The Florida Housing Finance Corporation offers several financing programs to assist developers of affordable housing. All the programs listed must be applied for in the Universal Application Process. Go to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s website for more information: www.floridahousing.org
The Palm Beach County Housing Finance Authority has a multi-family bond program and a developer loan program available. http://www.pbchfa.org/developers.html
Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
The Housing Credit (HC) program provides for-profit and nonprofit organizations with a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal tax liability in exchange for the acquisition and substantial rehabilitation, substantial rehabilitation, or new construction of low and very low income rental housing units. Eligible development types and corresponding credit rates include: new construction, nine percent (9%); substantial rehabilitation, nine percent (9%); acquisition, four percent (4%); and federally subsidized, four percent (4%). A Housing Credit allocation to a development can be used for 10 consecutive years once the development is placed in service.
Qualifying buildings include garden, high-rise, townhouses, duplexes/quads, single family or mid-rise with an elevator. Ineligible development types include hospitals, sanitariums, nursing homes, retirement homes, trailer parks, and life care facilities.
This program can be used in conjunction with the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the State Apartment Incentive Loan program, the Predevelopment Loan program, or the Multifamily Mortgage Revenue Bonds program. Each development must set aside a minimum percentage of the total units for eligible low or very low income residents for the duration of the compliance period, which is a minimum of 30 years with the option to convert to market rates after the 14th year.
At least 20 percent of the housing units must be set aside for households earning 50 percent or less of the area median income (AMI), or 40 percent of the units must be set aside for households earning 60 percent or less of the AMI.
Housing need is assessed annually based on current statewide market studies and public input, and funds are distributed annually to meet the need and demand for targeted housing in large, medium, and small-sized counties throughout Florida. Additionally, housing credits are sometimes reserved for affordable housing that addresses specific geographic or demographic needs, including the elderly, farmworkers and commercial fishing workers, urban infill, the Florida Keys Area, Front Porch Florida communities, or developments funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
The Housing Credit program is governed by the U.S. Department of Treasury under Section 252 of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended. Each year, the U.S. Department of Treasury awards each state an allocation authority consisting of the per capita amount of $1.75 times the state population plus the state’s share of the national pool (unused credits from other states). Starting in 2003, the per capita amount will be adjusted annually for inflation.
State Apartment Incentive Loan program (SAIL)
The State Apartment Incentive Loan program (SAIL) provides low-interest loans on a competitive basis to affordable housing developers each year. This money often serves to bridge the gap between the development’s primary financing and the total cost of the development.
SAIL dollars are available to individuals, public entities, not-for-profit or for-profit organizations that propose the construction or substantial rehabilitation of multifamily units affordable to very low income individuals and families. A minimum of 20 percent of the development’s units must be set aside for families earning 50 percent or less of the area median income. Developments that use housing credits in conjunction with this program may use a minimum set-aside of 40 percent of the units for residents earning 60 percent of the area median income. Developments in the Florida Keys Area may use a minimum set-aside of 100 percent of the units for residents with annual household incomes below 120 percent of the state or local median income, whichever is higher.
Loan interest rates are set at zero percent for those developments that maintain 80 percent of their occupancy for farmworkers, commercial fishing workers or homeless people. The interest rates are set at one percent for all other developments. Loans are issued for a maximum of 15 years unless housing credit syndication requirements or Fannie Mae requirements dictate longer terms or if the Corporation’s encumbrance is subordinate to the lien of another mortgage, in which case the term may be made coterminus with the longest term of the superior loan. In most cases, the SAIL loan cannot exceed 25 percent of the total development cost and can be used in conjunction with other state and federal programs.
The Multifamily Mortgage Revenue Bond Program (MMRB)
The Multifamily Mortgage Revenue Bond program (MMRB) uses both taxable and tax-exempt bonds to provide below market-rate loans to non-profit and for-profit developers who set aside a certain percentage of their apartment units for low income families. These bonds are sold through either a competitive or negotiated method of sale or private placement. The program requires that at least 20 percent of the units be set aside for households earning at or below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI).
The developer may also opt to set aside 40 percent of the units for households earning at or below 60 percent of the AMI. The MMRB program encourages targeting in several areas. For the 2003 Universal Application Cycle, small counties receive 10 percent (10%) of the total allocation, and medium counties receive 31 percent (31%) of the total allocation. Large counties will receive 59 percent (59%) of the allocation. Special consideration is given to developments that target specific groups or areas such as the Florida Keys, rural development, the elderly, urban infill areas, Front Porch Florida communities, HOPE VI communities, homeless people, and farmworkers or commercial fishing workers.
Affordable housing developers are able to use the dollars from this program in conjunction with other Florida Housing programs, such as the Affordable Housing Guarantee Program, which participates in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Multifamily Risk Sharing program, and the State Apartment Incentive Loan Program.
The MMRB process is a multi-layered process that includes periods such as the allocation of private activity bonds; rule development, ranking and scoring of applications; public hearings; credit underwriting; fiscal sufficiency; loan commitment; real estate closing; and bond pricing and closing. Typically, affordable housing developers involved in the construction or acquisition of properties of 200 units or more submit applications to the MMRB program.
Impact Fee Assistance Program
Palm Beach County through its Department of Economic Sustainability (DES) hereby announces the availability of $4,102,445 in Impact Fee Affordable Housing Assistance Program (IFAHAP) funding for Fiscal Year 2013-2014. DES will begin accepting requests for funding on May 19, 2014. The Board of County Commissioners has authorized the utilization of County impact fee investment earnings on roads, parks, and public buildings to support the development of affordable owner-occupied, for-sale and rental housing in Palm Beach County.