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Community Development & Affordable Housing

Providing affordable housing and economic opportunities for low- and middle-income families and revitalizing urban communities in the United States is a continuing challenge with federal funding cutbacks and overall budget tightening. As a result, all parties involved in affordable housing and urban redevelopment transactions – communities, investors and for-profit, nonprofit, faith-based and other developers – must rely on creative and experienced legal counsel to help structure financially sound investment opportunities and stable funding sources.

No law firm in the United States has more experience than Squire Sanders in representing both public sector and private sector participants as they work to maintain and rebuild our nation’s communities to provide affordable housing, community development and economic opportunities for lower income families. Our projects include affordable, senior and student housing and commercial, entertainment and mixed use developments of all kinds.

Our housing finance experience covers the full spectrum: multifamily housing, housing for the elderly, single family housing and student housing. Our housing finance work has involved mortgage revenue bond financings, restructurings, current refundings, workouts, Chapter 11 reorganization or scheduled remarketings or combinations thereof, urban redevelopment financings for residential rental housing projects, financings involving low-income housing tax credits and historic tax credits, and financings for residential and healthcare units designed for the elderly and the developmentally disabled.

Our multifamily housing experience includes transactions with bonds backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and GNMA (including variable rate Fannie Mae transactions), FHA insurance and other forms of HUD risk-sharing transactions and letter of credit transactions, as well as unrated and unenhanced issues. A number of transactions have also included subordinated debt, raising a variety of intercreditor issues.

We have been involved in all aspects of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program since its inception in 1986. Our lawyers have been involved in more than 750 low-income housing projects to date, including many projects financed with bonds, and new construction and rehabilitation projects. We represent a number of equity funds that are syndicated to large investors as well as direct investors and developers. Our representation includes the formation and syndication of the equity funds. We also have significant experience in using both historic tax credits and New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to leverage available funding for housing and community development projects.

In single-family housing, our experience dates back to 1980 when we served as counsel on the first single-family mortgage revenue bond issue in the state of Florida. More recently, Squire Sanders lawyers served as counsel in an innovative single-family program that included both Fannie Mae and GNMA backing. We have also served as counsel with "lease-to-own" revenue housing bonds.

Student housing is in great demand, and we are actively involved in creating financing programs for that special type of housing, not only representing colleges and universities but also private developers interested in serving this market.

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