Vail Daily letter: Riverview clarification
Eagle, CO Colorado
I am the managing director of Eagle County’s Housing and Development Department, and I write to clarify the financing used for the substantial rehabilitation of the Riverview Apartments.
Riverview is the region’s only project-based, Section 8 housing sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Eagle County purchased the property from a private entity in 1999 to ensure that it remained affordable housing. Riverview serves Eagle County’s most economically fragile residents and is located just west of the Walmart roundabout in Avon on U.S. Highway 6. Riverview was built in 1979, and before the rehabilitation began, its siding and site landscaping were fully depreciated and needed to be replaced.
Prior to the substantial rehabilitation of Riverview, the property owed $6.3 million in outstanding bonds, which were originally issued to acquire the property. To fund the renovation, Eagle County obtained $3.8 million in tax-credit equity from a tax-credit investment company, $432,000 in a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and a $1.14 million grant from the federal Green Retrofit Program through HUD, none of which the county or its affiliates will be required to repay. The newly formed tax-credit ownership entity also borrowed $8.9 million from HUD, replacing the existing debt on the property. This did increase the debt on Riverview by $2.6 million but lowered the property’s annual cost of debt service as the new loan was at a lower rate and for a longer term than the old bonds. Under the new structure (as with the old), Riverview does not require any local subsidy to operate.
These sources of funds were used to repay the old bonds and pay for the acquisition of the property by the new tax-credit partnership and for the substantial rehabilitation of the property. A chart showing the sources and uses of funds is available at http://www.eaglecounty.us/housing/
The Riverview substantial rehabilitation is a much-needed project. It did not require any local taxpayer funds and will employ 180 construction workers for six months, almost all of whom are locals. Once completed, the rehabilitation will extend the property’s useful life by a generation. We encourage you to drive by Riverview and take a look at our progress. We think you will be impressed.