MIAMI-When the $100-million Brownsville Transit Village,developed by the Carlisle Development Group of Miami, breaks groundnext Wednesday, it will be one of the larger affordable housingdevelopments built in Miami. In the midst of the home foreclosurecrisis and credit tightening, stable affordable housing remains inhigh demand, says Jeanne Becker, a spokesman for the CarlisleGroup, who is the largest affordable housing developer inMiami-Dade County and Florida. The development will be partiallyfunded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

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The Brownsville Transit Village is a five-phase urban-infill,mixed-income affordable housing development located next to aMiami–Dade Metro-Rail Transit station.The fact that it istransit-oriented, is only one of its green features. It will alsofeature high-efficiency lighting in units and common areas andtankless water heaters. The development will be built to conform tobasic LEED standards.

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The 467-unit development is expected to generate 1900 jobs inthe local community, including construction and teaching jobs. Theteachers will be in charge of onsite classes, which will offerliteracy training and health and nutrition information, among othertopics.

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The first two phases of the Brownsville Transit Village willtake 12 to 16 months to build. The first four phases will bepartially funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, butfunding for phase five is yet to be determined.

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Among the funding sources for the first four phases of thedevelopment will be nearly $79 million in tax credit equity andnearly $18 million from the Florida Housing Finance Corp., whichfunds affordable housing.

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It is difficult to get financing today for affordable housing,says Becker. This is why Carlisle sought out funding from thefederal stimulus package, otherwise known as the AmericanReinvestment and Recovery Act. In the past, banks would morefrequently go to the states to buy tax credits because they wantedto offset profits, she says, but today, with the economy ailing,they don’t need credits as much as they used to.

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Although the Florida Housing Finance Corp. does not have as muchfunding for affordable housing as in the past, says Becker, it ismore likely to award that funding to a sophisticated developer witha track record rather than to a novice, she says. That is when ithelps to be the largest affordable housing developer in thestate.

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