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NAHMA Announces 2015 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award Entry Deadline and Details

The deadline for submissions for the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) 2015 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award is April 3. The award celebrates success in the multifamily affordable housing industry by recognizing and benchmarking newly developed or significantly rehabbed affordable multifamily housing communities that showcase high quality design and resourceful financing. For more details on the awards program, click the link below. To download the application, visit,
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Tax Issues and Tax Reform

"Demystifying the Alphabet Soup of Affordable Housing Development"


"What New Committee Leadership, Makeup Could Mean for Tax Credits"

State and Local Activities

"U.S. Mayors Report: Affordable Housing Needed to Reduce Hunger, Homelessness"
"State Gets Agressive on Credits for Passive Energy"
"Developers: Still a Demand for Low-Income Apartments"

Green Building

"Green Buildings Cost 25 Percent Less to Operate"
"New Energy Goes Into Conserving Power Use"

Court-Related Activity

"Texas Housing Case Tests Civil-Rights Doctrine"

Industry Trends

"A Critical Mission: Developing Veterans Housing"

Association News

NAHMA Honors Outstanding Affordable Housing Communities
NAHMA Celebrates Affordable Housing Industry Excellence
Early Bird Registration Deadline for March Meeting Approaching
Become a Specialist in Housing Credit Management® (SHCM®) Company!

Tax Issues and Tax Reform

Demystifying the Alphabet Soup of Affordable Housing Development (01/05/15) Lubetkin, Steve

Real-estate developers who are considering the affordable housing market have many incentives and financing choices, which may be confusing. The development of affordable rental housing is largely funded with low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs). Developers must apply for LIHTCs from state allocating agencies, which all have their own unique processes and deadlines in their Qualified Allocation Plans, and applications usually take months to assemble. LIHTCs do not need to be repaid, but they come with conditions, including a 15-year compliance period and a 15-year extended-use period, in which the development operates under LIHTC requirements. Because an LIHTC alone may not be enough funding for an affordable housing rental development, gap financing is also available. One example is a Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), in which larger cities and counties receive formula funding and states funnel funding to smaller communities. A CDBG may support site assemblage, site improvements, and some pre-construction costs. Some state and local governments also may provide assistance through a HOME Investment Partnership Program for long-term affordable housing units. The Affordable Housing Program, a competitive grant program, is offered by Federal Home Loan Banks for housing and community development. A public housing agency also may be able to provide a loan.
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What New Committee Leadership, Makeup Could Mean for Tax Credits
Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits (01/15) Vol. 6, No. 1 Novogradac, Michael J.

Committee changes for the 114th Congress may have significant consequences for the tax credit community. These changes have given Republicans a significant advantage, but passing tax-credit laws requires not only the approval of conservative members, but also of moderate Republicans and Democrats. Leadership and membership changes for the tax-writing committees include the Senate's Finance and the House's Ways and Means Committees, which oversee tax credits. Republican Conference members elected Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to head up the Ways and Means Committee, after chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) retired. Camp authored a discussion draft of tax-reform legislation last year that proposed to simplify the tax code and repeal the historic tax credit and renewable energy tax credits. Camp did retain the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), but also proposed changes that would reduce affordable housing production. Ryan has not been as clear in whether or not he supports the LIHTC, although his recent anti-poverty proposal included ideas that could undermine Department of Housing and Urban Development programs that are often combined with LIHTC in many developments. Other leadership changes were made in the Senate's Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Appropriations; and Budget Committees and the House's Financial Services; Appropriations; and Budget Committees. The House and Senate also passed a retroactive one-year extension of a bill that included extension of the 9-percent LIHTC rate floor through the end of 2014.
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State and Local Activities

U.S. Mayors Report: Affordable Housing Needed to Reduce Hunger, Homelessness
Affordable Housing Finance (01/05/15) Serlin, Christine

