IHDA In This Issue

IHDA Loan Officer of the Month
IHDA's Homeownership Department is pleased to name Sandra Keys, Loan Consultant at imortgage in Lisle as "Loan Officer of the Month." Sandra has worked in the banking industry for her entire career, providing sound financial advice and counseling to thousands of homebuyers over the past 24 years. Sandra uses a consultative approach, discussing the entire financial picture with her clients - not just the immediate transaction - and works with IHDA's @HomeIllinois and 1stHomeIllinois programs to find the solutions that help her clients meet their short and long-term financial goals. Thanks, Sandra!
IHDA Upcoming Dates

July 11, 2016

IHDA vs. Developers Softball Game
August 18, 2016
6 p.m.
Lincoln Park - Waveland Ave. Softball Field
A Note from Audra's Desk
Things are moving and shaking at IHDA! Of course, this excitement is due in large part to the work done by you - our partners.

IHDA is happy to be one of the 13 state agencies working to transform health and human service provision in the state. Our efforts are to create a consumer-centric system with modernized service delivery through evidence-based practices in service provision and payment models. IHDA will be working to provide more opportunities to develop permanent supportive housing (PSH) for people with disabilities. Visit hhstransformation.illinois.gov for more info.

Very soon (tomorrow!), we will announce a new and exciting program funded through Hardest Hit Funds (HHF). The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently awarded $269M in HHF to Illinois. As the HHF administrator for the state, we are thrilled to be able to offer a creative program that is timely, desperately needed and complements our other HHF programs - 1stHomeIllinois and the Blight Reduction Program.

We want your business! IHDA is successfully offering first mortgage loan products at attractive interest rates to affordable multifamily housing developers. Loans have FHA Risk Share credit enhancements and complement other IHDA programs to provide short- and long-term financing options. Our one-stop shopping approach allows you to finance the majority of your project through IHDA and expedites closing. Visit our First Mortgage Loan Programs page for more details.

IHDA is establishing a new Technical Assistance Program (TAP) this year to help facilitate community revitalization and planning. We hope this program facilitates the writing of community revitalization plans for smaller municipalities and neighborhoods that are not located in an opportunity area.

We are celebrating that IHDA is now the HOME Participating Jurisdiction for the state of Illinois. The time to process HOME funds is down from 3 weeks to 72 hours!

A few specific notes for multifamily partners. A big THANK YOU to all of you who personally visited with me at the Governor's Conference this spring. Many of the changes below are directly from your suggestions:
  • Working Capital Letters of Credit are NO LONGER required.
  • An approved 9% PPA will be accepted for the 2017 Round I and Round II 9% LIHTC Applications.
  • Project kick-off meetings will be scheduled immediately after Board approval for LIHTC deals to ensure we are working together to get to the closing table as quickly as possible. We rolled this out with the 2016 Round I LIHTC awards and received extremely positive feedback.
  • Be on the lookout for QAP Summits in August and September. We will have a special session this year that examines construction costs and what we may be unintentionally doing to drive up costs.
Finally, IHDA is on the move. At the end of October, IHDA will be moving directly across the river to 111 E. Wacker Dr. in Chicago. We are building out the new office space now and look forward to welcoming you to the new look of IHDA in the fall.

Executive Director
Governor Rauner Appoints King Harris as IHDA Chairman
Governor Bruce Rauner on July 8 announced the appointment of King Harris as Chairman of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

King is the Chairman of Harris Holdings and brings a long record of business and civic success to the Authority. He is a Trustee at the University of Chicago and Chairman of the Visiting Committee at the University's School of Public Policy. He also serves as a Board Member of the Rehabilitation Institute Foundation and as Senior Fellow at the Metropolitan Planning Council where he has focused on suburban housing policy issues for 15 years. Between 2004 and 2013 he was an Executive Committee Member of the Chicago Community Trust.
Stay Tuned for the 2016 QAP Summits
IHDA Program NewsWe are happy to announce that IHDA will host a second round of Qualified Allocation Plan Summits in August and September. Take advantage of this opportunity to tell IHDA's Multifamily Finance and Strategic Planning and Research staff what works, what can be changed to improve processes under the current 2016 - 2017 QAP, and respond to adjustments that could be made in the next plan in 2018. See the dates and locations below, and stay tuned for more details.

