Affordable Housing & Community Development

Building Communities


Blank Rome real estate attorneys have a long history of leadership in affordable housing, multifamily housing, and community development. Our team members immerse themselves in this complex area of law and policy, have formidable experience in the affordable housing industry, and are well known and respected in the community development field. Our clients have included:

  • private developers
  • municipal authorities
  • state financing agencies
  • public housing agencies
  • nonprofit organizations
  • joint ventures between nonprofit organizations and for-profit entities

Teamwork

In addition to the more traditional role of “lawyering the transaction,” we work closely with clients throughout the strategic planning, pre-development, and development processes, providing practical, creative, and timely solutions to problems. We recognize the importance of your project achieving success in a timely manner and believe teamwork is essential to a successful project outcome. In addition to our affordable housing attorneys, we draw upon the skills of Blank Rome attorneys in many other areas of practice, including public finance, public contracts, tax, corporate and nonprofit organizations, securities, and environmental law, as well as zoning, tax assessment, and land use planning.

When beneficial to our clients, we call upon the resources of our governmental relations affiliate—Blank Rome Government Relations LLC—which includes among its members a former general counsel at HUD, as well as former assistant secretaries of both HUD and the Commerce Department.

Select Engagements

  • Counseled one of the largest mid-Atlantic affordable-housing developers in all aspects of its projects, amounting to over 25 projects over the past several years. Issues resolved included property acquisition, zoning, financing, tax-credit application and compliance (low-income and historic), and architectural and construction contracting.
  • Advised an affordable-housing developer in the acquisition, financing, and equity syndication of an 83-unit, new-construction, residential rental development in Maryland using low-income housing tax credits and Hope VI funding from HUD. Our affiliate, Blank Rome Government Relations LLC, assisted with procurement of the HUD grant.
  • Counseled the developer of a 40-unit, affordable-housing rental development in New Jersey with a mixed-finance operating subsidy project, financed in part by HUD, that also included three other lenders. Additionally, our attorneys handled all real estate and title issues, and negotiated the architectural and construction contracts, as well as the tenant lease forms and the management agreement and plan.
  • Counseled a large urban housing authority in its rehabilitation of a 137-unit, historic residential apartment complex in Philadelphia using low-income housing tax credits, historic tax credits, and capital funding from HUD, including the negotiation of Historic Part 1 and 2 approvals from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
  • Advised a private developer in its development of a 60-unit, residential rental project in New Jersey utilizing low-income housing tax credits, including negotiation of an acquisition and investment agreement with the market-rate developer of an adjacent property, as part of a Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, settlement.
  • Assisted with the creation of a mixed-use condominium project in Philadelphia in which some of the condominium “units” were comprised of affordable-housing rental apartments. The project included both historic and low-income housing tax credits.
  • Assisted numerous affordable-housing developers in real estate tax assessment appeals, and various other real estate tax related issues.

Experienced Lawyers, Recognized in Their Fields

Our attorneys are frequently asked to write and lecture on real estate development, eminent domain, zoning law, real estate tax assessment, taxes affecting real estate, and other topics affecting the growing and increasingly complex area of affordable housing development.

One of our attorneys served as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he provided advice on all aspects of federal laws, regulations and policies applicable to public and Indian housing, community development programs, mortgage insurance programs, complex mixed financing transactions for residential development and health care facilities, fair housing enforcement and urban development programs. Another attorney played a key role, pro bono, in an effort that led to an amendment of Pennsylvania’s tax assessment statute to modify the manner in which affordable housing complexes are assessed for purposes of real estate taxation. Other members of the team have served as Pennsylvania deputy attorney general; member of the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority; former Real Estate Section chief for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and member of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Board of Directors.