JACKSONVILLE (Feb. 13, 2024) – The Jacksonville Housing Authority (JHA) announced today that it successfully raised $41 million in its first-ever general revenue bond offering. Proceeds from the sale will be used to acquire and renovate the 256-unit Westwood Apartments.
Located at 1171 Lane Avenue South, Westwood sits on 25.3 acres and includes 17 apartment buildings, a clubhouse, leasing office and maintenance building. There are 120 one-bedroom units, 120 two-bedroom units and 16 three-bedroom units.
“This really is a momentous occasion for the Jacksonville Housing Authority,” said JHA Vice Chair Heather Horovitz. “Issuing bonds is an innovative way for us to finance our mission, which is to provide much-needed affordable housing for the city’s low- and moderate-income residents.”
The bond issuance marks a significant milestone in our mission to address the housing crisis gripping Jacksonville. With the support of dedicated investors and partners, we have successfully secured $41 million in bond funding, ensuring a substantial resource that will empower us to revitalize and expand affordable housing offerings.
“It is one of my administration’s top priorities to address Jacksonville’s housing crisis. As we launch new programs and implement new strategies to tackle this challenge on all fronts, we welcome projects like this one that will increase the supply of affordable housing within our community,” said Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan.
“By issuing these bonds, the JHA underscores its dedication to fostering a fair and vibrant community for all residents, irrespective of income,” said JHA Acting CEO Vanessa Dunn. “This venture represents not only our vision for affordable housing but also our determination to build a future where everyone has access to safe and secure homes.”
Renovations by JHA and its development partner, Atlanta-based The Integral Group, include upgrades to heating and air conditioner units, appliances, flooring, stairways, roofing and the pool.
Kareem Brantley, President of Integral’s Florida Division, highlighted the strategic significance of Integral’s partnership with the JHA, stating, “Joining forces with JHA is a pivotal moment for Integral in our mission to redefine urban living in Jacksonville.”
Added Joshua Hicks, the City of Jacksonville’s Affordable Housing Director: “It’s vitally important that we increase the affordable housing inventory in Jacksonville. Repairing and rehabilitating existing properties is one of the key tactics to reach that goal as quickly as possible. We thank the Jacksonville Housing Authority for its efforts to support our community’s low-to-moderate income citizens – because every person deserves a safe, clean, and affordable place to live.”
Once work is completed JHA will manage the property and be responsible for leasing, maintenance and marketing. Approximately 82% of the units will be rented to individuals or families earning less than 80% of the Jacksonville MSA average median income (or AMI) and the balance of the units rented to those earning less than 140% of AMI.
Net operating income from Westwood Apartments and the general revenues of JHA will be used to repay the bonds. The city of Jacksonville is not responsible for the repayment of the bonds.
Piper Sandler & Co. served as underwriter. Bryant Miller Olive P.A. served as bond counsel and disclosure counsel.
Established in 1994, JHA provides approximately 2,311 public housing units and 1,000 affordable housing units to low- and moderate-income residents in developments and scattered sites around Jacksonville. JHA also administers about 8,300 housing choice vouchers. In addition, JHA administers several resident service programs, including homeownership programs, career training and self-sufficiency programming. The authority is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor. For more information, visit www.jaxha.org.