Deals that can get across the finish line.

That's what many state housing finance agencies will be focusing on next year as they revise their qualified allocation plans (QAPs) to better identify and reward the most viable affordable housing proposals.

Developer experience will carry added weight in several states when they award low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) next year.

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority are among the state agencies planning to revise their evaluation of a development team or increase points for developer experience, according to a survey by AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE. The study looked at changes to 2011 QAPs from across the country.

The increased attention on experience comes at a time when deals are tougher to close because of limited investor equity and tougher debt standards.

Several states, including Iowa and Texas, are also looking at toughening their stand on developers who have had problems with recent deals.

Other states are considering additional moves to make sure projects move forward.

Applications that come with a hard equity commitment or letter of interest from a LIHTC syndicator look to have an advantage in Michigan and New Mexico next year. A few agencies, including the South Dakota Housing Development Authority, plan to expand their “difficult-to-develop” areas to allow more projects to receive a 30 percent boost in eligible basis.

The housing finance agencies are coming off a hectic year. In addition to reserving their annual LIHTC authority, they awarded $2.25 billion under the special Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) and several billion dollars more under the Tax Credit Exchange Program (Sec. 1602) to assist stalled project.

Many states, including California, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, and Massachusetts, reported that developer demand for LIHTCs increased in 2010. A few states, including Alabama and Arizona, reported a drop in demand.

Several agencies noted seeing an increase in LIHTC pricing and growing confidence that investors are returning to the market.

West

WASHINGTON

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $14 million

Application deadline: Jan. 13, 2011

No major changes were reported in the 2011 QAP. In 2010, $14.8 million in LIHTCs was reserved to 13 projects that will provide 827 affordable units. In addition, eight projects received $43 million in TCAP loans, and 18 deals received $87.6 million in exchange funds.

OREGON

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $8.2 million

Application deadline: April 29, 2011 (tentative)

Oregon officials were just beginning to look at possible changes to its geographic allocation and developer fee policies. In 2010, 14 projects received $8 million in LIHTC reservations. About half went to preservation deals. About $27 million in TCAP loans had been awarded to 15 projects, and seven projects received $20.5 million in exchange funds.

NEVADA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $5.7 million

Application deadline: May 2011 (tentative)

In addition to the required 10 percent nonprofi t set-aside, a 7 percent set-aside for U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development projects is anticipated. Nevada also uses geographic apportionment. In 2010, reservations were made to nine deals. About 72 percent of the state's population is in Clark County, so 72 percent of the allocation was targeted there.

CALIFORNIA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $77.6 million

Application deadlines: March 23, 2011, and July 6, 2011(tentative)

The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee is considering revising its two competitive tiebreakers. Officials are also weighing changes to the state set-asides, including the possibility of dropping the small project set-aside. A final plan isn't expected until early next year. In 2010, 73 developments with more than 4,000 affordable units received reservations. The state received 272 applications, a 13 percent increase from 2009. The rural category was the most oversubscribed. Thirteen rural projects received reservations out of 77 applicants in the set-aside. In addition, three at-risk rural deals were funded. Fifty-five projects had received $325 million in TCAP funds at press time. In addition, 97 developments received $478 million in exchange program funds.

IDAHO

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $3.2 million

Application deadlines: Sept. 3, 2010, and Feb. 11, 2011; if needed, another round may be scheduled for the summer.

Officials were preparing a draft QAP at press time. They expect to have a final plan by Jan. 1, 2011. The maximum LIHTC award in the state is $850,000. In 2010, eight out of 26 applicants received a LIHTC reservation.

WYOMING

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.5 million

Application deadline: Jan. 31, 2011

The Wyoming Community Development Authority has released a draft allocation plan. Because projects in rural areas are difficult to develop, officials have proposed a small rural project set-aside. In 2010, two projects received $1.9 million in LIHTC reservations.

MONTANA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.5 million

Application deadline: Jan. 21, 2011; if needed, a second round will be held in May.

Officials at the Board of Housing report no major changes to the 2011 QAP. In 2010, six projects that will provide 238 affordable units received LIHTC reservations. Montana also awarded $7.8 million in TCAP funding to two projects and about $17.8 million in exchange funds to 10 deals.

