A new $76 million housing renovation project will extend the life of 299 affordable apartments set aside for seniors and other low-income Salt Lake City residents.
Construction, which launched Friday, will modernize the dwellings inside two public housing buildings, County High Rise and New City Plaza located near 1960 South 200 East, just east of the Salt Lake County Government Center, and add a one-story breezeway between them.
Officials say it is the largest effort thus far by the county’s housing authority — now known as Housing Connect — to maintain some of the region’s most affordable dwellings available for the elderly at a time when Utah is seeing a dire housing shortage and moderately priced rentals suitable to their needs are in especially short supply.
Janice Kimball, CEO at Housing Connect, said in a statement the project will keep the apartments affordable and accessible for another 30 to 50 years as part of the agency being “deeply committed to our vision that everyone in our community has a safe, affordable place to call home.”
New City Plaza has, until now, been run by Salt Lake City’s housing authority but post-renovation, the two buildings will come under Housing Connect’s management.
The renovation will pump an estimated $133,110 into improvements for each apartment after years of delayed maintenance, officials said. Each living unit will get an updated floor plan, fresh carpets and paint, new cabinets and appliances, and will be wired for high-speed internet access.
The overhaul also aims to improve health and safety in the housing with new power generators and an improved access system. Managers say the project will help unify and create a better sense of community among residents in the two buildings by linking them with the new breezeway and upgraded common areas.
Shantae Goodloe, a spokesperson for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is kicking in $39 million for the project, said the work would shift the two housing complexes away from a history of deferred maintenance and deterioration “to a stable and sustainable trajectory.”
“Over the years, HUD has seen many public housing units lost from the affordable inventory due to deterioration of the property,” Goodloe said. “To preserve properties for the long term, they need periodic investment.”
The project also draws funding from a Federal Housing Administration loan in addition to federal low-income housing tax credits and a HOME housing grant from the state.
HUD’s $39 million contribution comes via a new demonstration program that essentially lets local public housing authorities leverage their financial resources to reinvest in their housing stock. It requires them to keep the upgraded housing units permanently affordable to low-income residents.
Under the program — titled Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD — the housing will be moved under what is known as HUD’s Section 8 program, the federal government’s voucher program for helping seniors, low-income families and those with disabilities. Existing residents are consulted through RAD before the conversion and are guaranteed the right to occupy the modernized units and to continue to pay 30% of their income toward rent.
So far, the federal program has freed up more than $14.5 billion for capital investments to improve or replace 175,000 rent-assisted homes across the country, HUD said, most of them serving low-income families, seniors and residents with disabilities.
A Lakewood, Colo.-based firm called ej architecture has been selected as the Housing Connect renovation’s architect. Kier Construction in Ogden will be the general contractor.
Announcement of the renovation and preservation of 299 dwellings dedicated to seniors comes at a critical time in what experts say is a widespread housing shortage in Utah and the U.S., one felt acutely by older residents.
The Beehive State has one of the fastest growth rates in the country for people age 65 and older, recently released census numbers show. As the baby boom generation ages and home prices and rents alike continue to surge, among the hardest hit financially are seniors, many of whom live on fixed incomes and often require special living arrangements due to limited mobility.
A 2019 study found that of approximately 277,000 senior households in Utah, nearly 72,000 — or nearly 1 in every 4 — are estimated to be “cost-burdened,” forcing them to spend more than 30% of their total income on housing. In addition, 1 in every 8 senior households — about 8,900 in total — spend half more of their incomes on housing.
And that was before the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, which has accelerated price rises in for-sale and rental housing alike in Utah with exploding demand for homes, particularly those accessible for residents earning below the region’s median wage.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
HUD CLOSES $39.8 MILLION RENTAL ASSISTANCE DEMONSTRATION CONVERSION TRANSACTION TO PRESERVE 299 AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS IN SALT LAKE COUNTY, UT
Transaction with the Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake preserves low-income housing units for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Multifamily Housing today announced that it has closed a Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) transaction with the Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake at its New City Plaza site. The transaction will preserve 299 low-income housing units, maintaining long term, stable, and affordable housing for low-income seniors and non-elderly disabled residents in Salt Lake County. Through RAD, the immediate and future needs of the project are addressed through the recapitalization, setting the project up for both financial and physical stability over the long-term.
The RAD transaction includes a $39.8 million construction budget ($133,110 per unit) fully financed through:
This project preserves much needed affordable housing in in downtown Salt Lake City, enabling residents to have access to affordable housing in an area close to jobs and opportunities. It will add a new one-story connecting breezeway to create a unified senior community in which residents have ease of access between these buildings. Additionally, all units will be updated with wiring for broadband during the rehabilitation. Finally, the rehabilitation will include important health and safety updates, including generators and access systems, unit and common area modernization, and other building and unit upgrades.
