One of the biggest questions that developers need to ponder before starting a HUD 221(d)(4) financed project is whether to include any affordable housing. Since a developer's goal is (naturally) to maximize profit, the obvious answer would be no. However, there are a variety of advantages to including at least some affordable units in a HUD multifamily construction loan project.
If you're considering getting an FHA multifamily construction loan to build an age-restricted or senior community, it's important to understand what this type of loan does and does not allow. First, let's define "senior community"-- in the eyes of FHA/HUD, that means any community for individuals 62 years and older.
One of the parts of the HUD loan application and approval process is getting a HUD seismic assessment, which is needed if your HUD 221(d)(4) project is located in seismic zones 3 or 4. Seismic zones 3 and 4 (based on 1997 UBC seismic zone maps) are generally located in areas including all of California, large amounts of Alaska and Hawaii, some Oregon, Washington, and Nevada, and a small amount of Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Arkansas.
While FHA MIP is usually less expensive than the private mortgage insurance one would pay on a privately-insured loan, it can still get expensive. Fortunately, HUD is now allowing investors and developers to reduce their MIP payments to 0.25%, provided they make energy efficient improvements to their project.
If you're interested in getting a HUD 221(d)(4) loan, you'll likely have to do a lot of communication with your local HUD multifamily center. While your lender may do much of the coordination and communication with you (and/or for you), it may still important to for you to reach out your local HUD multifamily center with questions or concerns about the HUD multifamily construction loan process.
Just like a borrower who takes out a private real estate loan has to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), a developer who takes out an FHA multifamily construction loan has to pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP). While the FHA doesn't make a profit on its loans, it still has to protect itself against unforeseen losses, such as a borrower defaulting on their mortgage.
In today's market, many real estate developers want to mix both residential and commercial development into the same project-- for example, a multi-story residential apartment building, with a ground floor zoned for shops and restaurants. FHA/HUD 221(d)(4) loans can allow a developer to do this-- but only in specific situations.