RIHousing opens competitive funding round for financing to support construction and preservation of affordable homes
PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, Governor Dan McKee joined RIHousing to announce the availability of more than $60 million in funding to support affordable housing efforts across the state. Funding comes from a variety of sources, including both federal and state programs, and supports the construction and preservation of affordable housing as well as operating support.
“The McKee-Matos Administration has made housing one of our top priorities and we are thrilled to be able to offer over $60 million in funding to support the creation and preservation of affordable homes,” said Governor Dan McKee. “These funds represent an exciting opportunity to make the kinds of long-term and strategic investments in housing that will advance our housing goals and move Rhode Island forward.”
RIHousing in partnership with the Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission (HRC), has adopted a universal application that consolidates the request for multiple financing sources. This competitive request for proposals utilizes a “consolidated” Request for Proposals (RFP) approach, which allows interested development partners the opportunity to apply for multiple funding sources through a single application.
“It is well known that Rhode Island needs to build more affordable housing units,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “Historically, one of the biggest obstacles with accomplishing this has been the cumbersome financing application process that stalls, and in some cases, deters development. A consolidated RFP sends a clear message to developers and our community: Governor McKee and I are committed to addressing our housing crisis.”
“Our state desperately needs more available housing,” said Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio. “This infusion of $60 million in funding will help so many Rhode Islanders obtain good homes they can afford. Both the House and Senate will continue our commitment to addressing the housing crisis with a multi-faceted approach. There is pending legislation to remove barriers to development so that funding opportunities like the one announced today can help Rhode Islanders as quickly as possible.”
“This RFP is an unprecedented effort to make available a combination of funding for much needed affordable housing, including for the creation and operation of units for extremely low-income households experiencing homelessness as well as other special needs populations” said Deputy Secretary Josh Saal. “We thank Governor McKee, Secretary Pryor, and the General Assembly for their leadership in securing these resources and RIHousing for finding innovative ways to deploy resources and meet the housing needs of Rhode Islanders, regardless of their household income.”
Sources of financing included under the consolidated RFP are: the Housing Production Fund (HPF), Housing Production Fund for Operating Support (HPF-ELI), RI Rebounds Production Fund (RIRPF), Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), the Preservation Loan Fund (PLF) and tax-exempt bond financing for the development or preservation of multifamily apartments and homeownership opportunities. Project Based rental assistance under the Section 811 PRA Demonstration Program and Building Homes Rhode Island (BHRI) funds are also included in the consolidated RFP.
“Developing affordable housing is challenging as it requires assembling an array of funding sources to support both the development and operation of the housing,” said Carol Ventura, Executive Director of RIHousing. “Traditionally, for and non-profit developers would apply for each of these funding sources separately, and often at different times of the year. With the release of this consolidated RFP, developers can review and select from the full scope of funding available and build their capital stacks.”
While program priorities are similar among the various financing programs, scoring and program requirements may differ. It is recommended that applicants familiarize themselves with the various sources and identify the funding sources that best meet the needs of their proposal.
Proposals are due before 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 22, 2022. Program descriptions or Term Sheets for each funding source are included on RIHousing’s website (https://www.rihousing.com/
Funding sources included under the Consolidated RFP:
- Housing Production Fund (HPF): funded via state real estate transfer tax receipts. Approximately $10 million in funding for production of affordable housing. While preservation of existing housing is an eligible use, new production is a priority. Developments must benefit low- and moderate-income individuals and families with gross annual incomes at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI); there is a priority for households either exiting homelessness or earning no more than 30% of AMI. Mixed income developments are allowed under the HPF program. Funding is available for rental and homeownership opportunities.
- HPF-ELI Operating Support: $10 million available for operating support for households earning less than 30% of AMI. The subsidy will cover the difference between actual rent and the amount necessary to operate the unit.
- RI Rebounds Production Fund (RIRPF): funded via the State Fiscal Recovery Fund (SFRF), approximately $15 million available for new production of affordable housing for households with incomes at or below 80% of AMI. Funding is available for rental and homeownership opportunities.
- Capital Magnet Fund (CMF): Approximately $3.5 million available to provide owners of existing affordable housing developments with incentives to maintain these developments as quality affordable housing. CMF is also available as a source for newly created affordable housing opportunities, however preservation is a priority. Priority is also given to projects in Areas of Economic Distress and developments serving households below 50% of AMI. Funding is available for rental housing only.
- Preservation Loan Fund (PLF): Approximately $3 million in funds is available for the preservation of existing restricted affordable housing that has completed its initial LIHTC compliance period. Funding is available for rental housing only.
- Tax Exempt Bonds and 4% LIHTC: RIHousing has traditionally accepted applications for bond financing on a rolling basis and will continue to do so. Completion of the consolidated application will be considered an application for tax exempt bonds. Funding is available for rental housing only.
- Building Homes Rhode Island (BHRI): Approximately $19 million available under this funding round. BHRI is funded through a state bond referendum for the development of rental housing opportunities for households up to 80% of AMI and homeownership opportunities for households up to 120% of AMI. While preservation of existing housing is an eligible use, new production is a priority.
- Project Based rental assistance under the Section 811 PRA Demonstration Program: Up to 25% of units in a development can be Section 811 units. If awarded rental assistance, the owner will enter into a Rental Assistance Contract for 20 years and execute a 30-year Use Agreement for the 811 units in the development. Assisted units must serve eligible tenants with disabilities.