Executive director, Florida Housing Finance Corp.
What’s the biggest change you’ve made to the 2015 qualified allocation plan (QAP), and why?
FHFC did not make any substantive changes to the 2015 QAP. Fifteen percent of Florida's tax credit allocation is set aside for preservation or acquisition and preservation projects, and up to 5% of the allocations will be reserved for high-priority affordable housing projects, as defined by the Corporation's board of directors, and another 5% will be reserved for projects that target persons who have a disabling condition. The remaining 85% will be used for applicants in the following categories: New Construction; Rehabilitation; Acquisition and Rehabilitation; Redevelopment; or Acquisition and Redevelopment.
What trends are you seeing in your 9% and/or 4% credit low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) programs?
Florida has experienced strong pricing throughout the state for tax credits. Additionally, as the market has heated up, particularly in south Florida, construction costs are increasing.
What strategies are you implementing to preserve existing affordable housing?
FHFC makes 15% of the total LIHTC allocation available for the preservation of existing affordable housing.
Additionally, state-appropriated “gap” funding (State Apartment Incentive Loan Program) is allocated with the requirement that it be used in conjunction with tax-exempt bonds and 4% LIHTCs, resulting in preservation of affordable housing in Florida.
What is your agency doing to address cost containment?
Beginning in 2012, FHFC began making total development cost caps (tailored by development type) part of the allocation process for LIHTC and state funding provided by the Corporation.
What advice do you have for developers applying for LIHTCs and/or other financing in your state? What’s a common mistake developers make when applying for funding?
FHFC’s Request For Applications (RFAs) (used to determine
which developers will receive the various Corporation allocations) have only a
few basic requirements for applicants to be eligible for funding. Our advice to
applicants is for them to thoroughly understand the provisions of the RFAs to
preserve their eligibility for funding. Additionally, the Corporation is
interested in funding applications for projects that are truly ready to proceed
once the applicant receives an award.