CRAIG BEACH Cleveland-area developer targets village for homes

A federal tax credit is needed before construction of the homes can start.
CRAIG BEACH -- Al Scott says he has a simple philosophy that he wants to bring to this village.
"I believe every family should be able to raise their family in a single-family home," said Scott, the principal with the NRP Group, a development firm in Cleveland. "It's sort of my business, my passion."
The NRP Group is hoping to construct as many as 40 single-family homes in the village in the next few years. Most of the homes would be rented to families who make less than $27,900 each year.
Rent for the homes would be between $575 and $750 each month. The Portage Area Development Corp. will decide who occupies the homes.
The total value of the homes will be between $125,000 and $130,000.
Public forum planned: Local residents with questions or opinions about the homes will be able to speak with Scott at a public forum 7 tonight in the village fire hall.
The homes would be between 1,200 and 1,500 square feet in size and include three to four bedrooms, up to two bathrooms and a garage. A refrigerator, dishwasher, range and gas heat also would be installed.
Twenty-four of the homes would be on the property bordered by Beach Lane, Hercules Drive and Triumph and Laurel avenues. The rest of the homes would be built on different sites in the village.
Funding for construction of some of the homes would come from a federal tax credit administered by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. NRP and the Portage Area Development Corp. are expected to apply for the tax credit in March.
If their application is not approved, Scott said the organizations will apply next year.
Mayor's view: Village Mayor Camille Gaia is enthusiastic about the possibility that the homes could be constructed.
"I think it's great," Gaia said, noting that the homes would produce about $29,000 in property tax revenue for the village.
Village council is expected to vote on a resolution supporting the project at its meeting this month. The village planning committee would have to approve a re-plat of some of the proposed home sites before construction can begin.
Amy Burton, the co-owner of Burton Homes in Milton Township and an NRP consultant, added that about 1,500 families within five miles of the village earn less than $27,900. Those families would be eligible to live in 85 percent of the homes.
The remaining 15 percent will be available to all interested renters or buyers.
"I've received a lot of calls from people asking, 'How do I get on the list?'" Burton said. "It's really going to be quite a benefit for them."
Scott said information about applying to live in the homes would be posted at the site of the homes. If the tax credit is approved, construction could begin later this year.

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