Credit Worthy News

Without all of these sources, great projects like those highlighted in the Timmy Awards would not exist.

Posted by MacRostie Historic Advisors on Tuesday, November 18, 2014
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The National Housing & Rehabilitation Association celebrated the winners of the 7th Annual J. Timothy Anderson Awards for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation - Albert Rex

The National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH & RA)

The National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH & RA) was back in Boston this week for its annual fall meeting. This is the 35th year they have been here and many things have changed in the affordable housing and historic rehabilitation fields during that time – one major issue being the complexity of the financing it takes to make these projects work.

This was apparent during the annual Timmy Awards presentation. The Timmys, as they are affectionately known, are in honor of J. Timothy Anderson. Tim was an architect and an early leader in the preservation movement especially in the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. As a practicing architect and adjunct professor at Boston University, Tim had a major impact on many still working in the field and if you had the opportunity to meet him, you would remember the experience fondly.

The awards are given in many different categories and represent a wide range of building types and uses. As you would imagine from NH & RA’s name, many of the awards go to buildings that twin the use of the historic and low-income housing tax credits, but they also cover market rate and commercial projects as well. A complete list of the award winners can be found here.

The final award of the event was the Most Advanced Financial Structure. Larry Curtis of Winn Development, NH & RA's most recent past president, presented this award. During his remarks Larry noted that any of the project that were nominated or won could have easily been in this category. He went on to note the complexity of these transactions and how it takes every bit of real estate knowledge gleaned over the past decades to make them work. Development is not getting easier, and even before the 2008 downturn, projects were using multiple sources of tax credit equity to make the financing work. Now the projects are even more complex relying on multiple tax credits and other sources of soft funds in order to provide high quality affordable housing or rehabilitate significant historic buildings.

There was not one project in the Timmys that did not combine multiple tax credits either utilizing the federal low-income housing tax credit, the federal historic investment tax credit or the new market tax credit. In addition, many of these projects had corresponding state tax credits. If one of these sources goes away, either at the federal or state level, then most likely these award-winning projects go away as well. Credit Worthy is a blog about the historic tax credit industry, but all the tax credit programs that foster development are important.

As we in the historic tax credit industry do things like reach out to our legislators, you can read more about that on the National Trust website, in support of the historic tax credit, we should also support the new market and low income credits as well. Without all of these sources, great projects like those highlighted in the Timmy Awards would not exist.

About the Blogger – Albert Rex is the Director of the Northeast Office of MacRostie Historic Advisors.
Albert has been active in preservation and real estate in New England for the past 17 years. Read more about Albert here.