Affordable Housing Headlines - November 2017
Northeast / Mid Atlantic
N.Y. Deal Marks Largest Freddie Mac Small Balance Loan Transaction
Sabal Capital Partners announced the closing of a $129 million multifamily portfolio of Freddie Mac Small Balance Loans (SBLs) for the Emerald Equity Group. Encompassing more than 850 total units in 34 affordable housing properties in New York City, the deal is the largest SBL transaction processed through the Freddie Mac program since it began in 2014, according to officials. The deal was treated as a portfolio, but there were 34 separate loans that closed simultaneously, says Pat Jackson, chairman and CEO of Sabal, a diversified financial services firm specializing in real estate, lending, and banking. By having individual loans instead of one large loan that bundles all the properties, the owner retains greater flexibility in their business plans for each property, says Jackson, who estimates that about 70% of his Newport Beach, Calif.-based firm’s business involves affordable housing.
Corning Project Provides Affordable Housing Options
A major housing project in Corning that expands affordable housing opportunities and services for people with mental illness is complete. Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 29 for the new Lamphear Court Apartments, which offers 60 units — including 48 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartment units, with 22 supportive units for people who are recovering from mental illness. The $12.4 million apartment complex is at 77 Lamphear Court, off Reynolds Avenue on Corning's Northside. The development includes an elevator, common laundry area, computer room, community room with a kitchenette, management office and supportive services space. Significant funding for the project came from New York state as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's commitment to establish affordable housing in the state. "We will continue to invest in the health and well-being of all New Yorkers, and the completion of this housing development will give some of the most vulnerable among us the opportunity to have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home," Cuomo said in a news release.
Maryland Reaches Fair Housing Agreement with Federal Government
Maryland has agreed to finance the development of 1,500 affordable housing units in prosperous neighborhoods throughout the Baltimore region and rewrite policies that civil rights groups say perpetuated segregation for decades. The agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development settles a fair-housing complaint brought against the state in 2011 by a coalition of civil rights and fair-housing advocacy organizations. The coalition accused the state of reinforcing housing segregation through by clustering subsidized, affordable housing developments together and in less desirable areas, rather than spreading them throughout the region. On Tuesday, fair-housing advocates applauded the deal as a significant commitment by the state to improve access for low-income renters to well-off neighborhoods that they have been excluded from in the past. “What this means is there are going to be more housing options for families with kids in areas that have good schools, other services, and amenities and lower poverty that are conducive to raising kids,” said Barbara Samuels, a fair-housing attorney for the ACLU of Maryland, which was part of the coalition known as the Baltimore Regional Housing Campaign.
First Vermont Captive Invests in Affordable Housing Tax Credits
CPA Mutual Insurance Company of America Risk Retention Group is the first captive insurance company to take advantage of Vermont’s Affordable Housing Tax Credit programme. The captive purchased £133,334 of credits from the Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) and will use the proceeds to create permanently affordable homes in Essex, Vermont. Vermont’s captive legislation expansion was passed by the Legislature in July, allowing captive insurance companies to participate in the Affordable Housing Tax Credit programme. CPA Mutual’ s captive management company, Strategic Risk Solutions, worked with the Vermont Captive Insurance Association and the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation to bring the initiative to the legislature. The purchase of the tax credits will provide a reduction in state tax liability spread out over the next five years, while providing a lump sum up front for CHT to subsidize four condominiums for sale in its signature shared equity programme. William Thompson, president of CPA Mutual, commented: “This was an easy decision for us. To play a role in increasing the availability of affordable housing in Chittenden County is critical right now, and investing in the tax credits makes good business sense, too.”
TD Bank Invests in Philadelphia LIHTC Development
TD Bank announced it is helping finance the redevelopment of a nursing home into affordable housing for seniors in the Kingsessing neighborhood of southwest Philadelphia. Witherspoon Senior Apartments will be developed by Presby’s Inspired Life and is the latest initiative to help address the growing need for affordable senior housing in the city. The bank has provided a $9.1 million construction loan through its Commercial Real Estate Group and purchased $12 million in federal low-income housing tax credits through its Community Capital Group. The funds assist the developer to partially demolish the former nursing home at the complex for conversion into more than 65,000 square feet of new apartments. The remodeled two-story building will include 60 one-bedroom apartments that include six units for seniors with physical immobility, three units for seniors with sensory impairment, and 10 units for homeless seniors, including veterans. The building will include community space for resident services and recreation as well as common spaces such as reading, computer, and game rooms. The community also will have a Health and Wellness Suite, which will provide a space for doctor's visits, a salon, a pharmacy, and a commissary to meet the various needs of senior residents.
