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HACEP’s rentering of the Gonzalez Apartments

$30 Million Awarded to El Paso to Reconstruct Affordable Rental Housing

The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP) won two 9% housing tax credit awards this morning, valued at a total of $30 million, that will go towards financing the construction of two projects that are part of its ongoing Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) revitalization effort in El Paso.

“This $30 million award is a victory for El Paso as it moves us forward in nurturing and promoting healthy, sustainable communities,” shared Mayor Oscar Leeser after learning about TDHCA’s announcement.

HACEP’s development plan includes building two new communities, Salazar Park and the Gonzalez Apartments (totaling 338 affordable housing units) in a growing area of the city, East El Paso. Once complete in late 2018, HACEP residents will then be relocated, voluntarily, from three existing public housing communities to these new developments.

“Part of ensuring the continuation of HACEP’s revitalization effort is being creative in finding the financial resources to lock in funding of their RAD projects,” stated HACEP’s Board of Commissioners Chairman Burt Blacksher. “These tax credits will now fund a significant portion of the project costs that will ultimately bring in $60 million worth of new development to El Paso.”

These tax credit awards, formally known as a 9% Housing Tax Credits (HTC), are from TDHCA’s HTC Program that is highly competitive and directs private funds toward the development and preservation of affordable rental housing for low-income households. HACEP competed in one of two categories which allowed other local developers to compete in the other category to try to bring even more real estate investment to the El Paso region.

“HACEP continues to make strides in its investment in the El Paso community developing in areas that will offer our families and children easier access to new opportunities, higher wage jobs, good schools and services,” stated HACEP CEO Gerald Cichon after TDHCA’s announcement was made official. “This award may have been a win for HACEP, but is really a major victory for El Paso and its underserved families.”

The reconstruction of these 338 units is part of HACEP’s overall revitalization effort of its public housing portfolio through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) RAD program.  Nearly 6,000 of HACEP’s units in El Paso are being revitalized. El Paso’s full portfolio conversion consumes 3% of the national allotment for the RAD program, making the HACEP’s conversion the most aggressive and leading RAD conversion in the nation.

HACEP beat 30 other eligible applications filed in the At-Risk Set-Aside pool.  The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), who administers the state’s housing tax credit program, officially approved HACEP’s application, an award that accounts for nearly half of the available amount in this year’s round of At-Risk Housing Tax Credits.  This is the third year HACEP has won 9% HTCs for its construction projects.

Through this statewide financing vehicle, HACEP has brought $76.3MM in investment to El Paso.

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