Skyline Apartments Designated as Blighted and Substandard


BY Michael Shively | November 21, 2016

The Norfolk City Council unanimously approved a study on Monday night that declares the Skyline Apartment building and surrounding area as blighted and substandard. This gives the developer an opportunity to use tax increment financing (TIF) to improve the property.
Community Planner for Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District Jan Merrill spoke to the Council and recommended the study be approved.

She referenced the study which details problems with the Skyline Apartments building including out dated heating and cooling systems, fire suppression systems and living quarters. The building does not meet current ADA and UFAS codes.

Fire Chief Scott Cordes says it is a big deal that there isn’t an automatic fire suppression system in a building that houses so many people. He praised the council and the developer for their efforts in addressing the fire safety concerns.

“It brings incredible comfort to us to know that, should this occur, that that property is going to be protected in a manner that it hasn’t been for all these years,” Cordes said. “So it’s a substantial gain to where we are to where we would be going.”

City Councilman for Ward 3 and Mayor-Elect Josh Moenning lives directly next to Skyline Apartments and on property included in the blight and substandard study. This declaration does not affect his house in any way. Moenning says the developer, Seldin Company* has been straightforward with the city since they began talks about two years ago. Seldin* has indicated an interest to continue the building’s mission of providing affordable housing for the low income elderly population. Moenning says this potential redevelopment is consistent with the goals of TIF.

“(TIF) provides a development incentive for older properties, redevelopment in areas of the community that might not see it otherwise,” Moenning said.

Seldin* has claimed they will invest as much as $65,000 into each living unit as part of the redevelopment process.

*Wishrock is the Developer; Seldin (listed as the Developer) is our management company

Chattanooga City Council approves tax break to save Jaycee Tower


Jaycee Tower, located at 500 W. M.L. King Blvd.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga City Council has approved a 41-year tax break for a developer to completely overhaul one of the Jaycee Towers and keep its doors open for the low-income seniors who live there.

Jaycee Future Corporation, the nonprofit organization that built the towers in 1970, can no longer make ends meet for this particular building, board member Doug Chinery said. Two weeks ago he told council members the agency had tried unsuccessfully for years to find a buyer to revamp the property at 500 W. M.L. King Blvd.

Officials with Wishrock Housing Partners & Investment Group of Portland, Maine, said they can only take on the project with a long-term tax break.

In a recent meeting attended by more than a dozen Jaycee Towers residents, the council voted 7-0 for a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement that calls for the Chattanooga Housing Authority to take ownership of the 46-year-old property and lease it to the developer. Council members Carol Berz and Larry Grohn were absent.

Councilman Chris Anderson, who is chairman of the council’s Economic and Community Development Committee, praised input from citizens, city administrators, the developer and his colleagues for making a “better PILOT process and better PILOT application.”

Before the vote, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed a few tweaks to the agreement made at council members’ requests, including a clause calling for mandatory adjustment of the agreement’s terms if the developer fails to live up to its promise to provide good and affordable housing for seniors.

Councilman Chip Henderson admitted he had wrestled with the situation.

“This is a project that has kept me up at night,” Henderson said. “I don’t feel good about a PILOT this council — with the possible exception of Councilman Anderson — won’t even see the end of, but I don’t feel good about turning out all the residents we have here this afternoon.”

Chinery said that, without the tax break, the tower’s residents would likely be put on the street in a couple of months.

Wishrock developer Penn Lindsay told council members his company would make a “full and substantial renovation,” including replacing the roof, extensively remodeling all residential units and improving common areas.

“We aren’t afraid to tackle the most challenging of properties,” he said.

Wishrock will reduce Jaycee Towers’ 190 apartments to 175 by combining some smaller units to make larger ones.

The renovated tower will offer 78 efficiencies, 67 one- bedroom units and 30 one-bedroom-and den combos.

Rents will range between $695 and $880, including utilities, according to the developer.

Lindsay said most of the current residents put 30 percent of their total incomes into rent, with governmental assistance making up the difference.

Contact staff writer Paul Leach at 423-757-6481 or pleach@times Follow on Twitter @pleach_tfp.

Redeveloping Green in Maryland

timbercroft-townhomes-opening-1Posted By on Sep 6, 2016

When Wishrock set out to redevelop Timbercroft Townhomes just northwest of Baltimore, it had multiple, challenging goals. It was committed to keeping the community – 284 units spread over more than 20 buildings – affordable. It had to meet the previous owner’s tight timeline for selling. And it wanted to give residents green and healthy homes.

Redevelopment Challenges – and Successes

To create an environmentally friendly community, Wishrock turned to the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. To receive this national certification, which aligns with Wishrock’s commitment to sustainability, an affordable housing developer must meet multiple criteria involving integrative design, location and neighborhood fabric, site improvements, water and energy conservation and green building materials.

