Funding - Affordable housing development involves piecing together many different funding sources. IHI applied to the Portland Housing Bureau for $975,000 in January 2011 and was awarded funding in February 2011. This first commitment of funds is critical, not only to get the ball rolling but also to show local support for the project. With the City on board, IHI was able to apply for additional funds from the State. We submitted this funding application to Oregon's Housing and Community Services Department in April 2011, requesting an allocation of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits along with several other state grant sources. On July 22, 2011 the State awarded IHI nearly $8 Million in grants and tax credits to fully fund the project! Once we had tax credits, IHI needed to select a tax credit investor to acquire our tax credits and become IHI's equity partner in the deal. We issued a Request for Proposals to investors interested in the deal and ultimately selected Raymond James Tax Credit Fund as our investor partner. They will invest over $8 Million in the project and own 99% of the property for 15 years.
Design - IHI worked with Carleton Hart Architecture to design a beautiful new building that will blend into the neighborhood and also energize a vacant stretch of streetscape on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. During the design process IHI's housing development, asset management, and resident services staff work closely with our architects and contractors to solidify our programming goals, building design, and discuss building systems. IHI is working with an environmental consultant to help us maximize our green impact and achieve LEED certification. IHI also works closely with neighborhood associations and local neighbors to solicit their input about design, commercial tenants, and community needs. We recently increased the amount of glass storefront in the commercial space in response to requests from neighbors for more visibility, accessibility, and the desire for a more "active" street front.
Construction - IHI involves its contractors early in the development process to tell us how much it will cost to build what is being designed, and also to suggest design changes that will result in a better structure and save money. IHI is working with Walsh Construction Co. and Faison Construction as our general contractors. They have been working with IHI and our architects throughout the design process to ensure that this development gets its biggest bang for the buck. We are using a very energy efficient "super skin" with a brick façade that will contribute to operating cost savings and long term durability. We have also gone to a PT slab construction type, which means that the second floor is structural concrete with wood framing above. Construction started in September, 2012 (read the DJC story about our construction start) and should be complete by September, 2013. You can watch the buildings rise by following our construction in progress pictures on this page!