The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (“OHFA”) announced a number of changes to its policies and programs at its Board meeting on June 17, 2015.

The Board adopted new guidelines for multifamily bond transactions. These new guidelines establish procedures for applicants wishing to use OHFA as the issuer of tax-exempt multifamily housing bonds.  The most impactful change from previous guidelines is the implementation of quarterly deadlines for the submission of applications for bonds that will be coupled with 4% tax credits. The calendar for submission of applications can be found here.  Applicants are also required to contact OHFA at least 45 days prior to submitting an application to schedule a meeting with OHFA staff. OHFA staff stated that the goal of the new application deadlines is to help OHFA better prepare for and allocate staff time to 4% bond applications. The new 2015 Affordable Housing Funding Application (“AHFA”) can be accessed here. Anyone wishing to apply to OHFA for 4% or 9% tax credits must use this form.

The Board also adopted new 2015 Multifamily Bond Gap Financing Guidelines. The Bond Gap Financing Program provides lower-interest loans to projects utilizing 4% tax credits and tax-exempt bonds.  OHFA plans to make approximately $5 million available under this program in 2015 (subject to State appropriations). Loans are available for new construction and preservation projects, and applicants may request up to $1 million per project. Applicants must meet the requirements of the 2015 QAP and OHFA’s Multifamily Underwriting Guidelines. Successful applicants will not be subject to the 4% application deadlines described above and may instead follow the calendar set forth in the new program guidelines. Applications for Bond Gap Financing are due on October 1, 2015, however, applicants are required to submit any requests for waivers from program requirements no later than September 1, 2015. Application for the program should be made using the 2015 AHFA, a link to which is provided above.

In addition, the Board approved the 2016-2017 Ohio QAP. This is the first time OHFA has adopted a two-year allocation plan.