Tax Credits to Support $179 Million in Affordable Housing Development

Seven EAH Developments will create homes for thousands of working families and older adults
CA and HI – EAH Housing has the green light to build or renovate 656 apartments in seven communities in California and Hawai’i with its recent award of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) and the Hawai’i Housing and Finance Development Corporation (HHFDC).

EAH Housing will sell the tax credits to various limited partners to help raise the approximately $179 million needed to finance three new developments and two rehabilitations in California and one new development and one rehabilitation in Hawai’i.

The seven developments are targeted for areas of California and Hawai’i where working families and older adults are struggling to find quality housing. Avena Bella in Turlock and Archway Commons in Modesto are both slated for an early 2012 groundbreaking and will provide a total of 156 apartment homes in California’s rapidly growing Central Valley region.

“I am thrilled that the Archway Commons housing project in Modesto is moving forward to construction. This project was a priority to me as a City Councilmember and has become even more important as thousands of working people have lost their homes due to foreclosure. EAH Housing has a history of building and managing top-quality affordable housing projects throughout our state, and I’m pleased they have chosen to invest in Modesto. Archway Commons will provide working families with stability, pride, and comfort – all the benefits of having a place to call home,” said California State Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto).

In Hawai’i, EAH Housing will work with its partners DBR Development, LLC, Horizon Consulting, LLC, and Affordable Housing Specialists Group, LLC to develop 28 new affordable apartments on Maui. Called Imi Ikena, the property will be designed specifically for working families and will be centrally located in the town of Wailuku, within walking distance of Kahului Public Library and Maui Community College. The expected groundbreaking for Imi Ikena is January 2012, with about a one year construction period.

“We are excited to be able to bring much needed affordable housing to Maui,” said David Billings, Founder and President of DBR Development, LLC. “There is such a need for affordable homes in this location. After almost four years of laying the groundwork for this Tax Credit award, it is very heartening to see our passion for housing working families come closer to fruition.”

On Oahu, EAH Housing will team up with Vitus Development LLC to improve the available selection of housing for older adults by acquiring and rehabilitating the Kahuku Elderly Hauoli Hale community. Consisting of 64 units, the property is located in the rural Oahu Enterprise Zone, where there is a very limited supply of older adult housing. As part of the rehabilitation work EAH will install Energy Star water heaters, appliances, and light fixtures in each unit and solar panels that will provide power for the property’s common areas.

Also set to break ground in early 2012 is Cathedral Gardens in Oakland. The property will be developed as a partnership between EAH Housing and the Oakland Housing Authority (OHA). The development was realized through $10 million in funding from the City of Oakland, a land donation worth more than $5 million from the OHA, and over $15 million in equity from the tax credit award. Additional funding was provided by the County of Alameda, the State of California, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

Located in downtown Oakland, in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Cathedral Gardens will provide 100 affordable apartments in a LEED Gold certified urban infill development. The development’s central location allows residents to live within walking distance of shopping, jobs, the 19th St. Bay Area Rapid Tranist (BART) station, and other public transportation, promoting car-free sustainable lifestlyes.

“Cathedral Gardens will be a key component of the resurgence going on in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood. As new condos, restaurants, and other amenities continue to be developed in Uptown, we want to ensure that affordable housing is part of the revival of this exciting, high density urban area. It’s been a lengthy planning process but now, with the recent confirmation of the financial feasibility of the project using bonds and 4% tax credits, EAH and the Oakland Housing Authority are just a few months away from breaking ground on a development that sets a high standard for sustainable affordable housing,” said Phil Neville, Deputy Executive Director of Real Estate Development at OHA.

Two San Francisco Bay Area rehabilitation projects will commence in December 2011. The 168 unit Elena Gardens in San Jose and the 140 unit Los Robles in Union City both provide homes for working families and older adults. With combined project costs of $70.2 million, both properties will receive extensive “green” upgrades including cool roofs, upgraded insulation, dual pane windows, solar power, and high efficiency water heaters. Additionally, a total of 16 units will be renovated to be fully wheelchair accessible.

The green rehabilitation work that EAH Housing is carrying out in California and Hawai’i is part of a companywide initiative to “green” the entire EAH portfolio. EAH has established green development and maintenance protocols to reduce the environmental impact of EAH properties and to create healthy, sustainable communities. Thirty EAH properties have already been retrofitted and the rest of the portfolio will be brought in line with the latest sustainable practices in the coming years.

“EAH Housing focuses on forming effective partnerships with city, state, and federal agencies to create and improve housing for working families and older adults. Despite the poor economy, we are seeing substantial rent increases in many markets. The need for affordable housing was already extreme, and the tightening rental market makes it even worse. Government partnerships enable EAH to develop affordable housing which meets a crucial social need and directly creates hundreds of jobs for engineers, architects, construction workers and many others,” said Mary Murtagh, President and CEO of EAH Housing.