UTAH

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $5.8 million

Application deadline: Oct. 1, 2010

Officials at the Utah Housing Corp. expect to reserve its 2011 LIHTCs in December 2010. Officials reported that they reduced the application fee to a flat $2,500 per project to make the program more accessible. They also reduced the nonprofit sponsor points to encourage more for-profit applications. To encourage sustainable design, projects that earn Enterprise Green Communities or LEED certifi- cation receive incentive points.

COLORADO

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $12.2million

Application deadlines: March 1, 2011, and July 1, 2011 (tentative)

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority is clarifying its evaluation of the experience and track record of the development team, including the developer and/or sponsor, management agent, accountant, attorney, and general contractor. Colorado is also considering multiple-year set-asides for two proposed HOPE VI projects. A final QAP is expected by the end of the year. In 2010, 10 projects with 671 affordable units received $9.7 million in LIHTC reservations. More than $36 million had been requested.

ARIZONA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $15 million

Application deadline: March 1, 2011 (tentative)

The Arizona Department of Commerce has released its draft QAP. A final plan is expected by the end of the year. Officials anticipate focusing on acquisition and rehab deals next year because of the high vacancy rates in the state.

NEW MEXICO

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $4.5 million

Application deadline: Jan. 31, 2011

A draft QAP calls for applicants to include a letter of interest from a tax credit syndicator or direct investor. This is to help ensure that developers are structuring viable deals and provide information to the agency about the credit market for underwriting. Officials are also considering added scoring for adaptive-reuse projects, which involve the demolition of blighted buildings or the remediation of brownfield sites.

HAWAII

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.7 million

Application deadline: Late January 2011 (tentative)

No big changes are planned for the 2011 QAP. Application forms are expected to be available in late November or early December of this year.

ALASKA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.5 million

Application deadline: Oct. 5, 2010

The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. was planning to award about $2.3 million in 2011 LIHTCs to a single demonstration project involving a public housing development in Anchorage at press time.

Northeast

NEW YORK

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $43 million

Application deadline: Feb. 9, 2011, for New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)

Of the state's total $43 million in authority, HCR will retain about $28 million and will suballocate about $15 million to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. In 2010, the state's main housing agencies consolidated under the new HCR. Thirty-eight developments received $36 million in credits. Officials reported substantial demand to finance acquisition-rehab deals. The state also provided $253 million in TCAP grants to 47 projects.

VERMONT

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.5 million

Application deadline: Open funding

Officials anticipate no major changes to the 2011 program. Vermont also has a state tax credit program that could provide about $500,000 in credits next year. In 2010, six developments received LIHTC reservations. In addition, the state had awarded $4.7 million in TCAP loans to five projects and $14 million in exchange program funds to eight deals at press time.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.8 million

Application deadline: March 4, 2011

Preservation projects are now eligible for 9 percent credits under certain conditions, according to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority's 2011 QAP. In addition, investment limits of authority capital subsidy and tax credit equity (combined) are reduced to $190,000 per unit, and the scoring preference for nonprofits is reduced.

MAINE

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.5 million

Application deadline: Oct. 28, 2010

Maine's priorities for allocating credits include projects that incorporate smart-growth principles and contribute to vibrant, mixed-use downtown communities. The state has received 13 applications for 2011 credits.

MASSACHUSETTS

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $13.8 million

Application deadlines: March 2011 and September 2011 (tentative)

No major changes are anticipated next year, according to the Department of Housing and Community Development. In 2010, 25 developments received $16.2 million in reservations. More than $78 million was requested. The department also reported awarding $60 million in TCAP loans to 12 projects and $109 million in exchange program funds to 20 deals.

RHODE ISLAND

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.5 million

Application deadline: Nov. 19, 2010

Additional emphasis has been placed on conformance with Rhode Island Housing's KeepSpace initiative, which stresses smart-growth and compact development principles. In 2010, reservations were made to three projects with 134 units.