Affordable housing has become a top priority among city officials looking to reduce hunger and homelessness, according to an annual U.S. Conference of Mayors survey. The survey includes data from Sept. 1, 2013, to Aug. 31, 2014, provided by officials in 25 cities whose mayors serve on The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. Information shows that the total number of homeless people increased by an average of 1 percent. Forty-eight percent of cities reported an increase, 39 percent reported a decrease, and 13 percent stayed level. The number of families experiencing homelessness increased by an average of 3 percent, while the number of unaccompanied individuals experiencing homelessness decreased by an average of 0.7 percent. Lack of affordable housing was at the top of city officials’ list of the leading causes of homelessness, as well as unemployment, poverty, and mental illness. Thirty-nine percent of the survey cities expect the number of homeless families to increase moderately. Most of the survey cities reported that they successfully obtained Department of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs (VA), and other federal funds targeted for homeless veterans. To reduce homelessness, officials said that more mainstream assisted housing is needed, as well as more permanent supportive housing for people with disabilities, and better-paying job opportunities.
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State Gets Agressive on Credits for Passive Energy
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) (12/30/14) Jones, Diana Nelson

Developers that can build low-income housing to standards for passive energy use will have a better chance of winning tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The state plans to award 10 points to applicants that meet Passive House certifications standards and five to those that exceed ENERGY STAR(R) efficiency ratings. The more points a project receives, the better its chances of being selected. A passive house has triple-paned windows positioned to catch maximum sunlight, intensely airtight insulation and a ventilation system that sends stale air out and takes fresh air in to condition and distribute only as needed for high air quality. "We want developers to move in that direction, given the cost of utilities for low-income tenants," says Brian Hudson, executive director of the agency.
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Developers: Still a Demand for Low-Income Apartments
Des Moines Register (12/24/14) Aschbrenner, Joel

Although the number of applications for federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) has fallen, developers say there is still demand for the low-income housing. This year, developers applied for $13.2 million in LIHTCs for 23 projects in Iowa, down 43 percent from last year. The Iowa Finance Authority expects to award about $7 million in LIHTCs in March. Residents on the northeast side of Des Moines have complained about the concentration of apartments, particularly low-income units, and City Council members have questioned how new apartments will affect schools and other area services. Developer Frank Levy with Newbury Management Co. had planned to apply to build a low-income senior apartment complex, but pulled his application at the last minute when it seemed obvious that he would not be awarded the credits. He says that several factors make it more difficult for metro-area projects, including a greater emphasis on rural areas during the application process, and the elimination of the state's enterprise zone tax credit program, which had been paired with LIHTCs to fund projects. No metro-area projects were awarded LIHTCs in 2014.
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Green Building

Green Buildings Cost 25 Percent Less to Operate
Environmental Leader (01/05/15)

Green buildings are better for the environment and more cost-effective to operate, according to the U.S. General Services Administration's recent report. GSA and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory compared 22 green federal buildings with the national average of commercial buildings, post-occupancy. The study found the green buildings cost nearly 20 percent less to maintain, used 25 percent less energy and water, emitted 36 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions, and had a 27 percent higher occupancy satisfaction rate. A study of more than 100 LEED-certified commercial buildings in California found the LEED buildings had 50 percent less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from water consumption, 48 percent lower solid waste management-related GHG emissions, and 5 percent lower transportation-related GHG emissions when compared to traditional commercial buildings. The University of California, Berkeley's Center for Resource Efficient Communities conducted the study.
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New Energy Goes Into Conserving Power Use
Wall Street Journal (01/13/15) Kusisto, Laura

This past fall, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City is taking steps to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050, mainly by upgrading energy-guzzling older buildings. This has left more than a few building owners puzzled with regards to the next step. To ease such concerns, the city is opening a new resource center to provide landlords, building managers, architects, and others with training on how best to upgrading lighting, replace windows, add insulation, and install better controls for heating and air-conditioning systems. The approximately 5,500-square-foot Building Energy Exchange will be built using a portion of a $3.5 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and is on track for a summer 2015 completion. Richard Yancey, executive director of the exchange, is excited for the future prospects. He states, "We'll really be able to create this robust, one-stop shop for energy efficiency that can really start to move the needle." Plans for the center include classrooms, meeting rooms, and a laboratory for demonstration models that show how daylight streams in through building windows and enables designers to plan for more daylight. The facility will also help connect landlords with public and private financing. Finally, it will be used as the physical hub for a "retrofit accelerator," in which the city will seek out individual property owners and connect them with resources at the center to speed up retrofits. The goal of the accelerator is to help owners start to retrofit 1,000 buildings in the first three years.
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Court-Related Activity

