Governor Markell’s staff has responded with a very good explanation of the true meaning behind both the New York Times and the News Journal’s articles on Market Street Village and the discounts offered to certain populations. I’m not sure where the disconnect was with both the articles, but this is the official word!
The Market Street Village project is not limited to charter school teachers. Anyone who fits within the income limitations can live there, including other teachers who meet the income guidelines. What was reported in the paper reflected the marketing effort related to the project.
DSHA is financing part the project, as it routinely does for developers of low-income housing projects statewide. Financing consists of a tax-exempt loan through DSHA to the developer, at market rate and funded by a commercial bank.
Also, DSHA qualified the project to receive federal tax credits (which are paid by the federal government, but managed by DSHA). As a condition of this federal tax credit funding, the developer will be required to rent to residents who meet certain income requirements, regardless of their profession. For example, 5 of the units in the Market Street Village complex will need to be rented to people earning up to approximately $22,000 annually. 58 of the units will need to be rented to people earning as much as approximately $38,000 per year. The remaining 13 units will be available to persons earning around $45,000 annually.
In order to show demand for the project, it was important to highlight the new teachers who will be working within walking distance of the Market Street Village.
However, while the developer may be targeting its marketing to the new employees at the Community Education Building, the program rules do not allow for the units to be marketed or dedicated solely to charter school teachers, or any other specific job class. (bolded for emphasis)
The article suggests that the project is also getting Downtown Development District funding. To be sure, the project is in the Wilmington district and is the kind of project that the program was designed to incentivize. But the DDD funding will be distributed pursuant to an application process and none of that has happened yet.
Whatever happened behind the scenes on this, it appears that going forward this is the real deal. Like I said, I’m not sure how two major newspapers could have gotten that very specific information, but it is not the case as per the Governor’s office.