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May 05, 2020

Building More Affordable Housing Where It's Needed Most

In Difficult Times, Our LIHTC Equity Investments Strengthen Communities.

Encore Apartments
Seattle affordable housing construction continues. Our LIHTC equity investments help build new rental homes — like Encore Apartments, for low-income residents in the nation’s most expensive rental markets.

As the pandemic continues, we may have changed how we do business — but not why and to what aim. The work we do to help build and preserve affordable housing keeps on going, part of our essential mission.

Just this week we closed Maxfield Heights in rural Rifle, Colorado — investing in the creation of 50 service enriched homes for very low-income seniors in a community with a real need for safe and affordable housing.

“It feels good to be making life better for seniors,” says Nikki Harvey, Freddie Mac Multifamily underwriting director. “They’ll have a comfortable home they can afford, where they can age in place.”

Our investment in Maxfield Heights is a partnership with Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) syndicator Boston Financial Investment Management LP (Boston Financial), sponsor TWG Development and the Rifle Housing Authority.

“Maxfield Heights closed while the pandemic was in full swing,” says Mark Tolliver, senior vice president for equity production at Boston Financial. “The creation and preservation of affordable housing is always worthy of celebration and during these challenging times, it’s even more special. Freddie Mac continues to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to investing in affordable housing production with high-quality sponsors. We’re proud to work with great partners like Freddie Mac, TWG and the Rifle Housing Authority.”

Rifle, Colorado housing

Rifle, Colorado: In this rural, cattle-ranching community, we’ve just invested in new housing for seniors who struggle to find homes they can afford.

 

A Nationwide Impact

Freddie Mac Multifamily has invested more than $1 billion in LIHTC equity since reentering the market in 2018 — helping build or renovate nearly 9,000 affordable rental homes for low-income residents across the nation.  Check out our projects in 22 states, Puerto Rico and Guam in our interactive LIHTC map.

Last month we made our first Duty to Serve LIHTC investment in California, where we’re helping renovate a U.S. Department of Agriculture property in Grass Valley. Looking back in time, during the Gold Rush, Grass Valley was home to one of the richest mines in all of California. Today, in the small rural, agricultural community, with a population of just over 10,000, we’re investing more than $10 million to improve and preserve 70 affordable homes. The Grass Valley Terrace Apartments are affordable to families who earn 30% to 60% of area median income. This investment was made in partnership with Boston Financial and sponsor Impact Development.

In Appalachia 

Our rural LIHTC investments extend to Middle Appalachia, which has historically struggled with high poverty, economic instability and substandard housing conditions. Renovation recently finished at the Jevue Club Apartments in New Martinsville, West Virginia, where Freddie Mac’s $4.6 million investment helped modernize 40 two-bedroom and one-bathroom apartments. We worked with our syndicator CAHEC on this project.

“I lived in Jevue for more than 20 years, in the exact same apartment too,” says 77-year-old resident Dessie Kirkpatrick, who recently moved into one of the new remodeled units. “More than anything, I like the security I feel here. You almost feel like you’re outside of town, but you’re still in town and close to everything.”

A retiree who worked at Walmart, a golf course and as a property manager, Kirkpatrick is enjoying her new place — and spends her time doing mending through the senior center, playing guitar and sewing masks for people to wear during the pandemic.

“I’ve never had air conditioning before now, and I really appreciate it,” said Kirkpatrick. “And my electric bill didn’t go up either.”

“The rent is affordable for a senior citizen,” Kirkpatrick continued. “You don’t feel you’re poor and that’s important for someone my age who doesn’t have much. I’m very low-income and never had a chance to save, and this makes me feel like there is a place for everyone.”

Moving Ahead, Despite Challenges

Since the start of the year and the onset of the pandemic, Freddie Mac Multifamily continues to close a number of LIHTC deals in underserved markets, to help fulfill our affordable housing mission and our Duty to Serve mandate.


The need for affordable housing is great: In the U.S., there are only 7.3 million
affordable rental units to serve 11.2 million households living on very low incomes.


“People are going through a lot right now — they’re concerned for the health, safety and well-being of their families,” said Steve Gildersleeve, who leads our LIHTC effort as a Targeted Affordable Housing director. “Home — and having a place to live in that you can afford in uncertain times — that’s so important.”

barwell manor housing

In March, we closed the Barwell Manor deal – to help provide 120 new affordable homes for families living north of Chicago. We’re partnering with National Equity Fund, Inc., as our LIHTC syndicator.

 

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