Affordable Housing Notes From the Field: Dayton
Let me tell you the story behind this picture taken in late October. The man is Frank Baldasare, Senior Vice President at Walker & Dunlop. We had both been invited by the Millennia Company to the ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Lakewoods, their 417-unit low-income community for seniors in Dayton, Ohio.
Frank was invited because Walker & Dunlop structured and originated the project loan. I’m in the picture because in 2014 I had the honor of underwriting the first loan ever funded under Freddie Mac’s then-new Direct Purchase of Tax-Exempt Loans (TEL) initiative. We designed our TEL product suite to give our partners a more flexible, cost-effective way to finance tax-exempt low-income rental housing.
The Lakewoods was an ideal candidate for TEL because its financing package included an allocation of tax-exempt bonds, 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and the first federal Senior Preservation Reinvestment Rental Assistance (SPRAC) contract in Ohio (and one of only 12 SPRACs in the country). By providing the permanent financing under TEL, we helped ensure the community could stay affordable and benefit from all of these different programs.
There are few satisfactions in my job quite like seeing a brand new loan product like TEL come to life as a fully occupied apartment building. Or to be personally thanked by the many residents who turned out for being part of the team that renovated their home.
By renovation I mean new carpeting, new cabinets in every unit, new appliances in most of them, a fitness center, beauty shop, outdoor terraces on every floor, a new roof, and other amenities and conveniences. Since The Lakewoods was already 95 percent occupied, the improvements were made around the residents. (The ceremony celebrated the end of two years of renovations.)
Including The Lakewoods, Freddie Mac has funded 57 TEL loans, financing an estimated 8770 affordable rental homes in 27 states and the District of Columbia. We also have forward commitments in place for another 110 TEL transactions.
Which means we can look forward to cutting many more ribbons in the years ahead.
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