Fannie Mae announced that it will provide a $26 million low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity investment to help finance the development of Far Rockaway Village, a 457-unit development in the downtown Far Rockaway area of Queens, N.Y.

Fannie Mae will back the project through The Richman Group Affordable Housing Corp., a Fannie Mae LIHTC fund partner.

Dana Brown
Dana Brown

The project is the first phase of the largest residential development planned in the downtown Far Rockaway neighborhood rezoning plan. The first phase of Far Rockaway Village will consist of two 12-story residential high-rise buildings. The development will provide 227 LIHTC units available for residents earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income (AMI).

Remaining units will have rent affordable to households earning approximately 70% of the AMI. In addition, 46 units available at 30% of the AMI will be targeted to formerly homeless people though the ciy's “Our Space” program and will be underwritten at the the New York City shelter allowance level. The property also will include sustainable features, such as energy-efficient measures, Energy Star appliances, and a rooftop solar array, and will be certified under Enterprise Green Communities standards.

Phipps Houses is expected to begin construction on Far Rockaway Village in July with an expected completion in June 2021.
Courtesy Phipps Houses Phipps Houses is expected to begin construction on Far Rockaway Village in July with an expected completion in June 2021.

“This LIHTC investment helps us support affordable multifamily housing in one of the highest-cost markets in the U.S.,” says Dana Brown, vice president, LIHTC Investments, at Fannie Mae. “LIHTC enables Americans to find affordable rental housing, and we are excited to work with our partners to address our country’s pressing affordable housing challenges.”

The project developer is Phipps Houses, the oldest and largest nonprofit developer of affordable housing in New York City. Phipps Houses has developed approximately 8,700 units.

Other investors in the development are People’s United Bank and Signature Bank. NYC Housing Development Corp. (HDC) and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development are providing tax-exempt bonds, an allocation of the 4% LIHTCs, and low-cost loans.

Citi provided a $72.2 million construction loan and has committed to purchase the long-term. HDC-rated bonds upon the project’s completion and stabilization.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency in November approved Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s re-entry into the LIHTC market as equity investors.