AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The demand for affordable housing has never been greater, the benefits for communities and developers more significant, and the challenges more complex.

Moving Affordable Housing Projects Forward

The development of affordable housing brings tremendous opportunities and benefits for communities throughout the U.S., and local, state and federal laws affect these projects. Our multidisciplinary team can help navigate this complex landscape and overcome challenges from concept to closing. Our clients include all of the participants in the affordable housing process: developers, lenders (including targeted lenders such as bank community development departments and bank direct purchasers of tax-exempt and taxable bonds), public housing authorities, state housing finance agencies and other bond issuers, owners, managers, underwriters and placement agents.

Our team of attorneys and government relations professionals know the affordable housing landscape inside and out. Drawing from a variety of backgrounds, including banking and finance, tax, real estate, construction, workouts, environmental, legislative advocacy, and litigation - we’re perfectly positioned to help you with any project.

Members of our team:

  • Hold leadership positions with organizations such as National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), NAHRO/NeighborWorks Community Revitalization and Development Professional (CCRDP) Examination Board and Women in Housing and Finance of Pennsylvania;
  • Have served as general counsel to the NYS Housing Finance Agency (HFA),  State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), and State of New York Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC);
  • Have served as general counsel of CIFG Assurance North America, Inc. (then a Triple-A rated bond insurer/financial guaranty insurer); and
  • Frequently write on timely topics and present at industry conferences put on by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), National Association of Bond Lawyers, United Neighborhood Centers of America, North Central Regional Council of NAHRO, Southeastern Regional Council of NAHRO, Pennsylvania Association of Housing & Redevelopment Agencies, and Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

To reach Buchanan's Affordable Housing practice, contact Michelle Yarbrough Korb.

When It Comes to Affordable Housing, We’ve Got You Covered

Transactional

From the very start of any affordable housing project you undertake, our attorneys will work with you to see it through to completion. We can assist you by:

  • Working with procurement documents.
  • Drafting master development agreements.
  • Preparing necessary financing and site documentation.
  • Helping your project achieve full federal, state and local benefits.
  • Drafting and advising with respect to regulatory agreements associated with on-going governmental requirements.
  • Advising borrowers and lenders with respect to structuring lending agreements.
  • Providing counsel on tax credits and incentives.
  • Drafting agreements with architects and contractors.

Financing: We can help you with financing structures for conventional loans, construction loans, tax-exempt bond financings and credit enhancements. We often serve as:

  • Bond counsel.
  • Placement agent’s counsel.
  • Underwriter’s counsel.
  • Issuer’s counsel.
  • Counsel to single purpose entity borrowers organized by developers.
  • Counsel to public housing authorities as well as affiliates or instrumentalities organized by such entities that seek to revitalize, expand or convert housing stock.

Tax Credits & Incentives: Our attorneys understand the full array of tax credits and incentives available in connection with the development of affordable housing:

  • Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs)
  • Historic Tax Credits (HTCs)
  • New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs)

Our attorneys also have served as counsel to upper tier investors as well as counsel to syndicators and investors in assisting with workouts of existing LIHTC transactions.

Regulatory

Multi-family and mixed-use projects frequently require a percentage of affordable housing. Our attorneys have been through this, and we can guide you through resolution of the issues that may arise. We know the rules and the players, so you don’t need to go it alone. We can assist with:

  • Government agreements, entitlements, permitting and zoning matters.
  • Local governmental officials, city planners, engineers, architects, and environmental consultants to resolve zoning and land use issues.
  • Compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds, programs and guidance, including housing choice and project based (Section 8) vouchers, public housing, procurement, instrumentalities and affiliates, Capital Fund Financing Program (CFFP), mixed-finance development, Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), and Choice Neighborhoods.
  • Legislative or regulatory changes as needed.
Disputes, Bankruptcies, Workouts and Restructurings

While ideally, an affordable housing transaction proceeds smoothly from concept to closing to completion and during operations, there may be challenges that surface along the way. Disputes may arise with regulatory authorities, financing sources, contractors, or procured developers.  Our team is ready to assist in such situations.  We work to resolve it by negotiating a settlement or utilizing arbitration and mediation. When litigation is the only option, our experienced litigators have one objective: to help you prevail and keep your project on track.

Because of our experience with the resolution of disputes, bankruptcies, workouts and restructurings, our team is better informed during initial structuring and negotiation to help prevent issues and disputes while being prepared to assist when such matters arise.