South Side Spaces is committed to providing affordable housing without sacrificing quality. The historic renovation at 2755 Chippewa features high-quality finishes like solid oak flooring, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops in addition to an array of amenities including an access control system for guests and deliveries, in-unit laundry for each apartment, and a bike room. The building is all-electric with Energy Star elements like appliances, which means efficient systems and low energy costs. Four of the seven residential spaces are offered at affordable rates.
If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, check out our resources page for information on assistance programs, rent relief, and more. For other affordable housing programs and rent assistance, visit the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s housing resources, Mercy Neighborhood Ministry’s list of community resources for low-income individuals & families, or this list of non-profit agencies and programs in the St. Louis area.
What is affordable housing?
Affordable housing is a type of housing that has been determined to be affordable to those at or below a certain median household income. Such determinations are typically dictated by the national or a local government, with rates based on housing affordability indices. There are three main types of affordable housing that are supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): privately-owned subsidized housing, housing choice voucher programs, and public housing. Here’s a helpful infographic on how these programs work, and some additional information can be found here.
In the case of 2755 Chippewa, our units fall into that first category. The affordable rental rates and accompanying income limits that determine eligibility are dictated by HUD. Through the HOME program, HUD provides grants to state or local governments as a way to increase affordable housing opportunities for low-income individuals. South Side Spaces was awarded such a grant by the St. Louis City Community Development Administration (CDA), the funds of which made this rehabilitation possible.
Do I qualify?
In order to determine whether you qualify, you’ll need to look at the annual gross income of every household member. HUD defines a household or family to include one or more individuals who live together; they do not need to be related by blood, marriage, or in any other legal capacity. Essentially, any person who would reside at the apartment should be considered as part of the household. To qualify for the affordable rental rates at 2755 Chippewa, the annual gross income of the entire household must be at 60% or less of the St. Louis Area Median Family Income (AMI).
Income includes, but is not limited to: gross wages / salaries (the full amount, before payroll deductions, of wages, overtime, commissions, fees, tips, and bonuses), benefits / pensions (the full amount received from Social Security, annuities, insurance policies, retirement funds, and pensions), public assistance (such as welfare), payments in lieu of earnings (such as unemployment and disability compensation, worker’s compensation, and severance pay), net income from the operation of a business, and periodic allowances (such as alimony and child support payments). Documents like W2s, 1099s, pay stubs, and tax returns are helpful in this process. HUD provides a list of items to include or exclude in your calculation of annual gross income. HUD also lists several helpful example income calculations.
For example, the income threshold in 2021 for a family of 3 individuals is equal to or less than $45,900. HOME income limits for households of more than four, as well as for other cities & states, can be found here.
What are the rental rates?
For 2021, HUD has set the rent limit for a 1-bedroom unit at $731/mo, and a 2-bedroom unit at $938/mo. Each rent limit includes a utility allowance, which is evaluated annually by the St. Louis Housing Authority (SLHA). The utility allowance includes charges for electric, water, sewer, and trash. At 2755 Chippewa, the utility allowance is set at $186/mo for a 1-bedroom unit, and $221/mo for a 2-bedroom unit.
What are the next steps?
Second, schedule and conduct a tour.
Third, have every adult applicant fill out a rental application. Every application is considered on a case-by-case basis; in our evaluation, we consider rental history, credit history, and employment history. These factors allow us to assess the likelihood that an applicant will be kind and courteous to their neighbors, able to pay rent on time, and respectful of the historic spaces that we have carefully restored.
We spend time upfront doing our due diligence to help ensure that we can provide quality living conditions for all tenants, avoid legal matters, and focus our limited staffing resources on providing the best possible service. Explore our qualifications further on our applicant worksheet.
When we process an application, we are looking for a few key things:
- That you have been a good tenant in the past (provided this is not your first rental). In general, that means that you have paid your rent on time and have no past evictions.
- That you have good or acceptable credit. If you’re unsure what your credit looks like, check out Credit Karma or AnnualCreditReport.com.
Include with your application the following documentation for income verification. We don’t mean to pry – we just need to make sure we are in compliance with HUD’s program!
- The most recent year’s tax return, W2(s), and/or 1099(s)
- Your two most recent pay stubs; if you have more than one employer, please provide two pay stubs from each
- Two months of recent bank statements
If you don’t qualify for the affordable rate, don’t worry – you may still be eligible to rent a different space at market rate, subject to availability.
When in doubt, feel free to contact us and we’ll help walk you through the process!