Legislators hope to entice developers, combat homelessness
Maryland legislators are considering how to entice private developers to build more homes for low-income families as affordable housing in Maryland becomes increasingly difficult to find, and lawmakers worry about unaccompanied youth left without stable shelter. The General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness is taking steps toward crafting a bill that would provide financial benefits to for-profit and nonprofit developers for building affordable housing units, according to Delegate Mary Washington, D-Baltimore. “Consistently, we are hearing that one of the barriers around housing and stability is the high price of housing,” Washington, one of the committee chairs, said last week. “So we want to incentivize people to build affordable housing.” About 72 percent of extremely low-income households in Maryland pay more than 50 percent of their income toward housing expenses, according to census data from 2011-2015. This makes owning, or renting, a living space incredibly difficult and risky, according to United Way of Central Maryland CEO Franklyn Baker. “There’s no rain plan or safety net if you get sick” or have other emergencies, Baker said. A crucial factor for affordable housing for low-income households is funding from state and federal governments. One key program is the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which provides states an annual allocation based on population. Last year, Maryland was awarded $13.8 million in these tax credits to distribute to developers, according to Novogradac and Co.
RI officials complete cement pouring on new housing development
Governor Gina Raimondo, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and other RI officials helped complete the pouring of the last of the concrete that will support a new housing development in downtown Providence. The development, named “The Edge,” is located on Canal Street and will create 202 residential units that will primarily be used for student housing. Officials say the project is not affiliated with one specific college or university. The 15-story building will contain studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments, as well as approximately 10,000 square feet of retail space. “Rhode Island is on the move, and today’s concrete pouring for The Edge is just the latest evidence that our efforts are making a tangible difference,” Governor Raimondo said. “When this project is done, we’ll have hundreds of new apartments and shops anchoring this part of the city, connecting the East Side to the downtown. That means more construction jobs, permanent jobs, tax revenue and overall more economic activity in our capital city.” The Rebuild Rhode Island tax credit, put into place by Governor Raimondo, made building the new development possible. The credit is approved for a maximum of $3 million in tax credits and sales and use tax reimbursement of $1 million for eligible construction and build out costs.
Northampton affordable housing apartment complex 'The Lumber Yard' breaks ground
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Northampton Wednesday for The Lumber Yard Apartments, a new affordable housing complex coming to the city. The project is the product of Northampton-based non-profit Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC), which dedicates itself to empowering low and moderate income individuals through housing development and home ownership encouragement. Upon completion, the Lumber Yard, located at 256 Pleasant Street, will be a four-story, 70,000-square complex, replete with 55 units that offers housing to low and moderate income families and individuals. It sits on the site of former lumber business Northampton Lumber, hence its name. The cost of the project is nearly $19 million. Its development has been facilitated through funding and support from a wide number of organizations and institutions, including the City of Northampton, state organization MassWorks, the state Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, TD Bank, Way Finders, and Smith College.
Historic preservation groups fight to save federal tax credits for renovations
Ohio and local preservation groups are fighting in a last-ditch effort to save the Federal Historic Tax Credit program, fearing that if it is left out of Congress’ tax-reform package, many buildings that would otherwise have been saved will end up demolished. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget blueprint Thursday that did not include the program, which was created in 1976 and made permanent in 1986. The tax-reform package, pushed by President Donald Trump, is expected to be out Wednesday, and the historic tax credit program is not expected to be a part of it. The potential loss of the program has mobilized preservation advocates across the state, including Heritage Ohio, Preservation Ohio and the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, who have been calling and emailing members of Ohio’s House and Senate delegation. “It would be a tragedy if they eliminate the historic tax credit; it has been so good,” said Hal Keller, president of the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, a nonprofit affordable-housing provider. “I’m very nervous,” said Joyce Barrett of Heritage Ohio. Becky West, executive director of the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, said efforts are now being specifically targeted to the office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican.
Midwest / Central
Tax Abatement Granted for Project
An Indianapolis developer has been granted a tax abatement from the city to redevelop the former St. Bartholomew Catholic Church building and property as an affordable housing project. On Tuesday Columbus City Council unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement for TWG Development LLC as part of a $6.5 million investment to construct workforce development housing. The project, which would be located in the eastern block of Sycamore Street between Seventh and Eighth streets, would consist of about 60 apartment units, said Tony Knoble, president of TWG Development LLC, in a letter to the city. The abatement is worth about $241,000 in tax savings. The site was declared an Economic Revitalization Area last year, with the structures being vacant since 2001, said Robin Hilber, community development programs coordinator with the city. Hilber appeared with Jonathan Ehlke, development director with TWG Development, during Tuesday’s meeting.
No Credit? Big Problem for Old Hotel Rehab as Senior Housing
A chance to renew one of Belleville’s most visible buildings was likely handed a minimum one-year delay when the Illinois Housing Development Authority rejected the bid for $8 million in tax credits and a $1 million loan. The Southwestern Illinois Development Authority was seeking the credits and loan for a $12 million redevelopment of the old Meredith Memorial Home, which once was the Hotel Belleville. Their application received a mandatory failing grade, so was not one of the 20 out of 58 applications awarded the tax credit and loan packages. Parking has been an issue for the building from the start. Parking was what cost the project the tax credits — the fact that so big a building had so few parking spaces available. A solution remains elusive but necessary. Even if the housing goes to active seniors who want to walk, use mass transit or ride bikes, dozens of potential residents will need a place for their cars.
