January 25, 2011
Melbourne Apartments is a new 84-unit building in Des Moines, where a three-bedroom apartment rents for $775 a month but comes with restrictions — a family of five, for example, can earn no more than $47,460 a year. What is remarkable about this otherwise modest project is that the equity came from the search-engine giantGoogle, whose Mountain View, Calif., headquarters are more than 1,500 miles away.
The investment by Google and other large corporations in Melbourne Apartments and similar projects is one reason a cloud of gloom has lifted for developers of income-restricted housing. These developments depend heavily on low-income-housing tax credits, which provide the equity that makes the difference between whether a project gets built or not.
But when the economy collapsed in 2008 the market for these tax credits dwindled, and many projects never got off the ground.
Read remainder of the story at New York Times.