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Low-Income Housing Tax Credits News Briefs - October 2011

AFFORDABLE HOUSING INDUSTRY

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in a press release that it will provide tax relief to certain taxpayers in designated areas that were impacted by Hurricane Irene. The relief postpones certain tax filing and payment deadlines until October 31. Corporations and businesses that previously obtained an extension to file their 2010 tax returns until September 15 or October 17 may also be eligible for the October 31 extension. The relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the hurricane damage and is based on Federal Emergency Management Agency assessments. A list of areas that are eligible for tax relief is available at www.irs.gov.

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Fitch Ratings found that housing finance agencies (HFAs) showed major improvements from fiscal year (FY) 2009 in terms of net interest spread (NIS), according to the agency's 2011 state HFA statistical report. The report contains FY 2010 data for 50 HFAs. Thirty-four HFAs showed an increase in NIS in 2010, compared to 10 in FY 2009. Fitch Ratings attributed the increase in NIS to decreased variable-rate debt, interest expenses and the retirement of higher-cost debt. The report also demonstrated that HFAs' total assets grew by 5.1 percent and total debt grew by 4 percent. Both had decreased in 2009.

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Enterprise Community Partners and MetLife announced the winners of the 2011 MetLife Foundation Awards for Excellence in Affordable Housing. The four winners will each receive $50,000 in grant funds to expand their work in affordable senior housing and will be recognized at various events around the country. The 2011 winners are: B'nai B'rith Housing New England in Brighton, Mass., for Covenant House; Ingleside Homes in Wilmington, Del., for Ingleside Retirement Apartments; Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation in Jamaica Plain, Mass., for the Julia Martin House; and PEP Housing in Petaluma, Calif., for Casa Grande Senior Apartments.

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The multifamily housing market continued to show improvement in the second quarter of 2011, according to the National Association of Home Builder's (NAHB's) Multifamily Production Index (MPI), which increased for the fourth consecutive quarter. The MPI rose from 41.7 in the first quarter of the year to 44.4 in the second quarter. This figure represents the highest quarterly reading since 2006 and continues the trend of generally improving market conditions for new multifamily housing that has emerged since the MPI dropped to a record low of 16.0 in the third quarter of 2008.

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Boston Financial Investment Management announced that its San Francisco, Calif. office has moved. The new address is 315 Montgomery St., Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94104.

DEALMAKERS

Wells Fargo and Related Companies announced the acquisition of Parkway Gardens, a 694-unit affordable community on the Southside of Chicago, Ill. Built as a co-op in the mid-1950s, the property comprises 35 buildings on 13 acres. The acquisition ensures that the development will be preserved as affordable housing for another 30 years and Related Companies, which will own and manage the property, has committed to spend $40 million on physical, mechanical and structural upgrades. Wells Fargo made a $36.5 million equity investment, consisting of $26.6 million in LIHTCs and $9.9 million in historic tax credits, for the community's purchase and renovation. The transaction also received $59.5 million in bonds from the Illinois Housing Development Authority under the New Issue Bond Program, which will facilitate the property's rehabilitation and preservation. Mortgage banking firm Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP marketed the property on the seller's behalf.

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RBC Capital Markets' Tax Credit Equity Group announced the closing of its more than $249.3 million National Fund 14, the firm's largest multi-investor fund to date. The fund includes investments from six U.S. banks and financial services firms and five insurance companies, and is composed of nine existing investors and two new investors. It includes 35 low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) communities and will result in more than 2,400 homes located in 17 states.

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Centerline Capital Group invested $9.1 million in the second phase of Park Boulevard in Chicago, Ill. The multifamily property is one of 16 developments included in Centerline's CCP38 Fund, which recently closed at more than $119.2 million. This phase of Park Boulevard will redevelop 128 units in four buildings on a 2-acre site. The mix of units will include 72 one-bedroom, 48 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom apartments, with 46 public housing units and 54 units restricted to residents earning less than 60 percent of the area median income.

STATE BRIEFS

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) awarded more than $6.7 million in annual LIHTC reservations to eight developments in round two of its competitive LIHTC allocation process. The agency reviewed 21 applications requesting a total of $20.7 million in annual credit. The selected developments were Aria Townhome Apartments, Mariposa Redevelopment Phase II, Shoshone Senior Residences and Sunset Towers Apartments, all in Denver; Caribou Apartments Phase II in Ft. Collins; Libretto Apartments in Brighton; Mirasol II in Loveland; and Oakshire Hills II in Pueblo.

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The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) released a summary of stakeholder comments that it received about costs associated with building affordable housing. TCAC gathered the comments during three forums that it held in July. The cost containment forums report includes comments on scoring, public policies, land costs and local requirements. TCAC plans to collect and analyze more data and held a public hearing last month on the subject.

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The Oregon State Housing Council approved nearly $40 million in funding for housing developers through the 2011 Consolidated Funding Cycle (CFC), which includes funds from federal LIHTCs, Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit, HOME, the Housing Trust Fund and other sources. The money will help fund 810 affordable housing units in 24 developments throughout the state. Of the $40 million total, $22 million was awarded as tax credits. A list of selected recipients is available from the Council.

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TCAC announced that it is considering updating the apportionment of federal and state low-income housing tax credit among the agency's geographic regions. The agency most recently revised the apportionment in 2004. In a memo on August 30, TCAC outlines the methodology adopted in 2004, provides preliminary data updating the previous apportionment percentages, and facilitates a discussion with stakeholders regarding possible alternatives in updating the apportionments. TCAC invited stakeholders to discuss the proposed update at regional conferences this fall, as well as at scheduled public hearings to be held on proposed 2012 regulation changes.

PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) named Patricia Hippe its new chief financial officer (CFO). Hippe most recently served as the deputy commissioner and CFO for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA). As CFO, Hippe will serve on CHFA's four-member executive team and oversee the authority's corporate debt and investment, treasury, accounting and information technology teams. She has 16 years of experience in the affordable housing industry and raised more than $5.4 billion to support MHFA's housing programs during her tenure there. Hippe will assume her role at CHFA on October 24.

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MHFA announced that Don Wyszynski has accepted the position of CFO. He served as the agency's director of financial strategy. Wyszynski began serving in his new capacity at the end of September.

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Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's (AHFC's) board of directors re-elected Frank Roppel to serve as the board chairman. He has chaired the board since his appointment by Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2003. Roppel formerly served on the Alaska State Housing Authority and AHFC board for 12 years in the '70s and '80s. The board also re-elected N. Claiborne Porter, who has served since 2005, as vice chair.

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Nixon Peabody LLP announced that four professionals will join its tax credit finance and syndication practice in New York City. Alan S. Cohen and Mark A. Kreitman, former leaders of Paul Hastings' affordable housing tax credit practice, have arrived as partners. Associate Amy Curry and paralegal George Steiner have also joined the team. Cohen's practice has been focused on affordable housing and tax credits. Kreitman's practice involves resolution of substantive partnership, real estate, tax, regulatory, environmental and community development issues.

BONDS

The IRS announced updated procedures and educational resources for the Tax-Exempt Bond (TEB) Voluntary Closing Agreement program (VCAP). The updates include additional resolution standards for TEBs and direct pay bonds as well as a new provision allowing reduced closing agreement amounts for issuers that implement written post-issuance compliance procedures. The IRS also released web-based educational resources that provide basic information about post-issuance compliance and voluntary compliance programs. More information about the VCAP updates are available at www.irs.gov.

Journal Category:

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits

Authors:

Novogradac

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