Gov. Malloy Announces Funds to Support Affordable Housing Throughout the State(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Department of Housing (DOH) Commissioner and Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) Board Chairman Evonne M. Klein today announced investments of more than $60 million in funding for 14 affordable housing projects across the state. The projects will build and rehabilitate 851 affordable apartments and 246 market-rate units.
"We have done more in affordable housing over the past several years than Connecticut has in decades - and this is yet another step in that direction. As we make smart investments today for a brighter Connecticut tomorrow, affordable housing is an integral part," Governor Malloy said. "These units will help hundreds of families, support municipalities, attract talented workers, contribute to our economic growth, and create the communities that will be more competitive in today's business climate. It's progress for Connecticut."
The projects announced today competed successfully in either the sixth round of the state's Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties (CHAMP) initiative or the federal 9% LIHTC round. Investments include more than $60 million in state capital funding, a projected $84.6 million in federal 4% and 9% LIHTC credit equity, and $19.4 million in permanent CHFA tax exempt bond financing. CHAMP, administered by DOH, helps owners and developers of multifamily rental developments to expand or rehabilitate affordable and supportive housing.
"The investments the Governor is announcing today include over $250 million in total development costs, leveraging nearly three and a half times the amount of DOH's investment. The total development cost of the projects includes private commercial lending, private equity, tax-exempt and taxable bond financing and other sources," Commissioner Klein said. "By collaborating with our partners, we are finding creative, innovative ways to help communities deal with one of their most pressing needs, and that's a shortage of affordable housing options."
CHFA administers the LIHTC program, which is a federal tax incentive program designed to stimulate private investment in affordable housing. Under the program, developers can obtain equity financing to acquire, rehabilitate and/or construct new low- or moderate-income housing through the allocation of federal tax credits that may be sold to corporations or investor groups.
The CHAMP recipients are as follows:
• Brookfield Village, Brookfield - DOH will provide up to $4.5 million and CHFA will provide $4.6 million in tax exempt bond financing and $2.5 million in 4% LIHTC net proceeds to Brookfield Village, LLC to assist in the creation of a 48-unit mixed-use, mixed-income development in Brookfield. Forty-three of the 48 units will be restricted as affordable housing in this community and will be targeted to families with 25%, 50%, and 60% of the area median income. The remaining units will be rented at market rate. The project will consist of two three-story buildings near the intersection of Route 202 and Station Road and will be designed with green development strategies, including a high-efficiency building envelope and Energy Star Bronze Certification. The buildings are centrally located and within walking distance of the many amenities and restaurants available in Brookfield Village. The site is also adjacent to a local HARTransit bus stop with service to Milford and Danbury.
• Essex Place, Essex - DOH will provide up to $3.83 million to assist in the development of Essex Place, a newly constructed 22-unit affordable elderly apartment building. Essex Place will be located adjacent to the existing 36-unit Essex Court elderly housing development. The site is walkable via town sidewalks to local services, grocery stores, restaurants and other community resources. The project is in close proximity to public transportation offered by the Estuary Transit District (ETD) that has regularly scheduled service on the Riverside Shuttle from Chester to Old Saybrook. The project will consist of 18 one-bedroom and 4 two-bedroom rental units. The units will serve residents or below 80% of the area median income.
• Norfolk Town Center, Norfolk - DOH will provide up to $3 million to assist in the development of 10 affordable apartments for families in Norfolk. The units will be created on three sites in the heart of Norfolk Village. These units will provide much needed affordable housing in Norfolk and will be walkable to the town center. The development will makes optimum use of existing developed land while maintaining the character and living environment of the surrounding area. The town center of Norfolk provides a wide range of amenities, so residents will be able to walk to many destinations including the library, restaurants, bank, town hall, the post office, shopping, churches, and Infinity Hall. The units also will be served by the Rural Transit Inter-Regional transportation service, which serves 16 towns in the Northwest area of Connecticut. The project will serve families with incomes ranging from 25-60% of the area median income.
