Westchester Launches $100-Million Fund to Help Finance ‘Shovel-Ready’ Affordable Housing Projects

Established last year, the Housing Fund Flex Program is made possible by a $100-million contribution of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds over two years.

Westchester Launches $100-Million Fund to Help Finance ‘Shovel-Ready’ Affordable Housing Projects
The Kingsley House is an affordable senior housing property in White Plains.

WHITE PLAINS—Applications are now being accepted for a $100-million affordable housing development fund—"Housing Fund Flex Program”—that will provide financing for eligible affordable housing developments over the next two years.

Established last year, the HFF is made possible by a $100-million contribution of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds over two years. HFF will help facilitate the development of affordable housing projects within the county that are shovel ready. The units must serve households earning at or below 65% of the County Area Median Income (AMI), county officials stated. The HHF is expected to double the production of affordable housing units typically generated by the county’s existing programs and funding.

“The Housing Flex Fund Program is yet another example of our ongoing commitment to address the critical shortage of affordable housing in Westchester County. By working collaboratively with our residential development community, we will be able to have a direct impact on the creation of much-needed affordable housing,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. He added, “We are grateful to Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for appropriating the federal ARPA dollars directly to the county and including housing as one of the acceptable uses of ARPA funds.” 

Westchester County Director of Operations and IDA Chair Joan McDonald added, “We are very pleased to begin accepting loan applications for affordable housing projects through the Housing Flex Fund Program. It is projected that this innovative program, which is the first of its kind in the nation, will double the county’s typical annual production of affordable housing.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer has proposed to spend $100 million this year on housing, including $50 million from the Housing Fund Flex program and $25 million each for the county's New Homes Land Acquisition and Housing Implementation Fund programs.

It is anticipated that applicants will use HFF funds in conjunction with other county, state and federal affordable housing programs. Westchester County programs include: New Homes Land Acquisition, Housing Implementation Fund, HOME Investment Partnership Program, tax-exempt financing, tax exemptions and abatements from the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency.

The HFF will focus on four main project types to achieve immediate impact and expedite the delivery of new affordable housing units. They include: 

  • Last stop financing for stalled Low-Income Housing Tax Credit developments.

  • New gap source for future rental affordable housing developments of varying size, including new LIHTC and non-LIHTC developments, supportive housing and affordability preservation projects.

  • Developments under construction or recently completed seeking funds to close gaps caused by construction cost and/or interest cost increases that create additional affordable homes.

  • New development in areas of opportunity with limited supplies of affordable housing.

“The Department of Planning is proud to have played a role in designing and implementing the Housing Flex Fund Program. The department looks forward to working with our affordable housing development partners, small and big, non-profit and for-profit to accelerate the development of affordable housing in our county. We look forward to receiving, reviewing and approving applications that will achieve this goal,” said Westchester County Commissioner of Planning Blanca Lopez.

Internal review and issuance of Letters of Interest (LOIs) for eligible proposed developments will occur every six weeks following the initial Notice of Funding Availability issued on Jan. 25, 2024. The first round of LOIs will be issued on March 15, with a second round to be issued on June 30.

In accordance with U.S. Treasury Department requirements, Flex Funds will be disbursed by Dec. 31, 2026. HFF allocations will be provided as loans to affordable housing developers, including non-profit and for-profit entities. The interest rate on loans is up to 5%.

Project funding awards are contingent upon approval by the Westchester County Department of Planning and the Westchester County Board of Acquisition and Contract. Awards are made at the sole and absolute discretion of Westchester County. For more information about Westchester County’s Housing Flex Fund program, visit Housing Flex Fund (westchestergov.com)

Applications for the HFF program are available at: https://homes.westchestergov.com/images/stories/pdfs/hffapp.pdf

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