BEDFORD—Affordable housing projects designed to conserve energy, water, or land will get a big advantage in the competition for New Hampshire’s 2008 low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs).
Developers can earn up to 30 points by including green development features in their planned projects, twice as many as in 2007, according to the proposed qualified allocation plan (QAP) for the 2008 LIHTC program, which officials plan to finalize Nov. 15.
The extra points can make a big difference. Projects can earn a maximum 231 points in the competition for LIHTCs, though typical projects will score closer to 150, according to Mark Koppelkam, LIHTC program manager for the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.
The green development points include up to 25 points rewarding a list of features ranging from spray insulation techniques to site plans that provide open space. Developers can also earn up to five points for green building techniques that don’t appear on the list but that agency officials believe are innovative and cost effective.
The authority also plans to make it easier to meet the growing demand for housing for single adults. The proposed QAP will no longer penalize family projects that include one-bedroom apartments. Developers used to gain up to 30 points for filling their projects with 2- bedroom and 3-bedroom apartments. Now developers can make up to 40 percent of the units at their projects one-bedroom apartments without missing out on points, Koppelkam said.
The authority received applications for $6.5 million in 2007 LIHTCs, more than twice the $3.2 million it had to hand out.
All five of the projects that won LIHTCs in 2007 will be newly constructed. New Hampshire continues to favor projects that add significantly to the housing stock—and help combat the state’s housing shortage—with 20 points. The five winning projects will create 209 new affordable apartments.
In 2008, the authority will only set aside $15 million of the state’s $265 million in tax-exempt bond volume cap for affordable rental housing. In 2007, the authority financed six affordable housing projects, totaling 408 apartments, with $21 million in tax-exempt bonds.
2008 LIHTC PROGRAM:
- 2008 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.6 million
- Application deadlines: Feb. 8, 2008, and June 27, 2008
- Web: www.nhhfa.org