Salt Lake City, Utah, Redevelopment Agency
Since the early 1970s, the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency (RDA) has dedicated a percentage of TIF income toward housing projects, serving households at a variety of income levels. From 1999 to 2009, the RDA contributed a total of $6,656,687 to the Salt Lake City Housing Trust Fund. In addition to these contributions, the RDA allocates revenue into two RDA housing funds: a project-area housing fund and a citywide housing fund. Between 1980 and 2010, RDA TIF income provided partial funding for a total of 1,516 housing units in 29 projects affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of area median income.
In 2001, the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Redevelopment Agency purchased 116 formerly private fourplex buildings in south Sacramento and redeveloped them into one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom rental apartments for low-income families and seniors. Funds set aside for housing from a TIF district contributed a significant portion of the financing for this project.
Prior to revitalization, over half of the original buildings were declared substandard because of years of neglect. The neighborhood was also one of the most crime-ridden in the city. Citywide concern about the physical and social deterioration of the area led to the Phoenix Park revitalization project, which began in 2001. The city implemented a multi-tiered strategy to address the multiple issues facing the neighborhood, including land acquisition for the rehabilitation of the housing units, a safety and security plan and coordination of social services.
Tax increment financing revenues reserved for housing and other public monies contributed almost a quarter of the $84 million used to finance Phoenix Park. In addition to major improvements of the housing units, alleyways were converted into private backyards and a community center was developed. Since completion, crime has been reduced by almost 40 percent.
Austin, Texas, Homestead Preservation District
Like many inner-city districts adjacent to the downtown urban core of Austin, the primarily minority neighborhood of East Austin is experiencing a development boom. In order to preserve the neighborhood’s stock of single-family homes, relieve the burden of rising property taxes and reduce the negative effects of gentrification, city officials have implemented legislation for community development purposes in East Austin that authorizes the establishment of a homestead preservation district (HPD).
Unique to the City of Austin, legislation authorizing the creation of HPDs was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2005 as HB 525 to “prevent the displacement of working and retired, lower income individuals and families from East Austin.” As part of the establishment of the district, the city was required to create a community land trust, a land bank and a reinvestment zone (Texas’ version of TIF) within a targeted geographic area.
The East Austin HPD comprises seven census tracts, most of which border Austin’s central business district. All revenue from the increased property taxes in the district is directed toward housing preservation efforts. All additional revenue must be dedicated to either the land bank or land trust or to other nonprofit developers of affordable housing in the East Austin HPD district.
Atlanta, Ga., BeltLine
The largest-ever redevelopment initiative in the Atlanta region, the Atlanta BeltLine is utilizing a 27-year tax allocation district (TAD — Georgia’s version of TIF) to provide between $1.3 billion and $1.7 billion in funding to redevelop a 22-mile transit corridor covering 6,500 acres of land across 45 neighborhoods. Prior to implementing the BeltLine TAD, a significant portion of the area met blight criteria as mandated by state TAD law. However, since planning for the BeltLine began in 2005, the land values in most of the neighborhoods included in the corridor have been driven upward.
With the expectation that land values would increase as part of the BeltLine project, the stakeholders involved in the planning efforts have made the expansion and preservation of affordable homes within a half-mile of the BeltLine corridor a critical component of the overall redevelopment strategy. In passing the TAD, the Atlanta City Council required that 15 percent of TAD bond proceeds be set aside for affordable housing efforts in the district, which will be used to capitalize a housing trust fund. Over the course of the TAD, it is expected that the trust fund will produce an estimated 5,600 affordable housing units within the corridor.
Rapid City, S.D.
In the mid-2000s, the City of Rapid City was approached by a private developer, the Gandolf Group LLC, to establish a tax-increment district to provide gap financing for the construction of 80 units of low- to moderate-income housing in the city, called South Creek Village. Rapid City’s zoning code requires that a housing development with 40 units or more have two points of ingress and egress to the site. For South Creek Village, the city required an additional road to connect two existing streets. These strict infrastructure requirements almost prevented the Gandolf Group from moving forward with the project since it relied primarily on Low Income Housing Tax Credits to finance the project, which did not permit rents sufficient to support the additional infrastructure costs.
The Gandolf Group recognized TIF as a potential strategy for the additional tax revenue of the development to pay for the infrastructure costs of South Creek Village. Over a four-month period, the city obtained approval from the Rapid City Planning Commission and Common Council to establish a tax-increment district, which eventually resulted in the city’s commitment that the developer could use the additional tax revenue to recover the upfront costs of the infrastructure. This partnership and creative use of TIF enabled the Gandolf Group to build much needed affordable housing for city residents. Rapid City created another TIF district in 2016 for another development project.