Jonathan Andrews, MLA I 2017
Summer 2015
Organization: Fifth Avenue Committee, New York, NY
Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship

“I’ve been working these past three weeks on Fifth Avenue Committee’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit application with the City of New York. Going back and forth in a flurry of emails with our attorneys, expediters and city officials, we are seeking nearly $10 million dollars in tax credits, which would be applied to the rehabilitation of 144 units in 21 buildings across South Brooklyn. Our goal is to prove to our funders that the project is well worth the competitive city tax credits that we are applying for, presenting an economically feasible and cost-effective project.

The process itself, however, is quite complex. The city’s tax credit scoring rubric requires that we meet specific criteria in order for the project to be eligible. There are additional requirements from other state, city and federal entities that inevitably arise which present various hurdles that we have to surmount. These include everything from requirements for disabled-accessible housing to unforeseen rent restrictions triggered by multi-parcel projects.

My personal contribution has largely been refining our pro-forma to establish the project’s fiscal feasibility, as well as dealing daily with our many contractors, weatherization agencies, environmental consultants and owners representatives to make sure the initial stages of inspection and construction go smoothly. While this would present a challenge to any seasoned multi-tasker, the work is ultimately interesting and enjoyable. It is fascinating to be part of the affordable housing process here in New York City, and to learn first hand what occurs behind the scenes for these kinds of projects to happen.”