RBC Capital Markets
St. Petersburg, Florida
Re: Bond Financing for Multifamily Rental Housing
Escambia County Housing Finance Authority
This will confirm our conversation yesterday to the effect that the Escambia County Housing Finance Authority (the “Escambia HFA”) is pleased to work with the development community to issue multifamily revenue bonds to assist with primary or secondary financing required for the development, redevelopment, or acquisition/rehabilitation of rental housing to serve the needs of low, moderate and middle-income families and the elderly in Florida.
The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners now has in place a formal review and approval process for consideration of rental development proposals for award of the Local Government Contribution: see Escambia County BCC Rental Application Review Process. We hope this will alleviate concerns that may have arisen due to the lack of a formal and timely process in the past.
As you know, the Escambia HFA team has active relationships with the County Commissions and Housing Finance Authorities in the twenty-one counties that partner with us in our 2012 Big Splash Multi-County Single Family Mortgage Program, including Alachua, Bay, Bradford, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hernando, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Madison, Marion, Martin, Okaloosa, St. Lucie, Santa Rosa, Taylor, Wakulla, and Walton. We are pleased to assist in any way we can to increase affordable housing in those and any unserved counties desiring our assistance, whether our support comes in the way of sharing our contacts in those counties with active multi-family issuers or providing financing directly through interlocal agreements with the counties in which the housing is located.
We know that a great deal of the affordable multi-family development in Florida is accomplished through successful partnerships between the development community and the FHFC Housing Tax Credit Program, especially in the 9% housing credit arena. However, we believe that quality opportunities exist in many of the counties served by the Escambia HFA through blending local HFA multifamily bonds with non-competitive 4% tax credits and/or FHFC SAIL funds and are working to make sure that our process is timely, comprehensive, and cost-effective. The County Commission in Escambia has voiced interest in mixed use developments that would include market rate apartments in addition to income-restricted housing, and we would be very interested in exploring these opportunities in Escambia and in our partner counties.
Please let us know if we can help. We look forward to working with you.
Lisa Bernau, Executive Director