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Merchants Capital Secures $18.2MM for Eden Housing to Rehab Two California Affordable Housing Communities

September 30, 2021

Financial services company Merchants Capital announces today it has provided $18.2 million in total refinancing for Eden Housing, a nonprofit that has partnered with local communities to develop or acquire more than 10,600 homes in communities throughout California. The proceeds will be used to rehabilitate two affordable housing communities in the state: Emerson Arms and Arroyo Vista.

Located in the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley area, Emerson Arms is a 32-unit affordable apartment community with four one-bedroom units and 28 two-bedroom units within three residential buildings. All 32 units are covered by a long-term Option 5 HUD project-based Section 8 contract.

The property was constructed in 1973 and last renovated in 2003. Rehabilitation plans include replacing the exterior podium and walkways that service each unit, new railings and exterior stairs, garage ceiling replacement/ventilation, traffic coating on walkways, roof and gutters replacement, window and sliding door replacement, building exterior painting and ADA compliant walkways.

Secondly, Arroyo Vista is a 156-unit affordable apartment community located in Mission Viejo, Orange County, California, approximately 70 miles north of San Diego and 50 miles southeast of the Los Angeles central business district – an area in need of affordable housing. Constructed in 1995, the apartments have 36 one-bedroom units, 72 two-bedroom units, 40 three-bedroom units and eight four-bedroom units within nine two- and three-story residential buildings. All units are encumbered by a combination of rent and income restrictions ranging from 35% to 60% Area Median Income (AMI) through various regulatory agreements.

Current resident amenities include on-site management, clubhouse, fitness center, playground, sports court, common laundry, pool and a spa. Rehabilitation plans include major plumbing upgrades throughout the entire property to address slab leaks, exterior stairs and railings, window replacement, carport and trash enclosure repairs, playground, in-unit HVAC, upgraded appliances and countertops and cabinets replacement.

“It’s just as vital to preserve and recapitalize affordable housing as it is to produce it,” said Dwayne George, Executive Vice President, Head of Production at Merchants Capital. “With constraints on Private Activity Bond Volume Cap in state of California, Merchants is optimistic that partnering with key organizations such as Eden Housing to pilot creative debt solutions will complement California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) efforts to address the affordable housing crisis in the state of California.”

Eden Housing currently serves a diverse population of 22,000 low-income residents from all cultures and backgrounds. The company services very low-, low- and moderate-income families, seniors, veterans, people living with physical, mental, or developmental disabilities, and the formerly homeless.

“As we continue to face unprecedented times – where our portfolios are aging but we lack the variety of feasible financing solutions to address the physical needs – it is critical to have organizations like Merchants Capital that aim to step in and help affordable housing operators explore various solutions to meet our needs,” said Darnell Williams, Eden Housing Senior Director at Asset Management. “Like many affordable housing providers, we are feeling the implications of bond financing constraints. These two properties – although very different financial profiles – were each in need of a seven-figure capital infusion to buy us time before the next tax credit syndication is available. Dwayne and I began strategizing on possible loan products to address our needs and with his background in GSE financing, he was able to help us consider options that best suited each property. It has been a joy to work with him and his team on these deals.”