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Low-Income Housing Tax Credits News Briefs - April 2010

AFFORDABLE HOUSING INDUSTRY

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on March 1 that it is accepting applications under the Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing program for as much as $129 million in loan guarantees in fiscal year 2010. The loans will provide rural residents with affordable rental housing. The purpose of the program is to increase the supply of affordable rural rental housing through loan guarantees that encourage partnerships between the USDA Rural Development agency, private lenders and public agencies. Individual renters are not eligible for loan guarantees. The agency will accept proposals in the form of responses on a first-come, first-served basis. Uncommitted fiscal year 2010 funds will expire on September 30, but applicants who submit responses before December 31 at 12 p.m. EST will maintain their places in line for fiscal year 2011 funding. USDA guaranteed loans to purchase, build or renovate more than 4,200 affordable rural rental units in fiscal year 2009. Full application information is contained in the notice of funding availability in the February 26 Federal Register notice.

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Enterprise Community Partners Inc. and CAS Financial Advisory Services (CAS FAS) announced the joint development of a green audit protocol that can be applied to existing affordable multifamily buildings nationally. The Enterprise Retrofit Audit Protocol establishes a baseline for metrics and disclosures in the analysis of green improvements and gives the user an evaluation of the physical and capital needs of a building that is complete and can be underwritten. It incorporates the energy audit as a component of a broader capital needs assessment and allows for cost projection benefits, resulting in an analysis that will enable underwriting mechanisms for retrofitting existing properties. The protocol also establishes methodologies by identifying building systems that need to be inspected and measured, highlights analyses that need to be performed, and provides guidelines on how to present the information. During the next several months, Enterprise will collect feedback on the protocol with the expectation of publishing a review late this year. Visit www.greencommunitiesonline.org for more information.

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The Center for Housing Policy and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) released two regional perspectives policy briefs on the coordination of housing, transportation and workforce policies. The briefs are based on information exchanged during listening sessions held in Atlanta, Ga. and Minnesota's Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. "How Transportation Reform Could Increase the Availability of Housing Affordable to Families with a Mix of Incomes Near Public Transit, Job Centers, and Other Essential Destinations" considers the combined costs of transportation, housing and utilities as an expanded definition of housing affordability and describes options for better coordinating policies to expand affordable housing near essential destinations. "Regional Coordination in Atlanta Metro and in the Twin Cities: Understanding the Challenges and Opportunities of Coordinating Housing, Transportation and Workforce Policies" outlines challenges and opportunities of coordinating housing, transportation and workforce policies based on the experiences of the Atlanta and Twin Cities metro areas. The briefs are part of the center's growing body of work on connections between housing and transportation. Read the full briefs and related materials at www.nhc.org.

PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY

Cris White was appointed to the position of executive director and CEO at the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) by the board of directors. Having served CHFA for more than 20 years in various positions, he acted most recently as its interim executive director and chief operating officer (COO). Before becoming the COO of CHFA in 2001, White was the director of asset management for nearly five years. He resides in Denver, Colo., and holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Regis University.

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Robert Greer, long-time member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), is the new vice chairman of its Housing Credit Group, a trade association for developers and other low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) professionals. The president of Michaels Development Company, Greer will assume chairmanship in 2011. This is the second time Greer has been selected for the position. His duties will include helping the group establish priorities, creating a political agenda inclusive of issues that are important to LIHTC developers, and representing the group before Congress and the Obama Administration.

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Maureen Friar was named president and CEO of the not-for-profit National Housing Conference (NHC). She previously served as executive director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York for 14 years, coordinating advocacy campaigns that resulted in $1 billion in funding and the creation of more than 10,000 housing units. Friar was most recently a marketing consultant for the National Equity Fund and a fundraising consultant for Community Access in New York. In 2006 she received the New York State Association for Affordable Housing's Advocate of the Year Award for excellence, and in 2000 the Regional Best Practices Award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Friar holds a bachelor's degree from Brown University and a master's degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Bill Hourigan joined the planning and housing development division of the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) as a housing outreach coordinator. He will support both rural and tribal communities in North Dakota, identify housing needs and provide technical assistance and information about financial resources. Hourigan was previously a credit underwriting manager at US Bank Consumer Finance.

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Alison A. George was named housing programs manager at the Division of Housing at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. George, previously with Mercy Housing Colorado, will head the division's housing development and asset management programs. She has more than 10 years of experience in affordable housing development. While regional vice president of multifamily housing at Mercy Housing Colorado, George led efforts to acquire the Aromor Apartments and convert the historic hotel into permanent supportive housing for the homeless. She is co-chair of the Hope Communities board of directors and is the chair of its Real Estate Committee. George holds a master's degree in urban planning and a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas.

