Johnson City officials study amount of affordable housing downtown as upscale apartments open

Johnson city officials are keeping an eye on the amount of affordable housing options downtown.

JOHNSON CITY – As more renovated apartment and loft buildings pop up in downtown Johnson City, city officials are keeping an eye on what this means for the amount of affordable housing opportunities.

About a year ago Downtown Apartments (a section 8 apartment building) was in foreclosure and management gave tenants about 30 days to find a new place to live.

With the help of Good Samaritan and other local organizations, many of the former tenants found homes with hopes of eventually moving back in.

But now under new ownership and after extensive renovations, Downtown Apartments is now Pura Vida, an apartment building that hopes to attract young professionals. Pura Vida will not cater to those residents who are eligible for section 8 housing or vouchers.

But city officials told News Channel 11, that does not mean there will be a shortage of affordable housing in downtown Johnson City.

“We’re doing a job on our end of making sure that what we get directly involved in, funding or our partners funding, is going to be predominantly low and moderate income folks,” said Johnson City Community Development Coordinator Steve Baldwin.

“Most rental redevelopments and new developments are being done so that they stay in rent ranges so that section 8 vouchers will qualify to be used there,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin told News Channel 11, privately owned buildings like Pura Vida can choose if they want to be a subsidized housing option.

Baldwin said his office will continue to checks to make sure that there is enough affordable housing in the district as renovated apartment buildings continue to open.

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved

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