Other partners played major roles in the redevelopment. Wishrock worked with design and development teams at Whiting-Turner, The Architectural Team and New Ecology to plan and complete a 14-month renovation at Timbercroft. Through a strong partnership with Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and unwavering cooperation from Baltimore County, Wishrock was able to put together an offer that met the seller’s schedule, preserve the development’s affordability and create a realistic timeline. The development received support from TD Bank, which invested $12.8 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity in partnership with Enterprise Community Investment, as well as Citibank, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, the State of Maryland, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Baltimore County and other financial and regulatory partners.


Please click this link to see the entire article posted in Enterprise Housing Horizon:



Timbercroft Ribbon Cutting  Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Owings Mills, MD – Today, Wishrock celebrates its first Enterprise Green Communities Certified* development, Timbercroft Townhomes. Timbercroft is a multifamily affordable housing development in Owings Mills, Maryland, which was recently redeveloped —

resulting in reduced energy use, improved building durability, and a healthier living environment. Wishrock received support from the State of Maryland and BG&E for building upgrades to improve energy efficiency, and proudly participated in the “EmPOWER Maryland” initiative. Together with the project’s design and development team, financial partners, public officials, and residents, Wishrock will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the project’s success.

At Timbercroft and across its portfolio, Wishrock is fulfilling its commitment to reducing consumption and increasing energy and water efficiency, as well as providing low-income communities with a healthy and sustainable living environment.

*Enterprise Green Communities Criteria and Certification promotes energy and water efficiency, healthy housing, and resource conservation. In order to receive this national certification, an affordable housing developer must meet a number of criteria involving integrative design, location and neighborhood fabric, site improvements, water and energy conservation, and green building materials.

Timbercroft Press Release


Trisha Miller, Sustainability Director



With nearly 100 years of combined experience developing affordable housing, the principals of Wishrock have successfully created and maintained safe and supportive affordable housing communities. We are active in 11 states, where we focus on the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing communities, often in difficult settings and challenging markets. We take great pride in preserving the affordability of the communities we purchase and redevelop.  Our company is committed to improving the quality of the lives of our residents through dedicated empowerment services, and to operating at the forefront of sustainability.


The Forefront of Sustainability, Affordable Housing News

“The Wishrock Housing Group is a national housing investor and developer focused solely on acquisition and rehabilitation.

The firm benefits affordable and workforce housing communities by providing much-needed upgrades to properties, including improved water and energy efficiency. These efforts make the Wishrock Housing Group a dedicated player when it comes to sustainability and adding to the health and vitality of affordable housing throughout the country.”

Thus begins the article featured in Affordable Housing News in the Summer 2016 publication. Please click on the following link to take you to the full issue:   The article begins on page 100.



Photo by Ross Solar Group

Photo by Ross Solar Group

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Portland, ME – Wishrock Housing and Investment Group, a national developer and investor in affordable housing, commits to bringing renewable energy to low-income communities.


Today, Wishrock unveils plans for its first combined solar rooftop and solar carport development at three multifamily affordable housing properties in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The properties – Bridgeport Elderly Apartments, Laurelwood Place Apartments, and Sycamore Place Apartments – just received Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) awards from the United Illuminating Company.  In partnership with solar developer, MSL Group, Wishrock will soon break ground on this innovative, multi-site solar project.


In January, Wishrock completed its first on-site solar development at Laurelwood Place Apartments. This 102-unit apartment community is home to seniors and disabled residents.  As part of Laurelwood’s green renovation, Wishrock and its development partner, National Housing Trust-Enterprise Preservation Corporation, added a 15kW rooftop solar array. The solar system is already stabilizing electricity costs and offsetting nearly 5,000 pounds of carbon since its installation.


“Wishrock and NHT-Enterprise are embracing a clean energy future,” says President Rick Wishcamper. “Today’s announcement reflects our broader commitment to sustainability and lowering energy costs for our affordable housing communities.  As solar energy becomes more competitive with conventional sources of electricity, we will continue to expand our solar footprint in Connecticut and across the country.”



Trisha Miller, Sustainability Director



With nearly 100 years of combined experience developing affordable housing, the principals of Wishrock have successfully and creatively created and maintained safe and supportive affordable housing communities using many different funding programs in 10 different states. We focus our work on acquisition and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing communities, often in difficult settings and challenging markets. We take great pride in preserving the affordability of the communities we purchase and redevelop and in our commitment to doing so with great emphasis on improving the quality of the lives of our residents through dedicated empowerment services and on our commitment to operating at the forefront of sustainability. Wishrock and its principals have preserved over 10,000 units of affordable housing, have never removed the affordable component from a project, and have never defaulted on an obligation to a lender or investor.

