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Affordable Housing and Community Development

The world of affordable housing has gotten increasingly complex over the past decade. From regulations to tax credits and other incentives, the need for experienced and comprehensive legal counsel has never been greater.

Navigating Affordable Housing Transactions and Keeping Projects Moving Forward

Affordable housing projects come with plenty of challenges that typical real estate transactions do not. The attorneys and government relations professionals at Buchanan have extensive experience managing affordable housing transactions for a wide range of clients in a variety of jurisdictions. Our multidisciplinary teams have worked with private developers in the for-profit and nonprofit sector, public housing authorities (as well as their instrumentalities or affiliates), redevelopment authorities, lenders, owners, underwriters and placement agents to bring these projects to life.

We have advised clients on a variety of matters, including every stage of affordable housing transactions, strategic planning issues, low-income housing tax credits, government subsidies, developmental challenges, federal housing programs, insurance claims and litigation.

While our teams consist of affordable housing professionals who know the industry inside and out, our firm’s wide-ranging expertise allows us to draw from a variety of backgrounds to assist clients with highly specific issues. This includes attorneys and government relations professionals with backgrounds in banking and finance, tax, real estate, construction, workouts, environmental, legislative advocacy and litigation. No matter the challenge, we’re perfectly positioned to help you with any project.

Assisting Clients Through a Wide Range of Affordable Housing Matters

Transactional Work and Financing Arrangements

Our attorneys can work with you to ensure your transaction is smooth from concept to closing. We can assist you by:

  • Drafting master development agreements
  • Navigating the procurement process
  • Preparing necessary site control documentation
  • Helping your project achieve full federal, state and local benefits
  • Drafting and advising with respect to regulatory agreements associated with ongoing governmental requirements
  • Structuring complex financing stacks
  • Providing counsel on tax credits and incentives, including Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs)
  • Serving as bond counsel, borrower’s counsel and underwriters’ counsel
  • Drafting agreements with architects and contractors
  • Conducting entire project and contractual due diligence

Financing affordable housing projects can be quite complex. Beyond Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, we help clients with a variety of financing structures for:

  • Conventional loans
  • Construction loans
  • Tax-exempt financing, including tax-exempt bonds.

Disputes, Bankruptcies, Workouts, Restructurings, and Overall Litigation Support

In today’s complex and competitive world, disputes may arise. We have assisted clients through disputes with regulatory authorities, financing sources, contractors and procured developers. In some cases, we work to resolve matters by negotiating a settlement or utilizing arbitration and mediation. In other instances, our expansive litigation team will go to court to protect your investment and help keep your project on track. From landmark Right-to-Know Law victories to contractor disputes to bankruptcy arrangements, our litigation team is ready to assist.

Regulatory and Government Relations

Affordable housing developers know regulations in this space can be complex and the processes for obtaining Low-Income Housing Tax Credit vary significantly from state to state. Our attorneys and government relations professionals have been through these projects in multiple jurisdictions, and we can guide you through all levels of project preparation, procurement and issue resolution. Our teams are tracking all relevant legislation to be prepared for the evolving landscape. We can assist with:

  • Advising on government agreements, entitlements, permitting and zoning matters
  • Working with local governmental officials, city planners, engineers, architects, and environmental consultants to resolve zoning and land use issues.
  • Advising on compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations
  • Consulting on 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, mixed-finance development, Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and Choice Neighborhoods
  • Advocating for legislative or regulatory changes as needed
  • Counseling on procurement opportunities
  • Identifying solicitation opportunities, such as invitations to bid or requests for proposals
  • Reviewing solicitation documents for compliance with procurement laws
  • Helping prepare responsive and responsible submissions to solicitations
  • Managing existing contractual relations (including dispute resolution procedures under state law)
  • Working with you to protest a solicitation or award of a bid
  • Defending you against protests from disappointed bidders or offerors.

Leaders Across the Affordable Housing Industry

Buchanan attorneys and government relations pros have spent decades working closely with organizations and partners from across the industry. Our experience gives our clients access to experts who:

  • Hold or have held leadership positions with organizations such as NAHRO (the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials), NAIOP (the Commercial Real Estate Development Association), and the Women in Housing and Finance of Pennsylvania.
  • Frequently write on timely topics and present at industry conferences put on by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, National Association of Bond Lawyers, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Pennsylvania Association of Housing & Redevelopment Agencies, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, and the West Virginia Housing Conference.