The Greater Atlanta Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Preservation Fund is financing its first transaction since launch in January 2021 by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), Morgan Stanley and National Equity Fund (NEF).
MARTA on Dec. 29 reported that the fund will provide a $24.7 million loan to a Lincoln Avenue Capital affiliate, which will acquire GE Towers and preserve 201 affordable housing units within a half mile or 10-minute walk from the transit agency’s West End rail station (see map below).
Through the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) regulatory agreement, 169 of the GE Towers project units are subject to income restrictions at 60% area median income (AMI), according to MARTA. Additionally, 100% of the units are subject to a HomeFlex Payment Assistance Agreement entered into with the Atlanta Housing Authority. Lincoln Avenue Capital is slated to rehabilitate GE Towers in 2022.
The aim of the Greater Atlanta Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Preservation Fund is to incentivize and provide gap funding for owners and landlords of affordable units within a one-mile radius of MARTA rail stations and to boost the agency’s transit-oriented development (TOD) program, MARTA reported in January 2021. It can be used to acquire real estate, to pay off an existing first mortgage, restructure existing gap financing or invest in minor capital improvements, or for general partner acquisition of limited partner interests. NEF is the fund manager; Morgan Stanley is the sole investor and has committed $100 million.
“We are thrilled to see the benefits of this program preserving affordable units in the neighborhoods we serve and so close to our rail station,” MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said. “This transaction [with Lincoln Avenue Capital] demonstrates how complementary this effort is to our ground up TOD development program. We thank our partners at Morgan Stanley and the National Equity Fund for supporting the affordable housing goals of our jurisdictional partners and of MARTA.”