There are approximately 2.3 million grandparents in the nation who serve as the caregiver for the grandchildren who live with them, reported the Census Bureau. An estimated 5.5 million grandparents have grandchildren under 18 living with them. Housing developers are starting to recognize these households.
One example is the new PSS/WSF Grand-Parent Family Apart-ments in the Bronx, which is providing 50 affordable homes and services to grandparent-led families earning less than $17,000 per year. It’s the first project of its kind in New York and one of only a few similar projects in the nation. The project was developed and is being managed by two nonprofits – Presbyterian Senior Services and the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing.
Low-income housing tax credits generated $8 million in financing arranged through National Equity Fund, Inc., with JPMorgan Chase as the lead investor. Additional funding came from Community Preservation Corp., the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York through member North Fork Bank and private fund-raising efforts.
New York is not the only state recognizing this trend. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency in its latest tax credit plan will award points to family projects that target units for grandparents with legal custody of their grandkids.
Housing tax credit turns 20
The mighty low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
This achievement, a sign of the program’s importance and success, deserves recognition.
The LIHTC program is credited with producing more than a million units of housing for low-income individuals and families.
The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) has stepped out as one of the first to acknowledge this landmark. NCSHA is hosting a 20th anniversary celebration of the tax credit March 7. The celebration is being held in conjunction with the council’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ncsha.org.
NHC hires new policy head
Jeffrey Lubell, a housing and community development expert, has succeeded Robert Reid as executive director of The Center for Housing Policy, the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference (NHC). Reid is now general manager of NHC’s 2006 75th Anniversary Celebration.
Lubell was previously an independent consultant specializing in national, state and local housing and community development policy. He was director of the policy development division of the Office of Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Bailey resigns from DCHFA
At press time, Milton Bailey was to resign as executive director of the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) in March. His decision was based on health reasons, according to the agency.
Bailey ran DCHFA for a total of 10 years. Before that, he was director of the district’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
Thomas Redmond has been named acting executive director.
Richardson oversees New York for Berkshire
Joseph Richardson was named director of business development in the New York region for Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for Berkshire Bank. The community bank is headquartered in Pittsfield, Mass.
Richardson was most recently the director of economic development for the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce. He was also a founding director and first president of Capital Affordable Housing Partnership.
Prudential names new principal
Prudential Mortgage Capital Co. chose Jeffrey Allshouse to lead its Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-lending unit as a principal. He will oversee FHA commercial mortgage loan originations for Prudential Huntoon Paige’s southern region.
Before joining the firm, he was vice president of originations for Centennial Mortgage, Inc., in Atlanta. He has more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, including agency lending and bond and tax credit financing.
Cybert to lead PHBCA
The Public Home Builders Council of America (PHBCA), a nonprofit industry group of 14 public homebuilding companies, has appointed Samuel Cybert executive director.
Before joining the organization, Cybert was vice president of investor relations for Masco Corp., a $12 billion manufacturer of home improvement and building products.
PHBCA members build a wide array of single-family and multifamily housing, including affordable housing.
Americans are twice as likely to oppose new real estate developments than support them, according to The Saint Index, a measure of politics and land development.
Not only is opposition widespread, it’s getting more sophisticated, reveals the index, which was conducted for The Saint Consulting Group, a Hingham, Mass.-based firm that specializes in fighting land-use battles. The survey was performed by the Center for Economic and Civic Opinion at the University of Massachusetts/Lowell.
Single-family housing and grocery stores were the only developments that had more supporters than opponents. Landfills, casinos and power plants top the unpopular list.
Chairman and CEO P. Michael Saint, who has 20 years of grassroots battles under his belt, tells us more.
Q Why start The Saint Index?
A Over the past 20 years of winning local land-use battles all over the U.S., we noticed a trend in all parts of the country: growing opposition to all kinds of new real estate projects. Until The Saint Index, we could only cite anecdotal evidence of this tendency. Now we have a national, scientifically valid survey that will help us track anti-development attitudes from year to year, and help us understand what motivates those who say “no” to new projects.
Q You’ve been involved in many land-use battles. What’s your advice for a developer faced with a fight?
A Assume all zoning is political and act accordingly. No matter how wonderful your project, those who must approve it will deny you the permits if they judge popular sentiment to be against you. Approach this situation as if it were a political campaign. Work to demonstrate popular support, while at the same time attempt to reduce opposition. But remember, in the end, you need to win a majority of a city council or similar body.
Q How are development disputes changing?
A Opponents are getting more sophisticated and are using grassroots political tactics to successfully pressure city officials. Opposition can come from not-in-my-backyard groups, but also from environmental and preservation groups. Some opponents are funded by companies who stand to lose economically if their competitor gets the permits needed to open a nearby location.
Q Biggest surprise in the index?
A One in five American families has actively opposed new development – twice as many as those who have supported it. Developers who do nothing can expect to see twice as many people opposing their project as supporting it.
Q What’s your favorite business book?
A I have two: Competitive Strategy by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter and On War by Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz.
For more information, visit www.tscg.biz.
Live near a church, reduce car accidents
Someone who lives within a mile of a church is far less likely to have a car accident than a driver who lives more than a mile away from one, according to a new study by Quality Planning Corp. (QPC), a predictive analytics firm that works with insurance companies. People living within a mile of a doctor’s office, airport or community park also had a very low risk of having a car accident.
At the other extreme, QPC determined that the riskiest place to live is close to restaurant. If a car owner lives within a mile of an eating establishment, he is 30% more likely to crash his car than if he lived more than a mile away from a restaurant. People who lived within a mile of a grocery store, elementary or secondary school and bank were also at risk for a car accident.
“It’s important to remember that these observations are indicative of the area, and we would naturally expect higher accident rates in higher-traffic areas,” said Bob U’Ren, vice president of marketing at QPC. “Traffic patterns and density are often key considerations when selecting sites for restaurants and grocery stores. There are also comparatively fewer homes and apartments, and generally lower vehicle use, close to parks and forests. But who would have thought it is more dangerous to live by an elementary school than a liquor store? Or a bank versus a hotel?”