Low Income Housing Tax Credits & Opportunity Housing in Ohio, 2018-19

The 2018-2019 Ohio QAP has developed an Opportunity Index that aims to help support opportunity housing as a part of their low-income housing tax credit program. 

Opportunity

Working with the Kirwin Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, OHFA developed the USR Opportunity Index. The index uses 5 categories with 16 total indicators. The five categories of indicators are: Transportation Opportunity, Educational Opportunity, Employment Opportunity, Housing Opportunity, and Health Opportunity.

  • Transportation opportunity indicators: public transit access, average commute time, automotive access
  • Educational opportunity indicators: educational attainment, school performance, free & reduced lunch, closing gaps to access
  • Employment Opportunity indicators: entry level job access by educational attainment, workforce training & development access; unemployment rate
  • Housing Opportunity indicators: median rent, median home value, existing LIHTC concentration
  • Health Opportunity indicators: food access, family poverty rate, newborn health

The Opportunity Index (measured by indicators above) is combined with a Community Change Index and a USR Index that differentiates between urban (U), suburban (S), and rural (R) markets. View OHFA’s USR Opportunity Index here: http://kirwan.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=34534eeec2c94eba83080e9957ce1ef0

OHFA targets approximately $3,000,000 for urban opportunity housing that creates new affordability. Developments involving the production of newly affordable units in urban areas that serve families, including, but not limited to, tenant populations of individuals with children and are not restricted to occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older, may compete in this pool. The development must be located in one of the following census tract types:

  • High or very-high areas as defined by the USR Opportunity Index
  • Moderate USR Opportunity Index areas that are also have a Slight Growth or Strong Growth Community Change Index rating

Developments must be available to all income eligible households with or without children. No more than 25 percent of units may be one-bedroom; five percent of units must be three-bedroom or larger.

Within this pool, points are available for access to transit, education, anchor institutions, being in a non-food desert, and near affordable child care.

Additionally, OHFA will set-aside allocation to three housing developments involving the production of newly affordable units in non-urban areas, including but not limited to, tenant populations of individuals with children and are not restricted to occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older, in one of the following census tract types will be administered by OHFA:

  • High or very-high opportunity areas as defined by the USR Opportunity Index
  • Moderate USR Opportunity Index areas that are also have a Slight Growth or Strong Growth Community Change Index rating

For units creating new affordability, up to 5 points are available for neighborhood development. These points can be claimed by choosing on of the below options:

  1. NMTC. Developments that are located within one half-mile of a state and/or Federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) project site that received a NMTC allocation from a Community Development Entity (CDE) in calendar years 2014 through 2018. A copy of the commitment letter from a CDE stating that credit allocation was or will be utilized within the catchment area.
  2. Collateral Investment.
    1. a. Urban Areas. Developments located within one mile of real estate development and/or infrastructure investments of at least $5,000,000 completed between calendar years 2013-2017 and also located within one mile of real estate development and infrastructure investments of at least $5,000,000 planned and committed for calendar years 2018-2022.
    2. Non-Urban Areas. Developments located within five miles of real estate development and/or community investments of at least $5,000,000 completed between calendar years 2013-2017 and also located within five miles of real estate development and investments of at least $5,000,000 planned and committed for calendar years 2018-2022.

Eligible investments are limited to capital improvements for residential, commercial or infrastructure projects by government or private parties. Investments must have a clear and proximate benefit to the local residents or community. Past LIHTC investment will not be counted. OHFA retains full discretion in determining whether claimed investments meet the objectives identified in this section. For the purposes of this section, “planned and committed” means that funding is secured for the specific project.

Allowable investment types include but are not limited to constructing or physically expanding facilities, rehabilitating or renovating frontage, installing or expanding utility service, park and recreation improvements, streetscaping and erecting bus shelters. Disallowed investment types include but are not limited to social service programming or delivery, non-capital business investments, rental or operating assistance programs and road maintenance or expansion.

Applicants must submit third-party supporting documentation that details and confirms the real estate development and other investment; documentation may include a letter from the local city, township or village itemizing development in the target area, newspaper articles or other appropriate documentations.

  1. Neighborhood Initiatives Program. Developments that incorporate at least one parcel that received funding under the Neighborhood Initiative Program. Applicants must list all qualifying parcels numbers and must clearly identify their location within the development on the architectural plans.
  2. Concentrated Job Center. Developments that are in a Very-High Opportunity Area as defined by the USR Opportunity Index and within a one-mile radius of 5,000 or more jobs. Applicants must submit a screenshot of the “On the Map” query website demonstrating eligibility by following these directions:
    1. Access http://onthemap.ces.census.gov/
    2. Enter the address of the site, or the AHFA’s nearest address, and click “Search.”
    3. Select the “Geocoder Result” that is returned for your address.
    4. Click the “Selection” tab at the top of the page.
    5. Click “Simple Ring” under “Add Buffer to Selection.”
    6. Enter “1” into the “Radius” box.
    7. Click “Confirm Selection.”
    8. Click “Perform an Analysis on Selection Area.”
    9. Within the Analysis Settings box that will appear
      1. Choose “Work” under the first column
      2. Choose “Area Profile” under the second column
      3. Choose 2014 under the third column
      4. Choose “All Jobs” under the fourth column. 
    10. Click “Go” for results. The “Total All Jobs” Count is the relevant measurement

Because each of the following development types are not financially feasible nor viable, due to increased pre-development, transactional and building costs, they will also be eligible for a 130 percent basis boost:

  • Developments located in a High or Very-High Opportunity census tract as designated by the USR Opportunity Index
  • Developments located in Moderate USR Opportunity Index areas that also have a Strong Growth Community Change Index rating

After reserving the majority of credits in each pool based on the results of the competitive scoring process, OHFA will select a final application that does not exceed the remaining credits in the pool. If there is no application that meets this objective, the remaining credits in the pool will be distributed to the Strategic Initiatives pool. Among other project types, OHFA will give priority selection consideration to Projects that assist Ohio in meeting its obligation to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, including, but not limited to, projects that enhance mobility strategies and encourage development of new affordable housing in areas of opportunity, as well as place-based strategies to encourage community revitalization.

Contributed By: 
National Housing Trust

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