The Durability of Workforce Housing Investments

“Some multifamily types are more inflation-resistant than others. This is particularly true with workforce housing—one of the more overlooked and underappreciated segments of the multifamily market. Due to its strong fundamentals and lack of existing housing supply, workforce housing is a worthwhile consideration as an investment, especially during volatile economic times.”

Find a link to the news piece here

Let the Marketplace Work

Read this headline. Think about what it’s saying. It puts the words “affordable” (i.e., inexpensive and plentiful) in the same sentence with “lottery” (i.e., scarce).

Remember when 72-inch flat-screen TVs were a $10,000 luxury? Now we can select from scores of competing brands for a small fraction of that cost.

How did this happen? Was it the result of a lottery? Government regulation? Limits on new flat-screen TV production and ownership?

No. It was the result of competition.

Let the marketplace work. Deregulate the production of housing and let developers like me reach renters and buyers previously unreached.

From the piece:

“The affordable housing lottery has launched for 200 Montague Street, a 20-story residential building in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn. Designed by Beyer Blinder Belle and developed by Aurora Capital Partners, the structure yields 121 residences. Available on NYC Housing Connect are 38 units for residents at 80 to 130 percent of the area median income (AMI), ranging in eligible income from $54,960 to $215,1500.”

The Perfect Storm

Rising construction & operating costs – along with rising interest rates – were partially offset by significant rent increases for market rate properties in 2022. Many of these deals were salvaged by increased market rents last year.

Not so for affordable multifamily.

Costs and interest rates rose for affordable multifamily, too. But rents – which are tied to household income – increased only modestly in 2022. Because of this, many of these restricted rent deals don’t pencil out.

From the piece:

“The 2023 housing market’s ‘headwinds’ are the same for all homebuilders — high construction costs compounded with high interest rates that have lowered borrowing amounts. But those challenges are especially sharp for affordable housing developers.”

A link to the news piece is found here.

Strength of Affordable & Workforce Housing Investments

“It’s critical for investors to understand that affordable housing is a strong and stable investment, one that’s resilient even when the economy isn’t. We have seen gains in the real estate market slowing, yet the affordable housing market remains strong.”

Link to article found here.

Modular Construction in Affordable & Workforce Housing

“Building homes off-site can help speed up the time it takes to complete homes in areas of the country that face extreme weather, Lawrence said, as the initial construction process takes place inside and away from the elements. It’s also more efficient in the sense that workers build the homes in an assembly line approach versus starting from scratch at each job site. Economies of scale not only reduce material costs, but they can also reduce waste generated during construction, Lawrence added. “

Link to article found here.

Durability of Affordable & Workforce Housing Investments

“Affordable housing has shown itself to be a strong hedge against a recession. While higher-end, higher-rent communities are more likely to be plagued with higher vacancies when residents tighten their belts, affordable housing always remains in demand — if anything, demand is even higher in a downturn.”

Link to article found here.

Johnston Farms Apartment Homes

Johnston Farms Apartment Homes is a proposed 120-unit apartment community serving families in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The estimated cost of this project is $33 million. This workforce housing development project, which targets families between 50% and 100% of area median income, is proposed to be financed with 501c3 bonds. Construction is planned for October 2022.

The following video gives an overview of this energy-efficient workforce housing development. Feel free to contact Jeff Carroll at tartanresidential@gmail.com with any questions you may have regarding this or any of Tartan Residential’s other energy-efficient workforce housing development opportunities.

Buchanan’s Crossing Phase 3

In 2014 Tartan Residential began work on Buchanan’s Crossing Subdivision – A 40-unit duplex development serving families in Kansas City, Kansas. Phase 1 consisted of 16 units and was constructed with traditional wood-framed exterior walls and R-13 batt insulation. Phase 2 consisted of 8 units and was constructed with R-26 polyurethane-filled structural insulated panels. In all other respects, the first two phases were identical.

This side-by-side demonstration underscored the benefits of building with structural insulated panels. Although building with panels cost more than traditional stick-frame construction, we identified a long list of construction, operating and financial benefits associated with panelized construction.

Our design team took what we learned and engineered a 3-story garden apartment building using structural insulated wall panels. Davidson’s Landing, a 115-unit workforce housing development financed with tax-exempt bonds and located in Kansas City, Kansas is currently under construction utilizing this building system. We are currently about 70% complete, ahead of schedule and below budget. Our first units will be ready for occupancy in the next month or two.

A few weeks ago our team obtained a building permit to begin construction on Buchanan’s Crossing Phase 3, a 16-unit workforce housing development to be financed with tax-exempt bonds. Phase 3 will be constructed with R-18 graphite-infused polystyrene exterior wall panels. We plan to use high-efficiency water heaters and HVAC systems for this phase. And we plan to build one building with panels on one side of the duplex and lumber and fiberglass on the other side.

Our design team – which includes the Virginia Center for Housing Research and Mathis Consulting Company (principal Chris Mathis is an MIT-educated building performance specialist and an ASHRAE Fellow) – plans to create simulated living environments in these side-by-side units to observe and collect data on for one year. This one-of-a-kind comparison should highlight additional benefits of energy-efficient construction systems.

The following video gives and overview of this small, but exciting project. Feel free to contact Jeff Carroll at tartanresidential@gmail.com with any questions you may have regarding Tartan’s energy-efficient workforce housing development opportunities.