The Shoals Aims for July Completion

14 individuals and families have already moved into the affordable-housing complex

One of the largest income-qualified housing projects in the area is nearing completion in Sister Bay.

As of early May, 14 individuals and families had moved into the units, with 31 more units under construction and expected to be completed during the next three months, according to project developer Marissa Downs of Mosaic Property Ventures. The development is located along Highway 57, just south of Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay. 

The project includes one-, two- and three-bedroom rental apartments and is supported by $7.18 million in tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). The project also received $500,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds granted by the County of Door, as well as $200,000 that the county granted to Sister Bay to support the expansion of roads, water and sewer to the property. The village also kicked in $460,000 for those costs. 

In exchange for those subsidies, the apartments may be rented only to households earning less than a set percentage of the county’s median family income of $57,700. Those rents are capped as well. 

Downs said nine units are reserved for individuals making 30% of the Door County median income, 18 for those making up to 60%, and 18 making 80% of Door County’s median income. Those income levels vary depending on the size of the household.

Individuals seeking a one-bedroom apartment could qualify if they were making up to 80% of the area’s median household income, or $46,000 per year. But there may not be a one-bedroom apartment set aside for that income level available at the time of an application, which has led to some confusion in the community about what is available and who qualifies.

“The big question is if the unit you need is available at the date you want,” Downs said. “The one-bedroom at 50% AMI (area median income) might not be there the month you need it, so that confuses people. Say you are looking for a one-bedroom apartment right now – it may not be completed for a month or two. Or the one that is available is set aside for those at the 30% income limit, but you qualify only for one set aside for those making 80% of the median income. So there are a lot of reasons someone might not qualify at this moment, but they shouldn’t give up.”

Applicants must verify income, credit score and assets to qualify. That makes the application process more difficult and time consuming than it is for many market-rate apartments, Downs acknowledged.

“Yes, the application is a lot,” she said. “But there’s not much we can do about that when we’re talking about government funding. But at the end, you’re getting a brand-new, beautiful apartment for far less than you can find elsewhere in the area.”

A family of three making up to $52,720 would qualify for a two-bedroom apartment for $975 per month. That price includes gas, water, garbage, maintenance and a garage space. 

Downs said the apartments have generated a lot of interest, which led to delays in processing applications during the first two months of availability. 

At the end of April, ACC Management Group, the Appleton-based firm that manages the development, announced that it had hired Lauren Aurelius of Sister Bay as the new property manager. She’ll manage the day-to-day operations of The Shoals, ensure that regulatory guidelines are met and assist people through the application process for the apartments. 

To learn more about housing at The Shoals, email [email protected], call 920.366.4569 or visit Open houses for remaining units are planned for Wednesday, May 31, and Saturday, June 3.

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