Texas Housing Case Tests Civil-Rights Doctrine
Wall Street Journal (01/20/15) Whelan, Robbie; Bravin, Jess

Real-estate developers in Dallas have long built most of the city’s government-subsidized, low-income housing in poor, minority communities with relatively inexpensive land and little local opposition. This trend, however, has been criticized by housing advocates who argue that developers who receive subsidies should build more low-income housing in wealthier, predominantly white communities. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about whether the current system for distributing tax subsidies promotes racial segregation and violates the Fair Housing Act of 1968. In 2008, the advocacy group Inclusive Communities Project Inc. brought a housing dispute against the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The Inclusive Communities Project’s original suit against Texas’ housing agency argues that the state discriminated by distributing federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits almost entirely to buildings in neighborhoods with large African-American populations. The case centers on the controversial doctrine of “disparate impact,” which holds that plaintiffs only have to show that a policy's results are discriminatory, even if the discrimination was not intentional. Critics argue that disparate impact distorts free-market decisions and places unnecessary costs on the housing industry. The Supreme Court justices must ultimately rule whether disparate impact should apply under the Fair Housing Act.
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Industry Trends

A Critical Mission: Developing Veterans Housing
Affordable Housing Finance (01/07/15) Kimura, Donna

New communities around the nation are providing housing for homeless and at-risk veterans. Some of these communities focus on women, seniors, or veterans with families. Others provide certain types of services, or are located near Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. Federal officials and local leaders are working to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Last year, the number of homeless veterans fell by 11 percent, and about 33 percent since 2010, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Veteran housing is difficult to develop and operate because the projects require rent subsidies and supportive services. As a result, many developers turn to the HUD-VA Supportive Housing program, which combines HUD rental assistance with VA case management and clinical services. The program issued roughly 70,000 vouchers near the end of last year, but about 95 percent were tenant-based. Affordable housing leaders are calling for more project-based vouchers to help ensure long-term viability of a development's services. Examples of communities that provide affordable housing for veterans include Victory Gardens, a 74-unit development built on the VA Connecticut Healthcare System campus. About half of the apartments are handicapped accessible or adaptable, and the community is surrounded by trees and green space. The 74-unit Blue Butterfly Village in Los Angeles, under development by Volunteers of America Greater Los Angeles and the Volunteers of America (VOA) national office, focuses on female veterans and their children. The VOA national office helped the $31-million project obtain critical financing, including 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.
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Association News

NAHMA Honors Outstanding Affordable Housing Communities

For the 22nd consecutive year, the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) announces the winners of its annual Communities of Quality® (COQ) Awards program. These awards honor the best multifamily affordable housing communities across the country.

Entrants are judged on how they manage the physical, financial and social conditions of their properties, and on how well they convey their success in offering the highest quality of life for their residents. The awards will be presented at NAHMA’s annual Federal Affairs Issues Meeting, March 8-10, in Washington, D.C. For details on the NAHMA meeting, visit

NAHMA’s 2014 COQ Awards program is jointly sponsored by HD Supply Multifamily Solutions, a leading supplier of maintenance and renovation products to the multihousing industry, and Navigate Affordable Housing Partners, a leading provider of consulting and development services to public housing authorities and HUD’s Section 8 PBCA for Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia and Connecticut.