RAD was designed to help address the multi-billion-dollar nationwide backlog of deferred maintenance in the public housing portfolio and to stem the loss of affordable housing that could no longer be kept to decent standards. From the program’s inception through June 1, 2022, the Rental Assistance Demonstration has facilitated more than $14.5 billion in capital investment to improve or replace nearly 175,000 deeply rent-assisted homes, most of which house extremely low-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
Under RAD, projects funded under the public housing program convert their public housing assistance to project-based Section 8 rental assistance. Under Section 8, residents continue to pay 30% of their income towards rent and the housing must continue to serve those with very low and extremely low incomes, as was the case when the property was assisted through the public housing program. Residents must be notified and consulted prior to conversion, are given a right to return to assisted housing post-construction so that the same tenants can enjoy these newly preserved and improved apartments and maintain the same fundamental rights they had as public housing residents.
More programmatic information is available at the RAD website. Data on RAD is available at the RAD Resource Desk.
View photo essays and read case studies where RAD is working to successfully preserve and improve public housing for low-income families.
Watch an educational video for public housing residents or those new to the RAD program.
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Officials with Housing Connect, Salt Lake County’s housing authority, broke ground Friday on a project to renovate 299 units of deeply affordable housing in Salt Lake City.
The project consists of renovating two public housing buildings, New City Plaza and County High Rise, at 1966 South 200 East. It’s the largest of Housing Connects recent efforts to maintain the number of affordable units in Salt Lake County.
“It’s really important that we are able to keep these units, these affordable units, because there are not many units on the market that serve extremely low-income households,” said Janice Kimball, CEO of Housing Connect.
Kimball said public housing units across the country can be old and outdated. She said there’s often not enough government funding to maintain such units and they can eventually be lost to demolition.
“What happens is you don’t have enough money to make the repairs that you need and at some point you’re not able to keep the building safe,” she said.
Until recently, City Plaza and County High Rise were managed separately by Housing Connect and the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City. As part of the renovation, Housing Connect will now own and manage them as one property.
Each unit will be renovated and include a new layout, cabinets, appliances, carpet, paint, and wiring for broadband internet. The rehabilitation will also provide health and safety updates, including generators and access systems and common area modernization.
The renovation will be done in stages. About a quarter of residents have been moved to different housing so work can begin on empty units.
Once those are finished, a certain number of residents will move into the new units and the process will repeat itself.
Officials expect the project to take a little less than two years.
Gov. Steve Sisolak discusses needs for more affordable housing with local community leaders.
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Gov. Steve Sisolak began his visit by touring one of the units at the Vintage at Sanctuary affordable housing apartment complex before sitting down with local leaders in the affordable housing industry.
“For too many right now homeownership feels out of reach, and rental prices are rising so fast, it makes it harder for people to get ahead, to be able to afford to pay rent and be in a place that they feel safe and they feel secure and they feel comfortable,” Sisolak said.
In efforts to mitigate the ongoing affordable housing issue, Sisolak announced at his recent State of the State address, the “Home Means Nevada” initiative that promises to pledge $500 million to the cause.
The funds from Home means Nevada are to be obligated by 2024 and used by 2026, meaning the creation of more affordable housing is coming quickly.
In conjunction with the work and funding already happening on the local level, like Reno City Council’s approval of $9 million for two new affordable housing projects.
During the roundtable, leaders got to meet someone who is already benefitting from the affordable housing initiatives.
“When you’re down and out and something like that happens - I was labeled with PTSD - I think I’ll fight it now that I have a nice warm place to sleep,” said 75-year-old, Marlene O’Neill, resident of Vintage at Sanctuary.
O’Neill lost her home after being displaced by the Caldor Fire in August 2021, but found a home in Reno after help from her daughter who got her in contact with a local affordable housing organization.
“You should have seen me between August and January, I wasn’t the same person,” said O’Neill.
“When you get to talk to the individuals and see how this is going to impact a life, I mean, these are life-changing things that are happening here and I’m thankful for the residents of Nevada for supporting this because they’re making it possible for people to have a safe and secure place,” said Sisolak.
Throughout the discussion, Sisolak emphasized the importance of a team effort - from the legislators to developers, and local organizations - thanking the group for their work so far.
“I can’t even keep up with all the announcements for affordable housing right now, it’s awesome and I’m really proud to be here and be a part of it,” said Christine Hess, executive director for the Nevada Housing Coalition.
“I’m living proof that you can get to somewhere where you’re safe and comfortable, you just have to keep going,"-Marlene O’Neill, resident of Vintage at Sanctuary.
News 4-Fox 11 got an inside look at the apartment building on Gentry Way Wednesday afternoon. Engineer Vince Griffith said he works closely with Greenstreet Companies, which searches for properties just like this one.
