Through a $10 million grant Florida Housing Finance Corp. (FHFC) received from the state last August, the department is putting the money to good use by initiating a preservation bridge loan program targeting nonprofit development organizations by providing loans for acquisition and predevelopment costs related to existing affordable housing properties. FHFC’s goal is to leverage at least another $40 million in private funds.

Orange, Palm Beach, and Pasco counties are arenas gaining from the funds, with each county receiving $2.7 million, $4.2 million, and $3.3 million, respectively. In order to be eligible for the funds the projects must meet three criteria—expiring affordability periods, project-based rental assistance, and deteriorating conditions—and the developer must meet all requirements of credit underwriting and submit a proposed permanent financing plan for repayment of the loan. The department notes those organizations who bring private funds to the program will gain higher scores for acceptance into the program. The bridge loan offers financing of up to three years, but the contract may be renewed twice for an additional one-year period.

As of Jan. 9, two proposals have been submitted to the program—Florida Community Capital Corp., which is asking to only do projects located in Orange County, and Florida Community Loan Fund, which is proposing to do projects in all three counties. A review committee will make its final decision if one or both proposals will move forward and the FHFC Board of Directors will consider the candidates at its Jan 23 meeting.