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Second Emergency Management Loan to Create Affordable Housing in Lumberton

Photo credit: Molly Osborne/EducationNC

The Initiative and Initiative Capital have closed on a $300,000 investment with MC Morgan & Associates. The combined $150,000 loan and $150,000 grant will finance pre-development expenses associated with the construction of a 72-unit low-income housing tax credit development in Lumberton, NC. Once completed, this development, the Griffin Park Apartments, will significantly enhance the supply of high-quality affordable housing in Robeson County. As a result, it will help address the acute shortage of safe, decent and affordable housing in the area that existed even prior to Hurricane Matthew, but which was made worse by the flooding and other damage caused by this disaster.

The pre-development funds offered by Initiative Capital will be instrumental in allowing MC Morgan & Associates, who specialize in the development of Low Income Tax Credits (LIHTC) properties throughout the Carolinas, to move forward on closing its financing and starting the construction of Griffin Park. As a result, it is expected that this development will be placed in service six months earlier than is required under the LIHTC program rules.

MC Morgan & Associates was awarded LIHTC credits in August 2016 for the Griffin Park development. Yet between August and December of last year equity pricing for LIHTC was reduced by more than 15% in most markets across the country, creating substantial project funding gaps for many affordable housing developers. This investment will help this developer manage through the turbulence of the rapidly changing LIHTC market, and help to ensure that the Griffin Park Apartments are completed ahead of schedule.

The Initiative and Initiative Capital are drawing on funding from a unique partnership with NC Emergency Management to address the loss of affordable housing from weather-related disasters to fund the Griffin Park project. Lumberton’s affordable housing stock was decimated by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Though the Griffin Park site, located at 1958 N. Roberts Avenue, was not impacted by Matthew’s floodwaters, it offers an ideal “shovel-ready” option to move forward quickly with new affordable housing development in the region. The site is in an active growth area of northeast Lumberton and is conveniently located within walking distance to a Food Lion, Family Dollar and numerous restaurants, parks and schools. Indeed, this site is considered a prime location by North Carolina Housing Finance Agency for low- income housing tax credits.

The total development cost of Griffin Park is approximately 9.2 million. The 72-unit complex is projected to house more than 144 individuals, with family incomes ranging from $22,740 to $37,680. The community will target families with incomes up to 60% of the area median income limits. The community will include 8 one-bedroom units, 34 two-bedroom units and 30 three-bedroom units.

Based on data from RIMS II an econometric modeling system that calculates job impacts, Griffin Park will not only provide critically needed affordable housing, but will also support 140 jobs throughout the state of North Carolina.

For more information on Initiative Capital’s disaster relief and other loan products please contact Tara Campbell, Sr. VP of Lending and Investments, at (919) 828-5655 or via email –  tcampbell@ncinitiative.org.