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Affordable Housing Headlines - November 2016


A collection of national and local headlines from October 2016

To hear many industry observers tell it, the strong demand for and performance of affordable housing this year should only continue in 2017. 
 
David Leopold is vice president of affordable housing production for the multifamily business at Freddie Mac. He shares the firm’s latest program changes and the trends he’ll be watching in 2017.
 
North Carolina’s secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources got a firsthand look at the rewards of historic tax credits during a tour Tuesday of Rocky Mount Mills. Secretary Susan Kluttz made a special stop in Rocky Mount to tour the city and to speak to residents and city leaders.  She said getting to see the fruits of the tax credits was special.  “It’s exciting to me to be back and see what’s happening.,” Kluttz said.   
 
A new $7 million housing development is coming to Lowndes County.  It will be the largest multi-family residential project built in the last several years in Lowndes County outside Columbus.
 
Allegrone Construction has completed a $9 million renovation of the historic Onota Building on North Street.  The company used $3 million in state historic tax credits and $700,000 from the state Housing Development Incentive Program as part of the financing. The city included tax relief through a tax-increment financing agreement to help with the development as well.
 
Executive Director of Mountain Projects Community Action Agency Patsy Davis suggested the county was in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. Apparently, a supply-side problem exists; by 2020, less than 25 percent of the 37,756 homes in Haywood County will be valued at less than $150,000, and minimum wage workers currently need to work 86 hours each week to afford a two-bedroom home. 
 
Catholic Charities Community Services and Newport Partners, LLC broke ground this week for the highly anticipated project, Rosewood Court apartments. The proposed rent structure provides affordable housing for households with incomes at or below 40, 50, and 60 percent of Area Media Income (AMI). 
 
The temperature was frigid and the wind was whipping, but everyone was all smiles at the ground breaking for a new affordable senior housing complex in Corona. 
 
The NHP Foundation (NHPF) has announced its plans to lead a 12-month renovation of the Ships’ Cove Apartments in Bristol County. NHPF will act as the developer of the $8 million renovation to the 18-story, 201-unit property. 
 
The old Whittaker Memorial Hospital is a landmark in Newport News and after being vacant for years, new life is planned.  A development group, Whittaker Development II, bought the property recently. The new owners want fill a need for affordable housing, a 62-unit apartment complex.  
 
A new 70-unit transit-oriented development is playing a critical role in Baldwin Park, Calif.  Metro Village helps fill the need for affordable housing by offering one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments affordable to families making no more than 60% of the Los Angeles County area median income. The development, which has 5,500 square feet of commerce retail space, is also a big step in redeveloping the city’s downtown.
 
KeyBank announced it is providing $9.6 million in low-income housing tax credit equity to help finance a permanent supportive housing development to serve chronically homeless individuals in Cleveland. The Housing First model prioritizes securing housing for homeless individuals as quickly as possible.
 
The Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, a nonprofit affordable housing lender, is establishing what is believed to be the nation’s first regional pot of funding to help affordable housing stay that way. It could result in a kind of voluntary rent-control system that would keep more reasonably priced units in the metro-area housing mix.
 
A blighted mobile home park that had become a brownfield has been transformed into Vermont’s first affordable and net-zero energy rental housing neighborhood. 
 
With housing subsidies in limited supply, a California law providing affordable housing to public school teachers could facilitate the transfer of resources away from those most in need.  Late last month California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Teacher Housing Act of 2016.
 
The U.S. military’s program to privatize the living quarters on its bases — contentious and controversial at its inception 1996 — is now universally regarded as a great idea. But Congress and the Government Accountability Office are asking new questions about the long-term viability of the Military Privatized Housing Initiative (MHPI), particularly with regard to how it’s financed. 
 
Housing guru Ivy Zelman told CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report" on Monday that "now" is the best time to buy a house.  "It's the best time in the history of our country with mortgage rates that are below 4 percent that [renters] can actually lock in their fixed cost and create wealth for themselves," she said.  
 
The 2016 Fund is the sixth multi-investor LIHTC offering sponsored by Red Stone Equity to close in the last five years and includes investments from seven institutional investors. The Fund's proceeds will be used, along with other project-level financing sources, to finance the construction and/or rehabilitation of more than 1,300 units of affordable rental housing across 16 properties located in 10 different states. 
 
