Related Affordable, the largest private preserver of affordable housing in the United States, today announced it has partnered with Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation, a national non-profit organization which provides award-winning services for low-income housing tenants throughout the country, and acquired the 148-unit St. James Residence and the 177-unit St. Andrews Residence (the “Residences”) from the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. Prior to Related’s acquisition, the federal affordability program at St. Andrews was at risk of lapsing as early as October 2021. Related’s long-term affordable preservation plan will maintain and expand affordable protections of The Residences for a minimum of 20 years.
Related Affordable will undertake over $19.5 million of improvements and renovations to the properties and partner with Rainbow Housing to bring increased resident programming and service coordination. Related also engaged with Palm Beach County’s Office of Equal Business Opportunity and the City of West Palm Beach’s Office of Economic Opportunity to host a virtual job fair for local M/WBEs to participate in the renovation construction bidding process.
“Affordable housing has laid the foundation of Related’s real estate work for nearly 50 years, and we are proud to continue our legacy of preserving at-risk affordable housing in the flourishing community of West Palm where we have worked in nearly every aspect of development for over two decades,” said Dave Pearson, senior vice president, Related Affordable. “We believe everyone, regardless of income level, deserves to have a place to call home and look forward to ensuring that seniors in West Palm have an upgraded, highly amenitized and affordable place to live for decades to come.”
Related’s affordable preservation plan for St. Andrews, which was at risk of conversion to market-rate in October 2021, will ensure that all 177 units are maintained as affordable housing by establishing a rental subsidy for the residents via a new 20-year Project-Based Voucher Contract from West Palm Beach Housing Authority. Related’s strategy will also extend affordability at all St. Andrews units under the LIHTC program. At St. James, Related will extend the existing affordability protections under the HAP Contract for another 20 years and add new LIHTC restrictions.
Upgrades of The Residences will mark the first comprehensive renovation in their history and will significantly increase energy efficiency, resident amenities, accessibility and resiliency of both properties. Renovations will include exterior improvements; interior unit kitchen, bath, flooring and lighting upgrades; free Wi-Fi throughout; upgraded amenities and common spaces including lobbies, storefront, laundry room, fitness center and computer room; and ADA accessibility upgrades to at least 5% of units in both buildings, as well as all site and common areas. Capital improvements will include hurricane grade windows; roof replacement; modernization of elevators at St. Andrews; plumbing repairs throughout St. James; upgraded security systems; and complete fire suppression installation at St. Andrews. Related will seek a Fannie Mae Green certification, which requires a 30% energy usage reduction for The Residences. Planned energy efficiency improvements include enhancements to the building envelopes, the addition of solar panels, new/upgraded mechanical systems throughout with new energy efficient systems and addition of water efficient fixtures. All renovations are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Related has partnered with Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation to reinvigorate resident service programs that were in place prior to the pandemic, including: food distribution, health and wellness clinics, annual free tax preparation services, bi-annual ID and driver’s license renewals and a robust series or month seminars from local partner organizations.
“Rainbow is honored to partner with Related in preserving and creating an affordable housing community where our seniors can gracefully age in place surrounded by services that will remove social isolation, promote a healthy lifestyle and offer an improved quality of life,” said Flynann Janisse, executive director, Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation.
The acquisition and renovation of The Residences is being financed by bonds issued by the Housing Finance Authority of Palm Beach County. Additional financing partners included Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
“Wells Fargo is committed to addressing a critical shortage of affordable housing in our communities. We’re proud to improve and preserve 325 units of affordable housing for seniors living in West Palm Beach,” said Alan Wiener, head of community lending and development at Wells Fargo. “We congratulate Related, Rainbow Housing, The Diocese of Southeast Florida, Inc., the Housing Finance Authority of Palm Beach County and Florida Housing Finance Corporation on the closing of this exciting project.”
As part of Related’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the projects and communities where we work, we are closely coordinating with the county and city to increase participation of M/WBEs and underrepresented groups in the construction bidding process and in our project teams at The Residences. Related will strive to achieve or surpass 20% of renovation construction contract dollars awarded to M/WBEs.
About Related Companies:
Related Companies is a global real estate and lifestyle company defined by innovation and the most prominent privately-owned real estate firm in the United States. Formed over 45 years ago, Related is the largest private owner of affordable housing and 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, Washington, D.C., Abu Dhabi and London, and boasts a team of approximately 4,000 professionals. With over $60 billion in assets owned or under development including the 28-acre Hudson Yards neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side, Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach, The Grand and Related Santa Clara in California and The 78 in Chicago. Related was recently named to Fast Company Magazine’s list of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World. For more information about Related, please visit www.related.com.