Overview and Self-Evaluation Adopted on July 27, 2022

PURPOSE

The purpose of this Overview and Self-Evaluation of The Rhode Island Health and Educational Building Corporation (the “Corporation” or “RIHEBC”) is to be responsive to the Quasi-Public Corporations Accountability and Transparency Act adopted by the General Assembly as set forth in Rhode Island General Law 42-155, et seq.  Its purpose is further to provide the Corporation’s stakeholders with a report on the effectiveness of the Corporation’s programs and activities.

 

OVERVIEW

The Corporation is a quasi-public agency that offers financing programs, including tax-exempt bonds, to Rhode Island’s public and private educational institutions, not-for-profit healthcare providers, and other eligible non-profit institutions.  While we are a component unit of the state, we are financially independent of the state because our core operations are financed solely from the fees we charge for our services.

 

MISSION STATEMENT

Mission

The mission of the Corporation is to provide cost-effective, efficient, and user-friendly funding programs for mission-critical capital projects of eligible institutions.  Eligible institutions include municipalities, public and private educational institutions, nonprofit performing arts centers, museums, hospitals, and other nonprofit physical and mental healthcare organizations.  RIHEBC’s funding programs include tax-exempt or taxable bonds, grants, and direct loans.

 

TEN YEAR ECONOMIC IMPACT AND PERFORMANCE STATISTICS

Since its establishment as a self-supporting agency, RIHEBC has provided approximately $10.2 billion in financing to eligible borrowers.  As of the fiscal year 2021 audited financials, the Corporation oversees $3.3 billion in bonds outstanding.  RIHEBC’s programs continue to effectively meet the needs of the healthcare and educational institutions by providing timely and cost-effective financing.  During fiscal years 2013 to 2022, RIHEBC provided over $4.1 billion in total bond financing to 47 institutions, 28 communities, and 4 regional school districts.  Of this amount, $1.8 billion represents funds used to finance new construction or renovation projects, creating an estimated 8,700 jobs and $3.2 billion in economic activity.  The other $2.3 billion of this ten-year total represents funds that were used to refinance other debt for the purpose of generating debt service savings and/or to restructure an institution’s debt portfolio.  When compared to conventional bank financing, RIHEBC’s financing programs have yielded approximately $380.0 million in interest cost savings for borrowers during this 10-year period.

During this time, RIHEBC, through its efficient approval process, was able to complete financings, on average, within 138 days of receipt of a borrower application. Furthermore, the fees that the Corporation assesses to complete these financings are lower than at comparable issuers within the state and the nation.

The Corporation has become the prominent issuer for tax exempt financing in the State and has developed extensive knowledge and expertise in providing such financing. Its expertise and assistance have become more important to its clients due to the increasing complexity and scrutiny imposed by federal agencies and U.S. Congress on the use of tax-exempt financing.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

RIHEBC’s Board is appointed by the Governor.  Each member serves a five-year term. At the end of fiscal year 2022, the Board of Directors consisted of the following individuals:

Mr. Scott A. Davis, Chairman.  Term expires June 30, 2024.  Mr. Davis, a resident of Providence, Rhode Island, is President of Fuller Mill Realty LLC, a real estate development company, and owner of the Rhode Island Antiques Mall in Pawtucket.

Mr. William S. Murray, Vice Chairman. Term Expires: June 30, 2026.  Mr. Murray, a resident of Cumberland, Rhode Island for 56 years, was mayor of Cumberland from 2015 to 2019. He is currently working for Best Practice Energy in Wakefield as Energy Adviser/Consultant.

Mr. Ralph A. Palumbo, Treasurer.  Term expires June 30, 2023.  Mr. Palumbo, a resident of Warwick, Rhode Island, is a Certified Public Accountant and President of Revity Energy LLC.

Ms. Lisa Andoscia, Board Member. Term Expires: June 30, 2026. Ms. Andoscia is a resident of North Providence, Rhode Island, and a business consultant. In 2002, she founded Rosewood Consulting Inc.

Ms. Channavy Chhay, Board Member. Term Expires: June 30, 2027. Ms. Chhay, a resident of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, is the executive director of the Center for Southeast Asians.

 

STAFF

At the end of fiscal year 2022, Corporation staff consisted of the following individuals:

Kimberly Mooers, Executive Director

Scott O’Malley, Chief Financial Officer/Human Resource Director

Jennifer Almeida, School Building Aid / Funds Manager

Dina Munroe, Executive Assistant (at the end of fiscal year 2022, Dina is working for RIHEBC on a “temp to perm” basis).

 

ADVISORS TO THE CORPORATION

At the end of fiscal year 2022, the Corporation’s advisors consisted of the following firms:

Moses Ryan Ltd., General Counsel

O’Connor & Drew, PC, Independent Auditors

Acacia Financial Group, Inc., Municipal Advisor

Dome Consultants, LLC, Lobbyist

Advocacy Solutions, LLC, PR/Marketing               

Greenberg Traurig LLP, Bond Counsel

Hinckley Allen & Snyder, LLP, Bond Counsel

Locke Lord LLP, Bond Counsel

Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, Bond Counsel

Savage Law Partners, Bond Counsel

 McCarter and English, Bond Counsel

Mintz Levin, Bond Counsel

Nixon Peabody, Bond Counsel

Taft & McSally, Bond Counsel

Adler Pollock & Sheehan, Bond Counsel

All of these advisors were secured through a competitive procurement process that typically occurs every 2 to 5 years.

