OHFA Board OKs More Than $5 Million in Funding

COLUMBUS, OHIO The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) Board recently approved more than $5 million to fund affordable housing; $2.31 million of the funding is from the Housing Development Assistance Program (HDAP), and $3 million is from the Housing Development Loan (HDL) Program. The developments receiving funding will serve families, seniors, and residents with mobility/sensory impairments.

The projects include:

  • Cambridge Heights Apartments in Cambridge: The Episcopal Retirement Homes, Inc., will receive a $350,000 HDAP loan to acquire and rehabilitate 65 units for seniors;
  • East End Twin Towers Crossing in Dayton: The St. Mary Development Corp. will receive a $460,000 HDAP loan for the construction of 40 singlefamily homes;
  • Cedar Woods Apartments in Hillsboro: The Highland County Community Action Organization will receive a $600,000 HDAP loan and a $1.5 million HDL to acquire and rehabilitate 94 units;
  • Plains Plaza in The Plains: Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action Agency will receive a $600,000 HDAP loan and a $1.5 million HDL to acquire and rehabilitate 60 units in 10 buildings; and
  • Wadsworth Villas in Wadsworth: The Medina Metropolitan Housing Authority will receive a $302,500 HDAP loan to construct five units in two buildings for residents with mobility and/or sensory impairments.

The HDAP is funded by the federal HOME program, the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, and the Financial Adjustment Factor.

The HDL Program is funded through unclaimed funds from the Ohio Department of Commerce.


Errichetti Sells Seniors Portfolio

HARTFORD, CONN. The Errichetti family of real estate investors recently announced the sale of a portfolio of 404 affordable seniors apartments to a partnership between the Boston-based Urban Strategy America (USA) Fund and Beacon Communities, LLC, a multifamily housing development, investment, and management company.

“The Errichetti portfolio was extremely attractive to the USA Fund and our investors,” says Kirk Sykes, USA Fund president. “We are also looking for additional Sec. 8 projects in key markets as we continue to diversify our portfolio.”

The purchase includes four properties: Exchange Place Towers, Flanders West, Countryside I, and Countryside II, located in Waterbury, Southington, and Wolcott, Conn. The apartments are 99 percent occupied, providing “stable, consistent cash flow” from government rental subsidy contracts, according to statements by the purchasers.

In addition to the Errichetti portfolio, Beacon Communities owns and manages approximately 1,000 affordable and market-rate apartments in Connecticut.

Newark Breaks Ground

NEWARK, N.J. Workers in December started to rehabilitate five homes on lots once seized by the city in the West Ward neighborhood. Local developer George Group, LLC, and nonprofit Greater Newark Housing Partnership will spend $1.5 million to rehab the homes and build a community garden.

The construction is part of Newark's Abandoned Properties Initiative. Twelve blocks of the West Ward form an initial pilot area for the program, which allows officials to seize vacant and abandoned properties from neglectful owners, using authority under the state's Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act.

“In the midst of economic uncertainty, Newark continues to forge ahead in its efforts to revitalize our neighborhoods and provide housing opportunities for residents,” says Mayor Cory A. Booker.

City officials identified 42 privately owned vacant properties for redevelopment in the pilot area and notified the owners that they could lose their properties if they were not repaired. Of the 42 properties, owners of 13 either fully renovated their buildings or at least began to make repairs. The five homes are slated for completion by the end of 2009. The redevelopment project is slated to continue through 2012.


Georgia DCA Counts Homeless

Staff and volunteers for Georgia's Department of Community Affairs (DCA) canvassed nearly 40 communities for the 2009 Homeless Count at the end of January to gather data on the area's homeless population. The count fulfilled HUD's requirements for DCA's Balance of State Continuum of Care plan.

DCA partnered with local organizations to collect data. Surveys asking people where they spent the night on Jan. 25 were collected at locations where homeless persons would most likely seek assistance, as well as at places where they stay or congregate. Information was also gathered on families and individuals who are precariously housed and therefore in danger of becoming homeless. Kennesaw State University will analyze the data and announce the results in May.

DCA conducted the first statewide homeless count in 2008, which revealed that more than 20,000 Georgians were homeless at a given point in time and that more than 75,000 will experience homelessness at some time during the year.

Boston Capital Invests in Project

LITHONIA, GA. Boston Capital has invested in Highland Place Apartments, a 406-unit multifamily development here. The general partner is Mercy Housing Southeast, a subsidiary of Mercy Housing, Inc.

Located on 40 acres, Highland Place has 55 two- and three-story garden- style buildings. The community includes 22 one-bedroom, 310 twobedroom, and 74 three-bedroom units targeting families at 60 percent or less of the area median income (AMI).

The proposed rehabilitation and upgrades will equal more than $30,000 per unit in total construction costs.

Housing Agency Returns to Local Control

MIAMI The Miami-Dade Housing Agency has been returned to local control after 15 months in the possession of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

In announcing the move, HUD leaders said the housing authority is a more efficient institution than it was when the federal government took over.

During the last several months, HUD and the county focused on instituting financial and accounting controls, reorganizing the agency's housing choice voucher program, and jump-starting the long-stalled redevelopment of the Scott-Carver public housing development.

HUD had seized the agency after a series of troubles led to scandal and arrests. A federal audit found that the local agency's finances were “so badly mismanaged, the department routinely overdrew its accounts by millions and covered shortfalls in federal housing projects with local funds meant to build new affordable homes,” according to The Miami Herald.


Seniors Housing Begins Construction

PALO ALTO, CALIF. BRIDGE Housing Corp. has begun construction on Fabian Way Senior, a 56-unit affordable housing development for very low-income seniors that is expected to be completed in early 2010.

Twenty apartments will be set aside for seniors with special needs.

Resident incomes will range from $21,225 to $33,960 for a household of two, which is 25 percent to 40 percent of the AMI. Monthly rents will range from $463 to $762, depending on income and household size.

The approximately $23 million development is part of a larger site acquired by BUILD, LLC, a partnership between BRIDGE and the California Public Employees' Retirement System. Financing is being provided by BUILD, LLC, the state's Multifamily Housing Program, Silicon Valley Bank, Union Bank, Santa Clara County, the city of Palo Alto, the Opportunity Fund, the Sobrato Family Foundation, and the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County.