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Friday, May 15, 2009

Solar-powered housing proposed for Bay View

From an article by Tom Daykin in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

A housing development proposed for Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood would produce the same amount of energy as it consumes, if the project goes forward.

The city Housing Authority is proposing the $40 million development, dubbed Eco-Bay, for the former Army Reserve site at 2372 S. Logan Ave.

Eco-Bay would feature 20 single-family homes and townhomes, which would be sold at market rates. It also would have 110 to 120 below-market rental units: 75 to 80 independent living senior apartments, and 35 to 40 assisted living senior apartments, the Department of City Development announced Thursday.

The Housing Authority would finance Eco-Bay with private investments, funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and federal tax credits given to developers of affordable housing, said Bobbi Marsells, the authority's assistant secretary. Local developers that receive the credits agree to provide apartments at below-market rates to people earning no more than 60% of the Milwaukee area's median income - $32,520 for a two-person household.

The authority is in the preliminary stages of obtaining financing, and it hopes to begin building the development in spring 2010.

It would be a showcase for sustainable construction.

The housing would include solar energy panels, geothermal heat pumps, and a plan to contain all storm water on the 5.6-acre site, according to the Department of City Development.

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