Susanna Mitchell works with nonprofit and for-profit real estate developers and owners to develop and preserve multifamily and seniors housing. She negotiates and closes transactions involving multiple sources of financing for projects subject to various statutes and regulations.
I typically represent purchasers and developers in acquiring, rehabilitating, constructing and/or refinancing affordable housing, but also represent sellers and lenders in these transactions. All of the transactions I close involve multiple funding sources and subsidies, and all of the projects I assist are subject to some form of local, state and/or federal oversight.
Joint Ventures—Most of the deals I close involve a partnership between a for-profit and a nonprofit or two for-profit participants in the transaction. I negotiate and draft joint venture and operating agreements between entities looking to share responsibility and allocate risk. Whether I am representing a nonprofit or for-profit, I enjoy engaging in early structuring conversations with my clients to offer a perspective on industry norms and best practices.
LIHTC—The projects I work on typically involve a combination of debt and equity financing. Most of the projects receive tax-exempt bond proceeds and low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs), and many receive some sort of soft debt from a local, state or federal program. I have also closed transactions combining LIHTCs with new markets tax credits and historic rehabilitation tax credits.
FHA—I often represent borrowers and lenders in closing loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). My prior experience as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) informs and inspires this work. While at HUD, I helped close the largest multifamily loan in the history of the FHA. The closing required unprecedented collaboration between the city, state and federal governments, and resulted in 35 more years of affordable housing for nearly 15,000 residents of the Bronx, as well as much needed capital improvements.
My transactional practice is focused on New York, New Jersey and the Washington, DC area.
I also work with developers and owners to identify and obtain necessary regulatory approvals to ensure a smooth closing for projects located across the U.S. These range from local approvals such as tax abatements to federal approvals from HUD. I have recent experience obtaining approvals from HUD for the assignment of Section 8 contracts, the decoupling of Section 236 Interest Reduction Payments, the conversion to project-based rental assistance under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program and the transfer of an FHA-insured loan. I take pride in maintaining strong relationships with HUD officials and keeping up to date on the latest policy guidance to make sure my approval requests are processed efficiently.
Certain major cities are making an unprecedented commitment to the development of affordable housing. In both Washington, DC, and New York City, new programs and additional funding will provide an opportunity for developers and owners to access and combine resources in ways that have not been done before.
Bisnow | November 27, 2017
Washington DC affordable housing associate Susanna Mitchell was quoted in this article for her outlook on how a decrease in the corporate tax rate could make it more difficult to strike deals with investors for affordable housing projects.