Creating An Inclusive Jackson

Creating An Inclusive Jackson


Aisha Nyandoro

Jackson, Miss., has a rebellious draw. It is a city with an underdog spirit and a big heart—complicated but optimistic. It is a place many of us have called home our whole lives and a place where newcomers can quickly attach themselves to movements, organizations or groups, and feel connected. Jackson is a place where we feel like we know our neighbors and have a loyalty to the city, to its dream of addressing inequality and becoming part of a better Mississippi.

There is a problem, however, that we too often ignore. While we freely talk about the potholes covering our streets, our new businesses and exciting developments, and our place in history in the Civil Rights Movement, as a community we don’t often speak about the socio-spatial segregation that divides our city. We ignore the gates, walls and barriers, both mental and physical, that create many Jacksons instead of one.

Our city is not a unified community largely because we divide and differentiate our space by class and race. It is a reality we know but greatly ignore as we take the same streets and turns each day, rarely venturing to new neighborhoods, creating shadow areas in our knowledge of the city.

When you think about the Jackson community, you might think about Fondren’s First Thursday, the growing downtown business district, your child’s school or museums celebrating our shared heritage, but you probably do not think of the affordable housing communities and the families living in that setting who share our city.

When we support our neighbors in Jackson, we cannot forget that the city includes people in Fondren, midtown, Belhaven, and west and south Jackson. Poverty does not have to divide our community. Families are families. We share summers filled with humid conversations on front porches, although our porches might be on opposite sides of the city.

To be a better Jackson, we need to work toward becoming a united, whole Jackson. We must redefine community to be inclusive and intentionally work toward redefining our understandings of building our community.

In my work with Springboard To Opportunities, a nonprofit organization based in Jackson that works with families living in the setting of affordable housing communities to help them succeed in life, school and work, I recognize this deep need to change the narrative about how we view people living in poverty and who we welcome into our community. The children I work with, young and inspired, also see this divided city and seek to change it.

The young people of two of our communities, Lincoln Gardens and Commonwealth Village, in west Jackson, have created the space to make a change, to build a unified Jackson one (literal) step at a time. Becoming increasingly disgruntled with the negative narratives regarding their neighborhoods, the middle- and high-school student residents have organized the second annual Run For Our Community 5K in partnership with Leadership Greater Jackson and United Way of the Capital Area. These young Jacksonians have been hard at work organizing this service-learning event where they raise money to use within their communities. They have written letters, designed T-shirts and fliers, identified marketing avenues and dreamed of a city that comes together in joyous celebration.

We invite you, readers of the Jackson Free Press, to join us, walk and sponsor the youth who have been hard at work organizing this event. You can find detailed race and sponsorship information as well as a portal to directly donate and register at

We believe a unified Jackson is possible, that we can address inequality and make a better Mississippi when we work together. It is within our reach if we step off our streets and take to different ones, shake hands with new hands, spend time in spaces of the city and with families we might not have met before, and support each other as we build a new community.

We hope to see you April 2!

Aisha Nyandoro is the executive director of Springboard to Opportunities in Jackson. Donate and register for the walk at Springboard to Opportunities is affiliated with Wishrock as a non-profit partner.

Portland / Missoula – based real estate firm invests $12.7M

Portland / Missoula-based real estate firm raises $12.7M

BY Lori Valigra


Timbercroft Housing LLC has raised $12.74 million for an affordable housing project in Owings Mills, Maryland, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Listed on the equity filing is Bryan Shumway, who is a principal with Wishrock Investment Group. Wishrock in turn is a managing member of the Timbercroft Housing project. Shumway told Mainebiz that Wishrock buys and renovates low-income, multi-family housing throughout the country using the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. “We are one of a half dozen companies like us in and around Portland that do the same thing,” he said. Among the other, unrelated Portland-based companies are The Eagle Point Properties, Silver Street Development Corp., SHP Acquisitions and Housing Initiatives of New England Corp. Shumway said Wishrock is based in Portland and Missoula because its principals like living in Maine and Montana. Wishrock employs 20-25 people, though it does most of its business, some 95%, outside of Maine and Montana, he said. The $12.74 million in equity will go toward developing and managing the 284-apartment complex in Maryland. It is primarily Section 8 housing, which in that state means occupants must not earn more than 60% of the area’s median income, Shumway explained. Enterprise Community Investment Inc., a syndicator of tax credits, also put money into the Timbercroft deal. Wishrock also invests in and develops affordable projects across the country. Wishrock Chairman Lyndel Wishcamper also is CEO of Wishcamper Properties and an owner of The Wishcamper Group and Preservation Inc., an affiliated company that manages 10,000 of Wishrock’s units in 18 states. Wishrock has acquired or developed more than $220 million worth of affordable housing in 10 states in the past 18 months, according to its website. Among Wishrock’s investments in Maine are Loring House and North School Apartments in Portland, Applewood in Camden, Academy Green in Bath, Baywood in Yarmouth, Follis Place in Eastport and Quarry RIdge Apartments in Freeport. Shumway says Wishrock also has joined President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge to reduce energy use by 20% by 2020. The group committed 8 million square feet across 8,000 multi-family housing units.

