DOD Winners Show Diverse Impact of Affordable Housing Across Nation
From a large affordable housing property in Brooklyn that adds healthy food to the menu to a Denver property with supportive services for disabled residents to an aging public housing property in Holyoke, Massachusetts, that was reborn, winners of the 2022 Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Developments of Distinction Awards show the diversity of impact for affordable housing.
The awards honor participants who strive for excellence in affordable housing. Awardees are properties financed by low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) or U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding.
“I’m always amazed by the tremendous work that our developer and investor colleagues do to create these much-needed properties,” said Rebecca Arthur, Novogradac partner and chair of the Novogradac 2022 Affordable Housing Tax Credit and Bonds Conference Sept. 29-30 in Nashville, where the winners will be honored. “This year’s winners show what happens when passionate people work together to make a difference.”
The winners are in five categories: major community impact, family housing, preservation of existing affordable housing, special needs housing and rural community impact.
Here is more information about each winner:
Metropolitan Community Impact
A fast-growing neighborhood in Brooklyn has an additional 218 affordable housing apartments and dramatically more sustainable and healthy food choices thanks to 50 Penn. The property has affordable housing, plus a 28,210-square-foot grocery store and two neighborhood retail spaces that will create new commercial space in an underserved area, improve the streetscape at a key intersection and provide deeply affordable housing.
Developer Pennrose split the property into five condos to maximize the ability to use bonds and LIHTC equity, two for the housing and three for retail spaces.
The property received $35.1 million in LIHTC equity from CitiBank toward the $104.6 million total cost, along with funding by multiple state and city agencies. Without the LIHTC funding (and the tax-exempt bonds), the property would have struggled to move forward as a 100% affordable housing development.
Hillside Crossing in Schenectady, New York, is the latest development in an ongoing, decades-long effort by The Community Builders Inc. (TCB) to revitalize neighborhoods in that city. The development provides 85 mixed-income apartments on 39 parcels of land that are merged into three target areas. The development also includes 1,000 square feet of commercial space.
Working with the city, TCB removed 19 blighted structures during construction and created the quality affordable housing. The redevelopment of the target areas helped stabilize a distressed neighborhood and continue economic development investments that are ongoing.
The properties are all within a quarter mile of public transportation, meaning residents have access to employment opportunities, pharmacies, shopping and banks, as well as many supportive services. Of the 85 apartments, 26 are set aside for families and individuals who have experienced homelessness. The property received $13.1 million in LIHTC equity from RBC Bank, syndicated by M&T Bank.
Preservation of Existing Affordable Rental Housing
An aging public housing authority property in Holyoke, Massachusetts, that was in jeopardy due to a deteriorated physical condition was renovated, including the 76-apartment Lyman Terrace Phase 2 development spearheaded by The Community Builders Inc. (TCB).
Built in 1939, Holyoke’s oldest PHA community and one of the oldest in the country was functionally obsolete before being transformed. One-hundred and sixty-four apartments were preserved, including these 76, as TCB leveraged a hybrid Rental Assistance Demonstration/Section 18 HUD structure in two phases to convert to private project-based voucher contracts. The development also benefited from investment through the federal opportunity zones incentive. The redevelopment plan included a gut rehabilitation of the existing public housing buildings with new construction, modular additions to make the living areas larger, and new infrastructure. There is a new community building with program space for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke and other resident services.
The Lyman Terrace Phase 2 development overcame the challenges of redeveloping aging physical buildings on a constrained urban site. The $43.7 million development received $17.9 million in state and federal LIHTC equity from Key Bank.
Special Needs Populations
Gorman & Company headed up the two-phase new construction of Laradon in Denver, a property that includes 223 affordable housing apartments and supportive social services for disabled residents. The two phases (known as The Elisabetta and The Stella) each include set-asides for disabled and homeless residents and 13,000 square feet of space for Laradon Hall Society for Exceptional Children and Adults, the primary service provider for the property.
Laradon is in the Globeville neighborhood of Denver, identified as an area vulnerable and susceptible to gentrification, with a threat of involuntary displacement for residents. The property not only provides the homes for residents, but also includes fully equipped kitchens, storage space, central laundry facilities with in-unit washers and dryers in the three- and four-bedroom apartments.
The two phases included $25.4 million in 4% federal LIHTC equity ($10.7 million from Enterprise for Phase I, $14.7 million from National Equity Fund for Phase II). The LIHTC equity contributed 38% of the total funding for both phases of the property.
Rural Community Impact
Residents of the small farming community of Westminster, Maryland, must endure housing costs that are driven up by the area’s proximity to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, which led Conifer Realty to develop Westminster Way, a 55-apartment mixed-income affordable housing development in Westminster.
The development is spread over two locations, less than 1 mile apart. One location is a redevelopment of an existing 20-apartment complex, while the other includes 35 new-construction properties. Bank of America invested $14.3 million in federal LIHTC equity for the $19.5 million development.
Residents have access to amenities that include a fitness center, car-charging station and smart card laundry system. The community is near employment opportunities, shopping, financial services and medical institutions, as well as the community’s transportation system.
Metropolitan Community Impact: Penn Street Lofts in Lawrence, Kansas (Developer: Flint Hills Holdings Group)
Family Housing: The Starling in Alameda, California (Developer: Eden Housing)
Preservation of Existing Affordable Rental Housing: Midtown Villages in Gainesville, Georgia (Developers: Collaborative Housing Solutions and Gainesville Housing Authority)
Special Needs Population: Livingston Place at Southern Assisted Living in Washington, D.C. (Developers: Gilbane Development Company, Dantes Partners, Carding Group, H Street CDC)
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