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WHEDA Awards State Housing Tax Credits in River Falls

August 30, 2018

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) today announced a State Housing Tax Credits award for The Depot at 300 River Street, a multifamily development in River Falls. The tax credits, which are distributed by WHEDA, will create 50 units of affordable rental housing.

WHEDA COO Brian Schimming made the announcement at the River Falls City Hall, which is adjacent to The Depot construction site.  Gerrard Corporation is the developer for The Depot and received $351,824 in state tax credits for the new construction of affordable senior housing.  The multifamily development will be built along the Kinnickinnic River where the old train depot use to reside over a century ago.  Within blocks of The Depot, residents will be able to access the library, UW-River Falls, the senior center and other businesses within River Falls’ vibrant downtown corridor. 

“The new state tax credit program is tremendous news for River Falls and the rest of the Wisconsin,” said WHEDA COO Brian Schimming. “The tax incentive for private investment in the development and preservation of affordable housing is critical for our economy as it spurs construction jobs and reduces rental cost burdens for Wisconsin residents.”      

“We are so pleased that the City of River Falls has trust in our track record to bring high-quality, affordable housing to the city,” said Paul Gerrard, Vice President of Gerrard Corporation.  “Partnerships with the city and others are what make these developments successful. WHEDA’s ongoing efforts to make projects like The Depot financially feasible due to the tax credits are critical. And, we are also fortunate to have a long-standing partnership with West CAP. They will provide onsite services for residents at The Depot.”

“We have been pleased to work with Paul and Peter Gerrard to create a plan for this site, which will provide much-needed affordable senior housing in our city,” said River Falls City Administrator Scot Simpson. “The tax credits from WHEDA will go a long way toward making this project a reality. We thank them for choosing to make this investment in River Falls and look forward to our continued partnership.”

WHEDA received 15 applications this year representing $10.4 million in requests. With a total available pool of approximately $7 million, this demonstrates the continued need for affordable housing in Wisconsin. State tax credits are awarded over a six-year-period and this year’s allocation will generate nearly $40 million in credits over their lifespan. In exchange for receiving the state tax credits, developers agree to reserve a portion of their housing units for low- and moderate-income households for at least 30 years. Remaining units are rented at market rates to seniors and families without income limits. 

The state tax credits will help finance affordable housing units in the following communities: Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Fitchburg, Green Bay, Pleasant Prairie, River Falls, Sheboygan and Superior.

WHEDA also administers federal housing tax credits. The new state tax credit program will be matched with $6.6 million in federal 4% tax credits increasing the leverage and enabling more affordable housing across the state. Overall, the new state program will generate $191 million in total development.

Tax credit developments must meet high design and operating standards. Criteria include strong management, excellent development quality, demonstrated market need, provision of services and amenities, proper local zoning and permits and service to households at various income levels.

Go to www.wheda.com for a complete listing of 2018 State Housing Tax Credit awards.

For over 45 years, WHEDA, as an independent state authority, has provided low-cost financing for housing and small business development in Wisconsin.  Since 1972, WHEDA has financed more than 73,000 affordable rental units, helped more than 125,800 families purchase a home and made more than 29,000 small business and agricultural loan guarantees.  For more information on WHEDA programs, visit wheda.com or call 800-334-6873.