A recent report from the Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing and NeighborWorks America profiles several successful financing vehicles to preserve affordable housing, including below-market debt funds, private equity vehicles, and real estate investment trusts (REITs). The 16 efforts profiled in the report are delivering cash-on-cash returns to equity investors ranging from 6 to 12 percent.

The report, entitled Preserving Multifamily Workforce and Affordable Housing: New Approaches for Investing in a Vital National Assetprofiles 16 efforts to preserve affordable and workforce housing. These innovative approaches to finance have collectively raised more than $2 billion and acquired, rehabilitated and developed nearly 60,000 units – with many raising additional capital to expand their activities. These vehicles are meeting a pressing social need while delivering cash-on-cash returns to equity investors ranging from 6 to 12 percent. They include:

  • Below-market debt funds, which are established by partnerships of private, public and philanthropic institutions to provide affordable housing developers with low cost loans. Funds profiled in the report are the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund in San Francisco; Denver Regional Transit-Oriented Development Fund; New Generation Fund in Los Angeles; and the New York City Acquisition Fund.
  • Private Equity Vehicles, which are entities that use private capital to acquire and rehabilitate multifamily workforce and affordable housing properties. The report features Avanath Capital Management, the Enterprise Multifamily Opportunity Fund, PNC Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Fund 1 LLC (operated by PNC Bank); Rose Affordable Housing Preservation Fund LLC (operated by the Jonathan Rose Companies); Turner Multifamily Impact Fund; and Urban Strategy America Fund.
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), an investment vehicle created by the U.S. Congress to provide a means for small-scale investors to invest in income-producing real estate. REIT activity includes property acquisition and development, debt and equity investments, and a mix of both. The REITS profiled – Community Development Trust and Housing Partnership Equity Trust — focus specifically on affordable multifamily developments.

The report also features several efforts that appear to have considerable potential: the Develop Michigan Initiative; the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund Workforce Housing 2.0 Pilot; the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund; and the Seattle Futures Fund.