Workers were busy all around the Cayetano Villas of La Vernia, carrying fixtures, moving tools, and operating equipment, when I visited the site a few weeks ago.
As I approached what I guessed was the office, I passed a man who seemed to be a supervisor.
“Are you going to be open by Dec. 1?” I asked, since the original completion date was Jan. 1.
“We’ll get there,” he assured me before answering his cell phone and hurrying away before I could get his name.
On this day, Debbie Tallant, the property manager, was alone in the suite of offices, which seemed very quiet, in contrast to the flurry of activity outside. After brief introductions, she gave me a tour of a few of the 48 family units in the complex.
The units come in one-, two-, and three-bedroom sizes. Each includes washer-dryer connections, a side-by-side refrigerator, and a self-cleaning oven.
“Four units will be handicapped-assisted, and one unit is for people who are vision or hearing impaired,” Tallant added.
The big feature about these apartments is that the cost to live in one is based on the resident’s income. The developer receives specified federal tax breaks in return for providing “affordable” living space.
The basic requirement for becoming a resident, according to Tallant, is to pass a “very thorough background check” of credit and rental history and any criminal record.
“Ninety-five percent of people who apply qualify,” she said, but noted that too high of an income might exclude an applicant. “Only four of the units don’t have income caps; we call them ‘market units.’”
All residents must follow rules to keep their leases.
“Nothing other than passenger vehicles will be allowed on the property, and only two vehicles per household will be allowed,” she noted. “Guests can stay a maximum of two days.”
Almost 40 people have already applied to live in the Cayetano Villas, she said, and most of the applicants already live in La Vernia or nearby.
“A lot of families will be in new homes by Christmas,” she said.