CAHEC Enters New Territory with Four Florida Deals
While Florida has been part of CAHEC’s footprint for several years, it wasn’t until late last year that we entered the territory with four new investments, three using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and one using New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). Florida can be tricky given then diverse geographic market regions within the state. The Florida Housing Finance Agency’s unique approach to allocations, which are awarded using a lottery system, can also require significantly more effort and cost by developers to complete a project.
The three LIHTC investments, Southern Villas of Madison, Southern Villas of Perry, and Orangemont Village I, are all acquisition/rehab properties developed by The Hallmark Companies that offer 106 units of affordable housing for families in Madison, Taylor, and Polk counties. “Given CAHEC’s strong relationship with Hallmark and their prior LIHTC experience in Florida, it made sense for us to partner with them on these developments,” explained Kate Hammer, Manager, Acquisitions for CAHEC. “This is the first major renovation that these properties have seen since they were built over 30 years ago. The $50,000 per unit in hard costs will be used to modernize the units so they can provide quality affordable housing for the next 20 years.”
It has also been a challenge finding the right opportunity to invest NMTC allocation in Florida, a CDFI Fund targeted NMTC underserved state. CAHEC New Markets achieved its goal in November 2019 by providing $10,250,000 of allocation to the North Florida School of Special Education. Located in Jacksonville, the school serves students with intellectual and developmental differences between the ages of 6 to 22 and also offers post-graduate vocational and life skills programs for adults ages 22 to 40. “The NMTC financing helped fill a funding gap in the school’s plan to expand its campus and enrollment with the addition of a new 32,000 SF lower school building featuring classrooms, a gymnasium, therapy rooms, fine arts rooms, library, and commercial teaching kitchen,” Brian Oxford, Manager, Acquisitions & New Markets described. Additionally, the school is building a therapeutic equestrian center and will renovate its existing school building. Through this expansion, the school will increase enrollment as well as expand community wide programming for individuals with intellectual and developmental differences.
CAHEC looks forward to following the progress of each of these developments and sharing their success in the future!