Financing and Equity Commitments Will Help Create 13,600 Affordable Housing Units Across the U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 30, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Through its Community Development Banking business, Bank of America Merrill Lynch provided more than $3.3 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions in 2013. Those commitments were up more than 25 percent from 2012 lending and investing and will help create more than 13,600 affordable housing units.
Working closely with organizations that help revitalize communities, Bank of America Merrill Lynch provided financial solutions for developments that benefit low- and moderate-income families, seniors, veterans, students and other groups across the country. Loans and investments also include supportive housing efforts and projects that incorporate green and transit-oriented elements.
Community Development Banking activity in 2013 included nearly $2.2 billion in commercial real estate-based lending, up more than 25 percent from the previous year. Bank of America Merrill Lynch also made more than $1.1 billion in tax credit investments last year – a roughly 20 percent increase over 2012 – and is a leader in affordable housing finance nationally, providing financing for more than 128,000 units over the past nine years.
Community Development Banking includes the Banc of America Community Development Corp. (BACDC), which serves as a development partner and provides debt and equity financing for properties in low- and moderate-income communities across the country. In 2013, BACDC completed more than $90 million in developments and began construction on more than $100 million in developments.
“Our 2013 lending and investing is a testament to how committed Bank of America Merrill Lynch is to providing affordable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods across the U.S.,” said Maria Barry, Community Development Banking executive. “As demand for low- and mixed-income housing, charter schools and other projects remains strong, our increased support for these efforts confirms the long-standing leadership Bank of America Merrill Lynch has shown in community development.”
In San Diego, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is providing $44 million in financing and $33 million in equity investment for the construction of 200 affordable housing units for families, seniors and young people formerly in foster care. The apartments are part of a multi-phase project by BRIDGE Housing that will convert a former industrial neighborhood into a vibrant, transit-oriented, mixed-use community.
“The transformation of this industrial site into a mixed-use development will be a catalyst for revitalizing the surrounding area while providing affordable housing for those most in need,” said Cynthia Parker, president and CEO of BRIDGE Housing. “The journey to this point was long and complex, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch was instrumental in helping move this great project forward.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch also is providing more than $23 million in construction financing and more than $25 million in tax credit equity for the conversion of a former school in Worcester, Mass., into 84 units of mixed-income multi-family housing. Built in 1911, the four-story Worcester Vocational Technical School will become Voke Lofts, and the project by WinnCompanies is a critical component of the city of Worcester’s Gateway Park Master Plan.
“This redevelopment will preserve the facade and interior architectural features of a historic building while providing much-needed mixed-income housing in downtown Worcester,” said Gilbert Winn, managing principal at WinnCompanies. “In addition to helping revitalize the Gateway Park District, Voke Lofts is a great example of WinnCompanies long, successful relationship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.”
In Fort Worth, Texas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is providing $16.5 million in loans and $13.3 million in tax credit equity for the construction of 120 affordable apartments in six new buildings. Developed by Miller Valentine Group, the Reserve at Western Center will provide homes for individuals and families with incomes of 30 percent, 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income.
“In addition to bringing more affordable housing to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this development is Miller Valentine’s first project in Texas,” said Dave Liette of Miller Valentine Group. “We’re excited to continue our productive relationship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and collaborate on great opportunities such as the Reserve at Western Center.”
Bank of America also is the nation’s largest investor in community development financial institutions (CDFIs, or nonprofit community loan centers), with more than 240 CDFI partners in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In 2013, Bank of America completed 11 transactions totaling $65.4 million to CDFIs financing affordable housing.
As part of its commitment to improve the health of communities it serves, Bank of America in 2013 provided more than $23 million in grants to more than 900 organizations – such as Habitat for Humanity, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Enterprise Community Partners – that connect individuals and families to affordable housing and homeownership. The grants are part of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s broader focus on three areas critical to the health of communities: workforce development and education, community development, and basic human services. In addition, Bank of America Community Volunteers give nearly 200,000 volunteer hours each year to support community development organizations in local communities across the country.
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