Iowa City City Council Approves Funds to Low-Income Housing Tax
The Iowa City City Council approved a resolution 7-0 Tuesday night committing $330,000 from funds set aside in fiscal 2017 and 2018 to the Del Ray Ridge’s application for 2018 Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Tracy Hightshoe, the Neighborhood Services coordinator, said the city approved affordable-housing steps that budgeted annually for affordable housing in June 2016, and since then, officials decided they’d commit 25 percent to low-income housing projects. “Last year, we didn’t receive any functional [Low Income Housing Tax Credit Project] applications, so that money rolled over to this year,” she said. “So we have $30,000 more available for projects.” City officials received two applications, one of which was for Del Rey Ridge, which provides 20 units of one- and two-bedroom units on Dubuque Street. It was approved at council meeting. “The Housing Committee … did review these proposals; they recommended $330,000 to the Del Rey Ridge partnership, mostly because it was located downtown closest to amenities and in proximity to downtown,” Hightshoe said.
New Projects Vie for Returned FiveSouth Affordable Housing Allocation
With the dissolution of the proposed downtown mixed use FiveSouth project in Bismarck, $3 million for affordable housing development is up for grabs as part of the state Housing Incentive Fund. While a group of local investors is aiming to restructure and save the downtown development, the money granted by the state for the affordable apartment portion had to be returned. And with state lawmakers opting not the refund HIF, the FiveSouth funds make up the majority of the $3.75 million left in the program’s coffers. At the close of the application period Sept. 30, eight projects, accounting for a total of $4.6 million in requests, are vying for the last of the available money. “So we’re over by about $1 million,” said Jolene Kline, head of the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency which hands out HIF funding, explaining the program will not be able to fund all of the requests. Three of the eight proposed projects are in Bismarck. CommunityWorks and Mountain Plains Equity Group want to develop 35 senior housing units in Bismarck called Century Cottages. The group is asking for $400,000 from the state to fund a portion of the $8.3 million project.
Illinois Awards $22.5 Million in LIHTCs
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has awarded over $22.5 million in federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) to 20 affordable housing developments in 12 counties. The housing tax credits will support the new construction or preservation of 1,442 units for low- to moderate-income families, seniors, and individuals with special needs. Once sold to investors, the housing tax credits will generate approximately $258 million in private capital, according to IHDA. The construction activity from these developments is also expected to support over 2,000 full-time construction jobs and almost 550 permanent jobs once completed. “The LIHTC is instrumental in helping IHDA achieve our mission of financing safe, quality, and affordable housing in Illinois,” says Audra Hamernik, IHDA’s executive director. “This program is a proven public-private partnership that allows us to leverage significant private investment to drive developments that will create jobs, generate tax revenue, and ensure working families, seniors, and people with special needs have a place to call home.”
MSHDA's New Director Talks Affordable Housing
A crunch on affordable housing for those who earn more than half of the local median income threatens economic growth in Michigan. That's one challenge Gov. Rick Snyder wants the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to address, and authority executive director Earl Poleski said he's pushing ahead with some solutions. It's personal for the former state lawmaker who said he made strides to help the state through an economic downturn. "I certainly do not want lack of housing to throw cold water on a warm economy," he said. "I would feel like some of the work I had done, some of the hard votes I had taken would've been wasted if we have to slow down an economy that could continue to grow." The agency is focusing on housing for those who earn 60 to 120 percent of area median income, Poleski said. A lack of housing for that demographic — called workforce housing — poses the biggest threat to economic growth. MSHDA has a pilot project in Grayling, Charlotte and Detroit to address the issue. Other locales, including Traverse City, wanted onboard as well, Poleski said. The agency can award a 4 percent tax credit, where a developer is reimbursed 4 percent of the project's value each year for 10 years. MSHDA can award many more of those tax credits than ones for low-income housing.
Columbia’s Oldest Public Housing gets an Updated Look
The Columbia Housing Authority has finished the first phase of its project to rehabilitate its entire 719-unit inventory. On Wednesday the organization will show the public its work when it hosts an open house and dedication for the Stuart Parker Apartments in central Columbia. The 84 apartments underwent a major redesign, upgrading the oldest public housing units in Columbia from their former 1950s style to modern, energy-efficient and insulated apartments. The Stuart Parker Apartments were built in 1958, so the renovations not only included redoing the floors, bathrooms and kitchen, but also focused on meeting modern-day electrical needs. “When the (apartments) were built, most people didn’t have a TV or computers and all the modern appliances that people have now so the very small breaker boxes didn’t meet everyone’s electrical demand,” Columbia Housing Authority CEO Phil Steinhaus said. The Columbia Housing Authority also added washer and dryer hookups, front and back porches, new kitchen cabinets and energy-efficient furnaces and air conditioners. “If someone can only afford $100 or $150 a month in rent, they can’t afford $200 in utilities,” Steinhaus said. CHA also added in accessible units to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. There were none before the renovations because the buildings were built before the 1990 law.
