Senior Housing Development Project
Q & A
- Who is behind the development of this proposed affordable senior housing
Two mission-driven organizations, Peace United Church of Christ (Peace UCC),
and the Housing Authority of St. Louis County, are partnering to develop this site
location for affordable housing for seniors.
- Why is Peace UCC taking on this project?
Peace UCC believes in embodying the words and teachings of faith through
actions that help create a more inclusive, just, compassionate, and sustainable
world. Peace UCC’s mission of caring for the well-being of all includes its
community, Webster Groves. Right now, many senior citizens on fixed incomes
in Webster Groves are at risk of being pushed out of our community due to
increased property taxes and other financial pressures. Seniors in Webster who
have been friends and neighbors throughout the past deserve the opportunity to
remain in our community.
- What are the details surrounding this project? Number of housing units? Target
audience? Proposed density of project?
The project will have approximately 44 – 48 units and will be similar in size to the
neighboring Elle building, but on a much larger piece of land. This means
density will be significantly less than other developments on Lockwood while
preserving the green space along Lockwood and Plant Avenues.
- How will Peace UCC fund the development of this housing project? Will my tax
dollars go to support the project?
No local tax dollars will be used in the development of this project. Peace UCC
and the Housing Authority are applying for state and federal Low Income
Housing Tax Credits to fund the development.
- Who is the developer on the project?
Peace UCC and the Housing Authority of St. Louis County are co-developers of
- What is the City of Webster Groves’ position on the project?
While Mayor Laura Arnold supports the project, representatives of the
development team are actively discussing the project with other city officials.
- What is the timeline associated with the senior housing development?
The partnership will apply for tax credits in September and in turn, will find out in
December if the project is funded. From there, due diligence takes about nine
months to a year. The project would likely be under construction in late 2024 or
early 2025 and be completed within approximately 12-18 months.
- Once the property is developed and seniors move in, what will be Peace UCC’s
role with the project going forward?
This is an ongoing investment that Peace UCC is making. Upon completion of
this development, Peace UCC will serve as an active, committed partner in the
management of the development to ensure its success.
- Will affordable senior housing negatively impact property values in Webster
There is overwhelming evidence that senior housing will not negatively impact
property value. Shelterforce, an independent publication that serves community
development practitioners, looked at 62 studies on the effects of affordable
housing on property values. In 29 studies, affordable housing raised property
values; in 27, the effects were neutral; 5 had mixed effects; and one had negative
“This perennial fear of neighbors has been the subject of repeated academic
study by a wide range of research teams under a wide range of conditions, and
the consensus is overwhelmingly that well-designed, well-maintained affordable
housing does not lower property values — and in some cases it might raise
them!” -The Answer, Shelterforce
The developers understand also and appreciate the value of the trees and green
space on the property. They will work to preserve as much of the greenspace as
possible to maintain the aesthetics of the Webster Groves neighborhood.
10.Will my taxes go up due to the development of the senior affordable housing
Property tax values are calculated by looking at recent sales of comparable
properties. Since this development is multifamily, senior affordable housing, it
should have no direct impact on tax assessments for Webster residents.
- Will the affordable senior housing project add to increased traffic and congestion
within Webster Groves?
Traffic related to this development should have minimal impact on congestion in
the area. Many seniors in affordable developments rely on transportation
services and/or use their automobiles.
12.We already have senior housing in Webster Groves, why do we need more?
Seniors on a limited income cannot afford to remain in Webster without making
difficult sacrifices for other essentials like food or healthcare. One in five
households in Webster are age 65 and above, representing about 1,700
households. Right now, there are less than a couple hundred affordable units for
seniors in and around Webster Groves.
13.Is this public housing or privately owned?
This is not public housing. This development will be privately owned by a
partnership between Peace UCC and the Housing Authority of St. Louis County.
14.If privately owned, who is the owner of the housing development project?
Peace UCC and the Housing Authority of St. Louis County will own the
15.Since the housing development is owned by a church, will the church pay taxes?
Yes, the church as part of the private partnership entity that owns the housing is
responsible for paying taxes.
16.What are the developers doing to protect the tree canopy and green space that
already exists on the property?
The developers understand and appreciate the value of the trees and green
space on the property and will work to preserve as much of that as possible.
17.What are the benefits of the senior housing development to the community of
Webster Groves? Financial, economic, and otherwise?
The city will receive its prorated share of property taxes generated from the new
development. Additional benefits to the local economy:
o The development team will be comprised of St. Louis area companies that
employ hundreds of area residents and pay state and local taxes.
o According to the economic impact estimates provided by the National
Association of Homebuilders, the construction of a 48-unit senior housing
project has significant benefits for the local community. In terms of direct
and indirect impacts, each unit provides an average benefit of $123,964,
resulting in a total project benefit of $6,446,107 through local income,
wages, jobs, and more. These impacts will be realized at the completion of
o A study conducted by the Center for Outcomes Research and Education
(CORE) found that affordable housing reduced overall healthcare cost
expenditures for Medicaid recipients and an 18% decrease in ER visits.
This translates to a decrease of $84 per month for each senior household
in an affordable development. This should result in an annual savings of
over $44-$48k annually for taxpayers.
18.Did Peace UCC look at any other options for the real estate property location
other than senior housing?
Yes. When Peace UCC originally decided to sell its land in favor of funding its
mission, the plan was to simply sell the real estate on the private market. In the
process of receiving and considering initial offers, we learned of the exciting
option to use the church property to improve the quality of living for seniors.
There are many people with fixed incomes who are being pushed out of the
neighborhood because of rising property taxes. Peace UCC wants to make sure
there is a place for elders in the community too.
19.Will there be any community meetings to discuss the details of this project while
providing the community with an opportunity to respond/engage?
Once the development team receives an official site plan from the architect, we
will share the plans with the community and answer any questions through a
series of open houses. Throughout the process, the development team is
committed to sharing information as it becomes available. With that said, we
have begun conversations with the architect, and are exploring initial designs and
site plans. The initial renderings are posted on the Peace UCC web site.