The AHF 50 owners hold an impressive 7,127 developments that provide 672,007 affordable homes for families, seniors, veterans, and people with special needs from coast to coast.
The largest affordable housing owners in the land, these companies collectively provide enough homes and bedrooms to house everyone in Alaska or Washington, D.C.
The number of units and developments held by this year’s AHF 50 Owners represents about a 6% jump over last year’s list.
Once again, The Michaels Organization leads the nation, with 44,623 affordable units in 370 developments. The Marlton, N.J.–based firm has made a big commitment to Camden, where it’s been working to revitalize outdated public housing and where it delivered its first student housing project for Rutgers University–Camden. This summer, it’s also moving its corporate headquarters to a new office tower on the city’s waterfront.
Michaels is followed by two fast-growing companies, Dominium, with 28,666 units, and The Millennia Cos., with 27,005 units.
Headquartered in Plymouth, Minn., Dominium continues to emphasize growing its development team’s capabilities so that it can take on more and larger projects, according to company officials. This strategy resulted in the firm closing deals on 10 new construction projects with 2,113 units in 2018, an increase from six properties with 1,174 units the year before.
Dominium’s acquisitions activities also grew last year, from 16 projects with 2,984 units in 2017 to 18 properties with 3,731 units last year. In addition, the firm topped the list of companies completing substantial rehabs, having renovated nearly 2,500 units last year.
The Millennia Cos. acquired more than 3,800 affordable units in 33 developments, including 19 from the troubled Global Ministries Foundation portfolio, which had come under fire for the poor condition of many of its properties. Cleveland-based Millennia, which specializes in acquisition-rehab projects, has begun work on several of these developments.
Denver-based Mercy Housing, the nation’s largest nonprofit owner, ranks fourth on the list, with a little over 23,000 units.
Volunteers of America, a national nonprofit headquarted in Alexandria, Va., is next with nearly 21,000 units.
Overall, 13 of the AHF 50 Owners are nonprofits and 37 are for-profit companies.
The rankings are based on the number of affordable housing units owned as of Jan. 1. Only general-partner owners are eligible. This year, 109 firms completed affordable housing -finance’s survey to be considered for the annual list.
In addition to owning more units than last year’s AHF 50 group, the firms parted with more units. This year’s top owners reported selling 221 developments containing nearly 22,900 units. Last year’s AHF 50 owners sold just 105 properties with about 11,500 units.
On the acquisition side, Starwood Capital Group of Washington, D.C.; MVAH Partners of West Chester, Ohio; and Fitch Irick Partners of Charlotte, N.C., all reported buying more than 5,000 affordable housing units apiece in 2018.
AHF also ranks the top firms completing substantial rehabs, at least $20,000 per unit. Dominium was followed by The Hallmark Cos. of Atlanta and LIHC Investment Group of Portland, Maine, this year.