"Infill, close to shopping, close to transportation and affordable lots. This one is a good example of that," he said.
Griffith said projects like this aren't possible without help from local governments, but he refuted the notion — often said in affordable housing discussions — that it's not profitable for private developers to build affordable units.
"These are not the highest-profit return projects for them but they do them, and they feel strongly about making these part of their portfolio," he said of Greenstreet Companies.
While about half of the units are already leased out, many rooms are still open. The grand opening for the Vintage at Sanctuary is on March 15.
Source: News 4 & Fox 11
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico --Desert Hope Apartments, a complex designed to house the homeless, is now open in in Las Cruces.
The tenants began moving into the apartment complex this week.
Desert Hope, operated by the Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority, is part of a project that aims to help stop homelessness in the community.
It is an affordable housing complex that contains 40 units. Tenants are charged rent based on their income, so the cost varies with each individual.
The purpose of the apartments is to provide affordable housing for the low-income community.
Applications are still being accepted and interested individuals must sign up on the waitlist.
According to the Housing Authority’s website, applications are only open to the homeless. You can find out more information online at mvpha.org
Source: KVIA Channel 7
Soft Funds and Equity Continue to be Crucial for Funding RAD Transactions
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program has generated a lot of attention–and results–since it was established in 2012.
So much so that panelists on the Equity for RAD Transactions panel at the Novogradac 2021 RAD Public Housing Virtual Conference in mid-January discussed the different kinds of equity available to RAD conversions.
“Basically, any funds can be used with RAD deals and we love that,” said Eric Novak, president at Praxis Consulting Group, which works with public housing authorities (PHAs) around the country. “We love soft funding for RAD projects.”
Novak said that some of the funds available to RAD conversions include HUD HOME funds, Community Development Block Grants, the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program, National Housing Trust Fund financing, state housing trust fund financing, energy efficiency and solar grants, state preservation grants and more.
Novak said that soft money is critical gap financing for several reasons: PHAs’ resources are limited, RAD rents may not leverage sufficient debt, the 9% low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) is competitive and capped, 4% LIHTCs are a shallow subsidy (although the 4% floor helps), and straight RAD conversions can be expensive.
Jennifer Erixon, senior vice president of Alliant Capital, a national tax credit syndicator active in all 50 states, said investors like RAD conversions because of all the soft money available.
“It is all the additional subsidy in the deal,” said Erixon. “It’s the fact that all of those soft funds–that are difficult to get–once you stack them into a deal, it’s pretty low-leverage from the foreclosable debt perspective.”
However, using those sources with RAD poses difficulties.
“The more layers of financing, the more complexities, the more lawyers involved,” said Novak. “That’s just the nature of these projects, they will often have five, six, seven different sources of funding.”
Novak mentioned another challenge that PHAs face.
“One of the difficulties is often that housing authorities don’t have those relationships with their entitlement communities or participating judications, so they are having to build those relationships sometimes for the first time in order to access those monies,” said Novak.
Erixon also identified challenges for PHAs doing a RAD conversion.
“Investors want PHAs to have a LIHTC track record and a balance sheet–no less than $1 million in liquid assets. For smaller housing authorities, that can be a challenge,” said Erixon. “Bringing in a partner is a way to address that hurdle and to make sure you get as many looks from investors as possible and get the best possible terms on the equity investment.”
Depending on a PHA’s experience, Erixon said there are a couple partnership options for PHAs doing a RAD conversion.
She said the first option is to partner with a turnkey developer who will get you through financing and completion, share in the guarantee risk and then turn the partnership over, making the PHA the general partner. She said the second option is to have the third-party developer partner stay in partnership as the managing general partner. The developer partner would manage the day-to-day asset while the PHA stays in as the co-general partner. Erixon said this option works well for smaller PHAs.
Despite the challenges, flexibility makes RAD conversions attractive to investors.
“When the RAD program first started, a lot of investors looked at it and said, ‘I don’t know what this is.’ It was a nontraditional structure that they had a difficulty getting their arms around,” said Erixon. “The way this has evolved over the past handful of years, it is something that is much more accepted by the investment community. And even more than accepted, it’s something that investors really like.”
While soft money is essential to RAD conversions, it’s important to bring equity into these investments as well.
“The 4% [LIHTC] floor adds a layer of equity to deals and certainly helps developments pencil out,” said Austin Divino, vice president of R4 Capital, a nationwide syndicator, lender, loan servicer and asset manager.
This means that the effective credit rate can’t fall below 4%. This permanent change applies to buildings placed in service starting in 2021.
R4 Capital has closed 19 RAD conversions, most of which were financed with 9% LIHTCs. “Most [RAD] deals we do are 9%, which allows for steeper set asides,” said Divino. He added that RAD conversions score well on 9% LIHTC qualified allocation plans.
But that’s not the only equity available to RAD conversions.