Springfield - 8/13
Lincoln Library - Carnegie Room North
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Rockford - 9/8
Rockford Public Library Nordloff Center - Sullivan Theatre
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Marion - 9/13
Marion Carnegie Library - McCoskey Room
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Metro East (Location TBD) - 9/14
Time TBD

Chicago - 9/16
IHDA Board Rooms
12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
IHDA Lenders Helped 450 First-Time Buyers During National Homeownership Month
IHDA Program NewsJune was the 14th annual National Homeownership Month, and IHDA's lending partners across the state took the opportunity to recommit to helping borrowers purchase a home affordably by helping 450 first-time buyers access over $3 million in down payment assistance through IHDA's first mortgage programs.

Today more than ever, it is critical for lenders and Realtors to have the tools that can make homeownership more accessible and sustainable. A National Association of Realtors survey found that 61 percent of renters see owning a home as a priority for their future, but report saving for the down payment as their primary challenge. With IHDA's 1stHomeIllinois and @HomeIllinois programs, lenders and Realtors have the power to responsibly help these buyers who face down payment hurdles.

Lenders who offer IHDA's first mortgage programs are able to connect their clients with up to $7,500 in down payment assistance, tax benefits and educational opportunities that will expand the pool of eligible borrowers and grow their business. Alpine Bank in Northern Illinois has been IHDA's number one originator of loans by unit count for 2016 thus far, and lenders across the state have already helped 2,800 buyers access nearly $20 million in down payment assistance.

Visit www.ihda.org today to see how you can boost your business in 2016.
Affordable Housing Bill Calls for Major Expansion of the LIHTC Program
IHDA Legislative NewsOn May 20, Senators Maria Cantwell and Orrin Hatch introduced legislation to increase allocation of the federal low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) by 50 percent over the next five years, a major boost for the affordable housing community and a clear show of support for nation's most valuable housing resource.

Under the proposal, the expanded LIHTC program would create or preserve approximately 1.3 million affordable homes nationwide over a 10-year period, an increase of 400,000 more units than is possible under the current program. Cantwell's office estimates Illinois would see an increase of 970 units per year under the expanded program.

The bill, called the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, would also establish a permanent 4 percent credit rate floor for bond-financed projects and would create an income-averaging option that allows developers to offset the costs of deeply affordable units with rents paid by eligible households with higher incomes.
HFAs Find Creative Ways to Maximize the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
The low-income housing tax credit is the most powerful tool available to create and preserve affordable housing, and also the most flexible. Each state can determine its needs and allocate credits accordingly, based on the priorities and preferences they believe will maximize the overall impact of the credit. 

This flexibility has encouraged creative thinking among Housing Finance Agencies and their partners as states use the program to meet a variety of goals. Affordable Housing Finance took a closer look at five HFAs that have resourcefully deployed the housing credit to meet local housing needs, maximize resources and improve design. In addition to creative strategies from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, IHDA's use of the tax credit to acquire and rehabilitate scattered-site foreclosed homes in hard-hit neighborhoods was featured.

Read all five case studies at Affordable Housing Finance.
GAO Releases Report on LIHTC Allocating Agencies
The U.S. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) second of three reports on the LIHTC was released on June 8, offering findings and recommendations based on their review of state and local agencies' administration of the program. While the GAO found that allocating agencies administer the program in ways that generally meet federal laws and program requirements, the office made several recommendations to improve the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) oversight of the program. 

