CANTON — The Canton Housing Authority has scheduled a public hearing for Aug. 22 to ask residents their thoughts on the authority’s plan to issue $12 million in bonds for a group hoping to build an assisted living center on Mill Road near Reinhardt College Parkway.
Canton Cove Properties, a private Delaware-based group, has recently received preliminary approval by the Housing Authority to have the revenue bonds issued to partly fund its 79-unit assisted living and memory care facility, said Dana Thompson, attorney for the authority.
Thompson said for the Housing Authority to proceed in aiding the developer to fund the project, which will cost $13.1 million in total, it must receive approval from the Canton City Council in addition to holding the public hearing.
Canton Cove qualifies for the financing for its 51,000-square-foot facility because it plans to take in low-income tenants, which it is doing in hopes of receiving tax breaks, Thompson said.
“The developer can get preferential tax treatment if a certain number of units are set aside for people whose income does not exceed 50 percent of the area median income,” she said.
But to get the funding and the tax breaks, state law says the local Housing Authority must issue the bonds.
Thompson said despite the history in Cherokee County of government entities running into trouble with bonds and private companies, there is no need to worry in this instance.
Should Canton Cove default on its bond debt service payments, “The developer’s on the hook,” she said.
“The Housing Authority will be the issuer of the bonds, but neither the Housing Authority nor the city will be financially liable for the bonds,” Thompson said.
According to plans submitted to the Canton City Council, Canton Cove’s facility will have 79 units with 56 of them being for assisted living tenants and 23 for memory care patients.
Sherri Adkins, executive director at the Canton Housing Authority, said the memory care suites could prove especially helpful to the city and Cherokee County as a whole.
“I was excited to hear about it,” Adkins said. “To have Cherokee have it would be awesome.”
Adkins said the potential of Canton Cove taking in low-income tenants would also be a positive for the city.
“I would say the city is in need of affordable housing overall,” she said. “We have people that are making $8 an hour and they can’t afford a place to live. We have a waiting list of one to two years for people to get public housing.”
And many of those waiting are in need of assistance in taking care of themselves as well as affordable housing, Adkins said.
“We do have a lot of people that are growing older,” she said. “People aren’t taking care of their family members like they used to.”
The Housing Authority’s public hearing on issuing the bonds will be at 2 p.m. Aug. 22 in the conference room at its office at 1400 Oakside Drive.