FSL Real Estate Services (FSL) is an affiliate entity of the Foundation for Senior Living, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides home and community-based services and develops energy-efficient, affordable housing. Incorporated in 1974 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, the organization’s original mission was focused on seniors. Since that time, FSL has expanded its reach to help all Arizonans regardless of their age.
A recent example of FSL’s expansion into non-age restricted affordable housing projects is the $22 million South Phoenix Village (SPV) Infill Redevelopment Project near 24th Street and Broadway Road, where 121 energy-efficient, affordable single-family homes are being built for qualified households who wish to purchase a home of their own.
The SPV project differs from traditional homebuilding ventures in that it incorporates energy-efficiency features and accessibility features on infill lots at an entry-level price point that includes a down payment assistance component for households earning less than 120% of the area median income ($87,500 for a 4 person household).
Priced from $195,000 to $220,000 and ranging in size from 1,314 to 1,690 square feet, the 3 to 5 bedroom single-story homes come with $15,000 in homebuyer assistance from the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Buyers earning less than 80% of area median income have additional opportunities to layer other homebuyer assistance programs and further increase their buying power.
Salt River Project (SRP) is the utility provider in the area. The SRP ENERGY STAR Homes® at South Phoenix Village have a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Index of 50 or less, making them much more energy-efficient than the typical new build. Spray-foam insulation at the exterior walls and upper chords of trusses, 16.00 SEER mechanical equipment, LED light fixtures, and ENERGY STAR® appliances ensure lower utility bills, as well as improved indoor air quality and resident comfort.
Without looking any different than a typical tract home, the new homes in South Phoenix Village are accessible to those with physical disabilities. All of the homes have zero-step entries, interior doors that are 36” wide, and lever-style door hardware and plumbing fixtures. Many builders would charge extra for these features, but FSL has included them as standard features in all SPV homes. While a small percentage of occupants may have a need for accessibility features at the time of purchase, the inclusion of these features from the beginning allows individuals to age-in-place as they get older or to host friends and family members who may have a physical disability.
Infill development is superior to traditional development because it takes advantage of the existing infrastructure. South Phoenix Village is close to many existing services and employment opportunities. Planned improvements to the transportation infrastructure in the area will allow households within the redevelopment area to reduce automobile trips and direct the money saved on gasoline and automobile maintenance toward other household expenses.
In the past 2 years, FSL has already built and sold 56 of the South Phoenix Village homes. Another 50 homes are currently under construction, with 38 of those already under contract with qualified buyers. By focusing on affordability, energy-efficiency, accessibility, and the use of infill lots, FSL has been able to offer sustainable homeownership opportunities to households who may have otherwise been priced out of the booming Phoenix real estate market.