Affordable Housing Loan
Affordable Housing Loan: $6,000,000 (over 2 years)
The Affordable Housing Loan question is a new bond issue question this year that would authorize the City to borrow up to $6 million to be used for an affordable housing program. Eligible uses would include acquisition, preservation, production of new housing, demolition, rental assistance, housing counseling and project finance comprised of loans (including forgivable or fully amortizing) or grants as well as other related activities. An Affordable Housing Loan would allow the City to provide gap financing for capital projects that produce affordable housing units. The financing would allow project developers to leverage other state, federal, and private funds, including federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Without this funding, many affordable housing projects would not be viable. In the past, federal funding has helped the City provide gap financing, but federal funds for this type of use are becoming scarce. It is important to note that this is separate from Question J on the 2016 ballot, which is a charter amendment that would create an affordable housing trust fund to be administered separate and apart from these bond funds.
Project Example: Gibbons Commons Apartments
Because this is a new type of loan for the city, no projects have been funded to date. However, the City has completed similar projects using different fund sources in the past. An example of the type of project this loan might help fund is Gibbons Commons Apartments. These apartments, which will serve low-income families and adults with disabilities, are part of a 32-acre mixed-use community being developed by St. Agnes Hospital on the former Cardinal Gibbons High School site in southwest Baltimore. The project used $870,000 in gap financing from the City, which allowed it to leverage Low Income Housing Tax Credits and other forms of financing.