiatives, or CHI, which would oversee the project.

The 26-unit, $5.7 million development would consist of 3-4 bedroom apartments and townhomes. CHI has applied for a loan and grant through the Iowa Finance Authority to help finance the project.

The proposal has come under scrutiny from some who say the downtown area is the place for such a development. They're concerned it could bring an unwanted element to the area. Representatives of CHI who were at Monday evening's meeting, downplayed that, saying the project isn't subsidized housing. They say the projected rent for a three-bedroom unit classified as affordable housing would run from $385 a month to $775 a month for a market rate-based rent. They say 4-bedrooms would range from $575 to $675 a month.

Councilman Rody Peterson says to him, the pro's outweigh the cons for the project. He says not only would the city benefit, but the school district, Milford Municipal Utilities, increased business traffic in the downtown area. To him, Peterson says having 26 additional families in the city spending money is a huge plus.

CHI officials say construction on the project would begin in October of next year if things go accordingly.