Copa Flats to be 100% affordable housing

This elevation from developer Real Estate Equities shows the three-story design of the Copa Flats apartments. The 312-unit project at Porter Road and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway will have 100% affordable housing units. [City of Maricopa]

Copa Flats Apartments, the first community in the city that will feature 100% affordable housing, will accept Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, the project developer said.

The housing-choice voucher program helps very low-income families afford decent, safe and sanitary housing, according to the U.S. government website Housing can include single-family homes, townhouses and apartments, and is not limited to units in subsidized housing projects.

Families issued housing vouchers are required to find a suitable housing unit of the family’s choice that the owner agrees to rent under the program. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the local Public Housing Authority on behalf of the participating family, and the family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

To be eligible for a Housing Choice Voucher a family must have low or very low income based on annual gross income, and be in need of decent, safe and/or sanitary housing.

There also are student restrictions on all units at Copa Flats. A household cannot comprise all full-time students without meeting an exemption.

In an email to prospective tenants Monday, the project’s Minnesota-based developer, Real Estate Equities, outlined the housing vouchers it will accept as well as minimum and maximum incomes accepted at the property.

“Copa Flats is a Section 42 Tax Credit Program development,” the email said. “For our requirements, we do accept the Sec. 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, however, we do not provide income-based rents.”

Households that do not have a Section 8 voucher must have a pre-tax household income of 2.5 times the monthly rent to qualify.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are no minimum income requirements for affordable housing. Applicants must pass a criminal-background check, have a good rental history and not owe money to any assisted-housing program. Priority is given to those on the wait list 62 and older.

While there is no minimum income for affordable housing, there are maximums. According to HUD, Arizona’s maximum limits are:

  • 1-person household — $37,400.
  • 2-person household — $42,420.
  • 3-person household — $47,700.
  • 4-person household — $52,980.
  • 5-person household — $57,240.
  • 6-person household — $61,500.

The community will feature 48 one-bedroom, one-bath units with a rent of $994 per month; 108 two-bedroom, two-bath units that rent for $1,192; and 156 three-bedroom, two-bath units with rent of $1,377.

Copa Flats will begin leasing the 312-unit community this month, according to a November email sent to prospective residents from Real Estate Equities.

In that email, REE said move-ins are expected to begin in spring 2023. The project, at 17485 N. Porter Road, is just north of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway near The Wells shopping center.

All adult occupants must complete a rental, credit and criminal check to determine the amount of the security deposit – from $500 to one month’s rent equivalent.