In this week’s Talking Business, he explains why affordable housing is such a challenge and how he’s been able to make the numbers work.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Walk me through the process. Say I want to develop an affordable complex. What do I do?
Get your land, pick a good location, do all the due diligence, zoning, wetlands, whatever those things are. Then you have to find a tax-credit syndicator, like PNC Bank out of Pittsburgh, which is our syndicator. They syndicate federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and that will cover your down payment. Then, you have to find a lender, like a traditional bank. Sometimes, the syndicator and the lender will be the same. Sometimes, they’re different. It helps if you already have a healthy balance sheet. The tax credits will cover about 50% of your deal. The loan covers much of the rest.