The Montgomery County Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund recently loaned over $280,000 to the Leeland Tenants Association to purchase their building.
Last week Montgomery County announced financial support for efforts by the Leeland Tenants Association in Takoma Park to purchase their building, helping facilitate homeownership for the longtime tenants. The County committed $281,250 over three years using funds from the recently created Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund (AHOF).
Leeland Apartments is a 15-unit, garden-style apartment building located at 112 Lee Ave. in Takoma Park. The tenant association plans to convert it into a limited equity co-op structure.
The Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund is a dedicated pool of $20 million of revolving County funds established to combine with private lending for short-term loans to acquire and preserve affordable properties, maintain affordability and protect tenants from displacement. The National Housing Trust Community Development Fund (NHTCDF) is the fund manager, coordinating applications from developers and arranging private capital to combine with Montgomery County funds to respond rapidly to opportunities.
According to the press release:
“This is great. I am pleased that we are able to help these long-time tenants become homeowners,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “The new Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund is designed to provide critical, readily available funding to acquire properties to preserve affordability and protect tenants from displacement. Expanding homeownership is an important goal of my administration and part of a successful affordable housing strategy. I want to thank Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart and Delegate Lorig Charkoudian for their efforts. I also want to recognize the pivotal role played by Mi Casa, which helped the association put the financial package together so that the tenants’ association could acquire this property.”
The tenant association’s short-term financing package to purchase the building includes the County’s $281,250 AHOF loan, a $532,000 private loan, a $1,437,500 loan from City First Enterprises and a $250,000 loan from NHTCDF. The latter two loans, arranged by NHTCDF, more than achieves the minimum 3:1 private lending match for AHOF loans. In addition, there is a $600,000 grant managed by the City of Takoma Park, which came from the State of Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development. The loan closing occurred on Nov. 2, at which point the tenant association took ownership of the property.
Montgomery County is applying every available policy tool and financial resource to help reduce housing cost burdens by increasing the number of affordable, rent-regulated housing units; providing rent supports; and preserving current affordable housing while protecting tenants from displacement.
Last month, MACo hosted a Housing Symposium that brought both counties and partners to the table to unpack the complex issue of affordable housing in Maryland. MACo staff also recently published a deep dive on housing policy, detailing how we got to the present situation and outlining possible solutions. Housing affordability is a top-of-mind issue for counties; and are eager to remain part of the solution to this crisis.