Council for affordable and rural Housing
By Darrick Meneken
The nonprofit Council for affordable and rural Housing (CarH) advocates for rural-housing
issues with a membership that includes builders, owners, property-managers, developers and
syndicators — i.e., investors that buy tax credits to help fund affordable-housing projects. For
brokers seeking funding in this specialized market, executive Director Colleen Fisher shares how
the sector works and how it relies on government programs.
What do we mean when we talk about rural housing? Most of the programs that our members
focus on are administered by the U.S. Department of agriculture (USDa). The USDa defines
what is rural and what is not. Typically, for housing purposes, it’s communities of 20,000 people
How can commercial mortgage brokers find success when working with affordable rural
housing? Brokers should be able to guide their clients in putting together funding packages that
include tax credits, direct government loans, and money from banks and other lenders. They
should know about the USDa’s Section No. 538 program, which guarantees as much as 90 percent
of loan amounts for affordable-[multifamily]-housing projects, and the USDa’s Section No. 515
program, which is a direct-loan program.
Brokers also should know about qualified-allocation plans of the state housing-finance agencies.
Those plans explain how the agencies are going to allocate tax credits to rural housing, what types
of applications are going to be looked at, and whether they’re going to emphasize preservation
or new construction.
CARH pays special attention to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and its continued
viability. Why? The program is an integral part of the financing package for many — if not almost
all — of the affordable-housing projects in rural areas.
What other tax credits and funding sources can brokers’ clients use? The New Markets Tax
Credit is used with a lot of nonresidential rural commercial development. if you’re putting a
mixed-use package together, for example, you could use the New Markets Tax Credit in addition
to the funds that you’ll be using for the apartments.
also, if it’s a historic building, there are historic-preservation tax credits that you can use. There
also is funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Why do these deals require so many funding sources? The incomes of residents who rural-housing-providers serve are below that of urban and suburban renters. To keep rents lower, the
debt service on a complex must also be low. This can only happen if there are several sources
in addition, rural-housing-providers, when submitting applications for tax credits, compete with
urban applications, which typically are larger and therefore seem to have more of an appeal for
investors. There is a limited pool of funding, so rural-housing-providers must pool from different
sources of funding.
Darrick Meneken is an associate editor at Scotsman Guide. Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or email@example.com.
in august’s Scotsman Guide
■ How to survive and prosper in
the current economic landscape
■ How bundling services can ben-
■ How commercial real estate is
faring in California’s capital
… and much more.
online? Check out current and past editions of
Scotsman Guide at scotsmanguide.com.
14 Scotsman Guide | Commercial |
From July 2008’s Scotsman Guide
“The office sector will not emerge unscathed
from the general economic malaise afflicting
the U. S. property markets. This is partly because
the previous boom-and-bust cycle continues to
haunt the sector.”
— ViC TOr Ca La NOG and
Da NieL QUa N,
“Good Times Over for the Office Sector?”
View this article and others in our free article archive
each month, Helping Hands features a
mortgage professional or group that has
volunteered to lend a hand to others in need
By Ivanna C. Sukkar
Name Construction-services employees, apartment
investment and Management Co. (aimco)
Project Kitchen remodel at Champa House
How This past December, five construction-services
employees from aimco’s Denver office volunteered to remodel the kitchen at Denver’s Champa House, a transitional home for single women and their dependent children.
The volunteers worked more than 250 hours over three
weeks to replace appliances, cabinets and flooring in the
20-year-old kitchen, says andy Dryden, aimco’s construction director. They also demolished walls to expand
the cooking area and painted the kitchen.
Champa House residents Casey Akusis (left) and Gabby Antalek prepare a meal in the home’s kitchen,
which Apartment Investment and Management Co. employees helped remodel this past winter. Photo:
Apartment Investment and Management Co.
Dryden, who designed and worked on the remodel, says
the volunteers also installed a dishwasher, which the home
previously did not have. The company also purchased the
materials and appliances for the remodel, according to
Cindy Duffy, aimco’s director of corporate communications. She adds that the estimated value of the company’s
time and material donation is $25,000.
The construction-services team returned to Champa
House this past april 21 — on aimco’s National Community Service Day — for additional cleanup and painting at
the building, Duffy says.
Why aimco has supported the Denver rescue Mission,
which runs Champa House, since 2004.
When their mission contacts told them of Champa
House’s outdated kitchen, aimco’s management members
approached the construction-services staff about taking
on the remodeling project, Duffy says.
Impact Champa House houses nine women and 12
children. it offers academic, life-skills and vocational-train-ing programs to help the women become self-sufficient and
return to society, according to Greta Walker, the mission’s
public-relations director. The women and children typically live at the facility for 12 to 27 months, she says.
Walker says the home’s residents were “so excited” about
the new kitchen.
“They cook meals for one another as part of the program,” she
says, “and [the new kitchen and appliances] make them feel
good about what they’re doing to put their lives together.”
ivanna C. Sukkar is senior associate editor at Scotsman Guide.
Reach her at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To share your company’s story, e-mail email@example.com.