Robinson housing

Robinson City Council members gave an unofficial nod Monday to the idea of a three-story, 100-unit affordable senior housing complex off Old Robinson Road.

National Church Residences, an Ohio-based nonprofit provider of affordable senior housing and services, presented a proposal to the Robinson City Council on Monday to develop a 17-acre site near 510 N. Old Robinson Road with a total investment estimated at $11 million to $13 million.

The minimum age for residents would be 55, and the facility would primarily cater to low-income seniors living on a fixed income, said Tracey Fine, a senior project leader for National Church Residences who presented the plan.

“Our typical resident is a 79-year-old female who is a widower, living on a $13,000 annual income on the lower end of the spectrum,” Fine said. “We’ve been in Texas for nearly 30 years are really committed to our properties long term and are looking to expand our portfolio in acquiring other senior affordable housing communities to help preserve affordability in those as well.”

Fine asked city council members to approve a resolution in support of the nonprofit’s application to the 2019 Competitive Housing Tax Credit Program through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. If successful, the program would cover about 70 percent of the building cost with low-income housing tax credits.

Robinson housing

A motorist travels in the 500 block of Old Robinson Road, where National Church Residences hopes to build a 100-unit low-income senior housing complex on a vacant 17-acre tract.

After listening to the presentation, council members said they would support the project and waive a $500 permit fee, but made no formal commitment to the project.

Mayor Bert Echterling and council members James Eubank and Brenton Lane did not attend Monday night’s meeting.

Fine said about 18 percent of the state’s population is expected to be 65 or older by 2030.

“Not only is the population of aging seniors growing, natural caretakers are declining, plus everyone’s savings are not situated for long-term living,” Fine said. “People are living longer thanks to medical improvements, but we are definitely facing an affordable housing crisis for our senior population.”

About 90 percent of the proposed complex’s units would have income restrictions. The rest would have no restrictions. Fine said the building and property would be owned by the nonprofit for at least 35 years and will likely generate $827,000 in taxes for the city of Robinson in the first year and about $441,000 annually thereafter.

National Church Residences is the owner and operator of Brook Oaks Senior Residences at 1725 Colcord Ave., in Waco. Although the funding for Brook Oaks came through a different affordable housing program, Councilman Jimmy Rogers said the Brook Oaks property is a center point of the North Waco community.

“It is probably the best looking building over there in several blocks,” he said. “It is a really good looking building.”

The project remains in its early stages, and the conceptual site plan may change, said Justin French, Robinson’s director of planning and development. National Church Residences submitted a request to rezone the property on behalf of the property’s current owner, and public hearings will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 and Feb. 5 at Robinson City Hall.

Robinson senior project concept

The proposed three-story complex in Robinson will have 100 units.

National Church Residences plot

Ohio-based nonprofit National Church Residences is looking at a property in the 500 block of North Old Robinson Road to develop a 100-unit senior living housing facility.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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