Developer Seeks Grant to turn Adrian School into Senior Housing
Paperwork has been filed with state officials by an Indiana development firm interested in repurposing the former Garfield Elementary School building in Adrian. Adrian Public Schools Superintendent Bob Behnke told the board he spoke with representatives from Keller Development Inc., a Fort Wayne-based firm that plans to put 49 apartment units for income-restricted residents 55 and older on the school site. Earlier this year, district officials announced a $75,000 sale agreement to the developers. That sale is contingent on Keller receiving a rental housing tax credit grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. The development would include renovations and new construction. An announcement on the outcome of the grant application is expected in January, Behnke said. Presently, Behnke said, the developers feel “confident” as they submitted paperwork that the grant will be approved. Should the paperwork be declined, however, Behnke said, the developers plan to reapply in a second-chance process. Community development professional Greg Majewski said earlier this year the 60-year-old firm has been involved in 37 similar projects across Indiana. The company in April presented a draft purchase agreement for the school property at 239 Cross St. Behnke said the district would save $186,000 on demolition costs if the building is sold.
Elliott Rehab Plan Lands in Middle of Affordable Housing Debate
Des Moines City Councilwoman Christine Hensley counted up the tax credit request for the conversion of the Elliott Apartments into a market-rate rental property and decided the numbers didn’t add up. The simple math is that the owners wanted to reduce the apartment count from 80 rent-assisted efficiencies to 15 one-bedroom units and 49 studios. Market-rate rents still amount to about $1.40 per square foot these days, though several multifamily owners are trying for more. So long to affordable apartments at the Elliott. The tax credit ask is $1 million from the Iowa workforce housing program, $1.8 million in state historic tax credits and nearly $1.5 million in federal historic tax credits. The property qualifies for 100 percent abatement of property taxes for 10 years on the value of improvements. The estimated savings is $1.65 million. Tax credits and the property tax waiver amount to nearly $6 million on an $8.2 million project. It is no secret that Hensley supports residential and commercial development in the city. But she would like to see some affordable units included in the mix of new apartments at the Elliott.
Road improvements and senior citizen housing coming to Mishawaka
Some big changes are coming to Douglas Road in Mishawaka. The Common Council approved two projects Monday night that are meant to spur development. One would annex land into the city for a new apartment complex. The other would improve the Douglas Road corridor throughout the city. Council members voted unanimously nine to zero for both projects. The apartment complex will be geared toward low income senior citizens. One of the most notable changes along the traffic corridor will take place at the intersection of Douglas and Grape. As more developments come to Mishawaka, so does traffic along Douglas Road. Monday, Mishawaka Common Council members passed a resolution to help with the congestion. "Putting in dual lanes and designated right turns over time on Douglas Road," said Ken Prince, City Planner. "The first phase of that will be the right turn lane, which we think will be provided that relief to the intersection which gets backed up." That right turn lane is expected to go at the intersection of Douglas and Grape.
Dubuque & Prentiss Investments is applying for Workforce Housing Tax Incentive to build 60 new residential housing units.
On Tuesday night, the Iowa City Council voted 7-0 in favor of a resolution to construct residential housing that will include 60 units at 224 E. Prentiss St. and to commit local funds to the project. To assist financially with the construction of 60 units of residential housing, the Dubuque & Prentiss Investments is applying for Workforce Housing Tax Incentives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The developer needs the local governmental subdivision to support the application and commit at least $1,000 per unit as a component of its application. Tracy Hightshoe, Neighborhood Services coordinator, said this was the 12th request, and so far, 11 have been approved for a total of 771 units. The state designed this program “to target middle-income households to encourage redevelopment,” Hightshoe said. Financial incentives are in place that reduce sales tax liability and give a 10 percent investment tax credit per a unit. In order for the Dubuque & Prentiss to build the 60 units, it has to get the location rezoned. The plan in place is very preliminary plan, but Hightshoe said, “Currently, it is compatible with our comprehensive plan. Legislative approvals are still needed before a concrete plan is in place.” Hightshoe also pointed out that if the city approves the plan, they are not committed to support any future legislative processes.
More than 750 Apartment Homes in Twin Cities to Remain Affordable Thanks to Broad Partnership
Today Aeon, the NOAH Impact Fund of Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) and Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. completed the purchase of 768 apartment homes across 10 properties in Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, New Hope and St. Paul. Other key partners in the project include Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, LLC, BMO Harris Bank, the Bloomington Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority. This acquisition will preserve all 768 homes as affordable for Minnesota families. Since 2000, the number of Minnesotans considered cost-burdened by housing—paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing—has increased 69 percent. Nationally, nearly one-third of all households are cost-burdened. This situation forces lower- and middle-income residents to choose between rent or groceries, medical bills and child care expenses. Affordable housing organizations have looked to preservation of NOAH properties to stem the tide of rising rents. NOAH—naturally occurring affordable housing—can play a crucial role in relieving cost burdens for families and individuals across the state.
Housing partnership gives residents a way to grow (Indiana)
While Paragus Inc. has been the more visible company in the workforce housing project planned for Washington and Fifth streets in Huntingburg, a local community action agency has done a lot of the behind-the-scenes work. Tri-Cap is a general partner in the development of a $5.8 million, 56-unit housing development at 419 N. Washington St., the former Wagon Works site. But the role of the Jasper-based agency that serves Dubois, Pike and Warrick counties is essential to the development’s success, said Gary Ritz, co-owner of Paragus. “They provide counseling and education services and a wide range of services that the residents of this project will be eligible for, at no cost to the resident,” Ritz said. “If they weren’t involved, this development would not be happening. Tri-Cap is essential to this going forward.” Tri-Cap has been involved in every step of the process, although the work has been done mostly behind the scenes. “We couldn’t publicly talk about our role until our board officially gave its approval,” said Joyce Fleck, executive director of Tri-Cap. “But we’ve done a log of legwork on this.”
