Property developers looking to build reduced-rent apartments in Pine Tree

A property development team wants to build a reduced-rent apartment complex in the Pine Tree area of Longview.

There's a possibility the Pine Tree area in Longview could see an apartment complex where paying rent would not be too much of a hit to someone's wallet. The idea is to build reduced-rent apartment homes. It's something people like Vicki Williams said she believes could benefit from. 

"People are having a hard time, they need help," Williams said. 

Four property managers have reached out to the city of Longview for their support in making it happen. However, many aren't taking the news the possibility too well. Some East Texans have expressed their distaste for it. One said the city has 'enough free low income properties' and people should look at the crime rate. 

When it comes to crime in happening more in low income neighborhoods, the police said the department does not have the research to confirm that. However, police do provide apartment managers a designated officer to help provide resources when it comes to background checks. It is supposed to help managers make a sound decision in allowing applicants stay there. 

The city's development services said the apartments would not fall under the category of section eight, which is government funded. Instead, these apartment homes are through a federal tax credit. Longview's director of development services, Michael Shirley, said the equity developers get help them offset the rates. He suggested the homes would be best for East Texans with entry level jobs. 

"It's workforce housing," Shirley said. "It's targeted toward people who are out of college." 

Vicki Williams said she can understand the concerns about crime, however she still thinks the city would benefit from it. 

"I think it would be more of a help than a hindrance," she said. 

The development services said the last time a property developer was able to build a reduced-rent complex was in 2014. It is now known as the Amberwood apartment complex and the development center said there are no reports of increased crime in that area. The city of Longview said it recently supported the plan. 

The next step for the developers is to submit an application form to the state for them to approve. 

© 2018 KYTX-TV


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