PROVIDENCE—Dorothy Boisseau has already driven out to visit all nine of the project sites that applied for 2008 low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs).
"It’s one of the advantages of living in a small state," said Boisseau, tax credit administrator for the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp.
One trend is immediately clear, Boisseau said: More developers are including apartments that will rent at market rates in their affordable housing plans. Projects that won LIHTCs in 2007 will produce 283 affordable apartments and 31 market-rate units.
On Jan. 19, 2008, Rhode Island officials will announce the winners of the state’s single-round competition for $2.3 million in 2008 LIHTCs. Developers turned in applications for more than twice that amount, $5.8 million, on Oct. 5, 2007.
The qualified allocation plan for the 2008 program was the same as in 2007.
The contest for LIHTCs is just one part of the new Rhode Island Five Year Strategic Housing Plan: 2006-2010. The plan aims to bring affordable housing to all the communities in the state by building 5,000 units of affordable housing over five years.
The state’s towns have agreed to make at least 10 percent of their housing stock affordable within the limits given in the plan, said Boisseau. Planning grants are available to local governments willing to increase the density of development they allow.
To help achieve these goals, the legislature in November 2006 passed legislation authorizing $50 million in bonds for housing. The Building Homes Rhode Island program provides $12.5 million a year over four years to affordable housing projects. In 2007, 10 rental and 10 homeownership projects received grants and soft loans through the program, helping to fund 73 units of affordable homeownership housing and 182 units of affordable rental housing.
Officials also expect to use $50 million of Rhode Island’s $260 million in taxexempt bond volume cap for affordable rental projects in 2008. In 2007, 15 affordable housing projects received financing from $65 million in tax-exempt bonds. These developments will create 718 apartments, helping to put Rhode Island on track to meet the goals in its strategic plan, Boisseau said.
2008 LIHTC PROGRAM:
- 2008 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.3 million
- Application deadlines: Oct. 5, 2007
- Web: www.rhodeislandhousing.org