STATE

The California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC) will now accept applications for Qualified Energy Conservation Bond (QECB), Recovery Zone Economic Development Bond (RZEDB) and Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZFB) allocations on an ongoing basis. CDLAC made this decision because the total requested dollar amount for each program is less than the amount of allocation available. Applications received by each of the regular bimonthly due dates will be considered at the next available committee meeting until the balance of the allocation is exhausted. Anticipated amounts of authority available for reallocation at the meeting on May 26 are: RZFB, more than $132.2 million; RZEDB, approximately $94.4 million; and QECB, more than $192.2 million. Projects in the new round may request an allocation greater than the individual reallocation limit specified in the CDLAC procedures for each program. If excess allocation is available, the committee will consider the request. Refer to www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/ for more information as it becomes available.

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MassHousing in February launched its new web site. The new site consolidates information, documents and applications, providing the agency's rental housing business partners with one online location. Prior to the new-site launch, MassHousing's business partners had to visit one of four agency web sites, depending on the type of business being conducted. Staff used input from the Rental Housing Association to develop the site, which provides financing information and applications for developers; educational resources for rental property managers and residents; and information and contracting opportunities for minority and women-owned business enterprises.

BONDS

MassDevelopment announced in March that it had issued nearly $1.8 million in tax-exempt bonds for Chelmsford Housing Opportunities for Integrated and Community Endeavors (CHOICE) to help the not-for-profit organization finance a 37-unit affordable senior housing complex in Chelmsford, Mass. Enterprise Bank purchased the bonds. The CHOICE Center, sponsored by the Chelmsford Housing Authority, comprises 32 one-bedroom and five two-bedroom units, and will be located on the same campus as the Chelmsford Senior Center and other elderly or disabled persons housing facilities. The two-bedroom units will be reserved for persons with disabilities, who require extensive care or for those acting as caretakers for elderly or disabled family members. The development will also include an adult day health center and 24-hour staffing.

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac selected U.S. Bank National Association to act as administrator and closing agent for the Temporary Credit and Liquidity and the New Issuance Bond programs for housing finance agencies (HFAs), according to the parent company U.S. Bancorp. U.S. Bank provided operational support in the closing of more than 100 HFA bond issues and will perform administrative and operational functions to support ongoing programs. U.S. Bancorp says this initiative will enable HFAs to continue to provide low-interest rate mortgages and expand resources for low- and middle-income borrowers to purchase or rent homes that remain affordable in the long-term.

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The tax-exempt bonds function (TEB) of the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities division announced a compliance project to evaluate the post-issuance and record retention policies, procedures and practices of issuers of Direct Pay Build America Bonds. Issuers of Direct Pay Build America Bonds may receive a refundable credit payment equal to 35 percent of the interest payable on such bonds on each interest payment date. On February 8, TEB began sending compliance check questionnaires to all entities that issued Direct Pay Build America Bonds on a continuous basis. Copies of the questionnaire and cover letter are available online at www.irs.gov.

DEALMAKERS

Two Maryland affordable housing developments for seniors will receive funding from the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP), according to the state's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Conifer Village at Cambridge II, in Cambridge, will offer 70 rental units to senior tenants whose incomes range from $15,575 to $37,380. Aside from the TCAP funds, financing sources include a Bank of America mortgage of nearly $1.5 million, Conifer Realty LLC's $232,119 equity contribution and DHCD's low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs), valued at more than $7.6 million. Conifer Village will be located in the Foxtail Crossing subdivision with two other developments that also received DHCD funding. The second development for seniors, Greens at Liberty Road in Crownsville, will consist of 81 one-bedroom and 21 two-bedroom units for tenants with incomes between $17,200 and $34,500 for single occupancy and $19,700 and $39,420 for double occupancy. Financing includes $2 million in TCAP funding, a more than $4.1 million Enterprise Community Investments Inc. mortgage, and a $500,000 Baltimore County HOME loan. The development will receive more than $8.3 million in LIHTC equity from Enterprise, made possible by an approximate $1.2 million DHCD allocation. The community also received a Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability Program grant.

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The Illinois Housing Development Authority's (IHDA) Affordable Housing Trust Fund provided a $1.25 million low-interest loan to build 85 units of affordable senior housing in Chicago. Senior Suites of Kelvyn Park, a six-story development with 60 one-bedroom and 25 studio units, features a senior center with a fitness area, computer lab, and a cafeteria that also serves seniors from the surrounding area.

CORRECTIONS

An article in the March 2010 issue of the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits incorrectly identified the amount of propane saved per year by solar thermal systems at Wheeler Brook Apartments in Warren, Vt. The solar thermal systems will produce 50 percent of the annual domestic hot water needs. The systems will harvest approximately 50 million Btu per year, which equates to 600 gallons of propane. At $3 per gallon for propane, the simple payback on the system is 15 years; with the federal and state incentives factored in, the payback is 7 years. We regret the error.

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Tracey Easton was misidentified in the March issue of the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits. She is general counsel for the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority. We regret the error.

Journal Category:

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits

Authors:

Novogradac

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