Lifelink refinances seniors portfolio

Chicago — In April, Lifelink, a nonprofit health and human services organization, borrowed $50 million from GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. in permanent, fixed-rate financing for a portfolio of 12 seniors housing properties in Illinois. Eight of the properties are located here, two are in Downers Grove, and two are in Bensenville and Elmhurst.

The Sec. 202 refinance, which uses tax-exempt bonds with 4% low-income housing tax credits, is the first of its kind in the state. National Equity Fund, Inc., provided $20.2 million in tax credit equity.

The 12 properties, which have project-based Sec. 8 rental assistance, contain a total of 933 affordable housing units.

GMAC Commercial Mortgage is a Capmark Financial Group, Inc., company. Capmark changed its name from GMAC Commercial Holding Corp. in March 2006.

MSHDA approves housing plan

Lansing, Mich. — The Michigan State Housing Development Authority formed a plan to dedicate the state’s largest housing subsidy source to its poorest citizens.

There are two major changes in the Streamlined Annual Public Housing Assistance Plan for 2006-2007. The first is to allocate 90% of the available housing choice vouchers to participants whose incomes are at or below 100% of the federal poverty level and 10% of new participants’ adjusted income at or below 120% of the poverty level.

The second change allows for the use of HOME tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) subsidies to move people rapidly from shelter to housing. The TBRA program will allow homeless individuals and families to obtain a subsidy similar to a voucher to help pay their rent for up to 24 months.

The program is expected to create an additional 3,077 rental subsidies to assist the state’s homeless.

The state also received $62.7 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in April for community development and affordable housing, including $36.4 million in community development block grants (CDBG).


New affordable housing comes to Martha’s Vineyard

Edgartown, Mass. — The Community Builders, Inc., broke ground on the 60-unit Pennywise Path here in Martha’s Vineyard in April. The new mixed-income rental development is being built using modular construction with $10 million in financing from MassHousing.

Of the 60 one- to three-bedroom units, 36 will be affordable to tenants earning no more than 60% of the area median income (AMI). The rest will be reserved for those earning between 60% and 140% of AMI.

Financing includes $6.8 million in tax credit equity invested and syndicated by Wachovia; a $4.9 million, 40-year permanent loan, a $3.3 million, six-month bridge loan, and a $1.8 million Priority Development Fund loan from MassHousing; a $1 million state Affordable Housing Trust Fund grant; and $750,000 in Housing Stabilization Funds from the state Department of Housing and Community Development.

MassHousing also made a $4 million loan commitment to WSDA, LLC, an affiliate of Weston Associates, Inc., for the preservation of the 44-unit Willow Apartments in Lynn, Mass.


Providence to build 5,000 homes

New Orleans — Providence Community Housing, a new group formed by Catholic Charities and other nonprofits, plans to build 5,000 units of affordable single-family, multifamily and special-needs housing here.

Catholic Charities started by borrowing $450,000 with no interest from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Fannie Mae in March to build five single-family homes in one of the city’s neighborhoods hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Additional funding will come from HOME and CDBG grants, said James Kelly, CEO of Catholic Charities.

The three-bedroom, two-bath modular homes will be constructed by Palm Harbor Homes and will average 1,300 square feet in size.

Beechgrove rehabbed after Katrina

New Orleans — Jefferson Housing Foundation borrowed $6.5 million from AmSouth Bank in April to redevelop the 464-unit Beechgrove Apartment complex, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. At press time, 250 of the units had been completed and were occupied. Construction is expected to finish in mid-summer.

“These apartments will serve numerous functions … ranging from replacement housing and tenant relocation to the creation of a mixed-use and mixed-income community,” said Elvettra Gibbs, executive director of the Jefferson Housing Foundation.


EAD preserves affordable housing

Orlando — Enhanced Affordable Development Co., LLC, is revitalizing two affordable housing complexes near downtown with more than $22 million in debt and equity financing from CharterMac. The renovations will preserve Fox Hollow Apartments and Huntington Reserves Apartments, totaling 324 units. They are set-aside for tenants earning no more than 60% of AMI.

In March, CharterMac Capital provided $8.9 million in tax credit equity and $13.2 million in financing for tax-exempt bonds generated by the two properties. The Florida Housing Finance Corp. also provided more than $4 million in low-interest State Apartment Incentive Loan financing.


CRAFund pushes $250 million for community redevelopment

Los Angeles — The CRA Qualified Investment Fund, a U.S. mutual fund from CRAFund Advisors, has invested $250 million in a “California Community Investment Initiative” to support minority-focused loans and projects focusing on homeownership and small businesses in the state.

CRAFund Advisors already has invested $100 million in qualifying projects in the state. One of them, the Wilshire Vermont Station here, received $2 million for the development of affordable and market-rate residential units, retail space and a middle school.

Chelsea breaks ground on City Heights Square

San Diego — In April, Chelsea Investment Corp. received $20.7 million in tax credit equity syndicated by Red Capital Markets, Inc., an affiliate of Red Capital Group, for the development of City Heights Square Apartments.

The project is also being financed by a $13.5 million construction loan and a $2.1 million Fannie Mae Delegated Underwriting and Servicing forward commitment from Red Mortgage Capital, Inc., another Red affiliate.

City Heights Square will have 71 studio and 79 one-bedroom seniors housing units. All of the units will be reserved for tenants earning between 30% and 45% of AMI. Completion is expected in September 2007.