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HANH Will Help LiveWorkLearnPlay RentAffordably

by Allan Appel | Feb 27, 2014 4:21 pm

(2) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Business/ Economic Development, Housing

New Haven’s housing authority has decided to help a Montreal developer find the money include subsidized apartments in the $395 million development planned for the New Haven Coliseum site.

The housing authority (technically the Housing Authority of New Haven, or HANH) last month approved 19 Section 8 subsidized project-based vouchers for the 700-unit $395 million mixed-use project the Montreal firm called LiveWorkLearnPlay plans to build on the the Orange/George/State Street lot.

The city approved the plan recently with a financial commitment of $12 million and is hoping the state and federal government kick in another $32 million for road improvements.

Yet the firm’s commitment—20 percent of the apartments must be “affordable”—means that in the first phase, when 370 units are to be built, a total of 74 units must be affordable.

Beyond the 19 Section 8 project-based vouchers, where will LiveWorkLearnPlay ind money for the balance of 18 units—to make the 20 percent quota of the first phase?

Allan Appel Photo Enter HANH once again. At their monthly meeting last week, HANH commissioners approved another resolution to help LiveWorkLearnPlay find that financing.

By a unanimous vote they decided to help the developer find funding for the balance of the affordable units. HANH will earn a fee in the process.

Specifically the resolution empowered the Glendower Group—that’s a separate entity HANH uses when it functions as a developer, or partner/consultant to developers—to explore “additional affordable housing opportunities” with LiveWorkLearnPlay as the Coliseum site project advances.

The project eventually calls for 740 apartments. The resolution means HANH may help over the life of the enterprise for the developer to make 74 of those homes affordable to low-income and working tenants.

HANH plans to help LiveWorkLearnPlay obtain low-income housing tax credits from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), and from the State’s Department of Economic and Community Development department, as well as money from federal sources, according to the resolution.

For those services HANH is to be reimbursed for its consulting services in an amount not to exceed $100,000, according to the resolution.

The subsidies, wherever they come from, make up the difference between what a poor or working family can afford to live in downtown New Haven’s biggest planned new community.

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posted by: webblog on February 27, 2014  4:54pm

A cursory analysis of the number of affordable units in the first and final year of development does not appear Kosure, if 20% of 374 is 74, then how could the following be true:
“Beyond the 19 Section 8 project-based vouchers, where will LiveWorkLearnPlay get the money for the balance of 18 units—to make the 20 percent quota of the first phase”?

19(sec 8) +18 is 37, 37 is only 10% of the first phase quota of 374 not 20%.

Secondly, The HANH is participating in the gentrification of New Haven, for every section 8 voucher that leaves the projects or city rentals that means 19 additional vacancies throughout the city. There are currently more than 500 vacant units in New Haven, why would the HAHN of all entities, help to create more?

More importantly, why would LiveWorkLearnPlay contract $100,000 with HANH to seek funding from the Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), and from the State’s Department of Economic and Community Development department, when they can perform that task themselves and reduce their cost? If Ninth Square and 360 State Street successfully petition those sources why can’t LiveWorkLearnPlay?

Be careful what you ask for..If it sounds crazy..It usually is!!!

posted by: Bradley on February 28, 2014  7:21am

Webblog, I think the developer’s decision is sensible. There are a wide variety of potential federal, state, and philanthropic funding sources for affordable housing. It may well be cost-effective for a Canadian developer to retain a local agent to chase after this funding. LWP is an experienced developer, and presumably believes that paying HANH up to $100,000 for this service makes business sense.

I agree that HANH is participating in the city’s gentrification.  But the New Haven metro area has one of the tightest rental markets in the country and needs new units.

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