CONNECTICUT

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $7.4 million

Application deadline: April 1, 2011 (tentative)

A QAP is expected to be final around February 2011. The draft has been simplified, particularly around class designation and point allocation and encourages developments that are well-capitalized and ready to proceed, say officials.

PENNSYLVANIA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $26 million

Application deadline: Nov. 5, 2010

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency was considering several notable changes, including dividing the processing of applications into a preliminary stage and an underwriting stage. During the preliminary stage, an application will be evaluated on its site, location, and market of the proposed project. Projects selected to move forward would then submit an underwriting application in March 2011.

DELAWARE

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.7 million

Application deadline: April 8, 2011 (tentative)

Officials expect to have a final QAP in December. Officials at the Delaware State Housing Authority were revising the preservation- rehabilitation pool to prioritize needs. In 2010, five projects received $2.8 million in LIHTC reservations. Demand was twice as high as the year before, with 12 applicants requesting $6.3 million in credits.

NEW JERSEY

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $18 million

Application deadline: May 2011 (tentative)

A final QAP is expected in early 2011. In 2010, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency reserved about $24 million in credits to 12 projects. Officials noted that the credits awarded this year were from the 2011-2012 LIHTC authority. Demand was strong, with $63 million in credits requested. Officials also awarded $61 million in TCAP funds to 17 projects and about $123 million in exchange program funds to 22 deals.

MARYLAND

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $12.1million

Application deadlines: April 2011 and September 2011 (tentative)

Maryland officials expect to have a final QAP in January 2011. They have been considering scoring changes for development team financial capacity and income targeting. They are also looking at possibly making energy audits mandatory for existing buildings except for substantial rehab projects, which must comply with new codes. In 2010, 13 developments were reserved about $12 million in LIHTCs.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.5 million

Application deadline: TBD

A final QAP is expected in December. No major changes are anticipated, according to officials at the Department of Housing and Community Development. In 2010, five projects were reserved $2.4 million in credits. Officials also awarded $11.6 million in TCAP funds and nearly $21 million in exchange program funds.

Southeast

WEST VIRGINIA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $3.9 million

Application deadline: TBD

No details were available about the West Virginia Housing Development Fund's 2011 plans at press time.

VIRGINIA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $16.5 million

Application deadline: March 11, 2011

The Virginia Housing Development Authority will have a new tiered-point system for green building certifications in 2011. This year, 26 developments received $15.3 million in LIHTC reservations. The authority also awarded $44 million in TCAP loans to 16 projects and about $112 million in exchange funds to 33 projects.

NORTH CAROLINA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $20 million

Application deadline: Jan. 14, 2011

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency had a draft QAP at press time, with a final plan expected in November. Officials were working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to prioritize properties for rehabilitation. In 2010, 31 projects received $20.5 million in reservations. More than $86 million in credits had been requested. In addition, the agency awarded $52 million in TCAP and $95 million in exchange program funds.

SOUTH CAROLINA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $8.4 million

Application deadlines: Tierone site and market review is due Feb. 25, 2011, and tier-two full application is due May 30 to June 3, 2011.

A new QAP is expected to be finalized in December. State housing officials were looking at several changes, including geographically distributing credits in the state's six congressional districts, increasing points for developer experience, and conducting a financial capacity review. In 2010, the state reserved $11 million in credits to 15 projects.

GEORGIA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $20 million

Application deadline: TBD

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs was preparing a draft QAP at press time, so officials did not reveal any possible changes for 2011. In 2010, the department had awarded about $51 million in TCAP loans to nine projects. Roughly 68 percent of all TCAP funds had been disbursed as of Oct. 1. Georgia also had awarded $182 million in Sec. 1602 funds to 35 deals. About 45 percent of all exchange funds had been disbursed as of Oct. 1.

KENTUCKY

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $9.1 million

Application deadline: March 1, 2011 (tentative)

A final 2011 QAP was expected around November. Officials were considering changing from an “open window” to competitive scoring next year. In 2010, 20 developments received $9.4 million in reservations, according to the Kentucky Housing Corp. The urban set-aside was the most oversubscribed with demand roughly eight times the supply. Twenty-two projects had received TCAP loans, and 30 had received exchange program funds.

