About 25 to 30 tenants are in the process of moving in this week to Ironwood Saipan, the newly constructed housing project in Gualo Rai, as the groundwork for the complex nears completion. A total of 80 apartment units will eventually be available.
Ironwood was first started in Guam with the completion of five Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects but then Ironwood Saipan took over the Blue Water Homes Saipan project that was under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, using financing garnered from R4 Capital and Citibank.
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program started through the Northern Marianas Corp. in 2011. It was made possible through the U.S. Congress Tax Reform Act of 1986 that gives incentives for the use of private equity in the development of low-income housing for Americans.
The LIHTC works by funding the development costs of low-income housing based on U.S. standards by allowing an investor to take a federal tax credit equal to a percentage of the cost incurred for developing low-income housing. The developer, in this case Ironwood, completes the project, certifies its cost, and rents units out to low-income tenants for a 15-year compliance period and in return receives tax credit. These tax credits are favorable for businesses in the long run because it is a tax incentive that directly reduces the amount of tax required by law. After the period is up, the low income-housing affordability requirements will expire and may be converted to market-rate housing.
Presently, Ironwood Saipan is accepting applications as well as applicants using Section 8 vouchers. Two-, three-, and four-bedroom units are available for viewing and are fully equipped with energy-efficient amenities such as solar power, solar water heating, 24-hour water, LED lighting, tinted glass, air-conditioning, refrigerators, porcelain tile floors, power surge protection, and typhoon rated windows and shutters. The complex itself is equipped with a playground, pavilions with barbecue pits, parking, a community/conference room and 24-hour surveillance.
Ironwood office hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm and on Saturday from 9am to 12pm at their location on Middle Road, Gualo Rai across Pizza Hut.
The apartments are currently priced at $656 for two bedrooms, $745 for three bedrooms, and $797 for four bedrooms. Interested applicants however, will be considered based on annual income limits. For a household of one person, their annual income must not go above $26,040, for a household of two, the cutoff is $29,760. Other annual limits are available on their website for up to an eight-person household.
For more information, call 233-4348 or log onto ironwoodhousing.com.