Fannie Mae makes good on its affordable housing promises

Investing $26M toward New York-area construction

Fannie Mae announced Thursday it will invest $26 million in low-income housing tax credit to finance the first phase of construction of the largest residential development in downtown Far Rockaway, New York.

Fannie Mae will back development through The Richman Group Affordable Housing Corporation, a Fannie Mae Low-Income Housing Tax Credit fund partner, according to a press release.

Several banks, including People’s United Bank, N.A. and Signature Bank, are also contributing to the development of the Queens-area residential building. 

NYC Housing Development Corporation and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development are providing investments of tax-exempt bonds, allocation of the 4% low-income housing tax credits and low-cost loans, according to the company.

Development company Phipps House is expected to begin construction of the 457 residential unit in July 2018, aiming to complete the project in three years.

Part of the city's rezoning plan, the project aims to provide residents with affordable living spaces.

“This LIHTC investment helps us support affordable multifamily housing in one of the highest cost markets in the U.S.,” Fannie Mae LIHTC Investments Vice President Dana Brown said. “LIHTC enables Americans to find affordable rental housing, and we are excited to work with our partners to address our country’s pressing affordable housing challenges.”

The development will consist of two, 12-story residential high-rise buildings and comprise 227 LIHTC units available for residents earning between 30% and 60% of area-median-income.

The remaining units will be affordable to households earning approximately 70% of AMI, and an additional 46 units will be priced at 30% of AMI.

These units will be available to formerly homeless people through the “Our Space” program, which will be underwritten at the NYC Shelter Allowance level.

The property will offer various sustainable features, including ENERGY-STAR appliances, a rooftop solar array and will be certified under Enterprise Green Communities standards, according to Fannie Mae.

In November of 2017, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they were re-entering the Low Income Housing Tax Credit market, and in February of this year Fannie invested $100 million to help Hurricane Harvey-impacted areas and underserved markets.

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