Housing Authority to Receive State Money

INDIANAPOLIS The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority will go from receiving little state support to collecting millions every year. The support is a result of a review of the fund established by Gov. Mitch Daniels, at the request of the authority.

The authority (formerly the Low- Income Housing Trust Fund) has helped to create more than 1,400 units of affordable housing in Indiana. A committee found that the state needs $41 million in new public funds annually to meet the state’s affordable housing needs, so lawmakers imposed a tax increase on tobacco products, excluding cigarettes. The housing authority will receive about $6 million a year from that revenue, beginning in fiscal year 2008. Additionally, half of all funds received from United Airlines through an economic development agreement will be given to the housing fund. The other half will be distributed to the four counties in the state with local housing trust funds: Allen, Marion, Monroe, and Vanderburgh.

The state housing fund also received a boost from Senate Bill 500, which allows officials in counties with local housing trust funds to raise fees to record documents within the county. Sixty percent of money raised would go to the local housing fund, and 40 percent would be distributed to the state fund.


NYC’s Housing Authority Selling Land, Slashing Jobs

NEW YORK New York’s City Housing Authority is planning to reduce its staff and sell vacant land in its projects to deal with a $225 million budget shortfall.

The authority is proposing to make $50 million by selling open space and parking lots at several of its properties. More than 400,000 people live in the city’s housing complexes. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development will buy the land. It expects to select developers for three sites on the West Side of Manhattan and one project in Brooklyn in the next few weeks. Authority officials have said some of the development on the parcels might include market-rate units, and some of the income generated would help preserve affordable units.

Housing authority officials plan to eliminate 500 jobs by October. The authority also expects to use $100 million from its capital budget to help cover its costs. That money normally is set aside for long-term maintenance at its 2,653 residential buildings. Despite the job cuts and land sales, the authority still will be left with a budget deficit of almost $52 million. The authority has struggled with budget problems for years as federal subsidies fail to cover increasing energy costs and employee pensions.


Raymond James Finances Texas Apartments

BURLESON, TEXAS Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc., has supplied more than $2.2 million in low-income housing tax credits for the construction of Crestmoor Park West in this city, 14 miles south of Fort Worth, Texas. The developer is Valcrest Investments, Inc.

The garden-style complex will consist of 60 units, which will be reserved for households earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). The property includes a community room, a playground, and social services. Completion is slated for October 2008.


Winston-Salem Developer Wins Preservation Award

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. The Landmark Group, based here, has won a 2007 South Carolina Historic Preservation Award for its renovation of Highland Park Mill in Rock Hill, S.C. In 2005, the firm converted an abandoned textile mill dating back to the late 19th century into 116 affordable loft-style apartments for seniors. The project was the first to use South Carolina’s Mill Revitalization Tax Credit.


YWCA Buying Apartments in Washington

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WASH. The YWCA is purchasing three apartment buildings in the cities of Everett, Lynnwood, and Mountlake Terrace for $25.6 million. At press time, the deal had not closed.

The nonprofit agency plans to reserve some of the 219 units for households that earn a maximum of 50 percent of the AMI, while renting the rest at market rates. Some of the units in the building eventually will house homeless people, said Mary-Anne Dillon-Bryant, YWCA regional director for Snohomish County. As current tenants move out of the apartments, the YWCA plans to screen future tenants based on income. The three properties are Wear To Live in Everett, Somerset Village in Lynnwood, and Victorian Woods in Mountlake Terrace.

The Everett Housing Authority and Snohomish County Council are considering co-signing on loans for the deal, saving the YWCA $4 million. The arrangement could serve as a model for future efforts to create affordable housing in the area, said Deanna Dawson, who handles human services and justice issues for County Executive Aaron Reardon.

Mo Vaughn’s Firm Renovating Wyoming Apartments

GILLETTE, WYO. Omni New York, LLC, has bought Parkside Apartments, a 94- unit affordable housing project here, and is spending $2.7 million to renovate it. One of the principals of the company is former major league baseball star Mo Vaughn.

The firm has done a number of affordable housing deals in New York since 2003, when Vaughn helped launch the company.

The renovation project began in February and is about 30 percent to 40 percent complete. The refurbishing includes new appliances, balconies, cabinets, carpet, floors, windows, and roofs. Plans also call for new vinyl exterior siding of the four three-story buildings. Tenants are continuing to live at the complex during the renovations, which are scheduled for completion in October or November.

More Apartments Under Rent Control in L.A.

LOS ANGELES The city council here voted to close a loophole that allowed apartment owners to evict tenants from rent-controlled buildings, tear them down, and build new apartments that were exempt from rent controls.

The new ordinance, which passed unanimously, requires rent controls on replacement apartment buildings. Rent control had only applied to complexes built before 1979. It prevented landlords from raising rents more than 3 percent to 5 percent a year.

But apartment owners and developers said they are considering filing a lawsuit because California law may prohibit the city from imposing rent control on new apartments.

More than 13,000 rent-controlled apartments have been taken off the market over the last six years in Los Angeles to make way for new luxury condos. In some cases, however, new rental complexes were built instead of for-sale condos. And as the condo market has softened, some buildings planned as luxury condos are being rented as apartments.