Community Homes Housing, Inc. (CHHI) broke ground on its first project, Roslyn Rise, in the last quarter of 2022. A tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated for the purpose of operating and managing several low- income housing projects in Columbia, CHHI was founded in 2004 and is the first program of its kind in the nation. CHHI sold the properties to nationally-recognized affordable housing developer, Enterprise Community Development (also headquartered in Columbia!), and ECD is overseeing the project. The project closed in August of 2022 and the first building is expected to open in January of 2025.
A Ground-breaking Nonprofit
CHHI promotes the social welfare of low and moderate-income persons by improving and increasing the stock of affordable housing in Howard County. The organization assists in locating and securing funding from both private and governmental sources, including local, state and federal-assisted housing programs, for the development, preservation and rehabilitation of housing affordable to low and moderate-income persons.
CHHI established a designated agency fund at the Community Foundation in 2018. A common tool for savvy nonprofits, the designated agency fund allows access to the Community Foundation’s investment pool to endow and grow CHHI’s financial resources.
“When CHHI sold its five properties in Columbia to Enterprise Community Development in 2017, the Board of CHHI knew that we needed an experienced partner to help us protect, preserve and grow the proceeds of the sale and payments on the seller take-back financing while providing us the flexibility to quickly access portions of those funds to help Enterprise redevelop the properties, said Dan Kelliher, CHHI board chair. “The establishment of our agency fund at the Community Foundation has allowed us to lean on the Foundation’s experience and procedures in maintaining fund assets and provided us access to their investment partner, Brown Advisory.
“Brown Advisory and the Community Foundation have provided our Board with invaluable advice, guidance and continuous information to wisely invest the money in our fund during one of the most volatile markets in history. I truly believe that our agency fund has made CHHI much more effective in delivering on our mission of helping to create great and affordable housing in Howard County and will enable CHHI to carry on this mission well into the future, even after Roslyn Rise and the four other initial properties are redeveloped.”
About Roslyn Rise:
Built in the late 1960’s, Roslyn Rise was a 58-unit housing community in Columbia’s first village, Wilde Lake. The community is exceptionally well-located and, for half a century, has provided low-income residents with the opportunity to live in an extraordinary community of opportunity in Columbia, Maryland. However, the community suffered from many deficiencies: the units were inaccessible, small, inefficient, aging, and functionally obsolete.
In order to remedy the condition of the community while preserving affordability for its families, Enterprise Community Development, Inc. (“ECD”) is undertaking a major redevelopment of the community that will involve relocating all tenants temporarily, demolishing the current structures, and rebuilding a new, modern, higher-density, mixed-income community. The new community will be 153 units that will be financed through a LIHTC “twin” (4% and 9% LIHTC) structure. Although all 153 units will function as one community, the 9% and 4% LIHTC transactions will be separated legally and physically by building.
Roslyn Rise has been supported and made affordable through a HUD Housing Assistance Payment (“HAP”) contract, and a total of 51 units will be support by the HAP contract at the new development. ECD will redevelop Roslyn Rise while maintaining the existing affordable/subsidized units, allowing all current residents to return to the new community. An additional 95 units serving higher income residents will be a part of the new Roslyn Rise to create a truly mixed-income community. The proposed income mix for the redevelopment is as follows:
|Median Income Set Aside||9% Building (59 Total Units)||4% Building (94 Total Units)||Total Redevelopment Combined|
|# Units||% Total Units||# Units||% Total Units||# Units||% Total Units|
|50% AMI and below||31||53%||27||29%||58||38%|
|80% AMI and below||14||24%||29||31%||43||28%|
This redevelopment will reduce the concentration of low income/subsidized residents and create a more financially stable and sustainable community over the long-term. It will allow current low-income residents to remain in a community of opportunity and affluence, with proximity to excellent schools, job opportunities, healthcare, and shopping and services. Another benefit of the Roslyn Rise redevelopment is the expansion of housing choice options for persons with disabilities (“PWD”). The current community is inaccessible from an ADA-standard, despite housing at least five (5) PWD households. The redeveloped community will be far more accessible with 100% of units visitable and 5% of units UFAS compliant. 14 units will be set aside for persons with disabilities.
The Roslyn Rise redevelopment will consist of two four-story, elevator-served structures with both surface and underground garage parking. The new community will be built to National Green Building Standards and will have green features throughout including energy star appliances, high efficiency HVAC, heat pump hot water heaters, and solar hot water. The buildings will have a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units with ample common space for the residents to enjoy. For the current residents, the new units will be larger than their current units, and will include modern amenities that were absent from Roslyn Rise previously like in-unit washer/dryer. The units will have Class-A finishes.
Common spaces include a club room, after-school homework club space, fitness center, business center, and game room. The homework room will allow ECD to expand a successful after-school and summer learning program that has been established at the community—but not adequately equipped—for many years. Additionally, the community will feature on-site outdoor recreation areas, including a signature plaza area, dog park, playground and family recreation area, with connections to outdoor paths and recreational facilities maintained by the Columbia Association.
The Roslyn Rise redevelopment has been facilitated, in part, through a land swap with Columbia Association. The plaza and family recreation area are to be built on Columbia Association land using a perpetual easement, and will be available to the public.
“The CHHI property sale is a unique and innovative approach to divesting property which is aged and in need of upgrades while ensuring it continues to provide affordable housing to a range of incomes,” remarked Nancy Rase, CHHI Board Member and former President and CEO of Homes for America, Inc.
“By selling the property and investing the proceeds in the local community foundation, CHHI created a structure where it would participate as a nonprofit lender to ensure the sites would provide more housing, greater rental opportunities, and support the new nonprofit owner in the redevelopment. This is a model that should be encouraged and promoted throughout the nonprofit community.”
Built in the late 1960’s, Roslyn Rise was a 58-unit housing community. The community is exceptionally well-located and, for half a century, provided low-income residents with the opportunity to live in an extraordinary community of opportunity in Columbia, Maryland. However, over time, the units became functionally obsolete.
To remedy the condition of the property while preserving affordability for its families, Enterprise Community Development is reimagining Roslyn Rise as a vibrant and inclusive community. The redevelopment entails relocating all residents temporarily, demolishing the current structures, and rebuilding a new, modern, higher-density, mixed-income community.
The new community will be 153 units in two multifamily, elevator-served buildings. The buildings will be accessible, energy efficient, and amenity-rich. The new Roslyn Rise will support Jim Rouse’s vision for an inclusive Columbia where residents from all backgrounds, races, and incomes will have access to an affordable home nearby parks, recreation, amenities, services, retail, jobs, and schools. The community will reopen its doors in early 2024.