TENNESSEE

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $13 million

Application deadline: March 1, 2011 (tentative)

In 2010, 11 developments shared in about $6.2 million in LIHTCs. In addition, 29 projects received TCAP funds, and 49 received Sec. 1602 funds. A new 2011 QAP is expected by the end of this year.

FLORIDA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $39 million

Application deadline: February 2011 (tentative)

Florida Housing Finance Corp. has proposed splitting the credit authority, with 50 percent going to preservation and 50 percent for new construction and rehabilitation. In 2010, 25 projects received $56 million in LIHTC reservations. The state received 165 applications, requesting more than $261 million in credits. The state also awarded $101 million in TCAP funds to 26 projects and $562 million in exchange program funds to 70 projects.

ALABAMA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $9.8 million

Application deadline: March 2011 (tentative)

Authorities were working on a new QAP at press time and expected a final plan around December. Alabama is looking at having projects funded in 2008 and 2009 submit an architect certification that all building foundation slabs are in place. Points also may be deducted for prior-funded projects that have not closed construction and syndication. Points may be awarded for providing syndication commitments for 2011 applications.

MISSISSIPPI

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $6.5 million

Application deadline: April 29, 2011 (tentative)

Mississippi Home Corp. authorities had released a set of proposed QAP revisions at press time. They were considering a number of changes to the selection criteria, including adding points if a project had received additional financing. They were also looking at adding an “elderly” set-aside.

South Central

KANSAS

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $5.9 million

Application deadlines: Feb. 4, 2011, and Aug. 5, 2011

The Kansas Housing Resources Corp. reserved more than $5.3 million in credits to 11 developments with 241 units this year. More than $26 million in LIHTCs had been requested. In addition, officials reported strong demand for exchange program funds to fill gaps. Kansas provided $45 million in exchange funds to 18 projects and $17 million in TCAP funds to eight deals. No major changes are planned for 2011, according to officials.

MISSOURI

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $13.2 million

Application deadline: Nov. 8, 2010

The state has a special-needs housing priority. Proposals that commit to a special-needs set-aside of no less than 10 percent of the total units up to 100 percent of total units receive priority consideration. The Missouri Housing Development Commission seeks to approve up to two applications from the special-needs priority outside the geographic set-aside. Missouri also has about $13.2 million in state housing credits.

OKLAHOMA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $10.1 million

Application deadlines: Jan. 13, 2011, and July 11, 2011(tentative)

Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency officials were considering increasing the number of “open” deals that an applicant can have from four to five. Open means from tax credit award to the last building placed-in-service date. The 2011 QAP was still in draft form at press time. In 2010, Oklahoma reserved $6.3 million in LIHTCs to 11 developments with 460 affordable units. The state also awarded $25.7 million in TCAP funds to 12 projects and about $86 million in exchange funds to 30 projects.

LOUISIANA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $9.6 million

Application deadline: TBD

Officials at the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency had not reported their 2011 plans at press time.

ARKANSAS

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $6.6 million

Application deadline: Feb. 4, 2011

In addition to the federal LIHTCs, Arkansas will have $250,000 in state housing credits. The maximum award to a single development in the state is $600,000. The state awarded $20.5 million in TCAP loans to 36 projects and about $93 million in exchange program funds to 34 deals.

TEXAS

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $52 million

Application deadlines: Jan. 7, 2011 (pre-application), and March 1, 2011 (application) (tentative)

Officials are considering several changes for 2011, including broadening the “ineligibility” section of the QAP. One possible change is to move a developer or principal who had been removed by a lender or equity partner from a penalty item to the ineligibility section. They are also looking at moving “negative site features” from a point penalty item to an ineligibility item. In 2010, Texas reserved $67 million in LIHTCs to 58 projects with roughly 6,000 units. The state also had awarded $143 million in TCAP loans to 57 projects and $575 million in exchange program funds to 83 projects at press time.

