Supportive Housing



As more state and local governments emphasize and prioritize the production of supportive housing in their affordable housing programs, our industry-leading Supportive Housing team has the experience and knowledge to provide strategic guidance in all aspects of the development and creation of these vitally needed resources.

Our Approach

Supportive housing provides affordable housing with on-site services for persons with special needs. Residents often include formerly homeless individuals or families, persons with mental illness or developmental disabilities, formerly incarcerated individuals, victims of domestic violence, and children aging out of foster care. Pairing stable, affordable housing with supportive services enables these individuals and families in need to lead more productive lives.

Our attorneys and advisors are deeply invested in the creation of this vitally needed housing. We’re committed to helping ensure our clients can successfully close on financing to build these developments. We understand the complexities of supportive housing transactions. We have deep experience structuring the financing for these projects, which often requires layering of multiple funding sources—including more conventional sources of affordable housing funding like real estate tax exemptions, LIHTC, and tax exempt bonds—and sources of funding for services and reconciling the competing regulatory requirements.

We work closely with the agencies that provide access to housing capital and social services funding, including:

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • U.S. Veterans’ Administration (VA)
  • New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH)
  • New York State Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)
  • New York State Office for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)
  • Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP)
  • New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA)
  • New York City Department of Health and Mental Health (DOHMH)
  • New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA)
  • New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
  • New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
  • New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS)

This includes programs such as HUD’s Section 202 and 811 programs, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI), HCR’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program (SHOP), New York City’s Supportive Housing Loan program and 15/15 rental assistance.

As one of the few national firms with a dedicated supportive housing practice, we leverage our firmwide resources and cross-industry knowledge in environmental, construction, tax, and more to help our clients navigate the specific legal issues that can arise in these complicated transactions.

Who we work with

We work with some of the largest supportive housing providers in the nation. We represent not-for-profits as well as for-profits in supportive housing joint ventures and partnerships. Some not-for-profit organizations can both provide the services and undertake development of the housing on their own; some prefer to only do service provision and partner with a for-profit developer to access the housing capital funding and oversee the construction of the housing. There are myriad ways to structure these partnerships, and we know how to create the agreements that benefit all parties’ interests.

Projects

  • Closed a complex deal in which the U.S. Army, under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) process, transferred a site to the Town of Babylon, which then transferred the site to our client. The team helped the client acquire the site and develop 60 housing units for homeless veterans. The deal involved at least six different funding sources, including 9% LIHTCs from New York State, funding from the State Office of Mental Health, a loan from Suffolk County, grant funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank, an equity investment by the National Equity Fund, and a construction loan from Bank of America, and two forms of rental assistance, including Shelter Plus Care units funded by HUD through the State Office of Substance Abuse Services and project-based Section 8 vouchers from New York State.
  • Represented a joint venture in the financing for a 134-unit supportive housing development, Surf Vets Place, in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The financing for the $69 million project is through tax-exempt bonds issued by the New York State HFA, a subsidy loan from HPD, a grant from NYSERDA, and debt service and capital support from the New York State Office of Mental Health, among other financing sources, which include LIHTCs, inclusionary housing bonus floor area, and construction financing. The project, which will dedicate 82 units for formerly homeless families and veterans, also received an inclusionary housing bonus.
  • Represented a developer and a Brooklyn-based not-for-profit organization in a transaction to finance and construct 200 units of affordable and supportive housing in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The $83 million project is financed by tax-exempt bonds issued by the New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA), a subsidy loan from HFA, subordinate financing from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, low-income housing tax credit equity, and operating and rental subsidy from the New York State Office of Mental Health through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI). All of the units will be for tenants with household incomes at or below 60% of AMI, and 72 units will be reserved for homeless adults with serious mental health problems as well as individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Represented the developer in the transformation of the former Cunningham Carriage Factory building on Litchfield Street in Rochester, New York, into 71 apartment units, 39 of which house New York State Office of Mental Health clients. The project participated in the Brownfield Cleanup Program, which provided an additional source of equity from the syndication of brownfield tax credits generated from the project. Additional funding sources included LIHTC equity, HTC equity, a permanent loan from the Community Preservation Corporation, and subordinate funding from the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation, City of Rochester, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and a tax abatement with the City of Rochester.
  • Represented developer in a new construction transaction involving three separate parcels in the Bronx that will include 138 affordable housing units, 41 of which will be supportive housing units funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. The $65 million project is financed by tax-exempt bonds issued by the New York State HFA, tax credits, subsidy loans from HFA and HPD, and project-based Section 8 vouchers.
  • Represented a joint venture of a faith-based housing nonprofit and a faith-based health care nonprofit to build 89 units of new construction affordable housing on the site of a nursing home in the Bronx. The transaction including supportive services funding from the New York State Department of Health through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI), as well as a project-based rental subsidy contract from the New York City Housing Authority, tax-exempt bonds issued by the New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA), and low-income housing tax credits and subordinate loans through HFA’s Supportive Housing Opportunity Program (SHOP) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Senior Affordable Rental Apartments program.
  • Represented the developer in a new construction transaction to develop 171 affordable housing units for low-income elderly and former Roosevelt Island Goldwater Hospital residents with physical disabilities in New York City. The building was constructed on a parcel owned by Metropolitan Hospital at 99th Street, and included the negotiation of a ground lease with the Health and Hospitals Corporation. The project combined tax-exempt financing, tax credits, and project-based Section 8 vouchers, as well as redirected Medicaid funding and was the first Medicaid Redesign Team project to close in New York State. Affordable Housing Finance named the project the “Best Supportive Housing Project” of 2015. Representation included preparation and negotiation of design and construction contracts.

