Loans Offered for Lead Removal

CHICAGO A private-public initiative will provide $12 million in financing to help affordable housing owners replace windows in about 2,000 apartments that city officials say are likely contaminated with lead-based paint because of their age.

The program is funded by a $6 million grant from the Chicago Department of Public Health and $6 million in private funding from lenders through the federal New Markets Tax Credit program. The Department of Housing and Urban Development provided the city’s grant.

Owners participating in the program will receive a loan for the full cost of the window replacement. After they pay back half of the loan, the remaining half is forgiven.

Illinois ranks first among states in lead poisoning cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). More than 90,000 children are affected by lead exposure, according to the CDC. Buildings at highest risk of lead contamination are those built before 1978, the year the manufacture of lead-based paint was discontinued. Building owners interested in applying for a loan can call (312) 747-LEAD (5323).


MassHousing Finances Cape Cod Project

BOURNE, MASS. The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MassHousing) announced loan commitments of up to $11.7 million for affordable housing on Cape Cod at the Residences at Canal Bluff.

The nonprofit Housing Assistance Corporation of Hyannis will build 28 affordable rental apartments and 89 condominiums—of which 22 will be affordable—on a 17-acre site.

The project will receive $1.75 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is jointly managed by MassHousing and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), $1.3 million in DHCD HOME funding, and $300,000 in Cape Cod Commission HOME funds. The developer also is expected to receive an estimated $3.9 million from the sale of lowincome housing tax credits (LIHTCs).

The 28 rental units will be targeted at residents earning a maximum of 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), except for three units, which will be reserved for residents maxing out at 30 percent of the AMI. The 22 affordable condominiums will be set aside for households earning no more than 80 percent of the AMI.

CPC Provides Loan for Brooklyn Complex

NEW YORK CITY The Community Preservation Corp., a nonprofit affordable housing lender, has provided a $6 million construction loan to develop a mixed-use complex on a vacant parcel in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.

The six-story project, developed by George Kelesidis, will include studios and one- and two-bedroom units, with rents affordable to moderate-income households. The community also will include a 1,200-square-foot medical office building and a parking facility for 32 cars.

The project is slated for completion in the fall of 2008.

Forest City Secures Big Loan for Ridge Hill

YONKERS, N.Y. Forest City Ratner Cos., a subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, has secured $630 million in funding for Ridge Hill, an 81-acre mixed-use project that includes 135 units of affordable housing.

The construction loan for the project was the largest that Forest City has ever secured. The financing came from Bank of America, ING Real Estate Finance, and KeyBank Real Estate Capital.

The project has been dubbed a “regional lifestyle center.” A spokesman for the city of Yonkers said the mammoth complex, which also will feature 1.3 million square feet of retail and entertainment space and a total of 1,000 residential units, is a “mini-village.”

Ridge Hill also will feature 156,000 square feet of office and research space, a hotel, and a conference center. Two hundred of the residential units will be reserved for seniors.

Forest City acquired the land from Ridge Hill Development Corp. The complex is scheduled to be complete in 2009.


New Seniors Housing For Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS Corpus Christi Housing Authority has begun work on Sea Breeze Senior Apartments, a 200- unit affordable complex located on the city’s north side.

The complex took in residents in July and is continuing to build the apartments. All units in the four-building project are expected to be complete in December.

“The need for Corpus is just apparent for housing [in general], as well as affordable housing,” said Marisa Smithwich, a housing authority district manager.

The community consists of one- and two-bedroom apartments. The authority funded the $14.6 million project through the sale of LIHTCs.


School Converting to Senior Living

KINGSPORT, TENN. An aging school building will be converted into affordable seniors housing here by Dec. 25. The Landmark Group, a North Carolina developer, received $4.8 million in LIHTCs to develop the Washington Elementary School.

The 47-unit building will be renamed George Washington School Apartments. The complex will consist of one- and twobedroom units with an average of 900 square feet. The exterior of the school was kept intact.

Work on the project was supposed to be completed in October, but thieves stole copper pipes and other equipment from the site, said Clint Sellers, project manager for Landmark.

“The classrooms, we tried not to change. We just kind of broke them down into apartments,” said Sellers. “The footprint of the building is distinguishable, and anybody who went to school there could find their classroom and where they sat.”


Simpson Brings Affordable Units to San Jose

SAN JOSE, CALIF. Simpson Housing Solutions has completed construction on the Almaden Family Apartments, a 226-unit affordable housing development located here. Every unit has been set aside for households earning up to 50 percent or up to 60 percent of AMI. The Long Beach, Calif.-based developer partnered with the nonprofit Community Housing Developers and the Las Palmas Foundation on the $74.4 million project. The garden-style complex includes one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, ranging from 631 square feet to 1,197 square feet. Monthly rents range from $952 to $1,586.

Financing consisted of an allocation of 4 percent federal LIHTCs, $31.3 million in tax-exempt bonds, a $13.8 million loan from the city, and developer equity. Citibank provided construction and permanent financing.

Amenities include a clubhouse, a community room, a computer center, a fitness center, a pool, and a spa. A resident services coordinator will host free on-site computer classes and connect residents to a variety of services in the local community.

Seniors Complex Breaks Ground in Petaluma

PETALUMA, CALIF. PEP Housing has broken ground on its Casa Grande Senior Apartments, a 57-unit apartment complex for low-income seniors here. The locally based nonprofit is incorporating green practices and features for seniors with disabilities.

The complex has earned 70 points from the city’s Build It Green program. The minimum score to receive a green rating from the city is 50 points. The development’s green features include recycled-content carpet, low-flow plumbing, bamboo flooring, and energy-efficient appliances, heating systems, and landscaping.

Casa Grande also will include wider entryways for wheelchair access, lower countertops, and low-pile carpet for those with mobility issues.

The apartments are being built using a combination of Sec. 202 funding, LIHTCs, and funding from the city of Petaluma.