A new $100 million fund will provide financing to multifamily property owners to help low-income families and individuals stay in their homes and not be displaced as rents increase in transit-rich neighborhoods throughout the Greater Atlanta metropolitan area.

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National Equity Fund (NEF), Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), and Morgan Stanley are behind the Greater Atlanta Transit Oriented Affordable Housing Preservation Fund.

“We are proud to support the partnership between NEF and Morgan Stanley in the formation of this fund that will protect and preserve affordable housing within a mile radius of MARTA’s heavy-rail stations,” said MARTA general manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “The ground-up development of new affordable units takes time, and we wanted to do more in the short term to help. Supporting this effort to preserve affordable units right now makes sense.”

The fund will provide acquisition capital for multifamily affordable housing developments near or beyond the end of their initial low-income housing tax credit compliance periods; affordable housing properties that operate under Section 8 or other federal programs; as well as projects with no current rent restrictions that will become restricted upon acquisition. It will provide high loan-to-value non-recourse first mortgage debt to finance the acquisition or repositioning of projects in targeted MARTA transit-oriented districts, said officials.

“We are excited to work with NEF and MARTA on this important initiative to deploy capital to help preserve affordable homes throughout the Greater Atlanta region,” said Mike Mantle, managing director, head of community development finance, at Morgan Stanley.

NEF is the fund manager, with Morgan Stanley as the sole investor in the fund. Loans made by the fund to finance the acquisition and recapitalization of affordable housing projects for up to a seven-year holding period that is expected to terminate upon the refinancing or tax credit resyndication of the project.

Potential uses include:

• Acquisition of real estate • Payoff of an existing first mortgage
• Restructuring of existing gap financing
• General partner acquisition of limited partner interests
• Investment in minor capital improvements

“Affordable housing is critical to the well-being of families and communities,” said Matt Reilein, NEF president and CEO. “We’re proud to be part of this important effort to make sure Atlantans can afford to live near public transportation and connect to jobs they might otherwise not be able to access. This fund is about investing in the city’s future.”