Divino added that federal and state historic tax credits (HTCs) are valuable resources for PHAs with an aging housing stock.
“Nine percent LIHTCs, 4% LIHTCs with HTCs can be very equity heavy, which is great,” said Divino. “[This means] less credit risk for investors and less hard debt on the project.”
Conclusion“The main purpose of the RAD program is to be a means for PHAs to incentivize investment in their existing housing stock,” said Divino. “Now is a great opportunity for the program. At this time, when the country has been put through all kinds of stress, the need for affordable housing is as great as it has ever been. RAD is an excellent vehicle for PHAs to deliver on their mission to provide quality affordable housing.”
Published by Mark O’Meara
RENO (News 4 & FOX 11) - A construction site is in the works on Marvel Way for a new facility for the Empowerment Center. The facility will be home to a new apartment complex for women who are struggling with substance abuse issues and taking their next steps in recovery.
Roxanne DeCarlo, Executive Director of the Empowerment Center, says these units will help women be surrounded by others with the same goals.
The facility will be built in two phases and will take about a year to build.
Source: FOX 11 (FOXReno)
Rochester Housing Authority One of Nine Sites Nationally to be Awarded Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Mobility Demonstration Grant:
HUD TO INCREASE ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITY FOR 10,000 FAMILIES THROUGH NEW $50M HOUSING MOBILITY DEMONSTRATION
WASHINGTON - HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge on Thursday announced awards to nine lead public housing authorities (PHAs) that will participate in HUD’s new Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Mobility Demonstration, which will receive$45.7 million in total funding. Through this Demonstration, PHAs will provide over 10,000 families with children better access to low-poverty neighborhoods with high-performing schools and other strong community resources. Participating regions represent diverse housing markets, population sizes, local laws regarding source-of-income nondiscrimination, and experiences implementing housing mobility programs.
“Studies show that place matters, and access to educational opportunities and other resources create lasting impacts on life outcomes for children,” said Dominique Blom, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. “The Mobility Demonstration provides families the choice to live where they want to live to raise their children.” “We are thrilled to announce this new program, which will remove barriers to opportunity-rich communities for families across the country.”
The Demonstration builds upon recent research that shows growing up in neighborhoods with lower levels of poverty improves children's academic achievement and long-term chances of success and reduces intergenerational poverty. Children who move to low-poverty neighborhoods have also been shown to experience lower rates of hospitalizations, lower hospital spending, and some changes in mental health over the long-term follow-up. Adults given the chance to move to low-poverty neighborhoods experience reductions in obesity and diabetes.
While the HCV program currently offers families with vouchers the opportunity to live in a neighborhood of their choice (including low-poverty, opportunity neighborhoods), families with HCVs may continue to encounter barriers to using their vouchers in communities with expanded opportunities. Common barriers include inability to save enough money for a security deposit, inadequate time to find a unit, landlord unwillingness to rent to voucher holders, or limited awareness of neighborhood amenities, such as the location of high-performing schools.
The Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration will support selected PHAs in addressing barriers to accessing housing choices by offering mobility-related services to increase the number of voucher families with children living in opportunity areas. In addition to offering mobility-related services, participating PHAs will work together in their regions to adopt administrative policies that further enable housing mobility, increase landlord participation, and reduce barriers for families to move across PHA jurisdictions through portability.
The Demonstration will face a rigorous, independent evaluation to determine what services are most effective at helping families move to opportunity areas. HUD also intends to make materials developed for the demonstration available to all PHAs for us in their own communities.
The following PHAs will receive funding for the HCV Mobility Demonstration:
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced the award of over $54.7 million in capital advance and project rental assistance grants to 15 organizations, to expand the supply of affordable rental housing for extremely low-income persons with disabilities. The capital advance awards will support integrated affordable housing by providing funding for the development of permanent supportive rental housing through HUD’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, while project rental assistance awards are used to subsidize rents for extremely low-income persons with disabilities.
“HUD is committed to helping very low-income persons with disabilities with housing options that provide meaningful choices about housing, health care, and long-term services and support so they can participate fully in community life,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The Trump Administration has strongly supported our efforts to serve this population, including supporting the almost $150 million in HUD grants, and making $15 million in supplemental funds available under the CARES Act to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.”
The grants were awarded to organizations who will create permanent supportive housing models that will be at the forefront of design, service delivery and efficient use of federal resources. Awardees must promote long-term housing security and facilitate community integration of persons with disabilities.
“These awards reinforce our dedication to expanding the supply of affordable rental housing for persons with disabilities,” said Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Dana Wade. “The development of new rental housing, and subsidies for residents will expand their options to live with independence within the community in a more integrated environment.”
HUD provides rental assistance to more than 35,000 households through its Section 811 program. The program supports:
The following grantees received awards for Capital Advance Awards: