Tax credits will enable creation of affordable housing

BEDFORD – Six developers across the state were recently awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), a key federal funding source for creating and preserving affordable housing.

The tax credits will provide almost $31 million in upfront cash equity to be used to build 170 affordable apartments and preserve 100 more.

Dakota Partners, a developer based in Waltham, Mass., received tax credits to build Kensington Lane, affordable apartments for families on a plot of vacant land in Bedford.

The tax credits are awarded over a 10-year period. Private businesses then purchase the credits and become limited partners in the housing developments. The end result is high-quality affordable housing with significant private investment.

Tax credit projects are also known for creating jobs, both immediately in the form of construction-related jobs and over the long-term in the form of staff to maintain and manage the new properties.

Kensington Lane will have over 40 apartments in a garden-style building, and there will be a play area for children. It will be targeted to families who make about half of the area’s median income or less.

According to Housing Needs in New Hampshire, a study commissioned by New Hampshire Housing and performed by the Center for Public Policy Studies and Applied Economic Research, the state’s rental market has grown progressively less affordable. With low vacancy rates and a lack of housing construction to meet demand, renters have fewer options and are paying higher rents. Programs like the housing tax credit are one resource that developers can use to build more housing to meet demand and create more affordable locations for the state’s workforce to live.

"Housing tax credits are one of the few remaining federal programs that make it possible for developers to create new rental housing at affordable rates for consumers," said Dean Christon, executive director of New Hampshire Housing. "It’s also becoming an increasingly important way for us to preserve existing affordable housing that may be in need of improvements. These credits are not only a vital resource that allows us to provide housing, but they also generate investment in our state and spur job growth. The effects of these projects aren’t just immediate – they last for years to come."

The other projects that received tax credits were Chandler Place in Plaistow, The Meadows at Grapevine Run in Hampton Falls, Franklin Mill in Franklin, Renaissance RENEW in Manchester, and Bradley Commons in Dover.

New Hampshire Housing is the sole administrator of LIHTC funding in the state and is responsible for evaluating projects and deciding funding amounts. Details about the LIHTC program can be found at http://www.nhhfa.org/rental-housing-lihtc.cfm.