Virginia Housing has awarded Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to Bains Pointe, a new 50-unit affordable housing community proposed in Portsmouth. It is named after Eliza Bains who was instrumental in helping slaves gain freedom via the Underground Railroad in Portsmouth.
Bains Pointe which is being developed by Woda Cooper Companies, Inc., will serve singles, families, and seniors that earn 30 percent to 80 percent area median income. Construction for Bains Pointe is expected to begin in mid 2024.
“We are desperately in need of additional affordable housing provided by Woda Cooper Companies because they have already proven that they can deliver a quality product that citizens need and will enjoy,” said Lisa Lucas-Burke who serves as the city’s Vice Mayor and is a member of Woda Cooper Companies, Inc.
“Bains Pointe will certainly improve the condition of our downtown area, while providing a new affordable housing option for residents and visitors who may be looking to choose Portsmouth as their new home.”
Located at 1100 High Street, the new development will be comprised of a four-story building with an elevator. It will offer 39 two-bedroom apartments and 11 three-bedroom units. Units feature modern design, quality finishes, and fully equipped kitchens with ENERGY STAR appliances including dishwashers. The property is expected to be certified EarthCraft Gold. Several units will include features for those with disabilities.
Proposed community amenities offer residents access to an on-site multipurpose room with kitchenette, laundry facility, a covered seating area, and playground. Bains Pointe will have onsite management and maintenance provided by Woda Management & Real Estate.
Virginia Housing awarded the LIHTCs to Bains Pointe through its competitive Qualified Allocation Plan to identify where expanded affordable housing is most needed in the state. The LIHTCs will be sold to an investor in exchange for equity financing with additional mortgage financing. Eight units have attached rental assistance through Project Based Vouchers awarded by the Portsmouth Housing & Redevelopment Authority.
Bruce Watts, WCCI Vice President – Development and Chief Diversity Officer, said Bains Pointe represents strong collaboration, starting with the City of Portsmouth who approached Woda Cooper after seeing the impact of its earlier affordable community Holley Pointe which opened in 2022. “They came to us at the grand opening for Holley Pointe and encouraged us to find a new site to develop because the community needs more housing,’” Watts recalls. “We are very excited to develop a second property in Portsmouth that will not only provide quality housing but also honor the city’s commitment to equality for residents by honoring Eliza Bains who was an important historic figure for the city.”
In addition to providing quality housing for working families, Bains Pointe will also offer onsite supportive services for residents who need assistance in accessing community resources to help them live successfully and independently.