Robert C. Larson Awards Winner: Connecticut Housing Finance Authority

Location: State of Connecticut
Program: Small Multifamily Rental Development Strategy
Institution: Connecticut Housing Finance Authority

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s Small Multifamily Rental Development Strategy is a suite of programs and products that helps meet the financing and technical assistance needs of small multifamily properties in the state, primarily through partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and other nonprofits. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, a quarter of the affordable housing stock is in buildings with 5 to 19 units, many of which are owned and managed by individuals who manage their own administrative and maintenance functions.

A core element of the strategy is CHFA’s strong partnership with CDFIs in the state, who have greater expertise and ability to reach these smaller property owners and developers. CHFA works with CDFIs to provide very low-cost capital that can be blended with the CDFIs’ other funds to support the acquisition, rehabilitation, construction or permanent financing of small multifamily properties. The CDFI partnership has financed over 2,200 units since 2011, representing more than $380 million in development throughout the state.

CHFA has also partnered with the Connecticut Main Street Center on the Come Home to Downtown program, which is designed to create viable redevelopment opportunities for small, underutilized properties such as those located in downtowns throughout Connecticut. This pilot program provides customized technical assistance to communities and owners to assess financing needs, zoning and regulatory requirements and other factors that will result in creation of new downtown housing units and revitalize downtown neighborhoods.

Finally, CHFA has partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation on a new statewide loan fund to encourage affordable housing within transit-oriented development around existing rail lines and a new bus rapid transit system in the state.

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