Affordable, accessible housing unveiled for Columbians with disabilities
Although Rachel Schlossman has left the cramped confines of her apartment behind for a bigger room at the new Boone Point Central apartments, she’s held onto at least one thing: her unicorn collection. “They’re magical creatures, and they protect me from thunderstorms,” Schlossman said, walking through her new apartment while proudly displaying countless unicorns in stuffed, statue, tapestry and calendar form — among others. Her apartment is one of 13 inside the now-finished Boone Point Central apartment building, which aims to provide affordable, accessible housing to tenants with disabilities. The new complex, which had its formal unveiling Monday, is the second building in a two-building project led by Boone County Family Resources to increase the county’s stock of affordable, accessible and single-occupant housing. The new apartments are outfitted with energy efficient appliances, laundry machines, patios and a shared common room. Four of the apartments are fully accessible, with automatic lights and door functionality, lowered counters and space to maneuver in a wheelchair. Two of the units are two-bedroom and the rest are one-bedroom.
Houston Housing Authority, Oklahoma City Housing Collaborate to Creatively Solve Affordable Housing Scarcity
When Hurricane Harvey tore through Texas, 84 families at Forest Green Townhomes in northeast Houston watched flood waters rise in their homes, while the city saw the already limited affordable housing options dwindle. However, thanks to a collaborative partnership between the Houston Housing Authority (HHA) and the Oklahoma City Housing Authority (OCHA), those 84 families will receive a clean, safe place to call home. Forest Green is one of 28 properties owned by the HHA, a federally funded program providing affordable homes to the city's low-income, elderly and disabled residents. During the hurricane, seven HHA properties received significant damage, impacting over 950 families. At Forest Green, more than 80 percent of the townhomes needed to be vacated so that extensive repairs could begin to the uninhabitable units. Houston had an affordable housing crisis prior to Harvey, which has further intensified since the storm. Ideally, the families at Forest Green either would've been moved to another public housing unit in the city or received a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) to cover a portion of the cost of a new home. However, a temporary funding shortfall required the HHA to stop issuing HCVs in April and, due to lack of resources, there aren't enough public housing units to relocate tenants.
Senior Housing Project to Bring New Life to Historic Savannah School
Raymond Polote sat on the front porch of his house on E. Anderson Street across from the former Romana Riley elementary school. Students learned their ‘ABCs’ at the school when Polote bought the house in 1974, but the 110-year-old brick building and adjacent 90-year-old annex along Waters Avenue now sit empty. A sign hanging on a chain across the building’s stairway on Anderson warns off trespassers. Polote said he can’t recall how long ago the school shut down, but he was glad to hear on Tuesday that a developer is about to restore the building for use as affordable senior housing. “I always admired the workmanship of it,” he said. “I don’t see why you would not develop it into something that’s a benefit to the community.” Behind the building, workers were setting up a temporary power pole to provide electricity for the project that includes the construction of 30 apartments in the existing buildings on the site and 27 additional apartments in a new building being constructed on a vacant lot along E. Henry Street, where the school’s cafeteria once stood.
FOURMIDABLE Opens Three New Communities in Tennessee and Mississippi
FOURMIDABLE, a diversified, national real estate management company specializing in the management of tax credit, public housing, senior, market rate and condominium communities, has opened three new communities; one in Tennessee and two in Mississippi, adding to its inventory of affordable housing in each of the states. Turnrow, located in Somerville, Tenn., is a 56-unit community featuring luxury two- and three-bedroom floor plans that include modern kitchens and in-unit washers and dryers. Turnrow also features a community fitness center, clubhouse, community business center and swimming pool, as well as free Wi-Fi for all units. Turnrow was financed in part through federal tax credits awarded by the Tennessee Housing Development Authority as part of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. The general contractor was Bacar Construction out of Nashville, Tenn. Tall Oaks is an 80-unit community located in Verona, Miss., and Fountain Square, a 48-unit community, is located in Columbus, Miss. Both communities feature spacious three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath floor plans that include modern kitchens, in-unit washers and dryers and two-car garage. As with the Tennessee community, they also showcase a clubhouse with a business center and free Wi-Fi for all units. Both of these communities offer preferences and specials to the well-deserved veteran community.
Council votes for affordable housing on city land in downtown Durham
Affordable housing in downtown Durham moved closer to reality Monday night when the City Council approved a plan for the Jackson/Pettigrew Street project on city land next to the bus station. The land is appraised at $2.8 million. The main difference in four proposed plans was whether to include market-rate units alongside affordable units in the apartment building. The scenarios also looked at the feasibility of having office and retail use in the building. In the end, the council voted for the plan that has 80 affordable housing units for residents making 60 percent or less of the area median income, as well as retail and office space. The vote was unanimous, 7-0. “We’ve always got to build for the future and get the most out of that property that we can,” Mayor Bill Bell said. “This is an investment in downtown. It’s a different type of investment, but it’s an investment in downtown which I support.” Council members praised the collaborative work that went into the design concept. They also recognized the activism of Durham Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods, known as Durham CAN.
