First Phase in Albany Revitalization Effort Opens

ALBANY, N.Y. Offi cials celebrated the opening of Jared Holt Mews Townhouses, which marks the completion of the fi rst phase of a $22 million revitalization effort of the city's South End.

Along with Energy Star appliances, each townhouse includes the highesteffi ciency HVAC system, windows, and lighting fi xtures to exceed the state energy code by at least 20 percent. There are 10 units off ering one to fi ve bedrooms.

As co-developer, Omni Housing Development, LLC, managed the designing and building of the project as well as the fi nancing process. The Albany Housing Authority was also a developer.

The average rent for income-qualifi ed families below 60 percent of the area median income through the housing authority will be $871 plus utilities.

Funding was provided to the housing authority by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal's Housing Trust Fund. The division also allocated low-income housing tax credits to the project. KeyBank, Key Community Development Corp., and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York also provided fi nancing.


FHLBank of Atlanta Funds 85 Projects in 10 States

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Atlanta recently announced that it has awarded more than $43 million to fund 85 aff ordable housing projects in 10 states.

Local developers, in partnership with FHLBank of Atlanta member institutions, will use $38.6 million of the funds to buy, build, or preserve 4,040 aff ordable housing units in seven states within its district, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Partnerships in three states outside the FHLBank's district—Tennessee, Texas, and Louisiana—will receive funds totaling $4.4 million to develop 474 housing units.

FHLBank of Atlanta awarded the funds as part of its 2008 Aff ordable Housing Program (AHP) off ering. In addition, the 2008 AHP funds will be combined with other funding sources to develop more than $330 million of aff ordable housing.

Florida Cuts $190 Million from Affordable Housing Trust Fund

The Florida Legislature, in order to stem the economic downfall of state fi - nances, cut $190 million from the state's aff ordable housing trust fund, asking that the Florida Housing Finance Corp., the entity which oversees the fund, repay the state by June 1.

Developers are furious and are threatening lawsuits, according to Steve Auger, Florida Housing's executive director, who wrote in a statement: “At this point, there's a good group of developers who have spent, on average, something close to $3 million per development since the time they were awarded the funding— and they've told us that they plan to fi le lawsuits challenging the state's ability to take back these funds.”

The trust fund was not the only area in which budgets were cut, in order to regain the $2.3 billion defi cit facing the state budget. Lawmakers also cut $917 million in government services and programs, $400 million from the budget stabilization trust fund, and delayed $321 million in construction projects to name a few.


LACDC Becomes Abode Communities

LOS ANGELES The Los Angeles Community Design Center has changed its name to Abode Communities.

“Our new name better defi nes our commitment to top quality aff ordable housing, specializing in architecture, real estate development, housing services, and resident services,” says President Robin Hughes. “This new name refl ects our widened geographic scope beyond Los Angeles and our expansion into a fully integrated, multi-disciplinary organization.”

The nonprofi t organization has more than 40 years of experience in affordable housing and community building.

Abode Communities owns 32 properties throughout Southern California.

Oxford Plaza Opens in Berkeley

BERKELEY, CALIF. After seven years of planning and 18 months of construction, Resources for Community Development (RCD) has opened Oxford Plaza.

“Despite the project's challenges, what's important is that much-needed aff ordable housing for working families and individuals, including those with special needs, has been created in downtown Berkeley, housing that will stay aff ordable for 50 years,” says Dan Sawislak, executive director of RCD, a nonprofi t that has built more than 1,500 units.

There were nearly 3,500 applicants for the 97 apartments. Individuals who earn less than $12,060 per year to families of four earning up to $51,660 annually are served at Oxford Plaza.