State to Gain $667 Million in Affordable Apartments

RALEIGH— Federal tax credits and other financing awarded Monday (Aug. 15) will build $667 million of affordable apartments in 37 North Carolina counties. The work is expected to support 13,500 jobs and generate more than $72.2 million in total tax revenue.

Tax credits and bonds were approved for 59 projects by the North Carolina Federal Tax Reform Allocation Committee, based on recommendations from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, from 172 applications that were received.

“We’re delighted with the quality of the proposed developments,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the North Carolina Housing Agency. “They will provide excellent homes for working families and seniors—and they will also improve their communities and support thousands of jobs to boost local economies.”

The funding will produce 5,406 privately owned, privately managed affordable apartments. A total of 3,963 units will be designated for families, and 1,443 units will house seniors. At least 540 of the units are targeted for persons with disabilities. [A list of housing developments by county is attached.] The new awards will bring the number of Housing Credit apartments in the state to more than 75,000.

In addition to the federal tax credits, 28 of the properties will receive $12.5 million in loans from the Workforce Housing Loan Program, created by the General Assembly in 2014 to encourage development in low-income counties and reduce rents in moderate and high income counties. Awards range from $154,000 to just under $850,000. These properties will be located in 27 counties, including some where no affordable apartments have been built for several years, such as Ashe and Clay. 

Agency loans totaling $11.3 million were also awarded to 14 of the projects by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency’s board of directors. Together, the additional resources make it economically feasible to build new apartments in lower-wealth counties and to reduce rents in urban counties.

All of the apartments are affordable for households earning 60 percent of a county’s median income, and many are affordable at 50 percent or 40 percent of median as the result of the additional financing. The state’s Key Program provides operating assistance to make apartments affordable for persons with disabilities living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is currently $733 a month for individuals or $1,100 per month for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse.

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency evaluates the tax credit applications on behalf of the N.C. Federal Tax Reform Allocation Committee. The highly competitive application process uses a quantitative ranking system and includes independent market studies of each property and site visits by agency staff. Each property is rated for architectural design, rent affordability, financial stability, capability of the development team, and criteria to ensure statewide distribution of the financing.

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting public agency, has financed more than 242,000 affordable homes and apartments statewide since its creation in 1973.