The Woda Group, based in Westerville, Ohio, continues to post strong affordable housing numbers year after year. It has ranked in the Top 10 of the AHF 50 developers list for a consecutive five years.
The firm, which is headed by principals Jeff Woda and David Cooper Jr., started 17 affordable housing developments with 723 units and completed nine projects with 386 units in 2014.
It also is ramping up for a strong 2015, expecting to start 14 developments with 556 units and to complete 28 projects with 1,184 units.
“Our key to success is first and foremost that we have developed a great staff of development officers who cover a 13-state area, and they have been able to strategically identify markets and types of housing that we want to develop and match states’ qualified allocation plans,” says Woda, president of the firm. “We are really seeing the fruits of that labor.”
A highlight for the developer last year was the completion of three historic rehab projects. Woda says typically the firm does one historic deal a year, but three had been brought to the firm in communities where it had developed previously or close by.
Historic icons Columbus School in Baltimore, Lloyd House in Menominee, Mich., and Washington School Apartments in Washington Courthouse, Ohio, all were financed with a combination of low-income housing and historic tax credits.
“They are providing quality housing with buildings we were able to save,” says Woda. “They are some of the best developments we have ever done.”
The developer also entered two new markets last year. It was allocated low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) for two projects in North Carolina that are under construction, and it received a LIHTC reservation late in the year in Alabama for a project that is going through the entitlement process.
Notable for 2015 is The Woda Group’s move into veterans housing. The developer is actively engaged with the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland on a veterans project that will be a hub of housing and services. Woda says the goal is to complete the financing package this year and start construction in 2016. In addition to the Maryland project, Woda is pursuing veterans housing developments in Georgia and Michigan.
Woda says the company also will continue to develop its green building strategies in the coming year and hopes to do its first Passive House project in Pennsylvania.