On Oct. 3, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the fiscal year (FY) 2015 fair market rents (FMRs). HUD uses FMRs to determine payment standard amounts for the Housing Choice Voucher program. FMRs determine initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts and to determine initial rents for housing assistance payment (HAP) contracts in the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program. The FY 2015 FMRs were effective Oct. 1. They can be found online at www.taxcredithousing.com.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2014-52 Sept. 15, announcing the reallocation of $2.59 million of unused LIHTCs from the national pool for 2014. Allocations ranged from $5,963 for Vermont to $364,756 for California. Additional information about Rev. Proc. 2014-52 can be found at novogradac.wordpress.com.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a list of Community Reinvestment Act performance evaluations Sept. 22. The OCC evaluated national banks, federal savings associations and insured federal branches of foreign banks. Of the 26 evaluations released, four were rated outstanding, 22 were rated satisfactory and none were rated as needs to improve or substantial noncompliance.
On Sept. 24, the Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) announced the winners of the second and final allocation round of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) for 2014. Eighteen applications were received, requesting nearly $16 million in LIHTCs. CHFA awarded six developments with a combined total of nearly $5 million. Grove Street Apartments in Denver received $915,504 and will provide 42 units of affordable rental housing. Mission Village of Greeley in Greeley received $990,000 and will provide 50 new, family-sized units. Oakshire Trails in Pueblo received $1.1 million and will provide 62 one- and two-bedroom units for seniors 55 and older. Pathways Village in Grand Junction received $785,116 and will provide new 40-unit development for homeless individuals and families. South Fork Heights Apartments in South Fork received $312,589 and will provide 34 units of affordable housing. Spring Creek Apartments in Longmont received $888,948 and will provide 60 affordable senior housing units.
On Sept. 27, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law A.B. 1760 and S.B. 1203. The new law prohibits the assessment of payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) fees on nonprofit affordable housing developers who qualify for property tax exemption. It also protects the tax-exempt status of developers who have entered into PILOT agreements in the past. The legislation cancelled any outstanding tax, interest or penalty that was levied between Jan. 1, 2012, and Jan. 1, 2015, as a result of a PILOT agreement. In addition, any tax, interest or penalty, as so levied, that was pair prior to Jan. 1, 2015, shall be refunded. Both bills are available at www.taxcredithousing.com
On Sept. 3, a ribbon cutting was held for Heather Estates, an affordable housing development in Imperial, Neb. Developer Dana Point Development received $1.5 million in federal LIHTCs for construction, as well as funds from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and land and funds invested by the city of Imperial. Heather Estates is a 10-unit single-family rental community. Each unit will have three or four bedrooms, and amenities will include individual security systems and a community garden. Eight of the homes are available at affordable rates and the other two are available at market rate.
On Sept. 18, the Northern Marianas Housing Corporation (NMHC) approved $373,000 in carryover allocation of 2014 LIHTCs to Blue Water Homes LLC for the construction of an 80-unit low-income housing property. Blue Water Homes LLC exchanged a 2013 nonprofit set-aside allocation of tax credits in exchange for a 2014 for-profit allocation of tax credits. NMHC’s Corporate Director Jesse Palacios said in a press release that the state housing finance agency can only allocate 90 percent of the state’s credit ceiling to for-profit entities and the remaining 10 percent is reserved for nonprofits.
The grand opening for Genesis Woods Apartments, a special needs housing development in Grand Rapids, Mich., was held Oct. 1. The property provides 33 apartment homes for people who are formerly homeless, have special needs and/or who are physically disabled. Financing was provided by Great Lakes Capital Fund, which contributed $4.8 million in LIHTC equity; Chemical Bank provided the construction loan; Michigan State Housing and Development Authority allocated a permanent mortgage and HOME funds; and Kent County provided additional HOME funds. The total development cost for Genesis Woods was more than $6.3 million.
On Sept. 29, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community development subsidiary of U.S. Bank, and Elderly Housing Development and Operations Corporation announced the investment of $7.4 million in LIHTC equity for the construction of Minerva Manor. Located in Fontana, Calif., the senior housing development will comprise 50 one-bedroom and 13 two-bedroom units, and the property will be located on 3 acres. Units will be made available to seniors earning 60 percent or less of area median income (AMI). Amenities will include a community room, computer center, a conference center and a fitness room. Construction is expected to be complete by October 2015.
Boston Capital announced Sept. 30 that it is investing in the rehabilitation of Cumberland Village Apartments. Located in Middlesboro, KY, the 60-unit family development will be rehabilitated with LIHTC equity. The property will comprise 12 one-bedroom, 32 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom units located in eight two-story buildings. Of those units, 13 units will be restricted to households containing at least one resident with mental, physical or developmental disabilities. Units will be available to families earning 60 percent or less of the AMI. Renovations planned by developer Paducah Housing Services Inc. will include new fixtures, new appliances and flooring and high-efficiency central heating and cooling systems. For the exterior, features will include new fiber cement siding, new roofs, new windows and doors, gutters and downspouts, and new exterior lighting. Property improvements will include upgraded landscaping, a new playground and a new central laundry facility. The rehabilitation of Cumberland Village Apartments is expected to generate $3.3 million in local salaries and create nearly 36 construction jobs.
PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY
In October, Grace Robertson retired from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after 30 years of service. Robertson worked in several positions during her time there, but spent the last 15 years primarily working as senior program analyst, technical issues, on the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). Robertson is also the primary author of the “Low-Income Housing Credit – Guide for Completing Form 8823.” The guide provides standardized criteria to use in reporting noncompliance to the IRS on Form 8823. In addition, she is the primary author of an updated audit technique guide (ATG) for the LIHTC program. The ATG provides guidance for IRS examiners to audit owners of LIHTC properties.
