As we’ve written about before, there’s a national shortage of affordable housing; however, the nearby city of Fishers recently took steps to increase the affordable housing inventory and there are other positive national developments that may add to inventory across the country. We look at the plans for Fishers development as well as what’s going on in the country in today’s BAM blog…

Fishers Affordable Housing

According to a recent piece in the IBJ, the Fishers City Council approved a zoning change which will pave the way for a new development that will feature both age-restricted units as well as income-based units. The city council voted for the zoning change over the objections of only one member; that member agreed to move forward but only if the planned units were rented at market rates (instead of income-based rent).

RealAmerica’s owner and president is a staunch supporter of affordable housing, and went on record with the IBJ saying that if she couldn’t include income-based units in the project, she wouldn’t move forward with the development. According to the IBJ, she also said that the company could rent the units at market-rate pricing if they didn’t receive tax credits – but if the council restricted the income-based units, she would likely walk away from the development.

Per the IBJ, the planned development will be:

Two buildings – one age-restricted and one income-based

The buildings will sit on 12.5 acres

Located on the south side of 106th street between Hague and the Nickel Plate Railroad

More Good News for Affordable Housing

In October of this year, Freddie Mac announced that they were rolling out a new Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Investment Fund in conjunction with Enterprise Community Investment to help create and preserve rental homes across the country. Per the announcement, this was Freddie’s first foray into the LIHTC Fund arena in over a decade. They estimate that with this fund they’ll provide over $100 million to communities in need, starting in Summit County, Colorado with 40 new apartment homes for residents who earn between 40-60% of the area median income. The announcement also mentions working with other syndicators like Hudson Housing Capital and Boston Financial Investment Management with more to follow.

In related news, and despite concerns that budget cuts could follow the Trump administration’s suggestions, earlier this year the Republican-led congress instead expanded LIHTC programs and increased HUD program funding by $4.7 billion. Now those with an eye on the incoming Democratic-majority House are hoping that affordable housing may reap benefits from newly-elected members who ran (and in some cases, won) on issues regarding housing. A recent piece in the National Real Estate Investor (NREI) online references how affordable housing advocates plan to press the new House for more funding.

The BAM Bottom Line: The affordable housing crisis remains a consistent challenge; but cities like Fishers prove that new zoning and planning can create inventory. New programs and additional funding may lead to more inventory as well as preservation/rehabilitation of existing housing across the country.