Albany, NY – August 7, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — The new Birchez at Esopus affordable housing development for seniors was the site of a recent forum aimed at encouraging local investment in affordable housing through the new Upstate Equity Fund. Bankers, developers, and local officials, including Congressman Maurice Hinchey and Ulster Town Supervisor Nicky Woerner, gathered to learn about the benefits of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHC) Program and the need for local investment in affordable housing.
Steve Aaron of Birches Associates hosted the event, which took place in a community room at the complex. Commissioner VanAmerongen thanked him for his hospitality and provided an overview of the current housing crisis. The commissioner discussed the creation of the Upstate Equity Fund and introduced Jim Logue of Great Lakes Capital, the organization that will manage the fund.
“The economic downturn has eroded the value of the tax credit and upstate areas have been hit particularly hard,” said the Commissioner. “I want to thank Steve Aaron and his staff at Birches Associates for inviting us to this beautiful affordable development and for bringing people together today to discuss a creative and effective new way to encourage investment in affordable housing. The Upstate Equity Fund will help assure that the economic downturn does not keep us from creating quality, safe, and affordable housing for residents of upstate New York.”
Great Lakes Capital Fund (GLF) assists in the coordination of affordable housing investment and economic development. Since 1993, GLCF has worked with investors, community leaders, developers and organizations to create sustainable communities through investments and support for community planning, economic development, and youth development programs. GLCF has built a portfolio with over $1 billion in equity investments throughout Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. Managing over 400 properties and serving 25,000 homes – with 0% foreclosure rate – GLCF has a successful history of being a leader in the affordable housing industry.
Chief Operating Officer of the Great Lakes Capital Fund Jim Logue said: “State and local equity funds, like Great Lakes, can play important roles in a bank’s business and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) compliance strategies. Investing in LIHTCs provide banks with significant tax advantages and make it easier to spread CRA investments efficiently across a large portion of their service areas. By their very nature, funds allow financial institutions to funnel their investment dollars into the areas they serve to create affordable housing and stronger communities.”
In New York, LIHTCs have been directly responsible for the construction or rehabilitation of nearly 50,000 affordable rental units for low and moderate-income families and seniors. Nationwide, about 1 million affordable rental-housing units have been produced using the LIHTC.