With more than 60 attorneys, our housing practice is one of the largest in the country. We provide innovative and practical advice in the development and financing of housing and community development projects nationwide.
Our housing and community development experience includes representation of more than 125 housing authorities, the closing of hundreds of bond transactions as bond and underwriter’s counsel, and involvement in thousands of tax-credit transactions. We routinely represent borrowers and more than a dozen approved lenders under all multifamily programs of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
We guide clients in the acquisition, development, expansion, and disposition of virtually every type of housing and community development project, including:
- Multifamily housing
- Single-family housing
- Affordable housing
- Government-assisted housing
- Military housing
- Mixed-income housing
- Planned communities/condominiums
- Senior/special needs housing
- Student housing
- Workforce housing
- Community centers
- Mixed-use projects with community/public markets, other retail, and/or offices
- Business incubator space
Our experience in banking, securities, zoning, green building, litigation, environmental compliance, fair housing and Section 504 compliance, construction contracting, and bankruptcy complements our housing practice.
We have been engaged as bond counsel in billions of dollars in single family and multifamily housing revenue bonds. Our energy team is at the forefront of green construction and retrofitting, and several of our lawyers hold the LEED AP designation.
Our lawyers draw on their experience in finance and real estate to provide pragmatic, leading-edge advice on even the most complex transactions, including:
- Construction and bridge loans
- Capital grant financing programs
- Community development lending
- Defaults and workouts
- Green building/energy efficiency initiatives
- Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac
- FHA-insured loans/Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) transactions
- HUD programs
- Mixed-finance transactions
- Portfolio sales and acquisitions
- Section 8 contracts and vouchers
- Public housing conversion with RAD and other tools
- Tax credits
We represent clients in every space in the market, including:
- Housing Authorities
- Nonprofit and for-profit developers
- Section 8 housing owners
- State and local housing finance agencies
- Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) investors
- New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) community development entities and borrowers
- Commercial lenders
- Bond issuers and underwriters
- Mortgage and investment bankers
We work with housing authorities and their private-sector development partners nationwide, advising on the demolition, disposition, development, and redevelopment of public housing projects.
Our work includes implementing mixed-finance projects, assisting with RAD conversions, obtaining HUD regulatory waivers, structuring and closing transactions involving capital fund bonds, and private financings using various tax credits. We have closed transactions and guided implementation of numerous affordable housing projects nationwide, including mixed-income and mixed-use developments. Our attorneys assist clients in planning and executing innovative transactions, including many of the earliest, largest, and most successful green energy improvements in public housing redevelopment, as well as projects including continuing care facilities, school construction, and transit-oriented development.
We also assist housing authorities with programs such as Moving to Work, Section 8 contracts, asset management, and the Section 30 Public Housing Mortgage Program, as well as Fair Housing Act and Section 504 issues and HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigations. Our lawyers have developed productive working relationships with HUD officials and have a solid understanding of their programs and procedures.
Our housing finance lawyers counsel leading national real estate finance and investment companies and other lenders, as well borrowers and other clients nationwide, on all aspects of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financing products for multifamily housing projects and seniors facilities, as well as on related compliance and servicing issues.
These attorneys handle all types of conventional mortgage and bond financings, including acquisition, rehabilitation, refunding, and forward commitment new construction loans. We also assist clients with loan assumptions, distressed asset advice, and default resolution. We serve as counsel to Freddie Mac for its tax-exempt bond credit enhancement and securitization programs.
Our work has included acquisition, rehabilitation, and new construction loans; tax-exempt bond financings credit enhanced by HUD insurance; GNMA mortgage-backed securities; IRP decoupling transactions; and transfer of physical assets applications. We are experienced in virtually all of HUD's multifamily programs and related tax, securities, environmental, and legal issues associated with HUD transactions.
We also assist lenders in obtaining HUD mortgagee and MAP approvals to originate HUD-insured loans. We help lenders respond to audit reports, pre-penalty determinations, and other adverse findings, and advise on servicing issues. We negotiate loan and servicing portfolio sales and perform due diligence reviews. Our lawyers enjoy effective working relationships with HUD headquarters and local office employees.
