Practice/Industry Group Overview
Lane Powell provides a full spectrum of legal services for community development activities, including the development of affordable housing, mixed-use development, urban commercial redevelopment, transportation development and economic infrastructure development. We represent private developers, nonprofit project sponsors, lenders and government entities. Our experience ranges from ten-unit farmworker housing projects to award-winning multi-block urban redevelopment projects and the development of major new light rail lines.
Affordable Housing and Mixed-Use Development
The Firm has a strong and experienced group of attorneys who represent parties in affordable housing transactions. Our attorneys have acted as lead counsel in the development, syndication or acquisition of more than 5,000 affordable housing units in projects ranging in value from approximately $2 million to $54 million. These projects have been located in eight different states across the country.
Projects include mixed-income and mixed-use projects, in both urban and rural areas, and transitional housing and projects targeted to specific populations such as the elderly, homeless single men and women, and farmworkers.
We advise clients on both mixed-use and commercial projects financed with the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit.
We represent commercial and nonprofit developers, investors, lenders, syndicators and government agencies in the development, ownership and operation of affordable housing. We have also assisted our government and nonprofit clients in the development of affordable single-family homeownership products and services, and in coordinating policy and service infrastructure development in metropolitan areas.
We have extensive experience in structuring and closing transactions financed with a broad scope of public and private financing sources, including:
- Federal low-income housing tax credits
- Tax-exempt bonds (private activity and 501(c)(3) bonds), including both publicly traded and privately placed bonds
- Taxable bonds
- HOME and CDBG funds
- Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program funds
- State farmworker tax credits
- State housing trust funds
- City and county loan and grant funds
- Transfer of development rights
- Affordable housing and transit-oriented property tax exemptions
- Payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) programs
- Tax-increment financing
- HUD and FHA financing, including 202 and 108 programs
- Conventional construction, bridge and term loans
- Federal historic rehabilitation tax credit
- Fannie Mae and other third-party credit enhancement
- Commercial leases for space in mixed-use facilities
- Investor equity
The legal services that our Affordable Housing and Community Development Practice Group provides include:
- Entity formation;
- Qualification of entities for tax-exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
- Documenting and negotiating real estate acquisitions, including option agreements, purchase agreements, escrow agreements and land sale contracts;
- Environmental, land use, and Endangered Species Act advice;
- Condemnation and relocation advice;
- Reviewing proposed investor project termsheets and advising project sponsors on key legal issues and options to limit sponsor financial exposure;
- Preparing and negotiating LLC operating agreements, limited partnership agreements and ancillary agreements between project sponsors and investors;
- Negotiating project loan documents, including loan agreements, inter-creditor agreements and security agreements;
- Negotiating bond indentures, official statements and related documents;
- Preparing private placement memoranda;
- Tax planning to maximize project tax benefits;
- Coordinating project subsidies and project subsidy documents to enure that subsidy requirements and terms are consistent and do not conflict;
- Undertaking project tax and legal due diligence;
- Preparing tax, loan and other legal opinions required by investors and lenders;
- Advice and training regarding low-income housing tax credit compliance;
- Preparing and negotiating commercial leases;
- Drafting and negotiating property management agreements;
- Advice and representation regarding compliance with residential landlord-tenant and fair housing laws;
- Preparing and negotiating construction contracts and development agreements;
- Coordinating project and transaction closings and assisting with project critical path management;
- Advising on relocation policy, procedures, and implementation to comply with federal and state relocation requirements;
- Advice regarding HUD subsidy layering requirements and compliance;
- Structuring and documenting community land trusts;
- Developing and documenting affordable homeownership programs, including using subsidy retention and subsidy recapture economic approaches; and
- Assisting with public entity subsidy analysis and policy.
Our attorneys have participated in many public/private transactions that have been nationally recognized for their innovative financial structures and the contributions that they have made to the communities in which they are located. Lane Powell is uniquely suited to assist in these types of transactions because of our combination of development and project finance expertise with our experience on both the public and private sides of complex transactions.
We represent several urban renewal agencies in Oregon, including Portland's urban renewal agency, in a broad spectrum of matters. We have assisted them in developing policies around urban redevelopment, economic development, affordable housing and infrastructure planning. Our attorneys have assisted in crafting Oregon's property tax legislation and regulations, and in defending the tax increment system in the community, the courts and the legislature.
Tax increment financing can be a very effective tool for focusing a community's financial resources on long-term community development plans, enabling a comprehensive approach to quality jobs, housing, infrastructure and neighborhoods.
New Markets Tax Credits
We have taken an active role in the development of the Federal New Markets Tax Credits Program, including providing comments and input to the Department of the Treasury and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. We have substantial experience in advising clients on structures that qualify for the credit to provide the maximum leverage for tax credit investment dollars.