January 5, 2016

The Rules Have Changed - New Flexibility In Mixed-Use/Mixed-Income Loans Sparks Revitalization Efforts Statewide

Today’s post originally appeared in VML’s Virginia Town and City Magazine.

For those who develop mixed-income and mixed-use properties, there’s cause to celebrate. New, flexible financing options have become available, allowing local governments and developers to better serve the unique housing needs, demographics and preferences of their communities. The days of limited, one-size-fits-all financing are over.

An enhanced Mixed-use/Mixed-income loan program, launched earlier this year by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), is changing the way local governments and developers look at revitalization and housing opportunities. That’s because the properties they finance under the new program can serve a broader range of incomes than ever before. In fact, all of VHDA’s mixed-income options now allow for a significant percentage of units to be rented to households with unrestricted income levels; the balance can serve low- to moderate-income households (in most cases, those with 80 to 100 percent of the area median income). This increased flexibility allows for more income diversity, which is vital for addressing local economic development and revitalization objectives.

To take advantage of the new program, local governments must designate areas or specific properties as revitalization areas, in accordance with the VHDA Act.* If such a designation already exists, then no additional action is needed. Local governments across the state have already taken this first step toward enhancing housing opportunities in their communities.

“Seeing so many towns and cities take on this important revitalization really is a story worth telling,” said VHDA’s Director of Rental Housing, Dale Wittie. “These new financing options are creating possibilities for developers all over the state. Our goal is to work closely with those developers and localities, and help them make their vision a reality — as well as a beautiful, welcome addition to the community.”
* Virginia Code 36-55.30:2.

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