Housing & Public Finance

Affordable Housing

The development of affordable housing options can be a tremendous benefit for communities. Such residential complexes provide homes for special-needs populations, even as they serve as magnets for new residents. Yet the local, state and federal laws affecting affordable housing are complex. Cohen & Grigsby’s Affordable Housing Group helps clients understand and comply with such regulations -and create innovative, compliant financing vehicles – so that they may complete their developments in a timely, cost-efficient manner.

Attorneys in our Affordable Housing Group serve as counsel to over 50 public housing authorities across the United States and have closed more than 100 mixed finance transactions in the past few years. They have served as counsel on national low-income housing tax credit development partnerships. They have formed ownership and subsidiary entities such as tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. They are experts on syndication, an important method for deploying low-income tax credits.  Moreover, they work closely with their colleagues in our tax, real estate, environmental and municipal finance groups to provide comprehensive answers to the complicated issues that may arise in affordable housing development.

In fact, our experience in affordable housing matters is so broad and deep that we have represented entities across the spectrum – local housing authorities, developers, tax-credit investors, state housing finance agencies. Our approach to affordable housing is informed by our firm’s Culture of Performance.  We know and appreciate the goals of our clients and their development partners in these vital projects . . . and we make projects happen in a timely manner within budget.

Our areas of expertise include:

Public Housing Transformation

We represent public housing authorities, developers and investors in the revitalization of public housing communities and development of affordable housing – an increasingly important objective for municipalities. Our expertise in this area has taken Cohen & Grigsby to the forefront of mixed-finance revitalization, through which we have helped create mixed-income developments, including public housing units, tax credit units and market rent units. Our lawyers have worked with various programs, including HOPE VI, Capital Fund Financing and the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD).

Through our leadership in affordable housing development, Cohen & Grigsby was a key player in several “firsts” – the first intercreditor agreement utilized in a mixed-finance transaction as well as the first non-insured bond issue.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Development

Since its enactment in 1986, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (“LIHTC”) program has been responsible for creating millions of affordable housing units. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in all aspects of LIHTC development including the use of tax credits under Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code, drafting and negotiating acquisition and partnership agreements, financing documents and other documents used in these transactions.

HOME and CDBG Funds

Our attorneys work with public housing authorities, developers and public organizations that utilize HOME and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds in revitalization efforts. In addition, we work with the Federal Home Loan Bank and private foundations to revitalize low-income communities.

Senior Housing

With the aging of the “baby boom” generation, perhaps no area of affordable housing is more important or timely than the development of a wide range of residential options for seniors. Our Affordable Housing Group has been particularly active on this front in a variety of innovative ways – including creation of assisted living and independent living facilities. We have considerable experience with the vast variety of state laws and regulations that affect such developments and thus are well positioned to help our clients clear any obstacles to development.

Defense of Audits

Cohen & Grigsby attorneys assist our clients in defending audits by the Inspector General, Fair Housing and other agencies. Frequently, such audits are conducted in an adversarial manner. Our experienced attorneys help clients to prepare for the audit and respond appropriately.

Other Areas of Emphasis

  • Bonds for home mortgage financing and rental housing projects
  • Community development lending
  • Choice Neighborhoods Program
  • Environmental issues
  • Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae housing programs
  • HUD programs including HOPE VI, Mark to Market, Section 8, Moving-to-work
  • Investor partnerships
  • Land use
  • Low-income housing tax credits
  • Employment practice issues
  • Nonprofit development
  • Public housing
  • State and local housing programs
  • Tax abatement and payment in lieu of taxes
  • Tax-exempt financing
  • Zoning and subdivision