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Related Companies announces the preservation and renovation of 186 units of affordable housing for Bridgeport, Connecticut seniors

Related Affordable, a division of Related Companies, today announced it has acquired the 186-unit Augustana Homes in Bridgeport, Connecticut from Augustana Homes of Bridgeport, Inc, of the Diocese of Bridgeport. Related will undertake over $4 million of improvements and renovations to the property, and has committed to preserve the senior housing complex as affordable for an additional 30 years.

The Bridgeport Housing Authority provided $13.750 million in tax exempt bond financing to facilitate the preservation of the units and the City of Bridgeport’s Office of Planning and Economic Development provided a long-term PILOT agreement. The tax exempt bonds are credit enhanced by Fannie Mae via Oak Grove Capital. Wells Fargo served as the tax credit investor, providing $5.8 million in equity through the purchase of Low Income Housing Tax Credits issued by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. Of the 186 units, 180 of the units are part of the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment “HAP” program, which, in the case of Augustana Homes provides affordable housing for the elderly of Bridgeport. As part of the financing, Related secured a 20-year renewal and extension of the Section 8 HAP contract. Additionally, a majority of the units are further set aside for residents whose incomes are at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

“The development and preservation of affordable housing has laid the foundation of Related’s real estate work for the last four decades,” said Matthew Finkle, President of Related Affordable. “The purchase of Augustana Homes continues Related Affordable’s 40-year legacy of creating and preserving affordable housing, and our continued commitment to never take a single unit of affordable housing to market rent. We believe everyone, regardless of income level, deserves to have a place to call home and we are pleased to give the seniors in Bridgeport a beautiful, safe place to live.”

“The City is committed to affordable housing opportunities for our seniors,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “Through the collaborative efforts of Related Affordable, the Diocese of Bridgeport, CHFA and the Bridgeport Housing Authority, we are able to preserve and enhance 186 units of housing for our seniors in the East Side. I look forward to visiting the residents of Augustana Homes to see the improvements and upgrades to the development, once they have been completed.”

“The Diocese of Bridgeport is very pleased with Related Companies long-term commitment to preserve and enhance the Bishop Curtis Homes units as affordable housing. Their successful track record in this area was a major part of our decision making,” said Msgr. Jerald A. Doyle. “They will bring the management expertise, resources and staffing to ensure that residents benefit from safe, affordable housing for years to come.”

“We are very proud to have worked with great partners to ensure affordable housing is available in Bridgeport for another 30 years,” said Korbin Heiss, Wells Fargo Community Lending & Investment. “Wells Fargo’s involvement in the renovation of Augustana Homes is an example of our long-standing commitment to economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone in our communities.”

Augustana Homes is a 10-story building located on 3.13 acres of land at 525 Palisade Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Property was constructed in 1982 and last rehabilitated in 1990. The new renovations will include new kitchens, bathrooms and windows. Capital improvements will include new boilers, a new roof, new lighting, carpet and painting throughout the building, a complete renovation of the 4,500 square foot community room, as well as the installation of a DVR Security Monitoring System. Additionally, the elevators will undergo significant upgrades and there will be major masonry repairs. All renovations are expected to be completed by May of 2014 and will be conducted without displacement of residents.

Last year, Related preserved 1,051 units of affordable housing in eight developments across six states, including 141 units in the River Run Apartments in New Haven, Connecticut. About Related: Related Companies is the most prominent privately-owned real estate firm in the United States.

Formed 40 years ago, Related is a fully-integrated, highly diversified industry leader with experience in virtually every aspect of development, acquisitions, management, finance, marketing and sales. Headquartered in New York City, Related has offices and major developments in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, South Florida, Abu Dhabi, Sao Paulo and Shanghai and an existing portfolio of real estate assets, valued at over $15 billion, made up of best-in-class mixed-use, residential, retail, office, trade show and affordable properties.

Related Affordable develops, acquires and preserves affordable housing throughout the nation. In the area of acquisitions and refinancing, the company pursues properties that meet one of the following criteria: Section 8 properties with project-based contracts; Section 236 properties in need of rehabilitation; Section 42 LIHTC properties with expiring low-income restrictions; Section 515 FmHA properties with loans that can be prepaid; or other assisted properties, including HODAG, HOME, federal or state-financed public housing. Related actively looks for affordable housing opportunities through the development, acquisition and refinancing of low, moderate and mixed-income properties around the country. Related has developed or acquired 45,000 affordable units and 10,000 workforce units, and currently has 29 properties under development or under contract. For more information about Related, please visit www.related.com

About Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo’s Community Lending and Investment group provides debt and equity capital for economic development, job creation and affordable housing in areas of need nationwide. For more about Community Lending and Investment at Wells Fargo, visit: www.wellsfargo.com/com/financing/real-estate/community-lending-investment

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