Developer: Rosedale Corporation
Owner: Murphy Lane LP
Location: Holly Springs, Miss.
The winner of the 2014 LIHTC Property that Best Reflects Market Success in Overcoming Significant Obstacles Award is Rosedale Corporation for the development of Murphy Lane in Holly Springs, Miss. Murphy Lane, which was funded by low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs), is a 36-unit community that serves the local disabled and senior population. Stewart Rutledge, principal at Rosedale Corporation, says Murphy Lane had more than 100 people on its waiting list before construction and was fully leased upon opening.
Rosedale Corporation faced significant obstacles in receiving funding for Murphy Lane. Rutledge says that because Holly Springs suffered from economic blight after the civil rights movement, investors were not initially interested in funding this development. When the development was conceived, analysts couldn’t find anyone in the county whose income qualified for tax credit housing and who didn’t already receive voucher-based government housing. In addition to all of the affordable rental units being fully government subsidized, the local railroads and businesses were beginning to close down in the city, and the area median income was well below national averages. One in four residents of the city and county collected disability benefits.
Rosedale Corporation used innovative strategies to convince investors to fund Murphy Lane. Rutledge says development team members made daily trips to Rust College, a local university, and strengthened their relationship with local community leaders to rally community support for Murphy Lane. Developers invited investors to tour the community and they partnered with a local housing authority, which committed to providing a rental subsidy to all residents of Murphy Lane for five years. After using these creative approaches, and agreeing to deferred developer fees, reduced rents and providing additional guarantees, Murphy Lane received funding from Stratford Capital.
In addition to affordable housing, Murphy Lane also offers educational and social services. The community of Murphy Lane features a computer room, specially equipped units to address severe disability needs and educational courses that include topics ranging from personal finance to health and nutrition. Rosedale Corporation has also partnered with several local universities to offer outreach programs that promote growth for their residents.
Rutledge says the development of Murphy Lane encouraged two additional tax credit developments in the area. One of the developments features 56 affordable rental units and has a 500-person waiting list. Rosedale Corporation also partnered with the governor to create a Health Care Zone Master Plan, which will foster health care growth in the city.
“A successful development in a small town which really seemed to come together against all odds,” said James Tassos, a 2014 Community Development Awards judge.