December 20, 2021
This year is rapidly drawing to a close and if you are like me, it feels like time suddenly raced by. I was sure that we still had more time to get through all of the goals that we set for our organization at the start of the year, but the calendar says otherwise! Although there will be some objectives that we will carry forward into 2022, it is important that we reflect, acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments achieved.
You might recall from our first newsletter of this year, DHIC’s primary objective for 2021 was to improve our organizational resiliency through four strategic initiatives with the ultimate goal of ensuring that we continue to meet DHIC’s mission and vision well into the future.
Resiliency is an overarching goal that cannot be fully realized in a single year but will instead be our north star for years to come. We know that how we manage our internal operations and organizational capacity has a direct impact on our ability to serve our residents with the highest quality rental housing, homeownership education and services possible.
So, let’s look back for a moment.
Over the years, DHIC has had a great deal of success growing its multifamily rental portfolio and today owns and operates 2,992 units in 45 communities serving more than 4,100 low-wealth individuals, seniors and families.
The current development pipeline includes 232 units that are under construction along with 627 units that were awarded low-income housing tax credits which will increase DHIC’s multifamily holdings to 3,851 by the end of 2023. Additional details can be found in the Development Updates section, but here are several highlights.
- We celebrated the one-year anniversary of Beacon Ridge Apartments in Raleigh.
- We completed and leased up Willard Street Apartments in Durham and even held an in-person, COVID-safe ribbon cutting.
- We began site work at Primavera Apartments and Booker Park South in Raleigh.
- We completed and began the lease-up of Pennington Grove II in Garner.
- We received tax credit reservations for five new communities in Apex, Durham, Holly Springs and Raleigh.
Of course, this year, nearly all of us continued to feel the impact of the ongoing pandemic. Fortunately, through a longstanding partnership with Resources for Seniors of Wake County (RFS), DHIC has a robust service coordination program for the seniors living in our properties in RFS’s service area. Our resident services team coordinated with RFS for a major initiative that helped seniors get access to COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Over 400 residents were vaccinated at clinics held at DHIC senior properties.
- 441 seniors were able to get COVID-19 boosters.
Another highlight of the year is that DHIC was selected by the City of Raleigh to administer CARES Act funding to provide mortgage and utility assistance for Raleigh homeowners whose incomes were reduced due to COVID-19.
- Our homeownership center staff was able to help 32 families access more than $234,000 in direct assistance to maintain their housing and close out the program.
The team is now working to deploy additional resources made available through a partnership with Wake County which has allocated $475,000 to start The Affordable Homeownership Program to promote wealth creation through homeownership opportunities. The program helps first-time homebuyers achieve the dream of homeownership and helps current homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Check out our Home to Opportunity section to learn more.
While the majority of DHIC’s real estate development work over the years has been focused on the production of new housing, we are now faced with the challenge of making sure that aging properties in the completed portfolio are maintained and preserved to the highest standards. This ensures that residents of all of DHIC’s properties enjoy the same quality of housing and related services regardless of when they were originally placed in service.
We’re so grateful to DHIC’s asset management and property management teams that have diligently maintained this housing up to this point. Now, it is necessary after 15+ years to focus on the replacement of major systems and upgrades to living and amenity spaces with the goal of preserving and extending the life of this critical affordable housing stock.
We’re excited to announce that in the coming year, DHIC will embark on the first of multiple preservation portfolio transactions. These aging properties will be redeveloped in groups using a single tax-exempt bond issuance that will leverage 4% low-income housing tax credits to raise equity capital and other funding sources to modernize these units. While this is one of our primary goals for 2022, have been working on this challenge for a while and were able to complete renovations at two properties this year.
- We fully released the renovated Capital Towers Apartments in Raleigh.
- We completed the $1.8 million modernization of Beechridge Apartments in Apex (which is almost 25 years old) so that the units meet the same standards that we set for new builds.
Last, but certainly not least, one of my favorite subjects to write about is DHIC’s amazing staff. In 2021, we lost some key members of our team who moved on to other opportunities to serve our community, but we also grew quite a bit. Some of the new faces are featured in this issue as well as staff celebrating anniversaries from one year to over two decades. I am especially pleased that we are spotlighting Sheila Porter, DHIC’s Homeownership Director, and cannot wait for you to read about the interesting history that she and I have together.
And finally, as we approach the height of the winter holidays and wind down to the end of 2021, on behalf of the Board of Directors and all of the staff of DHIC, please have a safe, joyous and peaceful season.