Friday, April 23, 2010

Government Programs for Real Estate

I had dinner with and listened last night to national speaker Sean Carpenter at the Real Estate Association of Puget, talking about government funding programs for real estate development. Sean Carpenter has done over $500M in real estate transactions over the past 12 years using government programs to put tenants in his properties, cover down payments, fund entire rehabs, and paying out millions in tax credits. These are OUR tax dollars, and the federal government makes these funds available to fuel economic growth and redevelop blighted neighborhoods.

Government funding is available through such programs as Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Neighborhood Stabilization funds, Community Development Block Grants (which just celebrated its 40th anniversary!), Home Program, Section 8 housing vouchers, Federal Home Loan Bank funding, and FHA programs such as FHA 221(d)(4) for new construction, and Sean's favorite FHA223(f).

Some of these government funding programs offer 0% interest, no payments, and loan forgiveness within 15 years.

As a former government employee, I know that these programs are out there, and that they exist to stimulate economic development, eliminate blight, encourage economic growth, and to achieve other public policy goals such as affordable housing. Tax incentives and tax credits can make an otherwise unprofitable venture more attractive to a developer/investor.

Last night's talk rekindled my interest in developing artist spaces, an opportunity to marry my 25 year career as a government arts administrator with my new career path as a real estate entrepreneur. If any of my readers are interested in pursuing this angle of development, let's talk!

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