• The Lofts at Ponemah Mills, Norwich - DOH will provide up to $4.97 million and CHFA will provide $8.25 million in tax exempt bond funding and $1 million in 4% LIHTC net proceeds to assist in the rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of a portion of the historic Ponemah Mills, dating from the 1860s, located in the Taftville section of Norwich. The project will create 116 new units of mixed-income family housing, including 41 affordable units targeted to families with 50% and 80% of area median income and the balance at market rates. The developer has previously invested significant resources to remediate the property, a former brownfield site. Restoration of the Ponemah Mills is a focal point in the city's revitalization and economic development efforts. The city is supporting the development with a 15-year tax abatement through its Mill Building Enhancement Program. In addition to the state financing, the project will receive both federal and state historic tax credits as well as 4% low income housing tax credit proceeds. A designated bus stop for Southeast Area Transit is located in front of the site, which is within a half mile of a neighborhood grocery store, bank, post office, and elementary school, and also has easy access to Interstate 395. The development is also part of the Shetucket River Greenway, designated in 2012 by the Connecticut Greenways Council.
• Metro Green 3, Stamford - DOH will provide a loan of up to $5 million to assist in the construction of the 155-unit Metro Green III project in the heart of Stamford's downtown south end. This is the third phase of the Metro Green transit-oriented mixed income community. Metro Green III is a key initiative of the Stamford 2030 District, a community of high-efficiency buildings in Downtown Stamford that aims to dramatically reduce energy and water consumption and reduce emissions from transportation. The project consists of the new construction of two buildings with a diverse mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units. Of the 155 units, 73 will be affordable; serving 50% to 60% of the area median income and 82 will be market rate. Metro Green III was designed to exceed Enterprise Green Communities Guidelines and will be seeking LEED for Homes Gold certification. Public amenities include a public plaza and streetscape and private courtyard with a dog play area, playground, and a community garden. The parking lot will feature a 100,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system that will irrigate the entire Metro Green Residential site. The project is leveraging more than $10 million in 4% low income housing tax credit net proceeds and approximately $38 million in non-state resources.
• Westfield Heights, Wethersfield - DOH will provide up to $3.5 million to assist in the substantial rehabilitation of Westfield Heights, which is owned and managed by the Wethersfield Housing Authority. Westfield Heights contains 132 apartments for families within 82 separate buildings on 20 acres in the heart of Wethersfield. The project is located near the main commercial hub of the Silas Deane Highway and provides residents with easy access to mass transit as well as employment and commercial centers. The buildings were constructed in 1943 to house families working in the war effort and consist of 20 one-bedroom, 66 two-bedroom, 37 three-bedroom and 9 four-bedroom units. The units will serve low- and moderate-income families at or below 80% of area median income. Rehabilitation will include the replacement of roofs, siding, windows, furnaces, hot water heaters, and kitchen and bathrooms.
• Brown Building, Waterbury - DOH will provide up to $5 million to assist in the redevelopment of The Brown Building, located in the heart of downtown Waterbury. The Brown Building was constructed in 1930 and is in the Waterbury Downtown Historic District, adjacent to downtown employment centers, mass transit opportunities, the University of Connecticut Waterbury campus, the Palace Theatre and the newly restored St. Patrick's Hall. The project will convert currently long-term vacant office space on the second and third floors into 38 units of mixed-income one- and two-bedroom apartments. The first floor will remain as commercial space and the façade and storefronts will be renovated to reflect the original historic character of the property. In addition to the state financing, the project will receive both federal and state historic tax credits as well as private financing. Restoration of the Brown Building will contribute to the downtown revitalization effort, which also includes other new developments and approximately $3 million of public infrastructure improvements. Nineteen of the 38 units will be reserved for families earning up to 50% of the area median income while the balance of the units will be rented at market rates with no restrictions.
• Schoolhouse Apartments, Waterbury - DOH will provide up to $3.85 million and CHFA will provide $6.55 million in tax exempt bond financing and $8.3 million in 4% LIHTC net proceeds to assist in the redevelopment of the Schoolhouse Apartments in Waterbury. The proposed project includes the acquisition and rehabilitation of three former historical schools that are currently occupied and serving residents with income up to 60% of the area median income. Schoolhouse Apartments includes 54 units for residents with incomes below 25% of area median income and 22 units with supportive services. This project, which also will receive federal and state historic tax credits, will allow Schoolhouse Apartments to continue to be a positive influence on the neighborhood and the community's character. The buildings are located in areas adjacent to mass transit and employment opportunities. The properties have a total of 213 units, including one- and two-bedroom apartments for senior citizens, aged 55 and older. All of the 213 units will be rehabilitated to sustainable standards to ensure that they remain in good condition for years to come. Rehabilitation activities will include Energy Star upgrades, such as a conversion from the existing electric heat pumps to new gas fired high-efficiency units.
The developments receiving 9% LIHTCs are:
• 515 West Avenue, Bridgeport; Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust - CHFA has awarded $8.2 million in 9% LIHTC equity and DOH will provide up to $1.6 million in state capital funds to construct this 48-unit mixed-income development. 515 West Avenue will be located within a half-mile of an existing mass-transit station. The four-story building will be mixed income, with apartments serving households with incomes ranging from less than 25% of the area median income, up to those households with incomes between 80% and 100% of the area median income. In addition, there will be 10 units of supportive housing with services for homeless veterans and other homeless individuals. The building will be fully handicap accessible and include a parking garage on the first level. Bridgeport is supporting the development with a PILOT agreement.
• Avery Park Revitalization, Stafford; Stafford Housing Authority - CHFA has awarded $11.1 million in 9% LIHTC equity and DOH will provide up to $6.5 million in state capital funds to build a new complex with 79 one-bedroom apartments for elderly residents. The development will encourage economic integration with 71 units for residents with incomes ranging up to 60% of the area median income, including 16 with supportive services, plus eight units for those with incomes at 100% to 120% of the area median income. Some residents from the existing Avery Park development are expected to move to the new development. The new development will include a multipurpose room, computer and library space and other amenities. Energy-efficiency measures are incorporated into the design and the construction of the development.
• Crescent Crossing Phase 1B, Bridgeport; Bridgeport Community Renewal Associates, LP - CHFA has awarded $19.1 million in 9% LIHTC equity and DOH will provide up to $5 million in state capital funds and $2.8 million in Superstorm Sandy Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds to build Crescent Crossing. The new mixed-income development is the second phase of housing to replace units at Marina Village that were damaged beyond repair by Superstorm Sandy, as well as units at the former Father Panik Village development. There will be four buildings with a total of 84 units: 21 for people with incomes up to 25% of the area median income; 34 units for people with incomes of 25%-50% of the area median income; 12 for those with incomes of 50-60% of the area median income; and 17 units for those with incomes of 80%-100% of the area median income. There will be 9 units with supportive services for homeless veterans and other homeless and very low-income residents. Crescent Crossing Phase 1B is also a transit-oriented development.
• East Street Apartments, New Milford; Dakota Partners, Inc. - CHFA has awarded $6.2 million in 9% LIHTC equity and DOH will provide up to $4.2 million in state capital funds, for new construction and renovations at East Street Apartments. The development will be a combination of new construction and gut renovation of an existing historic home on the property, creating 38 apartments. The developer plans to use modular construction and all work will be consistent with National Park Service historic guidelines. Sustainable design features include measures to reduce impact on the town's storm drains and make use of new natural gas infrastructure. The development will have 30 units for people with incomes less than 60% of the area median income and eight market-rate units. After 15 years, the development will be converted to condominiums and tenants will have rights of first refusal to purchase their units. Relocation assistance will be provided for tenants who choose not to purchase.
• The Mill at Killingly Apartments, Killingly; Women's Institute for Housing & Economic Development - CHFA has awarded $5.6 million in 9% LIHTC equity and DOH will provide up to $4.9 million in state capital funds to develop The Mill at Killingly Apartments. The project will be an adaptive reuse of a brownfield site and will require extensive remediation. The existing blighted mill building will be demolished; however, the building's historic tower will be incorporated into the new building. The Mill, a transit-oriented development, will have 32 new apartments: 13 units for people with incomes of 25% to 50% of the area median income, 12 units for people with incomes less than 25% of the area median income and seven market-rate units. Supportive services will be included with 16 units targeted to homeless veterans and other homeless and very low-income residents.
• Spruce Ridge/Meadows, Pawcatuck; Mutual Housing of South Central CT - CHFA will provide $10 million in 9% LIHTC equity and DOH will provide up to $5 million in state capital funds. Previously the department awarded $3.5 million for the development. Spruce Ridge/Meadows will combine two adjacent sites for the construction of 86 new apartments. Of the 67 affordable units 22 will be for people with incomes less than 25% of the area median income, 39 units for those with incomes of 25% to 50% of the area median income, and 6 units for those with incomes of 50% to 60% of the area median income. There will be 19 market-rate units. Spruce Ridge/Meadows will be a family development with one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The town has less than 10% assisted or deed restricted housing, so the new development will promote economic integration. Supportive services will be included with 18 of the units.