Volume 02  |  March  28, 2017
Todd A. Lee
From the Executive Director
T he DC Housing Finance Agency has had a very active start to 2017 and as we enter the spring season there are numerous projects on the Agency’s slate.   We are still in the initial stages of the new President's administration and with a new Administration there’s always volatility in the markets. Market fluctuations have created a reduction in the value of low income housing tax credits (LIHTC).  These projects typically have funding gaps but with the uncertainty in the market and the unknown impact of tax reform, funding LITHC projects has become even more of a challenge.

The good news is that projects are still being financed and closed and units are still being delivered. This is attributed to collaboration in creativity amongst the development community, finance community, public sector partners at the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, DC Housing Authority as well as the committed team at DCHFA.  Our Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investments team is working towards the development of more innovative tools to fill funding gaps.

Our Single Family Programs team is very excited about serving as an HPAP co-administrator. Our DC Open Doors program has been very successful in helping to produce new homeowners in the District despite the dearth of for sale inventory.  DCHFA remains committed to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s housing priorities, the pipeline remains robust and we remain committed to our mission.
DCHFA Begins Operations as HPAP Co-Administrator 

On March 1, DCHFA’s Single Family Programs division began operations as a co-administrator of the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP).   In December 2016 Mayor Bowser named DCHFA as the co-administrator of the first time home buyer program which is managed by the DC Department of Housing and Community Development. The Agency joins the Greater Washington Urban League as the co-administrator of HPAP.    

The Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) provides down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of interest free loans to qualified applicants for the purchase of their primary residence, to include single family houses, condominiums, or cooperative units in the District. The loan amount is based upon a combination of factors, including household income and size. The loan is subordinate to a first trust mortgage provided by a lender.

The administration of HPAP applications for very low to low income households will be managed by DCHFA’s Single Family Programs division. Single Family Programs also administers the DC Open Doors program offering 1st trust mortgage programs and down payment assistance, the HomeSaver program, which is a foreclosure prevention program and the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program that provides qualified borrowers the ability to claim a Federal Tax Credit of 20 percent of the mortgage interest paid during each calendar year. HPAP is the fourth addition to the Agency’s slate of homeownership programs. 

Deal Profile:  Benning Heights

The preservation and maintenance of existing affordable housing is as imperative as the construction of new affordable housing. The first project financed by the Agency in 2017 was the preservation of Benning Heights Apartments (4806 Alabama Ave SE, Washington, D.C.)  On January 11, DCHFA issued $16 million in bond financing for the acquisition and rehabilitation of this development.  The $32.1 million project will restore 148 apartments in the 11 building garden apartment complex located in Ward 7’s Benning Ridge neighborhood, less than a mile from the Benning Road Metro station.

The NHP Foundation is the developer of Benning Heights Apartments in partnership with the building’s tenants association, in accordance of the District’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). The project is also being funded with a $5 million subordinate Housing Production Trust Fund loan from the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, $2.8 million in a subordinate FHA note from HUD and $10.3 million of equity raised through the syndication of four percent LIHTCs.

The financing of Benning Heights Apartments is a great example of partners in the affordable housing community coming together to not only preserve affordable housing in Ward 7 but also modernizing the homes here for current and future residents.  Benning Heights Apartments was built in the late 1940s and received a minor rehabilitation in 2005.  The current rehabilitation will include repairing water infiltration as well as upgrading units and building systems. Handicapped accessibility will be improved in units and throughout the apartment community.  One hundred percent of the one, two and three bedroom units will be set aside for residents earning 60 percent or less of the area median income (AMI). The property is also subsidized by a HUD Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract, which covers all of the units at Benning Heights and subsidizes the rent of families earning 50 percent or less of the AMI.
Upcoming Events at DCHFA 

REGISTER TODAY: DC Open Doors Homebuyers’ Informational Session April 19, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

SAVE THE DATE:  DC Open Doors Homebuyers’ Informational Sessions May 3 and 17, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

SAVE THE DATE:  DC Open Doors House Crawl, June 17, 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.