The Fay Apartments stood at a crossroads. It could either undergo a major rehab or close its doors as an affordable housing community.

Wallick-Hendy Development Co. took the more difficult, but necessary, path to preserve the property for hundreds of low-income families in Cincinnati. The result is the new Villages at Roll Hill, the nation’s largest green renovation of affordable housing.

It is the transformation of a development built in the early 1960s as 1,052 market-rate apartments. The property operated for decades without any major investment, and over time most of the units became affordable housing.

“It was rapidly approaching the point where the buildings were becoming obsolete,” says Dave Hendy, managing director of Wallick-Hendy Development.

The team planned to redevelop the property using low-income housing tax credits when the financial markets collapsed in 2008.

The developers had to come up with a new plan. They applied to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Affordable Housing Preservation to participate in the Mark-to-Market Program. Utilizing the program and a new Sec. 221(d)(4) insured mortgage, they leveraged the funds needed for the $36 million project.

Wallick-Hendy modernized apartments, installed energy-efficient systems, and increased security. The property is a candidate for LEED-Silver certification.

The density was reduced to 703 units to allow for larger family apartments and new green space. The team added key services, including a day-care center.

The apartments operate under a 20-year project-based Sec. 8 contract, ensuring their long-term affordability.

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