Low Income Investment Fund Names Ken Stewart Deputy Director of Mid-Atlantic

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Ken Stewart, who has more than 25 years of experience in affordable housing, has been named the new deputy director for the Low Income Investment Fund’s (LIIF) mid-Atlantic region, based in Washington, D.C. 

In his new role, Stewart will lead the nonprofit bank’s efforts in mobilizing capital for affordable housing and community facility developers in the Greater D.C. area.  

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“Due to high acquisition costs in the area, one of the most critical needs in affordable housing projects is for interim financing to help developers close under very tight deadlines and provide the extra time needed to work out permanent financing solutions that are becoming more complex and layered each year,” Stewart told Commercial Observer. “We are looking to close on two acquisition loans for affordable housing projects in Washington, D.C. in the fourth quarter of 2021.”

Additionally, LIIF has a $13 million Preservation Fund it operates jointly with D.C.’s department of housing (DHCD) that it is looking to deploy as quickly as possible to fund the acquisition and preservation of existing affordable rental housing properties in the District that may otherwise be converted to market-rate housing. 

Over his career, Stewart has served as director of public finance for the DC Housing Finance Agency, deputy director of the Prince George’s County Housing Authority and DHCD, and deputy chief underwriter for Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital 

According to Stewart, he will prioritize investments that integrate affordable housing with civic infrastructure like health care centers, educational resources and access to public transit.  

“The affordable housing crisis in the D.C. area affects a broad swath of households, from those at imminent risk of homelessness all the way up to households making 80 percent to 100 percent of the area median income,” Stewart said. “You can find families who are rent-burdened at every income level between zero and 100 percent of the area median, all of whom would benefit greatly from more affordable rentals on the market.” 

With this in mind, LIIF will prioritize high-impact projects that address not only housing needs, but also affordable child care, community-based health care, and other community services.

“Investing in affordable housing that is in close proximity to other important community services will multiply the positive impacts for the tenants we serve, and LIIF will prioritize projects that are part of a multi-dimensional approach to stabilizing and strengthening the community as a whole,” Stewart said. 

Under Mayor Muriel Bowser’s affordable housing strategy, the District has seen more than $600 million invested in affordable housing projects, including a $400 million investment in the Housing Production Trust Fund for both the fiscal year 2021 and 2022 budgets. 

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.