WASHINGTON, DC (March 13, 2018) – LISC has been selected by DHCD to serve as fund manager for the District’s new Housing Preservation Fund with the award of $5 million for LISC to invest. As the preservation fund manager, LISC will invest $20 million in ensuring that low income Washingtonians can remain a part of the District’s bright future. Preservation works, and these new resources will allow LISC and DHCD to expand the preservation of affordable housing before it’s too late.
The goal of the preservation fund is to preserve, acquire and rehabilitate the city’s existing affordable housing stock. According to the DHCD, the city lost at least 1,000 units of subsidized housing between 2006 and 2014. Another 1,750 units are at risk of being lost and a portion of the additional 13,700 units are at risk of loss due to near-term expiring subsidies.
LISC will receive $5 million from the public-private Housing Preservation Fund and pair it with $15 million of LISC capital to expand on LISC’s housing preservation work. These dollars will allow residents and developers to secure their buildings and formulate a long-term, sustainable operating plan as permanent affordable housing. Moreover, the Fund will elevate the profile of preservation strategies. Property owners will know that resources exist to allow them to sell to new owners who will maintain the building with the current tenants in place.
The District funds will enable LISC to expand its existing preservation activities. Preservation is a strategy that works. LISC has a long history in working with tenant associations and responsible 3rd party developers in TOPA acquisitions to preserve housing affordability.
Preservation encompasses multiple partners and options. Since 1988, LISC has invested in 39 limited equity cooperatives, helping to preserve the affordability of 1,190 units of housing. LISC’s investments in affordable cooperatives total over $33 million. In addition, LISC has invested in 26 partnerships between residents and affordable housing developers, with over $46 million resulting in the preservation of 2,228 units of affordable rental housing across the District.
The Preservation Fund will offer predevelopment and acquisition loans with terms of up to 3 years and maximum loan amounts of $8 million and will include affordability covenants that at least 50% of the units are affordable to households earning no more than 80% AMI.
“As we seek to grow and deepen our impact, LISC will be able to leverage the Fund for new resources, using our position as a driver of the Fund to effectively assemble additional resources dedicated to preservation,” stated Ramon Jacobson, Acting Director of the LISC Washington, DC office.
Creating the preservation fund is one of six recommendations made by the Housing Preservation Strike Force created by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser in 2015. The strike force set the goal of preserving 100 percent of the District’s existing federally- and city-assisted affordable rental homes. Establishing the preservation fund is part of a multipronged approach to that objective.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a national community development organization, with DC as one of the flagship offices and a 35 year legacy. Established in 1982, LISC DC has invested in more than 11,000 units of affordable housing, and in health clinics, theaters, community centers, and retail shopping centers throughout the District of Columbia. We work every day to help create healthy and resilient DC neighborhoods that are good places for low- and moderate-income Washingtonians to live, work, raise children, and to conduct business. We mobilize corporate, philanthropic, individual donor and government resources and invest them into the projects, programs and initiatives that build on the assets and address the challenges of the neighborhoods in the District of Columbia. We are a lender, donor, advocate, convener, facilitator, and technical assistance provider.
The mission of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is to produce and preserve opportunities for affordable housing and economic development and to revitalize underserved communities in the District of Columbia. DHCD focuses on three strategic objectives: (1) producing and preserving the supply of quality affordable housing; (2) increasing homeownership opportunities; and (3) revitalizing neighborhoods, promoting community development, and providing economic opportunities.