Citrus Cove Apartment Complex in Bridge City is expected to be competed in late 2016. The complex, located on Texas Ave., will feature nine buildings with 80 separate apartments. 

Tommy Mann Jr.

For The Record

The construction of a new apartment complex is moving right along and is expected to open late this year.

The Citrus Cove apartment complex is currently under construction along Texas Avenue in Bridge City and is more than half-way along in the completion process. The complex will feature nine individual buildings with 80 separate apartments and a clubhouse.

Pioneer Property Management, Inc. is the company in charge of the managing the property, according to its official website. It manages more than 4,500 units in eight states and has 27 years experience.

Pioneer Property Management, Inc. has properties in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa Mississippi, Missouri and Wisconsin, which is where the company is based.

Citrus Cove is being built using tax credits and will provide for an affordable outlet for quality living for individuals and families.

“This is a low-income housing development, but it’s not what individuals typically think of,” said Joe Marone, Vice-President of Operations with Pioneer Property Management. “It’s Section 42 housing where the income rates are set aside by legislature.”

The Section 42 housing program refers to a section of the Internal Revenue Tax Code which provides tax credits to investors who build affordable housing. In return for providing affordable housing opportunities to people with fixed or low income, the investors receive a reduction in their tax liability.

The main difference between a Section 42 program and a Section 8 program is that the Section 42 program is not a government-subsidized rental program. In a Section 8 program, the rent amount paid by the resident is based on 30 percent of the adjusted income with the remaining portion funded by the federal government.

Residents who live in Section 42 housing units must be income and program eligible, which is similar to those who live in rental assistance apartments, according to Heritagesenior.com.

However, a difference between the programs is that rent for a Section 42 resident is capped at a fixed amount and includes utilities which are either paid by the property or are the residents responsibility.

Income levels are determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for each county or metropolitan statistical area.

The maximum income level is based on the number of people in a household and the combined gross income before taxes and deductions.

Marone said a family of four which makes 60 percent of the median income for the area can make approximately $35,000 and qualify to live in the Citrus Cove complex.

The complex will be comprised of numerous one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. Median levels will be 60 percent, 50 percent and 30 percent for a set number of units, while some will be made available at market rate.

Based on a 60 percent median income rate, a one-bedroom apartment would rent for $600 per month, a two-bedroom apartment will rent for $725 per month, and a three-bedroom will rent for $825 per month.

“Your income has to be below the limit to qualify for those rates, but the rent doesn’t change based on changes to your income,” said Renee Geyer, Director of Compliance for Pioneer Property Manangement.

Geyer said all apartments are equal, regardless of whether you are paying market rate rent or 50 percent median income rent.

“The actual apartments are the same,” Geyer explained. “A two-bedroom apartment looks the same as every other two-bedroom apartment on the property, regardless of the rent being paid. They all look identical and have the same amenities.”

Marone concurred and said the apartment complex itself will be well maintained.

“The way each building looks on day one is the way it will remain after year one and year fifteen,” he added. “We take pride in maintaining our properties.”

Jerry Jones, the city manager of Bridge City, stated Pioneer Property Management had to meet a variety of stringent requirements in order to even begin construction and Citrus Cove will be the only complex in the community providing Section 42 housing opportunity.

“They had to do a needs study before the project could even be approved,” Jones said in regards to being asked if the community needed such a complex. “That’s just one part of the pre-qualification process.”

Applications are now being accepted for the Citrus Cove apartments and, according to Marone, is expected to being approving applications in late-fall or early-winter for residents to move into the complex.

“These apartments will not only provide people a nice home, but, no matter their income range, it will give people a nice quality of living,” Marone said. “We hope people are encouraged to come out and look at the property.”

Because the application process is so strict, which includes income verification and background checks, Geyer said people who are considering applying for an apartment at Citrus Cove should do so as soon as possible.

“We encourage people to apply early because we work in order, by the date we receive the applications and see who qualifies,” she said. “Not all applications qualify for approval and it will take some time.”

For more information on the Citrus Cove apartment complex in Bridge City, call 608-348-7755 or e-mail ppmi@ppmirentals.com.