 

PROGRAMS

 

Bond Financing Program

RIHEBC’s issuance of tax exempt and taxable bonds has provided financing ranging from $1.2 million to $214.0 million for buildings and facilities. It has assisted with capital projects for every hospital, college and university in Rhode Island, as well as skilled nursing/assisted living facilities, charter schools, private and public elementary and secondary schools and community health centers.  For larger transactions, bonds are typically sold as public offerings through an investment bank or syndicate of banks.  Smaller bond issues are often privately placed directly with a bond purchaser, most often a local or regional bank.  See below under “Bonds Issued in Fiscal Year 2022” for a summary of the current year bond issuances.

 

Equipment Lease Program

The goal of the Equipment Lease Program is to provide a faster and less expensive alternative to financing equipment needs and associated renovation projects than is available under the bond program. The Program is designed to be an alternative to single source vendor financing and taxable commercial financing and is best used for financing shorter-lived assets. The lenders in this program might be local or regional banks, or finance companies that specialize in lease financings.  This program has not been utilized since Fiscal Year 2013.  However, in 2020, the program was streamlined with standardized documents, lower fees, and a faster approval process.  The revised program is still available to borrowers.

 

Direct Loan Programs

From time to time, RIHEBC makes loans to eligible institutions from its own reserves.  These loan programs are described below.

Community Facility Loan

This program provides fixed rate loans to institutions for equipment, facility improvements and real estate. The maximum amount of loans per institution is $800,000 with a maximum loan term based on the useful life of the project, but in no case will the term exceed ten (10) years. The interest rate of the loan will be based on a comparable U.S. Treasury plus 15 basis points and will be fixed for the term of the loan.  The Corporation has not made a loan under this program since Fiscal Year 2015.

Emergency Loan

This program was established in March of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its purpose is to assist eligible RIHEBC borrowers in the payment of debt service on RIHEBC bonds. The program’s intention is to financially bridge the borrower to a more stable time.  The maximum loan size is $250,000 and the loan repayment terms were to be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Since the program’s inception, RIHEBC made one emergency loan in the amount of $151,000.

 

Grant Program

The RIHEBC Board can, at its discretion, authorize designating a portion of its reserves to make grants to eligible institutions.  These grant programs are competitive and are funded when the grantee submits the required funding paperwork.  In Fiscal Year 2022, RIHEBC funded $300,697 in Project Grants that were awarded in Fiscal Year 2021 to the following institutions: Comprehensive Community Action Program, Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College, Scandinavian Communities Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing, Thrive Behavioral Health, and Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts.  In addition, RIHEBC’s Board approved the Capital Grant Program in fiscal year 2022, which awarded just over $1 million in grants to the following institutions:

AccessPoint RI           Lucy's Hearth
CODAC Behavioral Healthcare           Mercymount Country Day
Cumberland, Town of           Prout School, The
Family Service of RI           Saint Antoine Residence
J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center           Thrive Behavioral Health
Linn Health & Rehab/ Aldersbridge Communities           Thundermist Health Center

 

State Aid for Public School Projects

As Rhode Island’s premier issuer of tax-exempt bonds for public school projects, RIHEBC serves as a partner to the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) by administering three state aid programs:  School Housing Aid, School Building Authority Capital Fund, and State Bond Pay-Go grants.  To be eligible for any of these components of state aid, school districts and their host municipalities must complete the School Building Authority’s (SBA) necessity of school construction approval process.

School Housing Aid

School districts within the State that receive SBA approval and complete school projects for repair, renovation or new construction are eligible for state housing aid, which consists of reimbursement of RIHEBC-issued bond debt service once the project is complete.  The rate at which the school district is reimbursed for debt service is determined by the State.  The State makes an annual appropriation for school housing aid, which is transferred to RIHEBC twice per year.  These funds are held in a custody account at US Bank.

In fiscal year 2022, RIHEBC administered $56.1 million in school housing aid to 33 communities.

School Building Authority Capital Fund

The SBA Capital Fund provides “pay-as-you-go” state funding for approved projects to address high-priority needs. Communities compete to receive this funding, and it is distributed as work is being done, with the school districts submitting invoices to RIDE. The state makes an annual appropriation for the SBA Capital Fund, which is transferred to RIHEBC at the beginning of the fiscal year.  These funds are held in a custody account at US Bank.

In fiscal year 2022, RIHEBC distributed $2.8 million in total capital fund grants to a broad range of communities.

State Bond Pay-Go Grants

In fiscal year 2019, RIHEBC began administering the state’s “Pay-Go” grant program.  Funded by state general obligation bonds, Pay-Go grants are made to communities for SBA-approved projects.  The Pay-Go funds go into the project at the beginning, thereby reducing the amount of project costs that need to be permanently financed. These funds are transferred to RIHEBC on an as-needed basis and are held in a custody account at US Bank.

In fiscal year 2022, RIHEBC distributed $46.1 million in Pay-Go grants to 9 communities.

BONDS ISSUED IN FISCAL YEAR 2022

The Corporation issued $492.5 million in 13 separate bond issues of conduit debt during fiscal year 2022. Of that amount, approximately $299.8 million was issued to finance new projects for seven communities, four higher educational institutions, one charter school, and one private high school for various capital projects.  Refunding bonds totaled $192.7 million.  These six bond issues were undertaken for purposes of consolidating or restructuring the institutions’ debt, and/or to secure debt service savings.

The following charts break down the Corporation’s fiscal year 2022 financings by borrower category, use of proceeds and type of bond sale.

 

Bonds Issued FY2022