15 Stalled Housing Projects In Md. To Get U.s. Stimulus Funds

August 21, 2009|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,ed.gunts@baltsun.com

Maryland's housing department has authorized developers of 15 "shovel-ready" multifamily rental housing projects around the state to receive $33.5 million in funds that will enable them to create $216.7 million worth of new or rehabbed "work force" housing for families and seniors - 1,439 units in all.

Projects funded include the 69-unit, $13.5 million City Arts apartments for artists, planned for the 1500 block of Greenmount Ave. in Baltimore, which received $2.6 million; acquisition and rehabilitation of the 159-unit Admiral Oaks Apartments on Captains Circle in Annapolis, which received $727,421; and the 90-unit Wayland Village apartments for seniors in the 3000 block of Garrison Blvd. in Baltimore, which received $2 million.

The bulk of the money, $31.7 million, is federal stimulus funds from the Tax Credit Assistance Program. The rest, about $1.8 million, is from state rental housing funds.

TCAP provides funding to projects that have received federal low-income housing tax credits through the housing department's competitive application process for rental construction but have stalled as a result of the recession.

TCAP awards are intended to jump-start these stalled projects by filling funding gaps between the amount of private equity originally expected to be generated by the sale of low-income housing tax credits and the actual reduced amount generated due to changes in the market for tax credits.

According to state officials, projects were selected based on their readiness to close on all financing and begin constructoin. The money goes to the developments in the form of low-interest loans with flexible terms. According to federal regulations, all TCAP funds must be used by Feb. 16, 2012.

"Due to fluctuations in the market, many affordable rental housing projects funded by tax credits were forced to slow or, in some cases, stall their progress," said Raymond Skinner, secretary of the state's Department of Housing and Community Development. "By providing TCAP assistance to these shovel-ready developments, we can revive these projects, have a positive impact on the economy and put housing back to work in Maryland."

Maryland has been praised by the federal government for its "speedy, tranparent and effective management of Recovery funds," said Gov. Martin O'Malley. "We will continue our skillful distribution of resources with the Tax Credit Assistance Program, increasing affordable housing opportunities and creating jobs for Marylanders."

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