SAN FRANCISCO—Affordable housing deals using the tax credit exchange and other new stimulus programs are starting to inch forward.

A few of the early projects and lessons learned were discussed at Novogradac & Co.’s affordable housing conference in San Francisco.

The Landex Corp. recently closed on the first deal using the exchange program in Maryland. One of the big challenges for the development team was dealing with a new program that was still going through rule changes and clarifications, according to Peter Siegel of Landex.

It’s important not to get pulled off track, he said, stressing the importance of having a strong team in place that understands the entire transaction and can be flexible when issues surface.

Created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the exchange program allows state tax credit allocating agencies to provide cash awards in exchange for a portion of their tax credit authority.

Other exchange deals are also moving forward. Bank of America has been involved in a couple of such deals.

Developers and lenders also discussed the rigorous review that is taking place on deals today. Some key questions that are weighed include if the affordable unit rents are significantly below market and if the development is in a strong market, said Kenji Tamaoki of Prudential Mortgage Capital Co.