Strong Families Fund Closes Financing on Two Developments (Affordable Housing Finance)

By Donna Kimura

The Strong Families Fund (SFF) announced that it is providing equity financing for two affordable housing developments—the renovation of Abbey Church Village in Dublin, Ohio, and Hillside View Apartments in Schenectady, N.Y.

The innovative fund uses a “pay for success” model to include resident service coordination as part of the development plan. The model requires the collection and analysis of impact outcomes of the resident service coordination efforts with residents at both developments.

SFF aims to stimulate and support innovative strategies to design, deliver, and measure the impact of resident service coordination for families. The long-term goal is to identify new and sustainable funding models and strategic partnerships to support effective resident service coordination and expands service opportunities for residents.

“The Strong Families Fund presents a unique approach of using a “pay for success” model with tax credit syndication,” said Lori Little, vice president, director of capital markets and investor relations, at the National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT).

The long-term funding of a services coordinator as part of the fund, as well as its commitment to measure impacts, is “a unique opportunity to provide support and data analysis of service impacts,” she said.

NAHT closed on the financing of both properties in partnership with Goldman Sachs Bank, National Church Residences, and The Community Builders (TCB).

Abbey Church Village is a 160-unit apartment community owned by National Church Residences. In addition to updating the existing one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, the rehabilitation includes an expansion of the community space to accommodate a new resident services coordinator. Abbey Church received a closing commitment of $6.7 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity and $900,000 for resident services coordination.

“At National Church Residences, we focus on leveraging the value of our quality housing in conjunction with resident service coordination for improved health outcomes,” said Michelle Norris, executive vice president of external affairs and strategic initiatives at the firm. “So many organizations are heroes in the Strong Families Fund, and we are proud to be part of it.”

National Church Residences is the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable senior housing and services, with over 340 communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico. The Columbus, Ohio–based organization also provides health care in Florida and Ohio, including the operation of senior living communities and permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless and disabled.

Hillside View Apartments consists of 58 units in eight buildings. The project will include the adaptive-reuse of two historic school buildings, the gut renovation of three duplex buildings, and the new construction of one four-family residence and two six-family residences. Hillside is owned by Boston-based TCB, one of America’s leading nonprofit real estate developers and owners. More than 11,000 families and seniors in 14 states call a TCB community home.

Hillside received a closing commitment of $16.3 million of LIHTC equity and $900,000 for resident services coordination.

“At The Community Builders, we believe that quality, affordable housing is the key to creating strong communities. The development and rehabilitation of Hillside View Apartments under SFF is another reflection of our commitment to connecting our residents with resources that can help them access opportunities.” said president and CEO Bart Mitchell.

SFF is a 10-year initiative of The Kresge Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CSH, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF), The Community Development Trust, Goldman Sachs, and NAHT.

As a collaborative, NAHT, SAHF, and SAHF members have created a common framework for members to demonstrate the impact on residents of stable affordable rental housing and services. Through on-site services, community partnerships, and focused resident engagement strategies, SAHF and its members support residents in achieving critical health and wellness, financial stability, education, and employment outcomes.

“SAHF and its members, including National Church Residences and The Community Builders, are committed to providing a path to opportunity through their housing and services to families across the nation,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, SAHF CEO and president. “Our Outcomes Initiative, which supports the Strong Families Fund, has provided leadership in developing common metrics of success and in collaborating, to provide the best and most impactful services and service coordination possible.”

“The Strong Families Fund recognizes that an affordable home is the foundation to provide a family with the economic security to break the cycle of poverty," added Margaret Anadu, Goldman Sachs managing director and head of the Urban Investment Group. "The quality rental housing being financed also provides service coordination for residents with the goal of improving healthcare access, financial literacy and educational attainment, further demonstrating the important role affordable housing can play in improving the overall well-being of low-income families.” 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Donna Kimura

Donna Kimura is deputy editor of Affordable Housing Finance. She has covered the industry for more than a decade. Before that, she worked at an Internet company and several daily newspapers. Connect with Donna at dkimura@hanleywood.com or follow her @DKimura_AHF.