Why the 4% LIHTC Matters: Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County

Freetown Village

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is one of the most effective tools for creating new and critically needed affordable housing, and accounts for the vast majority of all affordable rental housing created in the United States. This is one in a series of articles that show how public housing authorities (PHAs) and community development agencies have successfully used federal tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to build and/or preserve public housing and affordable housing, and to increase the sustainability of their communities.

Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County: Freetown Village

Freetown Village is an existing community built in 1977 on 9.6 acres in Pasadena, Maryland. It is currently owned and operated as public housing by the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County (HCAAC).  The property includes 154 family apartments, ranging in size from one-bedroom to four-bedroom apartments. The current unit mix is 24 one-bedroom units, 48 two-bedroom units, 60 three-bedroom units, and 22 four-bedroom units, contained in 15 two-story townhome-style residential buildings, and two three-story garden-style buildings.

Freetown Village needs modernization and upgrades. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program provides an opportunity to access private capital in order to address the property’s physical needs and secure a more stable funding source for rental assistance long-term. HCAAC will use funding from four key resources of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD): Tax-Exempt Bonds, 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, a soft loan from Rental Housing Works loan, and a construction and permanent loan using DHCD’s Risk Share loan product totaling more than $41.5 million. This project is contingent on the use of tax-exempt bonds and issuance of 4% Low income Housing Tax Credits, which have an anticipated commitment date of early 2018.

Existing units will be upgraded with:

  • New kitchen cabinets and counters
  • New kitchen appliances (refrigerators, ranges, range goods)
  • New bathroom vanities
  • New flooring
  • New entry doors
  • R-49 attic insulation
  • Install LED lighting replacement
  • Replace bathtubs with roll-in showers for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) units; other ADA upgrades.

In addition system and common area upgrades will include:

  • New hot water heaters
  • HVAC upgrades
  • Upgraded landscaping features
  • Seal/stripe parking spaces
  • Added insulation
  • LED lighting replacement
  • ADA sidewalk improvements
  • New playground
  • All new flooring in common rooms.

The proposal would also add 36 new homes to Freetown Village, including 24 2BR units (approximately 720 square feet) and 12 3BR units ( approximately 980 square feet). Anne Arundel County’s Workforce Housing requirements mandate 20 of the units would be reserved for households at or below 60 percent of Area Median Income. The other 16 units could be occupied by households up to 120 percent of Area Median Income.

For more information about this project or to share your organization’s 4 percent LIHTC success story, please contact nahro@nahro.org.

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