New York May Miss the Window to Convert Hotels to Affordable Housing

Bloomberg CityLab | July 01, 2021

In this article, New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Meghan Altidor discusses how California and New York are turning hotels into housing.

Boston City Council proposes law to maintain affordable housing

WBUR | June 22, 2021

This article quotes Boston Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks related to Jamaica Plain’s Forbes building, where the owners are trying to keep the development affordable and prevent current residents from being displaced.

Pandemic drives professional services industry to use new hiring, retention strategies

The Daily Record | May 28, 2021

Rochester office managing partner Jared Lusk, of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group, is quoted extensively in this article on how the professional services industry is preparing for a post-COVID world, discussing the rise in remote work, and the resiliency and openness to new ideas the industry has shown over the past 18 months.

CA vapor intrusion guidance evaporates hope for urban residential redevelopment

Bloomberg Law | February 18, 2021

San Francisco Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Alison Torbitt contributed this article on how the California Environmental Protection Agency’s vapor intrusion guidance may impact residential development on the state’s brownfields.

Personnel file

Banker & Tradesman | February 01, 2021

This roundup of appointments and executive moves across the Massachusetts real estate and banking sectors covers Boston Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks’ appointment as chairman of the board for Boston-based developer, owner, and operator 2Life Communities.

2Life Communities Names Jeff Sacks as Chairman of the Board

Seniors Housing Business | January 28, 2021

This article covers Boston Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks for being named chairman of the board for Boston-based developer, owner, and operator 2Life Communities. The article highlights Jeff’s work in Massachusetts to transform outdated public housing projects into vital communities for low-income residents.

Notable Women in Law

Crain’s New York | December 21, 2020

Cooperatives & Condominiums team leader and New York City partner Erica Buckley is featured in this article for being named one of the city’s “Notable Women in Law“ for the third year in a row.

Rockport Closes on $74M Refi' to Upgrade Queens Senior Housing

Real Estate Weekly | December 16, 2020

The firm was mentioned in this article on the FHA Section 223(f) refinancing loan for Israel Senior Citizen Housing I and II, an apartment complex for the elderly in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, NY. Washington, D.C. partner Susanna Mitchell and New York City strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen, both in the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group, advised JASA Corporation in the deal.

When HDFC Shareholders Want To 'Go Private'

New York Law Journal | December 11, 2020

In the latest installment of her “Ask the Former Regulator“ column, New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley discusses whether a housing development fund company that operates as a housing cooperative can go private and what factors shareholders need to consider.

Breaking Ground Begins Transformation of Former Jehovah's Witnesses Hotel

Affordable Housing Finance | December 02, 2020

This article on the conversion of 90 Sands St.—a well-known building in New York City and former Jehovah Witnesses’ hotel—into affordable and supportive housing mentions the firm for the work of New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Joe Lynch, strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen, and associate Julia Casteleiro in representing Breaking Ground, New York’s largest supportive housing developer.

Nonprofit to convert former Brooklyn hotel to apartments

Multi-Housing News | November 24, 2020

The following articles highlight the conversion of 90 Sands St.—a well-known building in New York City and former Jehovah Witnesses’ hotel—into affordable and supportive housing. The firm was mentioned for the work by New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Joe Lynch, strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen, and associate Julia Casteleiro in representing Breaking Ground, New York’s largest supportive housing developer.

