News & Insights

Dykema and Reznick Group Host "Strategies for Making an Affordable Housing Deal Work in Michigan" Seminar

November 15, 2011

DETROITDykema, a leading national law firm, and Reznick Group, a top 20 national public accounting firm, today hosted their inaugural “Strategies for Making an Affordable Housing Deal Work in Michigan” Seminar. The seminar covered a number of different topics important to the affordable housing community in Michigan including key legislative updates, financing strategies, and the use of federal tax credits in funding projects.

Attendees, varying from nonprofit and for-profit developers, funders, individuals in the banking industry, individuals from title companies, and individuals involved in both state and federal government,  heard from a dynamic group of speakers including:  Richard Hosey, Sr. Vice President at Bank of America; Anthony  Ilardi, Jr., Member in Dykema’s Taxation and Estates practice group; Joel Kellman, Senior Counsel in Dykema’s Real Estate Department; Rochelle Lento, co-organizer of the event and Senior Counsel in Dykema’s Real Estate Department; Steven Liedel, Senior Counsel in Dykema’s Regulated Industries Department and former Legal Counsel to Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI); James Logue, Chief Operating Officer at Great Lakes Capital Fund; Jeanne Peterson, co-organizer of the event, Principal at Reznick Group, P.C. and leader of its National Affordable Housing Finance Group; Cynthia Vails, Deputy Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Division of Community Development; Michele Wildman, Supportive Housing Specialist at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA); and John Woodbury, Principal at Reznick Group.

The panelists focused on the following topics: 

  •  Liedel and Peterson provided Michigan and national legislative updates
  • Vails and Wildman discussed effective strategies for using Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds
  • During the panel, “Combing Tax Credits,” Ilardi and Kellman, lead counsel on the financing deal to renovate the Fort Shelby Hotel,  provided anecdotes regarding their experiences on the deal - which involved a combination of historic tax and new markets credits
  • In the same panel, Lento shared details of her work on the Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) Bell Building renovation project, which will provide housing for formerly homeless adults in transition, and Woodbury discussed combining a variety of tax credits, including low income, energy, historic, and new markets credits
  • Hosey offered Bank of America’s perspective on the equity market in Michigan, while Logue offered the Great Lakes Capital Fund perspective.

 “We were delighted to co-host this very successful inaugural event with Jeanne Peterson and Reznick Group,” said Lento. “The seminar provided a unique opportunity for industry experts from government, business and legal sectors to come together to discuss best practices in the affordable housing arena as well as a number of other important real estate trends and issues they’re seeing in the market throughout the state of Michigan.”  

“With the economic downturn, there is an increased need for more affordable housing in Michigan” said Peterson. “Reznick Group was proud to partner with Dykema in co-hosting today’s seminar. I am confident that the insights and practical advice shared by today’s panel will help the affordable housing community in this state to find more resources to produce that much needed housing.”

Dykema attorneys regularly advise both development and investment clients on an array of projects, both residential and commercial involving low income housing tax credits, historic tax credits, new markets tax credits and a variety of state credits and tax abatements. Recent notable projects that Dykema has provided legal counsel on include: Book Cadillac Hotel, Fort Shelby Hotel, NSO Bell Building, Renaissance Villages, and currently the East Jefferson Neighborhood/Assisted Living development.