In addition, our lawyers defend multifamily owners, housing authorities, HUD contractors, lenders, and others against HUD actions seeking civil monetary penalties, debarment, suspension, and limited denials of participation for alleged violations of HUD program requirements. We assist clients during HUD OIG investigations, reviews, and audits, as well as draft responses to audit findings and assist with resolving them. We also represent clients in HUD and DOJ investigations into possible violations of law during administration of HUD programs, including False Claims Act cases. Our lawyers have experience representing clients on these issues both in administrative proceedings and in court.
Our experience includes transactions that combine LIHTCs with state LIHTC, historic tax credits, New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), solar tax credits, and many sources of debt financing. Our attorneys advise on all aspects of these transactions, including tax, real estate, and business issues.
We also advise clients with Year 15 issues and re-syndications as developments near the end of the LIHTC compliance period. We assist our clients in analyzing the deal’s economics and in navigating the evolving dynamics of the equity and debt marketplace.
We focus our practice on advising community development entities (CDEs), borrowers, and leverage lenders (including municipalities and for-profit and nonprofit organizations) in a wide variety of projects eligible for NMTC financing, such as schools, health centers, and crisis abuse centers.
In addition, we represent investors, fund managers, and developers on the evolving tax, organizational, and business structuring requirements of the QOZ program. We assist clients in forming Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) and investing by QOFs in QOZ businesses and property, including investments in multifamily and commercial projects.
We have served as bond counsel or underwriter’s counsel for state housing agencies nationwide, as well as for numerous local housing finance agencies and authorities. Our bond financing practice consistently ranks among the national leaders in volume handled, as reported by Thomson Reuters. Our experience includes numerous transactions that combine New Markets Tax Credits with tax-exempt bonds.
Helping NYC Housing Authority Close Historic Deal
We have been involved in nearly every type of housing transaction. Representative matters include:
- We assisted in the restructuring and refinancing of eight Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans in excess of $91 million for a senior housing and post-acute care provider.
- We advised regional senior housing developer and operator in six new and expansion projects in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Florida.
- We have assisted numerous developers in strategic planning and negotiation of the purchase, financing, construction, and/or renovations of nearly 1,400 market rate and affordable apartment, senior housing, and single family homes across Minnesota and the Midwest.
- We serve as counsel on the land registration for a mixed use housing project adjacent to the new U.S. Bank (Minnesota Vikings) Stadium.
- We represent a national senior housing provider in $91 million restructuring and refinancing of multiple Minnesota properties.
- We represented the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in a six-month race to close one of the largest public-private partnership tax credit bond deals in U.S. history. The transaction provided approximately $400 million in initial public and private funding to modernize more than 20,000 public housing units and $65 million to $75 million a year for operations. Seeking to gain federal funding for the housing, we found a little-known provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- The Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration worked with Ballard Spahr's Housing Group to close the largest-ever low-income tax credit transaction, which was valued at more than $600 million and which paved the way for the modernization of thousands of units of public housing and earned "Deal of the Year" recognition from The Bond Buyer.
- We closed the first Energy Performance Contract financing in the nation, structured in conjunction with acquisition and rehabilitation tax credits and garnering $1.4 million in additional tax credit equity for the Denver Housing Authority.
- When the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers, New York, was given just eight weeks to close on the first phase of a $20 million housing project funded by a HOPE VI Revitalization Grant or lose funding, they turned to us. We overcame a host of financing and tax challenges to meet the deadline and secure the grant for our client.
- After successfully implementing a complete HOPE VI revitalization of the former Columbia Villa public housing site, the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) set its sights on building a school and other facilities. We assisted HAP in developing the structure, analyzed the tax ramifications, formed a new nonprofit corporation as the qualified active low-income community business (QALICB) for New Markets Tax Credits, prepared the application for 501(c)(3) status, reviewed lease and option agreements, and prepared loan documents.
- We assisted Freddie Mac in completing one of the largest multifamily housing bond securitizations in history, a $2.8 billion transaction with Centerline Capital Group using the innovative Freddie Mac Tax-Exempt Bond Securitization (TEBS) execution, which we helped develop.