Funding small, tailored single-family homes for workforce housing

This month, we highlight small, tailored financing solutions NC has funded to help small developments where they are usually difficult to do. While we often highlight large developments creating homes for many people, these loans are examples of how we work with customers to finance single-family homes for middle-income and workforce housing in regions where this is an important local need and priority. This type of development, while smaller in scale, is just as important and makes a significant impact on families who struggle with affordable housing options.

One example of this is our $2.5 million single-family line of credit loan to first-time customer One Roof Community Housing. This loan is helping them build 17 affordable homes as part of their Community Land Trust program in the tourist mecca of Grand Marais, Minnesota. These two- and three-bedroom homes will serve middle-income families: eight will be affordable to a family earning $54,000 (80% AMI) and nine will be for families earning $78,000 (115 % AMI.)

The need for affordable workforce housing in Grand Marais, like many tourist-driven areas, is well-documented. This summer resort town, located 110 miles from Duluth, is home to several low-income people who are generally employed in the tourism industry. One Roof is the only developer in the area that can provide newly built homes at affordable prices. It has a pool of 100 applicants interested in buying the homes, and has developed nearly 300 homes to date as part of the Community Land Trust program.

Another example is how we helped long-time customer Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation (Nuestra) advance its goal of developing workforce housing, and helping underserved populations in the high-cost Boston market, with two loans for developments in neighborhoods with rapidly increasing incomes and property values. The city’s notoriously difficult-to-manage development process provided another obstacle.

We first approved $2.1 million in construction financing for two projects: $844,000 for Alaska Street (2 townhouses) in Roxbury and $1,269,000 for Harlow-Howard (4 townhouses) in Dorchester in late 2015. But delays in getting city approvals and some site issues delayed construction for more than a year. Once we reevaluated the projects and reapproved our loans in 2017, the projects got underway (Alaska, then Harlow-Howard) and Nuestra built two very attractive and affordable projects, providing affordable homeownership opportunities in rapidly-gentrifying parts of south Boston. Both buildings are certifiable as LEED Silver, with two and three bedrooms and off-street parking. The homes sold to middle-income families (110% AMI), at prices more than 20% below market, supporting Nuestra’s mission of creating sustainable affordable ownership opportunities, keeping the Roxbury and Dorchester communities strong.

To learn more about these projects, contact Steve Peelor at speelor@neighborworkscapital.org.