State housing finance agencies are increasingly giving priority to supportive-housing developments through their low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) programs.

An expert panel looked at this trend and provided case studies of recent special-needs developments.

States are promoting supportive housing through their LIHTC programs in three main ways—credit set-asides, scoring incentives, and thresholds, according to Michelle Hoereth of the Corporation for Supportive Housing.

For example, California has had a special-needs/single-room occupancy set-aside equal to 2 percent of the credit ceiling. In addition, California has a homeless-assistance apportionment, where 50 percent of the nonprofit set-aside is made available to certain projects.

In defining permanent supportive housing, speakers said it is affordable housing that includes services for the homeless or other special-needs population such as disabled individuals. Stephen Gladden, assistant director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, added that there are no restrictions on the length of tenancy.

James Buckley, president of Citizens Housing Corp. in San Francisco, and Karen Przypyszny, senior vice president of acquisition operations at the National Equity Fund, Inc., detailed the financing and underwriting of two projects.

Buckley’s Mosaica development in San Francisco features 93 family rental units, including 20 supportive housing apartments. There are also 24 seniors housing apartments, including 11 that are supportive housing. The development also has 34 ownership units.