The Simsbury Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to approve a proposed tax agreement with a developer that will allow a new affordable housing complex for people with special needs to be taxed based on its contract rent rather than market rent.
A proposed housing development, to be built by Regan Development Corp., will follow state statutes that allow towns to tax certain CHFA-regulated properties based on their net rent, according to town attorney Robert DeCrescenzo.
"This is not a tax abatement, that the town is just allowing someone to not pay taxes," First Selectman Mary Glassman said. "There are statutes on the books that the town is obligated to follow which allows assessing certain properties in a certain way."
The proposed 48-unit Kershaw Commons housing development, which will be built at the Dorset Crossing development in Simsbury's north end, will provide specialized housing for people with Multiple Sclerosis. Eight of the units will be reserved for people with other special needs.
DeCrescenzo said the development will qualify under the federal low-income housing tax credit program. The units will provide affordable housing options for disabled individuals who are at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income for Hartford County as determined by the state.
Ken Regan, Vice President of Regan Development Corp., said all residents will be below 60 percent AMI but the majority of the residents will most likely be at 25-30 percent AMI.
Regan, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 9 years ago, decided to pursue the development of housing for people with special needs.
"It really opened my eyes to a need in housing," Regan said.
"Right now, in Connecticut, 6,000 people are living with M.S.," Regan said. "Many of those people are in housing situations that are really not appropriate for them."
The apartments will be specifically designed for people with physical and cognitive disabilities resulting from Multiple Sclerosis to allow them to live independently outside of a nursing facility. Regan Development Corp. built the east coast's first housing development for people with Multiple Sclerosis in Freehold, New Jersey.
The development is still in the planning stages and is estimated to cost approximately $10 million.
The board preliminarily approved the tax agreement but it is subject to final approval by the town's Tax Assessor and Town Attorney.