Access to quality, safe and affordable housing is critical to sustainable healthy communities, which is why housing development and rehabilitation has been a cornerstone of our work since 1985. TRF’s lending has created, renovated, or preserved more than 20,410 homes.
Last year, on a vacant parcel in Jersey City, citizens, public officials, and corporate leaders celebrated the arrival of the first affordable homes in a new, transit-oriented development designed to bring vitality to the Jackson Hill neighborhood.
The $7 million project, called Jackson Green, is a collaboration between the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, TRF Development Partners (TRF DP), and a local citizens’ group, Interfaith Community Organization. Jackson Green includes 22 owner-occupied, three-bedroom townhomes. Each unit is a modular construction, meeting Energy Star certification guidelines. The effort is expected to bring a mix of for-sale and rental units, which will be affordable to buyers between 70% and 120% of area median income. Funding was provided by the City of Jersey City, New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency and the Honeywell Corporation. TRF DP is currently developing Jackson Green Phase II, a 7-unit project in the neighborhood that targets families at or below 80% of AMI.
Philadelphia is a city rich with transit assets, but one where development has not always leveraged those assets to the fullest. To help change that, TRF joined Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) and the Jonathan Rose Companies, who, along with a large group of other partners including the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, completed construction of a $48 million transit-oriented development adjacent to SEPTA's Temple University Regional Rail station, the fourth busiest stop in the regional system. The project contains 120 affordable homes and 30,000 square feet of commercial and community space.
Called Paseo Verde, this sophisticated project took advantage of $3 million in energy financing from TRF. The construction included a green roof, photovoltaic solar panels, and the use of recyclable and renewable materials. Paseo Verde is certified LEED Platinum for neighborhood development, the highest achievable rating, which includes the performance of its green buildings, but also the presence of green space and accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists. The project also included New Markets Tax Credits, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and a range of other funding sources.
Lead tenants include the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, which operates a federally qualified health center on site, providing direct services to the community. A long-time TRF borrower, APM has built more than 300 units of affordable housing in North Philadelphia since 1970.
TRF Development Partners builds homes for working families and has active projects in three states. In East Baltimore alone, TRF DP has built homes for more than 200 families.
TRF’s most effective real estate investment tool is the Market Value Analysis (MVA). TRF has completed more than 30 MVAs for cities and municipalities across the country. An MVA tool identifies and describes markets so that governments, investors and other community stakeholders can make objective, evidence-based decisions. For example, Baltimore’s Vacants to Value initiative uses the MVA as a framework for redeveloping vacant and abandoned buildings in a way that supports citywide revitalization. In distressed areas where there are nodes of strength, often around anchor institutions, the city has partnered with for-profit and nonprofit investors to effect whole block solutions. The most mature of these are the "Community Development Clusters," identified using the MVA, which have seen a 40% reduction in vacancy since the program began.
In 2013, TRF completed new MVAs for Houston, TX, St. Louis, MO, and Milwaukee, WI. In Milwaukee, the MVA was commissioned by a number of local organizations to provide a new data-centric framework for looking at neighborhoods and developing strategies to stabilize and improve them. The local partners included Common Ground, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, LISC, Northwestern Mutual Foundation, U.S. Bank, WHEDA and the Joseph and Vera Zilber Family Fund. These partners created a local task force to guide TRF as well as provide on-the-ground insights. Today, Milwaukee foundations and city government are using the MVA to determine where to focus housing and commercial improvement investment.
Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC) is a nonprofit developer that returns vacant foreclosed property to productive reuse, stabilizing neighborhoods made at risk by mortgage foreclosures. A subsidiary of peer CDFI, New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), CAPC has redeveloped and put over 100 homes back into community use, particularly for the purpose of long-term affordable housing. In 2013, TRF helped CAPC acquire, stabilize, and reposition foreclosed residential and mixed-use property in low- to moderate-income communities throughout northern New Jersey. TRF provided financing for 33 residential and five ground floor commercial units in Newark, Jersey City, East Orange, Irvington, and Elizabeth. With help from a patient, long-term investment from NJCC, TRF’s financing will allow the homes to be retained as below-market rentals.