What is Affordable Housing Finance?

Unfortunately, low and moderate-income families often cannot pay enough to cover the total costs of owning and managing a rental property. So, affordable housing finance refers to the gap between property operating costs and the available revenue.

As a result, a developer typically needs financial support with a subsidy. That subsidy generally comes from the government, either local, state, or federal. So if you're in Montgomery County, Bucks County, or the greater Philadelphia area, it pays to have a local real estate attorney. Subsidies can come from other sources. For example, the assistance helps cover construction costs, rent, or operating costs. In addition, rental support helps tenants pay the rent needed to cover expenses.

Types of Affordable Housing Finance

Developers rely on numerous subsidy sources to fill the affordable housing finance gap. Those subsidies most often come from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, a federal program. However, other options include:

  • Mortgages with low-interest rates
  • Taxable or tax-exempt bonds
  • Local loan funds
  • Federal Historic Tax Credit
  • State Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits
  • State Historic Tax Credits
  • Land donations
  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
  • Deferred developer fees
  • General Partner (GP) capital
  • Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs)
  • Affordable Housing Program (AHP)

Despite the number of subsidy resources, most developers try to use the fewest possible. Not surprisingly, each additional help complicates funding. For example, each subsidy includes its own set of legal restrictions. But with projects requiring 100% funding for gaps, developers may resort to multiple sources to make projects financially feasible.

How Our Norristown and Doylestown Real Estate Attorneys Can Help

The real estate attorneys in our Doylestown and Norristown law offices have managed affordable housing projects, both large and small. For example, they've handled low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) developments involving the new construction of 40 or fewer apartment units. Plus, they've addressed large rehabilitation/preservation transactions involving layered refinancing, the de-coupling of interest reduction payments from the original loan, and the application of such payments to new, HUD-insured, first-lien financing.

Several affordable housing finance projects have involved historic tax credits and low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC). The physical layouts of the affordable housing projects have included scattered site developments, garden-type apartments, and mid-rise apartment buildings. In addition, several of the projects have involved mixed-use facilities. As a result, those projects required submitting the building or buildings to a condominium regime or regimes. They included commercial space on the first floor and residential units on the upper or adjacent floors.

A number of our projects have involved ground leases from local housing authorities. For example, our real estate attorneys have submitted several new affordable housing developments to "land condominium" regimes.

Our Real Estate Lawyers Secure Subsidies to Get Your Project Complete

Our real estate lawyers enlist multiple sources of financing for development transactions:

  • LIHTC syndications
  • HUD-insured loans from conventional lenders
  • PennHOMES loans from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
  • Housing assistance loans from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

On the more local level, we have represented our developer clients concerning HOME loans and CBDG loans from local finance agencies, including:

Financing for particular projects can involve four or more sources, all layered into one transaction. So give the real estate attorneys here a call to assist in your affordable housing finance project today, especially if your project is in Montgomery County, Bucks County, or Philadelphia County.

Affordable Housing Finance Attorneys

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