How Affordable Housing Works

A letter to the Northwest Herald, reprinted with permission of its author, Steve Willson:

Affordable Housing My Foot!

Regarding the recent story in the Northwest Herald (Woodstock’s Prairie View Apartment Community Changes Hands; February 12, 2019).

I’ve been in the municipal bond business for forty years, and I know  how “affordable housing” deals work.

An investment banker finds a nonprofit and says, “How would you like to make money in real estate with no risk to you?”

“Sure!”, they say.

Then the banker finds the owners of an apartment complex and says, “How would you like to sell your apartment complex for 20% to 30% over market value?”

“Sure!”, they say.

Then the banker finds a local governmental agency and says, “How would you like to make a fee by issuing some bonds for which you’ll have no obligation?”

“Sure!”, they say.

Here’s the gag:  Once owned by a nonprofit, the apartment complex will stop paying property taxes.

That means the cash flows will be high enough to support a 20% to 30% higher price than market value.

The bond deal is sized accordingly, the bonds are sold, and the apartment complex changes hands.

The banker makes money.  The issuing government makes money.  The nonprofit makes money.

Do veterans get lower rents?


The apartments are rented at market rates!

If there’s any benefit to veterans, it will be hard to find and hard to quantify.

And we all pay higher property taxes to cover the loss.


How Affordable Housing Works — 7 Comments

  1. What a coincidence.

    I’m closing next month on a rental property sale, for -26% less, than its price 15 years ago.

  2. Don’t forget how the ‘voucher’ system works insofar as how McHenry County Housing Authority determines who gets to live in those apartments.

    Is this why Skala is trying to plunk an apartment complex in Huntley where the residents do not want it?

  3. Section 8 housing is coming to Huntley, that should boost property values.

    I’m sure that the residents are looking forward to the arrival of Chicago “diversity” values in “The Friendly Village”.

    Did that just “trigger” you, Joey Blowhard ?

    To bad, LOL.

  4. Doesn’t Franks promote this sort of scam all the time through the his Daddy’s bank?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *