The equity closing: it’s really just the beginning

(Photo: A home on the Red Cliff Indian Reservation that will be rehabilitated with the Red Cliff Rehab I LIHTC project.)

Closing a Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) project with an equity investor takes months of coordination between a dozen or so parties. From the weekly conference calls to tracking down the scores of checklist items and synchronizing delivery of the numerous third party reports, it’s no wonder that everyone feels an immense sense of accomplishment when the documents are officially signed!

But while the term “closing” seems to signify an end, it really is just the beginning of the 15-year relationship between the tribe or housing authority and the equity investor.

Travois would like to congratulate the Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority (RCCHA) on closing its Red Cliff Rehab I LIHTC project with RBC Capital Markets last month.

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) awarded the project $639,704 in tax credits to substantially rehabilitate 40 existing homes on the Red Cliff Indian Reservation in Bayfield, WI, some of which were built as far back as the 1960s. The project will also enhance the community by constructing three new playgrounds within the New Housing, Old Housing and Hillside communities.

“Our community is smiling,” said Marvin Defoe, LIHTC project manager for the Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority. “We are very pleased with this opportunity in making this rehabilitation project a reality. It has given our housing community a safe, healthy, and updated place to raise a family.”

RBC’s equity will ultimately pay for about 72 percent of the project’s $7.3 million cost. Chippewa Valley Bank is providing construction bridge financing and the RCCHA is providing both construction and permanent financing. RCCHA also received $320,000 in AHP funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago as leverage for the project.

“RBC Capital Markets is proud to be a part of this transaction and looks forward to the 15-year partnership with the Red Cliff Chippewa Housing Authority,” said Stephen Lee, RBC investment analyst. “The closing of Red Cliff Rehab I, marks our eighth investment in Indian Country and fits within our overall goal of becoming the most sought-after syndicator partner in the tribal LIHTC space.”

“Getting to closing always comes with its challenges, but the effort by all will no doubt be worth it once the housing units have been completed and occupied,” he said. “We certainly look forward to seeing the finished product and for the opportunity to work with RCCHA on future housing projects.”

Construction activities are already underway and by next spring, 40 low-income households on the reservation will be enjoying newly restored homes.