According to a new report by the Urban Institute – Anatomy of a Preservation Deal – preserving the current stock of affordable housing is a more effective strategy to address the lack of affordable housing than new construction. The report offers best practices from six case studies, including Billings Forge Apartments which is located in the Frog Hollow Neighborhood of Hartford, CT.
Billings Forge Apartments is a mixed-income, mixed use complex owned by a nonprofit organization that sought to preserve the property’s historic buildings, including an old mill. Its ability to maintain long-term affordability is in part a result of partners (Melville Charitable Trust and Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH)) coordinating multiple funding streams, including a loan from the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC), federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), and Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties (CHAMP) funding from the Connecticut Department of Housing.
The report also explores case studies in Minneapolis, MN; Cambridge, MA; Leaburg, OR; Chicago, IL; and Washington, DC. The authors recommend preserving affordable housing by matching federal funds with state and local funds, creating relationships between buyers and sellers, transferring techniques between locations, etc.
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