Midwest

NORTH DAKOTA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.5 million

Application deadlines: Feb. 28, 2011, and April 29, 2011

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is considering possible cost/unit and size/unit limits in order to maximize the use of credits. The agency is also looking at changes to basis boost eligibility. A final QAP is expected in December. The agency reserved $2.8 million in credits to five projects this year. Demand was strong, with $7.8 million in credits requested.

MINNESOTA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $11.1 million

Application deadlines: June 15, 2010, and Feb. 1, 2011

Minnesota Housing officials have increased the priority of preserving federally assisted housing developments. They've also added criteria to boost transit-oriented developments and projects that have no-smoking policies. In 2010, Minnesota reserved $11.1 million in LIHTCs to 24 projects with more than 1,000 affordable units. Officials report that demand continues to outpace available credits by about 3 to 1. In addition, 16 projects received TCAP assistance, and 22 received exchange program funds.

WISCONSIN

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $11.9 million

Application deadline: Feb. 4, 2011

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority added 30 points for the acquisition/rehab of existing housing in its scoring system for 2011. This year, 38 developments were reserved LIHTCs. Twenty-one deals received TCAP loans, and 52 received exchange funds.

SOUTH DAKOTA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $2.5 million

Application deadline: Feb. 28, 2011

Developers may see some adjusted points for deep income targeting and certain development characteristics next year as state officials look at revising the QAP. Authorities are also examining the possibility of expanding the “diffi- cult-to-develop” area to include all nonmetropolitan statistical areas and allow for up to a 30 percent boost. Other proposals include underwriting projects to no less than 90 percent of tax credit rent limits and to reduce the number of units restricted to fair market rent from 40 percent to 20 percent. A final QAP is expected in December. This year, seven projects received LIHTC reservations.

MICHIGAN

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $21 million

Application deadline: About 30 percent of the LIHTC authority is expected to be reserved on a rolling basis, beginning Dec. 1, 2010. Applications submitted after Feb. 1, 2011, and on or before March 1, 2011, will be evaluated through a competitive round.

An application that brings with it a hard equity commitment has an advantage under the QAP. In the rolling round, a commitment is a threshold requirement. In the competitive round, it is a 125-point scoring item, up from 100 this year.

INDIANA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $13.7 million

Application deadline: Nov. 1, 2010

The new QAP was revised to reflect Indiana's four priorities—comprehensive community development, aging in place, ending homelessness, and high-performance building. The state has a 10 percent community impact set-aside for developments that are an integral part of a broader program of neighborhood improvement and a 10 percent set-aside for Housing First projects. This year, 46 projects with 3,300 affordable units received $42 million in LIHTC reservations in the state, which had special disaster credits.

NEBRASKA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $3.8 million

Application deadlines: Feb. 4, 2011, and April 22, 2011

In 2010, the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority reserved $4 million in LIHTCs to 24 projects with 939 units. The state also awarded $11 million in TCAP funds to 10 projects and about $29 million in exchange program funds to 30 projects.

IOWA

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $6.3 million

Application deadline: March 8, 2011

A draft QAP proposes expanding the situations in which significant parties may be ineligible to participate, including those who returned tax credits in 2010 because the equity investment did not close. Iowa officials are also looking at setting an $800,000 project cap and a $1.2 million developer cap. A final QAP is expected in January.

ILLINOIS

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $24 million

Application deadline: April 2011 (tentative)

Illinois Housing Development Authority officials plan to have a final QAP in December. They were not anticipating any major changes after significant moves were made in the last QAP. In 2010, $22.8 million in LIHTCs had been reserved to 26 properties with about 2,000 affordable units. A special round for disaster credits was pending at press time.

OHIO

2011 LIHTC authority (est.): $24.2 million

Application deadlines: Oct. 14, 2010

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has eliminated its geographic pools and boosted its investment in preservation. The state has a two-phased approach to project selection. The proposal phase involves individual meetings with development teams, and the full-application phase involves a full architectural review and financial underwriting. In 2010, the state reserved about $19 million in LIHTCs to 27 projects. It also awarded about $83 million in TCAP funds to 40 projects and $118 million in exchange program funds to 71 deals.