Nixon Peabody announced Sept. 11 that Elizabeth “Liz” Young joined the Washington, D.C. office as counsel in the tax credit finance and syndication practice group. Young will be responsible for structuring and developing U.S.-based partnership/pass-through transactions, complex tax-exempt organization restructurings and non-U.S. inbound transactions. She previously worked at Saul Ewing LLP and Arent Fox LLP. Prior to that, she was in the international tax department of Ernst & Young LLP. Young received a master of laws degree from Boston University School of Law and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.
The Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago Inc. board of directors announced Sept. 16 that Kristin Faust was appointed president. Faust previously served as director of lending and network services at Partners for the Common Good. Prior to that, she was president of the Enterprise Community Loan Fund. She was also chief deputy treasurer for Philip Angelides during his tenure as California state treasurer, and senior vice president for Community Development at LaSalle Bank. She is a board member of NeighborWorks Capital, Neighborhood Lending Services and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Loan Committee. Faust received a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Harvard University. Her appointment was effective in October.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) announced Sept. 17 the addition of Sam Marks as executive director of its New York City program. The national nonprofit’s NYC Program has invested more than $2 billion to help revitalize some of New York City’s most distressed neighborhoods. Prior to joining LISC, he was at Deutsche Bank, where he served as vice president of both the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and the bank’s Global Social Finance group. Prior to that, he was director of housing and community development at WHEDco, a South Bronx community development corporation. In addition, he founded Breakthrough New York, a citywide organization that helps low-income students advance toward college. Marks serves as vice chair of the Center for Urban Pedagogy. He received a master’s degree in public policy and urban planning from the Harvard Kennedy School.
On Sept. 29, the National Association of State and Local Equity Funds (NASLEF) announced Nancy Owens, president of Housing Vermont, as its new president. NASLEF is a professional, nonprofit association that promotes the efficient management of state and local equity funds. The announcement was made at the 21st annual NASLEF conference in mid-September. Owens originally joined Housing Vermont in 1999 as project developer, then moved up to vice president of development. She became president of Housing Vermont in 2009, and has been responsible for a housing portfolio of 160 properties, syndicating housing tax credits, directing compliance activities and developing new properties. Owens serves on the state Housing Preservation Council and is past chair of the Intervale Center. She is currently involved in the NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence program. Owens succeeds Peter Sargent of the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation. Her appointment was effective Sept. 18.
On Sept. 29, KeyBank announced that Norman Bliss is the new senior vice president and director of community development to the corporate responsibility division. He will oversee the bank’s community development lending, investing and service activities nationwide as they relate to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) exam. He previously served as senior vice president and manager at First Merit Corporation. He was also vice president at both First Merit Corporation and Premier Bank & Trust. Prior to that, Bliss was a bank examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland. Bliss received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Howard University. He also holds a Housing Development Finance Professional Certification and is a graduate of the National Community Development Lending School. Bliss is a board member of both the Cleveland Housing Network and the East Akron Community Development Corporation, and he sits on the Consumer Bankers Association CRA committee.
On Oct. 2, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC) announced that William “Bill” Carson joined the company as vice president, community impact strategy. Carson will focus on innovative community investment. Prior to joining USBCDC, he was corporate sustainability leader of McCormack Baron Salazar and president of Sunwheel Energy, a company providing renewable energy and sustainability services to the affordable housing industry. Prior to that, he was executive director of the Vashon Education Compact, a partnership of 45 major corporations and foundations investing in improving student outcomes in at-risk public schools. Carson began his career as an engineer and product manager with Air Products and Chemicals, an environmental and industrial equipment and technology company. Carson earned a master’s degree in engineering and policy, and a master’s degree in engineering management, both from Washington University. He is a U.S. Green Building Council member and accredited professional (LEED AP). Carson serves on the executive committees of the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and on the Leadership Council of the Danforth Plant Science Center.
On Oct. 3, Hunt Mortgage Group, announced the appointment of Daniel J. Wolins as managing director and chief credit officer for commercial real estate. Wolins will operate out of the New York office and will serve clients nationwide. The provider of real estate mortgage services for affordable and conventional multifamily housing created this role to extending the firms reach beyond multifamily property to include other property types such as retail, office and hotels. Previously, Wolins was a partner at Olmsted Capital, a New York-based real estate private equity firm. Prior to that, he was a consultant for Barclays Capital on their CMBS team, and was also a commercial real estate due diligence provider for Spring 11. Wolins was also previously a director for Deutsche Bank’s Commercial Real Estate Group in London. Wolins received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University Vermont.
On Oct. 6, WNC, a national investor in real estate and community development initiatives, announced the addition of Daniel Garrett as vice president, originations. Garrett was previously the founder of Garrett Development Group, a company that assisted general partners in structuring and developing LIHTC properties. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of a tax credit syndication company, responsible for operations in Iowa. Garrett received a master’s degree from Drake University. He holds the housing certified credit professional designation, and has been a member of the city of Des Moines Housing Appeals Board since 2010.
On Sept. 18, the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) approved Resolution No. 1042, authorizing the issuance of multifamily housing refunding revenue bonds not to exceed $15 million. The resolution will provide proceeds to redeem the prior bonds and lower the cost of borrowing to enable MHDC to make modifications to reduce the mortgage interest rates for these loans. The bonds will refund the bonds issued in 2004 and 2005 that financed four FHA risk-share loans. They have mortgage rates that range from 6.00 percent and to 6.25 percent.