Greenville Housing Authority officially opens new apartment complex for seniors
The Greenville Housing Authority on Monday officially opened its newest apartment complex for senior adults. But all 60 units of the Heritage at Sliding Rock development are "completely occupied," said Ivory Mathews, the executive director of the housing authority. The agency has a wait list of 250 people, she said. "The need is a lot more than we can ever even fill here in this community," Mathews said. "Every day we have families calling us in need of affordable housing." The $8 million development, located at 125 Ramsey Drive in Nicholtown, consists of a large, three-story building with 48 residential units and 12 two bedroom cottages. The Heritage at Sliding Rock is the second of three developments to help "replace the 195 affordable senior housing units lost as a result of the (2014) implosion of the former Scott Towers public housing community," said Diane Keller, a housing authority board member. Drew Schaumber, owner of Schaumber Development and a partner in the project, has said the community's amenities would include a business center, a community room, a community kitchen for hosting events, a gazebo and a walking trail. The units are for adults 62 years of age and older, Mathews said. Tenants who live there will pay no more than 30 percent of their adjusted gross income toward rent, she said.
Development Combines Housing, Education for Single Parents
Single parents who are pursuing higher education have a place to call home in Covington, Ky. Lincoln Grant Scholar House, co-developed by Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission (NKCAC) and The Marian Group, provides 45 units of affordable housing for single-parent households earning no more than 50% of the area median income. The development brings new life to Lincoln Grant Elementary School, an African-American Heritage site that was built in 1931 and had sat vacant since 2006. The adaptive-reuse of the historic school includes 25 units of housing and a community service facility that maintains the historic auditorium as a community resource. An additional 20 units are located in a new building. “There was a marked desire to preserve this structure in a way that would be meaningful to the original purpose of the building,” says Kimberly J. Stephenson, vice president of development for The Marian Group. “Since it was a school, it was repurposed to serve individuals in the community in educational programming to complete two- or four-year degrees.” As a Family Scholar House program affiliate, the development includes educational and family support services. Nonprofit NKCAC also will connect residents with Head Start programs, day care, and summer enrichment programming for their children.
Durham Approves an Affordable Housing Plan in Downtown, But It Will Need $10 Million in Tax Credits
Affordable housing and retail and office space are slated for a two-acre site adjacent to Durham Station. Durham City Council members and staffers, along with a development team composed of Self-Help Ventures Fund and DHIC Inc., have been contemplating how best to use the city-owned site for about a year. On Monday, the council unanimously approved a concept that includes eighty units of affordable housing, sixty-two thousand square feet of office space, parking, and twelve thousand square feet of commercial space. The housing will allow for twenty housing vouchers, which are administered by the Durham Housing Authority and subsidize low-income tenants' rents. Tucker Bartlett, with Self-Help Ventures Fund, said the\e development team will begin lining up retail and office tenants immediately; rent from those spaces helps this concept have the smallest funding gap of four proposals presented to the council. The city would have to come up with about $2.8 million toward the development. Including the costs of the parking structure, the proposal rings in at just under $15 million. Low-income housing tax credits would cover about $10 million. Housing vouchers would contribute another $920,000, and the office/retail space about $860,000.
WestHousing Community Serves Formerly Homeless Seniors in San Diego
A new micro-unit development in San Diego’s historic Talmadge neighborhood is helping to house 59 formerly homeless seniors. Developed by Wakeland Housing and Development Corp. and designed by Studio E Architects, Talmadge Gateway is the first 100% permanent supportive housing community in San Diego for formerly homeless seniors with ongoing housing needs. This segment of the homeless population is on the rise, according to the latest San Diego point-in-time count, with nearly one third of the county’s homeless residents being seniors. “Talmadge Gateway is unique in that it not only gives these formerly homeless seniors a safe place to live but also offers wraparound supportive services designed to help them live stable, independent lives,” says Ken Sauder, president and CEO of Wakeland Housing and Development Corp. The urban infill development includes a renovated 1940s-era commercial building and new retail space with an outdoor patio. The design—inspired by local Streamline Modern buildings on the adjacent El Cajon Boulevard, part of historic U.S. Route 80—showcases strong lines and curvaceous volumes.
Low-Income Housing Complex Proposal Moves Forward
Despite city councilors’ concerns about a rushed timeline, a proposal to build a multi-family low-income housing complex on a south-side Santa Fe lot moved forward Monday. The city Finance Committee voted 4-1 to endorse a resolution that would direct city staff to prepare the city-owned 5-acre property at the northeast corner of Yucca Street and Zia Road for donation to a project that would be developed under a federal low-income housing tax credit program. That preparation would include a survey, applications for rezoning and more. The proposal, sponsored by Councilor Peter Ives, is scheduled to go before the full City Council next week. “It would seem we should take advantage of opportunities that arise where there is a good chance of finding success at trying to relieve the chronic shortage of these types of properties,” said Ives, an announced candidate for mayor in the March municipal election. The city’s 2016 housing needs analysis identified a shortage of at least 2,400 units affordable to households that are below 80 percent of the area’s median income.
