The Local Government Commission (LGC) approved nearly $280 million in requests for financing from housing authorities around the state during its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Housing financing dominated the meeting agenda.
It was the second consecutive month the LGC voted on large amounts of financing to increase the state’s supply of affordable housing. LGC members approved $775 million in financing in October. By comparison, the LGC approved just $418.5 million in affordable housing financing in all of fiscal year 2022.
The LGC is chaired by State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, and staffed by the Department of State Treasurer. It has a statutory duty to approve most debt issued by units of local government and public authorities in the state. The commission examines whether the amount of money that units borrow is adequate and reasonable for proposed projects and confirms the governmental units can reasonably afford to repay the debt. It also monitors the financial well-being of more than 1,100 local government units.
Several housing authorities received the go-ahead to issue conduit revenue bonds. Proceeds from that type of bond are then loaned to third parties to acquire, rehabilitate, equip and furnish housing developments.
- The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency was cleared to issue a $60 million bond to loan to Fitch Irick Portfolio, a Charlotte for-profit developer. Fitch will use the proceeds for 24 separate multifamily housing developments with a total of 769 units in Anson, Beaufort, Burke, Cleveland, Columbus, Davie, Edgecombe, Iredell, Johnston, Nash, Pitt, Robeson, Scotland, Stanly and Wake counties.
- Inlivian Housing Redefined (Mecklenburg County) was given the OK for a $40 million bond, with proceeds to be loaned to HDP Alleghany, a North Carolina limited partnership, or affiliated entity. The money will be used for Alleghany Crossing, a 220-unit, low- and moderate-income housing development. The LGC also approved another $21 million bond issuance to loan to Fairhaven Glen, a Wisconsin limited liability company, for Fairhaven Glen, a 140-unit, low- and moderate-income multifamily housing development.
- The Wilmington Housing Authority (New Hanover County) successfully applied for a $23.5 million bond, for Starway Village I and $13.6 million for Starway Village II. Proceeds will be loaned to Starway Village, a North Carolina limited liability company, for low-income, multifamily residential rental facilities. Starway Village I comprises 176 units. Starway Village II consists of 102 units. Both developments include some units for disabled, homeless or mobility-impaired individuals. Proceeds from a third bond request, for $20 million, will be loaned to OAHS Tidewater LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, for Tidewater Townhomes, a 104-unit, multifamily housing development.
- The LGC approved an application submitted by the Raleigh Housing Authority (Wake County) for $28 million, to be loaned to New Bern Harmony Housing, a North Carolina limited liability company, or an affiliated entity. Proceeds will be used for New Bern Crossings, a 192-unit, low-income, multifamily rental housing development.
- LGC members voted to approve a $25 million bond requested by the Wake County Housing Authority. Proceeds will be loaned to KB Garner, a North Carolina limited liability company, or an affiliated entity for Tryon Station in Garner. The multifamily, low-income, rental housing development consists of 176 units.
- The LGC voted in favor of a $20 million bond for the Winston-Salem Housing Authority (Forsyth County) to loan to OAHS Salem Gardens, a Delaware limited liability company. The proceeds will be directed to Salem Gardens, a 150-unit, multifamily residential rental facility.
- Following Tuesday’s favorable LGC vote, the Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority (Cumberland County) will loan proceeds from a $15.5 million bond to OAHS Fayetteville Gardens, a Delaware limited liability company, for 100 rental units in 16 two-story buildings known as Fayetteville Gardens, a multifamily residential facility.
- The Gastonia Housing Authority (Gaston County) requested and gained approval for a $12.075 million bond, for a loan to Rutherford Crossing Limited Partnership, a North Carolina limited liability company. Proceeds will be used for Rutherford Crossing, a 120-unit, multifamily, residential rental facility.
In other matters, the LGC gave a thumbs up to Spring Lake (Cumberland County) for a lease agreement involving three trucks for use in meter reading and eight police vehicles, totaling $547,500, in a lease with Enterprise Fleet Management. The purchases were necessary to replace older, high-maintenance vehicles.
Stanly County received a green light from the LGC on a $2 million installment purchase to replace the countywide Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management System for law enforcement and public safety. An installment purchase allows a government to take on debt with repayments over time, rather than up front.
LGC members signed off on a $168,000 installment purchase request from Tryon (Polk County) for three police vehicles to replace older models in an aging fleet.
The commission did not vote on a proposed appeals process related to local governments failing to submit required annual audit reports on a timely basis. The matter was delayed until the December meeting to allow for further review and revision.
Legislation passed in June allows the LGC to direct that a portion of a county or municipality’s sales tax revenue be withheld for missing audit deadlines. The law also requires the LGC to establish guidelines and criteria for local governments seeking to appeal the action.
Treasurer Folwell and other LGC members have raised concerns about delinquent filing of financial audits. Tardy reports frustrate the LGC’s ability to carry out statutory financial oversight of local governments. Among other issues, late audits could jeopardize fiscal discipline, mask misappropriations and provide an unreliable picture of revenues and expenses when making budget decisions.
The General Assembly enhanced enforcement of timely financial reporting by authorizing the state to withhold a portion of sales tax revenue distribution, up to an amount equal to 150% of the cost of a county or municipality’s most recently contracted audit. The money would be released when the audit is completed or two years after notification of withholding.