In the report, the GAO found that states did not consistently include all preferences and selection criteria required under the LIHTC program in their qualified allocation plans, instead incorporating the information into other program documents or implementing the requirements in practice. The GAO went on to recommend that the IRS collaborate with allocating agencies to clarify when those agencies should report noncompliance, participate in the physical inspection alignment initiative led by HUD's Rental Policy Working Group, and evaluate how they could use HUD's Real Estate Assessment Center databases to identify the most significant compliance issues.

A third and final report on development costs and the role of syndicators is expected in early 2017.
NCSHA President Makes the Case for Housing Bonds at House and Senate Briefings
IHDA Legislative News
MassHousing Executive Director and National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) President Tom Gleason on June 2 participated as NCSHA's representative in two panel briefings on Capitol Hill - one for House staff and another for Senate staff - on the importance of tax-exempt municipal bonds. The briefings were sponsored by the Municipal Bonds for America Coalition to educate congressional staff about how bonds work, their varied uses and why they are critical to state and local governments.

Gleason explained how HFAs use bonds to make homeownership possible for first-time homebuyers and to finance affordable rental housing for low-income households, emphasizing the importance of their tax-exempt nature. Investors are currently willing to accept a lower rate of return because of the tax exemption, he said, and the end consumer would have to pay more for a mortgage or higher rent on an apartment if it goes away.

See NCSHA's newsroom for more details.
Over the Rainbow Association's Southwick Place Wins 2016 ULI Chicago Vision Award
The Urban Land Institute Chicago recognized the Over the Rainbow Association with on June 1 with a 2016 Vision Award for Southwick Place, a 40-unit affordable apartment community in Matteson that took the top spot in the Affordable Housing category.

Southwick Place offers barrier-free apartments for residents with physical disabilities who are capable of independent living. The building design prioritizes residents' mobility and safety by exceeding ADA standards and incorporating a number of innovative accessibility features that give tenants maximum self-sufficiency in their own units. In addition to the Over the Rainbow Association, the development was made possible through support from IHDA, the Housing Authority of Cook County, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and the Corporation for Supportive Housing.
New Single-Family Rental Homes Bring Affordable Alternatives to Bond County
Windsor Homes and the Bond County Housing Authority celebrated a milestone on June 9, wrapping up construction on Green Gables, a new subdivision of single-family rental homes in Greenville.

The new subdivision includes 40 two-, three- and four-bedroom homes on lots surrounding a park at the center of the neighborhood. The development provides a much-needed boost to the stock of affordable housing in an area where 40 percent of renters face housing cost burdens, paying 30 percent or more of their income on rent. The development is set aside for families earning 60% of the area median income who will have the opportunity to purchase their homes after 15 years.
Redeveloped Apartments Add Affordable Housing in North Chicago
The Lake County Residential Development Corporation (LCRDC) was joined by city and state officials on June 2 to officially open the redeveloped Greenfield Apartments. It is the latest piece of North Chicago's Strategic Revitalization Plan that will add to the stock of affordable housing and address the high rate of foreclosed properties in neighborhoods across the city.

Built in 2004, the property had gone into foreclosure in 2014 and sat vacant for nearly two years. Knowing LCRDC was searching for locations to rehab, First Midwest Bank contacted the Corporation and sold the property for less than half of the appraised value, generating an allocation of Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits and enabling them to install new mechanical systems, flooring, plumbing, electric, windows and doors. The apartments represent six of 20 total homes acquired, rehabilitated or built through the city's Revitalization Plan.
Developers Look to Repeat as Softball Champions on August 18
The annual IHDA vs. Developers softball game is scheduled for Thursday, August 18 at Lincoln Park's Waveland Avenue field in Chicago. The Developers are the reigning champions after a 16 to 8 victory in 2015, but do they have what it takes to repeat against a fresh IHDA team? Mark your calendars and support both teams on August 18.
Developers... We Want to Hear From You
Please remember to reach out to IHDA when planning your next groundbreaking or grand opening. Contact Max Mueller in IHDA's Marketing & Communications Department to help identify the best dates, speakers and media opportunities that make these events a success.