RBC Capital Markets Tax Credit Equity Group announced the closing of its latest low-income housing tax credit fund that will invest in 21 developments with 1,747 affordable housing units.
 
Civic leaders gathered Monday to dedicate the opening of a community center that will serve the residents of a recently completed residential development project located in and around downtown Muskogee.  
 
With its 74 apartments and grocery store, the new Imperial Building is a critical piece in the revitalization of downtown Albuquerque, N.M.  “The intention of the project was a grocery store, and it was through low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and affordable housing that we were able to put the project together.” UnitedHealthcare provided $11.9 million in LIHTC equity.  
 
In the wake of protests that started against a police shooting and grew to encompass inequality in jobs, schools and especially housing, there’s increasing recognition that Charlotte has a growing affordability problem: The city’s average apartment rent is up 35 percent over the past five years, to $1,052.  
 
After a year of construction, Casa Heritage in Melrose Park hosted a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the preservation of 142 affordable housing units.  The Resurrection Project is a Pilsen-based organization that focuses on education, organizing and community development.
 
An affordable housing complex for senior citizens could fall victim to a proposed moratorium on residential development in Westbrook.  Alarmed by the city’s housing boom, more than 400 residents have signed a petition asking for a six-month stay on building permits for residential projects of more than 10 units. 
 
The West Side gateway between downtown Cleveland and Ohio City is on the cusp of a $60 million transformation.  
 
Vermont has a housing problem. For low and moderate income residents, there’s a well-documented shortage of affordable, rental housing. What’s more, Vermont’s housing shortage poses serious problems for the state’s economy. Business owners cite the high cost of housing as a significant barrier in recruiting and retaining employees.
 
Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) recently announced that it has secured financing worth $41.547 million for a three-property seniors housing portfolio in Sacramento, California.
 
The city is gearing up to rezone a 73-block stretch of Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, and politicians, activists, and members of local community boards spoke in frustrated tones last Thursday during the first public meeting on what promises to be one of the most controversial neighborhood plans of Mayor de Blasio’s time in office. 
 
The shortage of affordable housing in the District continues to be a major problem for low- and moderate-income residents. The NHP Foundation, a 27-year-old not-for-profit real estate corporation, recently began a $24 million rehabilitation of the Parkchester Apartments, at 2704 Wade Rd. SE. 
 
At 234 pages, the California Voters Guide is longer than the first Harry Potter book. San Franciscans will be asked to sort through 24 city ballot items this November — and five of them have to do with housing.  Propositions P and U are among the more contentious. Both are opposed by more than 50 organizations and city officials, including the majority of the Board of Supervisors, but the bills received $125,000 each from the California Association of Realtors.
 
Families looking for affordable housing in Seattle will eventually have more options.  The 71-unit building will have rents ranging from $840 to $1,200, or half the market rate for the area.
 
It’s been over two years since New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced “Housing New York”: his administration’s 10-year plan to integrate 200,000 units of affordable housing into the city’s stock. By their account, the plan is on track, as the administration claims creating or preserving 53,000 units since then.  
 
Construction has started on the Lawrence Lofts project above the Whiteside County Courthouse, Rock Island Economic Growth Corp.  The 10-month construction process is expected to support more than 62 jobs, and will put the property on the tax rolls again after a decades-long absence. 
 
New Hope Housing, a nonprofit best known for building vital single-room occupancy (SRO) properties, is expanding its reach with two new developments in Houston.  The 23-year-old organization is working on its first mixed-use and family housing developments.  
 
Nashville-based Elmington Capital Group has paid $20.3 million for the Park At Hillside affordable housing apartments in Nashville's Edgehill neighborhood.  With its acquisition of the 290-unit complex at 1501 Hillside Ave., the investment firm now owns nearly 1,000 low-income tax credit apartment units in Middle Tennessee. 
 
Vintage Housing and Greenstreet Companies broke ground on Vintage at The Crossings, a large-scale affordable housing project, Monday.  The 230-unit senior apartment complex, slated to open next summer, will provide housing for fixed-income seniors. 
 
Civic leaders in Flanders are concerned that if a pair of affordable housing projects in Southampton and Speonk get turned down, it will impact future state aid allocations for similar proposed plans in Riverside.  
 
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