This week's N.Y. deal sheet

Bisnow | November 24, 2020

This article on the conversion of 90 Sands St.—a well-known building in New York City and former Jehovah Witnesses’ hotel—into affordable and supportive housing mentions the firm for the work of New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Joe Lynch, strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen, and associate Julia Casteleiro in representing Breaking Ground, New York’s largest supportive housing developer.

Phil Taub: A Thanksgiving tradition

New Hampshire Union Leader | November 23, 2020

Manchester Corporate partner Phil Taub wrote this op-ed about the many things for which he’s thankful this year, from our country’s active service members and veterans to those giving back to their local communities. Of note, Phil’s nonprofit, Swim With A Mission, was chosen to distribute over $4 million to veteran service organizations dedicated to helping veterans struggling with homelessness and mental health issues.

Jehovah's Witnesses' former DUMBO hotel to begin conversion to low-income housing

Brooklyn Daily Eagle | November 23, 2020

The following article highlights the conversion of 90 Sands St.—a well-known building in New York City and former Jehovah Witnesses’ hotel—into affordable and supportive housing. The firm was mentioned for the work by New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Joe Lynch, strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen, and associate Julia Casteleiro in representing Breaking Ground, New York’s largest supportive housing developer.

Affordable developer secures financing for Watchtower hotel conversion

Real Estate Weekly | November 23, 2020

The following article highlights the conversion of 90 Sands St.—a well-known building in New York City and former Jehovah Witnesses’ hotel—into affordable and supportive housing. The firm was mentioned for the work by New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Joe Lynch, strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen, and associate Julia Casteleiro in representing Breaking Ground, New York’s largest supportive housing developer.

Avanath Acquires Boston Workforce Housing

Multi-Housing News | November 03, 2020

The following article covers client Avanath Capital Management’s acquisition of a 207-unit apartment community in Boston, a complex transaction that will preserve Morton Village as an affordable housing property for many years to come. The stories mention NP for the firm’s work as legal counsel and name members of the deal team, New York City partner Tatiana Gutierrez, Boston partners Jeff Sacks and Ruth Silman, and associate Ali Walendziak, all of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group.

Avanath Capital Management Acquires 207-Unit Workforce Housing Community in Boston

Yield PRO | November 02, 2020

The following article covers client Avanath Capital Management’s acquisition of a 207-unit apartment community in Boston, a complex transaction that will preserve Morton Village as an affordable housing property for many years to come. The stories mention NP for the firm’s work as legal counsel and name members of the deal team, New York City partner Tatiana Gutierrez, Boston partners Jeff Sacks and Ruth Silman, and associate Ali Walendziak, all of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group.

Hudson Valley Property Group and Nuveen Acquire New Jersey Portfolio

Affordable Housing Finance | October 21, 2020

This article mentions the firm for representing Hudson Valley Property Group LLC in its partnership with Nuveen Investments for the purchase of a 412-unit affordable apartment portfolio in Jersey City. The deal team included New York partner Aaron Yowell and strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen, Boston partner Chris Froeb, and Washington, D.C. partner Susanna Mitchell, all of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group.

Nixon Peabody Arranges $48.8M in Financing to Upgrade Two Wollaston Affordable Communities Near Boston

Seniors Housing Business | October 06, 2020

The following article cover NP’s role in securing financing deals for client Wollaston Lutheran Housing, allowing the affordable-housing provider to substantially upgrade two properties in Quincy, MA. Boston Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks led the deal team, which also included Boston associates Ali Walendziak and Alexander Rosso, and Washington, DC counsel Anthony Ruvolo, all of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group.

MassHousing Provides $28.9M Loan for Refinancing of Multifamily Asset in Metro Boston

REBusinessOnline | October 05, 2020

The following article cover NP’s role in securing financing deals for client Wollaston Lutheran Housing, allowing the affordable-housing provider to substantially upgrade two properties in Quincy, MA. Boston Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks led the deal team, which also included Boston associates Ali Walendziak and Alexander Rosso, and Washington, DC counsel Anthony Ruvolo, all of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group.

Nixon Peabody Secures $29M Refinancing for Affordable Housing Development in Quincy

Connect Media CRE | October 05, 2020

The following article cover NP’s role in securing financing deals for client Wollaston Lutheran Housing, allowing the affordable-housing provider to substantially upgrade two properties in Quincy, MA. Boston Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks led the deal team, which also included Boston associates Ali Walendziak and Alexander Rosso, and Washington, DC counsel Anthony Ruvolo, all of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate group.

