Loudoun Supervisors Consider Updates to Multifamily Affordable Housing Loans

Members of the Board of Supervisors’ finance committee on Tuesday forwarded to the Board of Supervisors updates to the county’s Affordable Multi-Family Housing Loan Program, which helps developers finance below-market-rent apartment buildings.

The changes could mean county taxpayer dollars go further in those projects.

The program is relatively new, first approved in July 2018 and revised a year later. In that time, it has funded seven loans, growing a portfolio of over $25 million in existing loans, funded from the county’s Housing Trust Fund.

It is one of several programs affordable housing developers use to piece together the financing for those projects, also including federal and state tax credits and grants. Among the proposed changes is raising the leverage ratio from 1:3 to 1:5—meaning for every dollar of county financing, the developer must show $5 in contributions from other sources.

County financing can also unlock other sources of funding—for example, according to a staff report to the finance committee, showing a commitment of local funding can help a developer score higher in their application for federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

One proposed revision to the county’s loans would allow more opportunities each year for developers to apply, seeking to match the more frequent openings for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Virginia Housing bonds or Economic Development Authority bonds. That could give developers a better chance of assembling their financing package at the right time, and could also increase the number of developers applying for those loans, according to the county staff.

Another revision could encourage developers to plan for more Extremely Low Income units, and to include free broadband internet and other amenities. “Extremely Low Income” units serve families making 30% or less of the Area Median Income, currently $29,950 for an individual and $42,700 for a family of four. Developers would see their applications for loans scored more highly for including those features.

And another would give developers more flexibility on the value of the property, facing a real estate market that continues to tighten.

The county’s Housing Trust Fund currently has a balance of $18.3 million.

3 thoughts on “Loudoun Supervisors Consider Updates to Multifamily Affordable Housing Loans

  • 2022-05-12 at 9:22 am

    Thank you for this article, which spotlights several options to help establish more affordable housing in Loudoun. It’s particularly reassuring to see that attention is being given to folks with extremely low incomes. They have a right to live in this magnificent county just like everyone else. Happy Foster Care Month Loudoun!

  • 2022-05-13 at 11:04 am

    From the Declaration of Independence:
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
    The key is “the pursuit of Happiness,” not “Happiness.”
    I used to drive 80 miles round trip to work because of my economic situation. The bottom line is I had not worked my way up to afford to live near my work. Over the decades, that situation has changed but I still have a commute of about 45 minutes each way.
    The bottom line is no one has a “right” to live anywhere. You can pursue happiness by working hard and earning your way up the ladder as I did. No one ever gave me any housing breaks along the way and over the decades, I worked my way up.
    We should always help where we can, but we should not wreck the property values of those who have worked for decades to achieve some small level of success.
    Establishing affordable housing units near mature subdivisions is not a good strategy because of the potential for property value loss. There is plenty of beautiful land near Metro Stations to the west of 28 that is not near established subdivisions and we should encourage building there so the people will have ready access to the Metro and the Loudoun County Bus System. This will enhance their transportation options and not impact established and mature subdivisions. The goal needs to be to assist so people can work their way up over time, “earn their way” so to speak. It’s very frustrating to hear young people demand to live like their parents do even though it took their parents decades to achieve a certain lifestyle. This “you owe me” attitude has got to go.

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