Denver Asks Residents to Weigh In on 5-Year Housing Plan
Last year, Denver City Council approved $150 million in funding to mitigate its housing crisis. Now, the city has released a comprehensive housing plan to guide its investments over the next half-decade, and has asked residents to fill out a survey about the draft plan before November 13. The plan marks a shift away from focusing primarily on creating new housing units. While it does still call for the creation (or preservation) of 3,000 units by 2023, it also focuses on helping those at risk of displacement, and states that the city will measure the effectiveness of its investments by the number of residents served — with the goal of serving at least 30,000 households by 2023. Those numbers assume that federal and local funding remains consistent, which officials acknowledge is not a given right now, especially at the federal level, according to Denverite. With an eye toward preventing displacement, the plan calls for a rental registry that would require landlords to register their properties and participate in regular inspections. The tool could also potentially help the city expand what the plan terms “basic protections for tenants,” including more standard lease practices and outreach about tenants’ rights.
Governor Brown Signs Comprehensive Legislative Package to Increase State's Housing Supply and Affordability
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law today 15 bills to help increase the supply and affordability of housing in California. The measures provide funding for affordable housing, reduce regulations, boost construction and strengthen existing housing laws. “These new laws will help cut red tape and encourage more and affordable housing, including shelter for the growing number of homeless in California,” said Governor Brown. Governor Brown delivers remarks in San Francisco. The Governor signed the housing bills at Hunters View, an affordable housing project located in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco. The public housing project was recently redeveloped with the help of federal, state and private partners. Governor Brown signs legislation to help address California’s housing needs. “This package has everything from A to Z – affordability to zoning,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. “It’s not a magic wand, but it is going to put a lot of drafting tools, backhoes, hammers, and door keys to work. I’m proud of how the Assembly helped shape this package and of the real results it will deliver for Californians.”
SAJE and PolicyLink Reach Agreement with Developer to Triple Affordable Housing Units in South-Central Los Angeles Project
Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) and PolicyLink announced Tuesday an agreement with developers that will roughly triple the number of long-term affordable housing units within a $1.2 billion mixed-use development project in South-Central Los Angeles, one of the city’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. “We are deeply concerned about the rising tide of gentrification in the City of Los Angeles, especially in working class communities of color, where we see tenants living in overcrowded, unsafe conditions, or being threatened with eviction and homelessness,” SAJE Executive Director Cynthia Strathmann said. “This agreement is a step in the right direction toward providing much-needed affordable housing units, as well as other social and environmental benefits,” she added. Approved by the City of Los Angeles in 2016, “The Reef” project is slated to construct approximately 1,440 rental and condominium units in South Central Los Angeles, and to include substantial commercial development. South-Central faces some of the most intensive affordable housing pressures in the U.S., and many low-income families in the neighborhood must double- or triple-up within single units to afford rising rents.
California Fires Threaten Affordable Housing Developments
Thousands of affordable housing residents have evacuated their homes as the catastrophic fires in California’s wine country continue to spread Thursday. Santa Rosa-based nonprofit Burbank Housing has 15 properties that are in the mandatory evacuation area, says CEO Larry Florin, who estimates that about 2,000 people from these developments have had to leave their homes. Voluntary evacuations have taken place at another seven Burbank properties, and many more people throughout the region are without power or water. All of the organization’s 63 communities were intact Thursday afternoon, but the situation remains tense with the blazes continuing to spread. Burbank’s Firehouse Village, a family affordable housing development in Sonoma, is about two blocks from one of the fire lines, Florin says. His organization houses about 10,000 residents in Sonoma County. The impact of the devastating fires on these families and the large community is tough to quantify at this time but it will be deep and long term. A large number of people will be out of work, and a large number of people will need to find a place to live in an already tight housing market, Florin says.
$300 Million Housing Project would Transform a Block of Market Street
A six-building housing project that would transform a full block along San Francisco's Market Street near is nearing a vote. Strada Investment Group and the UA Local 38 plumbers union want to build 584 residential units at 1621 Market St. near 12th Street. The city's Planning Commission will vote on the project on Oct. 19. If approved, the 500,000-square-foot project would head to the Board of Supervisors for a final decision. Mayor Ed Lee highlighted the project as a model for mixed-income development at the Business Times' annual San Francisco Structures event last month. Lee said it was "the first privately owned development in San Francisco to include a mix of new supportive affordable housing for formerly homeless individuals, workforce affordable housing and market-rate apartments all on the same site." If approved, the project could break ground by the end of 2018, with the first buildings opening by 2020, said Cohen. Plans also call for a new 30,000-square-foot plumbers union hall, a renovated Civic Center Hotel, 17,000 square feet of retail space and 20,000 square feet of public open space.
Community Meeting to Preserve Existing Affordable Housing October 17
The Housing Authority of Grays Harbor County (HAGHC) is launching a major renovation effort in order to preserve existing affordable housing throughout the community. HAGHC will host a community meeting to discuss the scope of the work and economic opportunities for local contractors in addition to general information for the community. Dwindling federal funds and long-term reductions to the operating budget have prevented HAGHC from making these much needed structural updates until now, with the introduction of a special private funding opportunity. The special renovation project will be under the operational title, Herman Johnson LLLP. Through approximately $32 million in private investment funds from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program, the project aims to completely renovate all 10 existing low-income and Section 8 properties across Grays Harbor within 22 months. The renovation will ensure that this essential housing is viable for the long-term.