Real Estate Syndications - What You Need to Know

WRCN 103.9 FM Long Island Radio | October 04, 2020

Cooperatives & Condominiums practice team leader and New York Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Erica Buckley was featured in this radio segment focusing on the Martin Act (one of the most exhaustive securities laws in the country), New York State filings and compliance, and investigation and enforcement by the New York Attorney General.

Catholic Charities Starts Work on New Queens Development

Real Estate Weekly | September 28, 2020

This article on the ground-breaking of Bishop Valero Residence, an affordable housing development for low-income seniors and formerly homeless adults, quotes New York Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Joe Lynch for leading the team that advised Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corporation. The deal team also included Rochester Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Darren Miller and associate Matt Carrigg.

JV Completes $53M Redevelopment of Bronx Senior Community

Multi-Housing News | August 06, 2020

This article on Fort Schuyler House, a 138-unit affordable senior housing community in the Bronx, mentions NP for the work of New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate partners Joe Lynch and Meghan Altidor, and strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen representing the developer in the deal.

HUD Makes COVID-19 Relief Funds Available

Affordable Housing Finance | July 28, 2020

This article on the $224 million in supplemental payments that the Department of Housing and Urban Development is making available to owners of properties receiving project-based rental assistance links to New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate counsel Kathie Soroka and strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen’s client alert on the topic.

Transactions & Financings

Senior Housing News | July 22, 2020

Nixon Peabody client Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL) was included in this roundup of notable deals for closing on the financing of two Boston-area properties that will help the organization with its post-pandemic future. Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks, and associates Ali Walendziak and Alexander Rosso were mentioned for representing HSL in the Randolph financing. Jeff Sacks and Affordable Housing & Real Estate associate Julie Hancock Stande were noted for representing HSL in the Brookline transaction. All the attorneys are based in Boston.

Addressing the Threat of Homelessness

Affordable Housing Finance | June 23, 2020

In this article detailing progress and challenges that housing programs face in their fight against homelessness, New York City Affordable Housing & Real Estate strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen provides her perspective on why affordability remains one of the biggest challenges.

The rent: To pay or not to pay? Amid coronavirus, that is the question for business across Chicago

Chicago Tribune | April 01, 2020

In this front-page article in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner David Allswang provided comments that commercial landlords are bracing for a significant drop in rent payments in April amid the coronavirus crisis, citing anecdotal data from commercial property owners in London.

How COVID-19 is affecting affordable housing (so far)

Affordable Housing Finance | March 31, 2020

Washington, D.C. Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Richard Price shares his perspective on the early impact of COVID-19 on the affordable housing industry, including how the federal government should respond.

Caution required if co-op and condo boards enlist volunteers

Habitat | March 26, 2020

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley and counsel Ruben Ravago co-wrote this contributed article, based on their NP client alert, about the key issues condo boards and co-ops must consider before enlisting the assistance of volunteers during a pandemic.

LGBT Affordable Senior Housing Opens in Brooklyn

Multi-Housing News | December 19, 2019

This article about the opening of Stonewall House in Brooklyn—New York State’s first LGBT-friendly affordable elder housing—mentions Nixon Peabody for advising BFC Partners on the development.

Medford nonprofit, Jericho developer open housing for vets

Long Island Business News | November 21, 2019

This story highlights Nixon Peabody’s work on a deal to open a 135-unit supportive and affordable housing development for homeless veterans and low-income families in Brooklyn. Partner Aaron Yowell, partner-elect Dana Roper, and strategic policy advisor Deborah VanAmerongen, all of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate Group in New York City, were part of the deal team. Aaron is quoted in the article.

Inside Bernie Sanders’ $2.5T housing plan

The Real Deal | September 17, 2019

New York City Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Erica Buckley comments on presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ proposed plan for increased federal funding for community land trusts, an arrangement in which nonprofits acquire land as a permanent location for affordable housing.

ATB clarifies tax method for ‘entry fee communities’

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | August 22, 2019

Boston Affordable Housing and Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks wrote this contributed article analyzing a ruling by the Appellate Tax Board on the proper method of determining real estate taxes for senior living facilities that use an entry fee model. Boston law clerk Thomas Jackson contributed to the article.

Getting off the ground

Long Island Business News | March 18, 2019

New York Affordable Housing partner and Chief Innovation Officer Aaron Yowell is quoted in this article, discussing the groundbreaking of Concern for Independent Living’s $25 million, 77-unit affordable housing development in Port Jefferson Station.

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