© 2014 Mainebiz (Maine’s business news source)

Senator Jon Tester Announces $700,000 in Housing Grants for Great Falls Area

November 23, 2015

(Great Falls, Montana) — Senator Jon Tester announced today that the community of Great Falls has been awarded $700,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB Des Moines) for an affordable housing rental rehabilitation project. Ninety-six families in the area will benefit from the FHLB Des Moines Strong Communities Fund housing grant.

“NeighborWorks Great Falls is delighted to play a part in preserving and renovating 96 apartments of workforce housing, which is so desperately needed in our city.” said Sheila Rice, executive director, NeighborWorks Great Falls. “We thank the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, our development partners, Wishrock, and Bank of Montana for their sponsorship.”

NeighborWorks Great Falls, in partnership with Wishrock Housing Partners and Investment Group, received the $700,000 award for a rehabilitation project that will provide safe housing to low-income families and individuals. FHLB Des Moines member Bank of Montana supported the grant.“Bank of Montana is proud to be involved in the preservation of much-needed affordable housing for low income families and individuals throughout our state and to help deliver critical financing that makes projects like this a reality,” said Tom Swenson, president and CEO of Bank of Montana. “Through Bank of Montana’s role as a FHLB Des Moines member bank and the only HUD MAP lender based and operating in Montana, along with the untiring efforts of the outstanding FHLB Des Moines staff, Bank of Montana was able to secure a $700,000 grant that will go towards vital resident safety and property improvements that will directly benefit individuals in our community. Bank of Montana cannot adequately describe in words how grateful we are for the opportunity to facilitate this life changing grant for our fellow Montanans and for our relationship with the FHLB Des Moines, who truly made this possible.”

Since the inception of its affordable housing program in 1990, FHLB Des Moines has awarded nearly $20 million for housing in Montana through partnerships with its member financial institutions.

Each year, FHLB Des Moines returns 10 percent of its net income to communities throughout its district. As part of FHLB Des Moines Strong Communities Fund, the 2015 Competitive Affordable Housing Program awarded more than $19 million to help create over 2,300 homes across the Bank’s district, consisting of 13-states and three U.S. Pacific territories.

“Through these grants, our members and non-profit partners are providing families and individuals in need with stable, affordable housing,” said Mike Wilson, president, FHLB Des Moines. “That housing, in turn, lends strength to the communities in which they live. These housing needs are met through the work of local lenders who partner with FHLB Des Moines to provide these important dollars without taxpayer funding.”

Strong Communities Fund dollars are an important form of gap funding for a variety of projects as the grants are often combined with other federal and local dollars.

Wishrock Announces Environmental Leader Trisha Miller As New Sustainability Director

Wishrock Housing and Investment Group, a national developer and investor in affordable housing, announced the appointment of Trisha Miller, a leader in the energy efficiency and green building movement, as Director of Sustainability.

Trisha Miller is an experienced national nonprofit leader and former Presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Her accomplishments include managing sustainability efforts, developing innovative energy finance programs, and implementing the President’s Climate Action Plan for HUD. In partnership with the Department of Energy, she expanded the Better Buildings Challenge to the multifamily sector and launched a successful campaign to triple the amount of on-site renewable energy in federally assisted housing.

“Wishrock is deeply committed to its residents and the communities in which it owns and operates affordable housing properties. As a natural extension of those core values, sustainability has become an ever increasing area of focus and curiosity for our company,” said Rick Wishcamper, President of Wishrock Housing and Investment Group. “Miller will bring her extensive experience in community development and social justice to Wishrock. She will help the company continue to grow their energy-efficient portfolio, and explore new ways to expand green affordable housing and clean energy across the country.”

Miller’s commitment to energy efficient and healthy housing builds on her previous role leading the Green Communities initiative at Enterprise Community Partners and serving as Board Chair of the Healthy Building Network. Miller has testified before the U.S. Senate and frequently delivers keynote addresses and lectures on green housing. She also practiced law at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, where she launched the Community Development Initiative to bring legal resources to nonprofits and thousands of individuals across the southern United States.

Trisha Miller participates on the Advisory Board for NH&RA’s Preservation Through Energy Efficiency Initiative.

Wishrock Announces Environmental Leader Trisha Miller As New Sustainability Director