KeyBank Provides $46 Million for Colorado Development
KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI) has provided $46 million in financing to Dominium for the construction of a 216-unit affordable housing development in Commerce City, Colo. North Range Crossing will feature eight three-story walk-up buildings with 24 one-, 96 two-, and 96 three-bedroom garden-style apartments reserved for families earning up to 60% of the area median income. The development will also include a clubhouse, a pool, playgrounds, business and fitness centers, a yoga room, and a fire pit. KeyBank arranged a $32.8 million construction loan and a $13.1 million equity bridge loan using tax-exempt bonds issued by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and an allocation of 4% low-income housing tax credits. “KeyBank is dedicated to making safe and decent affordable housing available in communities across the country,” said Rob Likes, national manager of KeyBank’s CDLI team. “We are working alongside Dominium to bring much-needed housing options to hardworking families in Commerce City.”
CPP Preserves Affordability at Oregon Development
Plaza Townhomes will remain an affordable place to live for decades to come in Portland, Ore., a city that has seen rapidly rising rents in recent years. The 68-unit development has undergone a $4.5 million rehabilitation after Community Preservation Partners (CPP) acquired it from Home Forward, the area public housing authority and affordable housing provider, for $6.7 million last year. The 12-month rehabilitation provides residents with a variety of upgrades, including new doors, windows, plumbing, HVAC, insulation, and exterior siding. CPP also updated a computer lab and a playground. Under the terms of the deal closed by CPP, residents will not be subjected to a rent increase set by the open market for an additional 30 years. During that time, rents will be stabilized at affordable levels through a variety of government programs. “These substantial improvements will enhance the lives of residents and preserve affordability within the city of Portland,” said Anand Kannan, CPP president. Plaza Townhomes was the first deal in Oregon for California-based CPP, which owns more than 5,000 affordable housing units nationwide. CPP was able to acquire the community, which has 34 two-bedroom and 34 three-bedroom units, with the help of 4% low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and tax-exempt bond proceeds.
GOP tax proposal would gut affordable housing, state officials say (California)
Less than two months after California passed hard-fought bills to build more subsidized rental housing for the poor, affordable-housing advocates are reeling from a federal tax-reform proposal that could grind that momentum to a halt and wipe out an existing program that created roughly 20,000 such homes last year. The GOP tax proposal, if passed in its current form, would take away tax exemptions that generate $2.2 billion annually for affordable housing construction in California. For context: The recession-era elimination of state redevelopment funding in 2011 — a move widely criticized as devastating to affordable housing — amounted to losses of roughly $1 billion per year. “This is definitely a red alert for California,” said Matt Schwartz, president and CEO of California Housing Partnership, a San Francisco-based nonprofit housing organization. “The time is now for anybody who cares about our continued ability to produce affordable rental homes to engage.” California had expected to build roughly 90,000 affordable housing units as a result of a $4 billion statewide housing bond — pending voter approval in November 2018 — and money from a bill by Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, which levies a fee on certain real-estate transactions. That number would be cut in half under the tax proposal, officials say.
Republican tax plan would hit Seattle, Eastside homebuyers dealing with pricey market
Aspiring homeowners in the Seattle region, dealing with the hottest housing market in the country, would be hit especially hard by the new GOP tax plan unveiled Thursday. The proposal would cap the federal mortgage-interest deduction at $500,000 for new-home purchases, down from the limit of $1 million. Basically, new homeowners would only be able to deduct the interest on the first $500,000 of their mortgage. This won’t impact most Americans because they don’t own homes that expensive. But it’s a big deal locally, where the median single-family house selling today is worth $725,000 in Seattle and $855,000 on the Eastside. Even with a regular down payment, lots of buyers here take out a mortgage that’s over half-a-million dollars, and they would lose out on some of their itemized tax benefits if the Republican tax plan passes. The change wouldn’t apply to current mortgages — only new sales going forward. And it wouldn’t impact anyone who takes the standard deduction, which would nearly double under the tax plan, because the mortgage-interest break is only used by people who itemize their deductions.
How Colorado became one of the least affordable places to live in US
He bought the two-story, 1970s-era 100-unit apartment complex just outside of downtown Denver for about $7 million back in 2012. Two years later, the city's new light rail system reached Wadsworth Station's doorstep, and eager investors seeking to buy the property came calling. "We could double our money," said Miripol, who heads an affordable housing development company called the Urban Land Conservancy. There's just one problem: The complex is home to working class families and retirees, public employees and healthcare workers, who couldn't afford the rent hikes that would likely follow after such a pricey sale. "None of the folks living there could stay," said Miripol. The tenants of Wadsworth Station are lucky exceptions. Seemingly overnight, Colorado's housing market has become unaffordable to many of the state's residents. Typically, the housing shortages and sky-high rents seen in the state would only exist in tech and finance-heavy metropolises, like New York or San Francisco. But a sudden influx of new people has left Colorado unable to meet demand or help those who've been displaced.