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A note from Amy Styles, Director of Marketing and PR at LHP Capital, LLC

The Columbia Housing and Rehabilitation Corporation (CHRC) and LHP Development, LLC are pleased to announce today they have secured $6.8 million in funding to renovate and preserve the city’s 296 public housing apartments.

Officials said the financing will include investor equity from the project’s successful award of 9 percent low income housing tax credits from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. In addition, the City of Columbia and the Columbia Industrial Development Board have approved a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes to support the renovation.  LHP and Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation are co-developers of the project.

“We are thrilled to be moving forward addressing our community’s critical need for quality and affordable homes for individuals and families with low incomes,” said Trent Ogilvie, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of CHRC.  “The excellent partnership we have with the City and with LHP enables us to leverage new financing resources and achieve a more stable funding method for making capital improvements and transforming our affordable housing communities.”

Ogilvie said that CHRC is participating in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) project.  RAD allows public housing agencies to preserve and renovate public housing apartments by converting subsidy to a project-based, Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments contract. The program ensures that the apartments converted to RAD remain affordable to low- and very low-income households.

During the renovation, all apartments will receive new Energy Star appliances, new kitchens and bathrooms, contemporary fixtures and new flooring throughout.  Additionally, major systems such as electrical, HVAC, and plumbing will be replaced and/or upgraded to improve energy efficiency and reduce utility expenses.

“The preservation of affordable housing is so very important, and we are pleased to be able to assist CHRC in taking a huge step forward to improve Columbia’s homes for families and individuals with limited incomes,” said David Arning, vice president of LHP Development. “At LHP, our goal is to provide quality living environments that residents are happy to call home.”

Arning said that the project is expected to close by the first quarter of 2017. The rehabilitation will begin immediately thereafter and will take about 18 months to complete all five communities.  Ogilvie said that Columbia’s two oldest affordable housing apartment communities—Southern Hills and Creekside—will be renovated during the first phase of the project.