Affordable Housing

Demographic, political and economic factors are having unprecedented impact on the landscape of affordable housing policy and advocacy. Developers and owners see challenge and opportunity in evolving subsidy, loan and tax credit programs that address availability and condition of housing stock.

Key Contacts

Joseph P. McCarthy Partner Seattle, WA

Our Affordable Housing practice serves developers and owners—including for-profit, nonprofit and public agencies—as you navigate the multifaceted financing and construction process to develop and maintain affordable housing resources in your communities. We achieve results for our clients, including aspects such as the acquisition of general partner interests in projects, sale of partner interests, acquisition of limited partner interests, development, and acquisition, construction and renovation of the properties themselves, as well as financing and/or refinancing, for clients throughout the western United States.

Affordable Housing Finance

We boast one of the most experienced legal teams in the region advising on affordable housing financing through bonds, single or combination tax credits, state and local subsidies, HUD programs, and various combinations thereof. As the affordable housing industry matures, the financing mechanisms utilized by it are evolving and increasingly complex. For example, over the past few years we have had the opportunity to work extensively with public housing agencies and their partners on raising private capital through the RAD program and have helped owners navigate multiple changes in available multifamily insured mortgage products.

Through our relationships with HUD and regulators at state and local levels, we continuously monitor pending proposals such as LIHTC project income averaging, revisions to Section 202 to fund new construction and boost health-related services, and FHFA proposals to encourage lending to small multifamily property owners.

We advise our clients on all affordable housing and community development financing programs, including:

  • Low Income Housing and other applicable tax credits
  • Tax-exempt private activity bonds
  • HUD 202 and 811 capital advances
  • FHA-insured financing
  • HOME and CDBG funds
  • HUD Section 8 funds
  • Project-based supportive service programs
  • USDA Rural Development financing and other state-level programs

This combination of extensive project experience and established relationships with local stakeholders and facilitators of these various programs allows us to smooth your path to financing and building a program-compliant project.

Affordable Housing Construction and Operation

We understand how even the little details can have a big impact on your project. The Stoel Rives team works closely with developers launching community development projects as they make decisions about choice of entity, forming partnerships, land acquisition, securing permits or obtaining a construction loan. When projects have mixed-use or market-rate elements, we help sort out complex debt and equity financing, leasing agreements and compliance requirements. During the life of a project we assist with refinancing, ongoing compliance issues, acquisitions and dispositions, Year 15 sales, buyouts, workouts and litigation.

Cross-Practice Resources

The breadth of our practice provides an added benefit to our affordable housing clients that they cannot get from most smaller or more specialized firms—the knowledge and capacity to handle peripheral issues as they arise during the development process. Our construction, environmental permitting, land use, corporate law, regulatory compliance, labor and employment, intellectual property and litigation services are recognized throughout the region as exemplary—these are resources that we are able to provide to our affordable housing clients when they need them.

  • Land acquisition, development and $65 million of debt and equity financing for 450-unit affordable apartment community in Nevada, containing 300 units of family housing and 150 units of senior housing, including negotiation of 4% LIHTC investment, tax-exempt bond financing, long-term swap of variable rate debt financing, $750,000 in HOME funding, $3 million in 1602 funding and subsequent re-syndication of LIHTC equity.
  • Ground lease, financing and development of 150-unit mixed-use project, including negotiation of ground lease, 9% LIHTC, HOME financing, Housing Trust Fund financing, and City of Seattle and FHLB financing.
  • Year 12 refinance of 400-unit affordable housing project, involving new long-term mortgage debt, pay-off of tax-exempt bonds, buyout of LIHTC investor's interest and termination of limited partnership agreement, restructuring of debt internal to general partner, and buyout of general partner interests by original syndicator of general partner interests.
  • Representation of a national syndicator in connection with multiple syndications to various institutional investors of investment funds engaged in the acquisition, development and operation of federal tax-credit affordable housing projects throughout the United States.
  • Acquisition and renovation of a four-apartment portfolio using tax-exempt bonds and FHA-insured mortgage financing, assumption of project-based Section 8 contracts and assumption of LIHPRHA use agreements.
  • Acquisition and renovation of large portfolio of USDA Rural Development apartment projects, involving assumption of USDA Rural Housing financing and USDA rental assistance, assumption of existing FHA-insured financing and project-based Section 8 assistance, new FHA-insured financing, and tax-exempt bonds.
  • Creation, development and financing of a mixed-use renovation project comprising multiple commercial units and one residential unit of 50 affordable apartments; creation of development joint venture between commercial and residential partnerships; and negotiation of project-wide debt and equity financing (9% LIHTC, HOME, CDBG, UDAG, Housing Trust Fund and City of Seattle).
  • Negotiation and sale of historic fa├žade easement for renovation of 200-unit LIHTC building.
  • Acquisition and renovation of existing apartment building in Oregon involving 9% LIHTC, 1602 financing, HOME financing, Oregon Trust Fund financing, commercial bank loan and assumption of Section 8 contract.
  • Year 15 sale of 9% LIHTC project to nonprofit general partner, buyout of LIHTC investor and restructuring of existing debt financing with state and local funders.
  • Negotiation of debt and equity financing, and acquisition of land (including ground lease, purchase agreement and development agreement) for 9% LIHTC project in Arizona.
  • Representation of community land trust in acquisition of failed 26-unit subdivision from FDIC, including completed homes and vacant lots; negotiation of acquisition financing for project; negotiation of down-payment assistance financing with City of Seattle; and preparation of unit sales documents and affordability covenants for the homes.
  • Representation of private secondary school in qualified 501(c)(3) bond financing for an addition to the school campus and for refinancing of outstanding bonds.
  • Creation of down-payment assistance loan program for Indian tribal housing authority under NAHASDA.
  • Development of 150-unit student housing project for private university, involving off-balance sheet financing and use of qualified 501(c)(3) bonds enhanced with bond insurance.
  • Roll-up of clients' interests in general partner entities for 30 LIHTC projects, containing 5,000 units across the western U.S., to a newly formed holding company, and sale of majority interest in holding company to a publicly traded REIT.
  • Negotiation of purchase agreement and investor, lender and agency consents for acquisition of ownership interests in general partners of two existing LIHTC projects containing 500 units located in Nevada and California.
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