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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Historic structures can be converted into affordable housing

Monday, July 26, 2004

Almost every town in Indiana has them - beloved buildings that served an important role in the community for years, but now stand vacant. Often they are schools, hotels, hospitals, apartment buildings, or even department stores.

The sight of these buildings spark a flood of memories - the high school prom, shopping with your grandmother downtown or the first time you walked into the grand lobby in the hotel. These buildings are often architecturally significant, containing craftsmanship that is rarely seen in today's new construction. They are the public treasures that no one wants to see destroyed, but they often pose difficult challenges for finding a new use.

Through programs administered by the Indiana Housing Finance Authority, several of these buildings are experiencing second lives as affordable housing IHFA helps to preserve these buildings through the Federal Rental Housing Credit program. The RHTC program provides incentives for housing developers to create affordable rental housing for low-to moderate-income persons.

IHFA has administered the RHTC program for the state since its inception in 1986 under Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code. Since that time, more than 31,000 units have been active in the RHTC programs statewide.

RHTCs are federal tax credits that are competitively allocated to developers of affordable rental housing. RHTCs are generally sold by developers and the proceeds generate equity capital in the development that reduces the debt service and thus the rents of the development's units.

A few examples of the kinds of properties that have been converted to affordable housing with the help of an award of RHTCs from IHFA include:

Parke Place, a 15-unit rental property in Rockville, is a former hotel that had stood empty for more than 20 years and The Davlan, formerly the Hoosier hotel, in downtown Indianapolis has been rehabilitated to include both commercial storefronts and residential space for market rate and low-to moderate-income residents.

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