The newest homebuilder in Chandler is the city itself.
In an effort to bring more affordable housing into the market, Chandler’s housing and redevelopment division is building seven homes in the $150,000 to $175,000 range in an older part of the community.
The project is expected to "serve a segment of the population that is typically underserved," said Kurt Knutson, housing and redevelopment manager. "It’s teachers. It’s a lot of civil employees. It’s police officers. It’s firefighters."
Median new-home prices in Chandler as of January were $209,522, and resale prices were $152,796, said David de la Torre, a city planner.
Though housing authorities across the nation operate various programs to make new homes more affordable, Chandler’s project is unusual because it combines different elements, Knutson said. The housing division is the developer. It will offer loans to finance a portion of the cost to buyers and it may also assist some families in making the down payment.
The homes are being built on Knox Road east of Alma School Road. The city foreclosed on the empty property a few years ago, but no developer was interested in the parcel because it was small, said Robin Robbins, an accountant for the housing and redevelopment division.
The division, which is funded with federal grants though it is part of city operations, paid Chandler $75,000 for the land, Robbins said. The total project will cost $1.2 million, including development fees to the city, she said, adding that she expects the project to come close to breaking even.
The city will select home buyers with a preference to those who live or work in Chandler, Knutson said.
Families interested in the three- and four-bedroom homes must be first-time home buyers, meet a maximum income depending on the size of household and qualify for loans of $125,000 to $140,000.
Chandler will offer nointerest loans to make up the difference in the cost.