Mooresville hopes planned community will ease housing crunch for seniors

Mooresville hopes to chip away at its lack of affordable housing for seniors by providing land for a 66-unit apartment complex for ages 55 and older in the town’s historic Cascade community.

The town needs 500 affordable units for seniors, according to a market study in March by the Waverly Research Group. The apartments would meet about 13 percent of the demand.

The nearby 40-unit Curlin Commons senior-housing community is 100 percent occupied, with a waiting list of 40, town officials said. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte completed the development in 2010 on Overhead Bridge Road, 1.5 miles from Cascade.

Retirees continue to move to Mooresville, attracted by the climate, nearby Lake Norman and the lower cost of living, Town Commissioner Thurman Houston said Wednesday.

“The need is there,” Houston said of affordable housing for seniors.

Wesley Community Development Corp., a United Methodist Church organization, and Kannapolis-based Prosperity Unlimited Inc. plan to build the 66 homes at Cascade and Williams streets.

A community garden, started at the same intersection by the Top of the Lake Mooresville Rotary Club and the town, will continue to operate, town officials said.

Cascade is a predominantly African-American community where the late African-American sculptor Selma Burke grew up. Burke sculpted the image of President Franklin D. Roosevelt that is on the U.S. dime.

Mooresville plans to donate at least 2 acres toward the 6.6-acre project. If the town decides to sell the other 4.6 acres, the sale could be financed by a 15-year note from the town to the Wesley-Prosperity partnership, officials said. The 4.6 acre parcel was appraised at $135,000 by a private appraiser in 2013.

The developers still need approval from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency for low-income housing tax credits for the project. When the developers applied last year, the Cascade project finished fourth among projects statewide requesting funding. Only three were funded in 2014.

The developers will submit a preliminary application this month to the N.C. Housing Finance Agency and a final application in May. The agency will announce recipients of the tax credits in August.

Kannapolis-based Prosperity has partnered on previous projects that received low-income housing tax credits, including the 64-home Villas of Forest Park and 56-home Forest Park Crossing, both in Kannapolis, and the 55-home Hope Crest in Salisbury.

Wesley has partnered on numerous projects, including two senior housing developments that received low-income housing tax credits: the 50-unit Willow Pond Apartments in Mocksville and 50-unit Timber Ridge Apartments in Spindale.