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COVID-19: TDHCA Modifies Fund Program Rules, Approves Six Multifamily Projects

Feature Illustration (above): View of the St. John’s Square 8-story mixed-income residence from East Nueva and St. Mary’s streets. Courtesy: Mark Odom Studio.

Posted: 4-8-2020

by Adolfo Pesquera

Austin (Travis County) — The governing board of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs agreed to grant the executive director temporary powers to extend deadlines on multifamily projects that may be impacted by their respective COVID-19 responses.

In addition, at their March 26 meeting, the board approved applications on six multifamily construction projects that had requested 4% housing tax credits.

Citing the state governor’s March 13 disaster declaration, and at the behest of TDHCA staff, the board provided the executive director new flexibility over seven regulatory rules that affect various programs. Some deal with direct assistance to low income families that are impacted by loss of income and unexpected expenses due to stay-at-home orders.

One addresses the Multifamily Housing Revenue and Bond Rules. The resolution explained that these rules include deadlines that are not statutory:

“There may be occasions in the coming months that extension of those deadlines is necessary due to the COVID-19 response, without time to bring a decision regarding those extensions to the Board. Staff recommends the Executive Director be granted authority to extend deadlines.

“Any action taken to extend a deadline will be applied equitably to all Applicants, unless the circumstances are unique to a single proposed Development. All extensions will be supported by evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on the specific deadline.”

Developments that are awarded 4% non-competitive tax credits or 9% competitive tax credits must comply with a long list of requirements, such as assurances from lenders, asset securitization, construction schedules, and property management programs.

In other business, the board approved staff’s recommendations on the award of 4% housing tax credit financial assistance for six low income housing apartment projects. Three of the projects are in San Antonio, two are in Houston, and one is in McKinney (Collin County).

A project summary for each is described below.

Tampico Apartments – San Antonio

The development proposes the new construction of 200 units located at 200 Tampico Street in San Antonio. Tampico Apartments will be a mixed-income development and will serve the general population.

The applicant has elected to utilize the income averaging minimum set-aside, as the project will provide nine units rent and income restricted at 30% of Area Median Family Income (AMFI), 10 units rent and income restricted at 40% of AMFI, 18 units rent and income restricted at 50% of AMFI, 70 units rent and income restricted at 60% of AMFI, 20 units rent and income restricted at 70% of AMFI, nine units rent and income restricted at 80% of AMFI, and 64 market rate units.

Las Varas Public Facility Corporation is serving as the bond issuer.

VBX has been tracking this project under Project ID 2020-067D.

Park at 38Thirty – San Antonio

The Park at 38Thirty is a new construction development proposed to serve the general population, located at 3830 Parkdale Street. The subject property was formerly the site of an event center that burned down and was subsequently demolished.

The development site is now part of a Neighborhood Improvement Plan and the City of San Antonio will provide funds from General Obligation Bonds as part of its Urban Renewal Plan. The Certificate of Reservation requires that 100% of the units be rent and income restricted at 60% of AMFI for developments located in a census tract with median income that is higher than the median income of the county, MSA, or PMSA in which the qualified census tract is located.

The San Antonio Housing Trust Finance Corporation is serving as the bond issuer.

This project is listed with VBX as 3830 Parkdale Multifamily under Project ID 2019-57FC.

St. John’s Square Apartments – San Antonio

St. John’s Square is proposed to be located at the southeast corner of St. Mary’s Street and East Nueva Street in downtown San Antonio. It involves the new construction of 252 units serving the general population.

The project is a mixed-income development, and is in partnership with the San Antonio Housing Authority. The development will lease 198 of its units at market rate and 54 units will be rent and income restricted at 50% of AMFI, with the applicant selecting the 20% at 50% of AMFI set-aside.

The San Antonio Housing Authority will also provide an annual rental assistance subsidy for 50 of the 54 affordable units for those clients participating in the Moving-to-Work program.

The eight-story building will include approximately 5,117 square feet of retail or restaurant space.

Las Varas Public Facility Corporation is serving as the bond issuer.

St. John’s Square was previously reported in VBX in this Feb. 6, 2020 report. The VBX Project ID is 2020-115E.

Arbor at Wayforest – Houston

The Arbor at Wayforest proposes the new construction of 192 units located on the southeast corner of Wayforest Drive and Richcrest Drive in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Houston, Harris County.

Hurricane Harvey is reported to have severely impacted the area. The general population will be served, however, 15 of the units will have a preference for residents referred by the Supportive Housing System of Harris County and is a condition of the CDBG-DR loan from the Harris County Community Services Department.

The Reservation from the Bond Review Board was issued under the Priority 1b designation, which requires that 15% of the units must be rent and income restricted at 30% AMFI and 85% of the units must be rent and income restricted at 60% AMFI (or less pursuant to guidance received from BRB).

The project meets the requirements of the designation as 29 of the units will be rent and income restricted at 30% of AMFI, nine of the units will be rent and income restricted at 50% of AMFI, and 154 of the units will be rent and income restricted at 60% of AMFI.

The Harris County Housing Authority Public Facility Corporation is serving as the bond issuer.

Richcrest Apartments – Houston

Richcrest Apartments, proposed to be located at the southeast corner of Imperial Valley Drive and Richcrest Drive in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Houston, Harris County, involves the new construction of 288 units that will serve the general population.

The application was initially submitted on October 16, 2019, however, the applicant was unable to obtain a 2019 Certificate of Reservation because the Private Activity Bond volume cap for 2019 had been exhausted.

A 2020 Reservation from the Bond Review Board was issued on January 13, 2020. The Reservation was issued under the Priority 1b designation, which requires that 15% of the units must be capped at 30% of AMFI and 85% of the units must be capped at 60% of AMFI (or less pursuant to guidance received from BRB).

The requirements of the designation are satisfied as 44 of the units will be rent and income restricted at 30% of AMFI, 127 units will be rent and income restricted at 50% of AMFI, and 115 units will be rent and income restricted at 60% of AMFI. The remaining two units will be employee-occupied.

Victory Street Public Facility Corporation is serving as the bond issuer.

McKinney Flats – McKinney

McKinney Flats is proposed to be located along the west side of Collin McKinney Parkway at Test Drive in McKinney, Collin County. It involves the new construction of 205 units serving the general population.

The applicant has elected to utilize the income averaging minimum set-aside, with 32 of the units rent and income restricted at 50% of AMFI, 161 units rent and income restricted at 60% AMFI, and the remaining 12 units rent and income restricted at 70% AMFI.

The McKinney Housing Finance Corporation is serving as the bond issuer.


adolfo@virtualbx.com

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By |2020-04-08T16:39:45-05:00April 8th, 2020|Construction Preview, Feature Story|

About the Author:

Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.

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