The four 2014 COQ categories and winners are:
EXEMPLARY FAMILY DEVELOPMENT: Canterbury Place, Roslindale, Mass.; Owner: Cummins Towers Company Limited Partnership; Management: First Realty Management Inc.; AHMA: NEAHMA

EXEMPLARY DEVELOPMENT FOR THE ELDERLY: Little Neck Village, Marion, Mass.; Owner: EAF Little Neck Village LLC; Management Company: Peabody Properties Inc.; AHMA: NEAHMA

EXEMPLARY DEVELOPMENT FOR SPECIAL NEEDS: Pear Tree Place, I, II and III, Yakima, Wash.; Owner: Next Step Housing; Management Company: Next Step Housing; AHMA: AHMA of Washington

OUTSTANDING TURNAROUND OF A TROUBLED PROPERTY: Blackstone Terrace, Woonsocket, R.I.; Owner: Atlantic Development Corp.; Management Company: Housing Management Resources Inc.; AHMA: NEAHMA

To read more about the winning properties, visit
. To learn about the COQ Awards program, click on the link below.
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NAHMA Celebrates Affordable Housing Industry Excellence

The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) announces the winners of its annual Industry and AHMA Awards. The list includes both individuals and organizations whose professionalism, dedication and accomplishments in assuring quality housing for low-income Americans raises the standards of the multifamily affordable housing industry. The awards ceremony takes place Monday, March 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m., as part of the three-day Federal Affairs Issues Meeting at the Fairmont Washington hotel in Washington, D.C. Information on the NAHMA meeting is available at

NAHMA Industry Statesman Award
George Caruso, SHCM, NAHP-e, is one of the founders of NAHMA, served as its executive director in the mid-1990s and has been crucial to the organization’s success.

Karen J. Newsome, SHCM, NAHP-e, CPO, has served the affordable multifamily industry for 35 years and has been passionately committed to both NAHMA and NEAHMA.

NAHMA Industry Achievement Award
Mark Livanec, SHCM, has been a NAHMA Affiliate Member as the Yardi representative for a decade and has worked tirelessly on behalf of NAHMA’s mission of advancing and preserving Communities of Quality®.

Industry Partner Award
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is being honored for her introduction of a bipartisan bill, the Improving the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Rate Act (S. 1442), in August 2013, which would improve the existing Low Income Housing Tax Credit program to provide greater certainty for investment in affordable housing development and preservation.

AHMA of the Year
Large: SAHMA - SAHMA’s success at member recruitment and retention, the introduction of new courses into its already expansive educational offerings, and its excellent organizational management and leadership, among many other factors, cause it to deserve this award.

Medium: NEAHMA - NEAHMA is a committed participant in all of NAHMA’s programs, especially in encouraging its members to become recognized Communities of Quality and supporting the NAHMA Educational Foundation and the Drug-Free Calendar/Poster contest.

Small: PennDel AHMA - PennDel AHMA’s principal focus is on training so that it strengthens, enriches, engages, develops and supports (S.E.E.D.S.) the next generation of affordable housing owners and managers.

AHMA Communities of Quality Program Award
Large: SAHMA - SAHMA aggressively markets the COQ recognition program to its members through social media posts, recognition of COQ properties at its state meetings and regional conferences, and regularly acknowledging the 435 SAHMA-member properties that are among “the best of the best.”

Small: PennDel AHMA - As PennDel AHMA continues to grow, it retains a strong focus on encouraging its members to qualify for COQ recognition. Currently, 49 member properties have achieved this status.

AHMA Innovation Award
Large: SAHMA and MAHMA, co-winners
SAHMA - In 2014, SAHMA started live tweeting at its meetings and conferences.
MAHMA - MAHMA is expanding its communications methods by utilizing a YouTube channel to present videos to its members, growing its presence on Facebook and connecting more than 400 individuals through LinkedIn.

Medium: Rocky AHMA added an Advanced Department of Housing and Urban Development Occupancy Online training course to its online training curriculum.

Small: PennDel AHMA has begun hosting joint trainings with the Delaware Valley chapter of Institute of Real Estate Management to increase attendance and revenue. The effort has also increased membership in the AHMA.

NAHMA Affordable Housing Advocate of the Year
Mark Morgan, president, Interstate Realty Management, and Michael Johnson, SHCM, NAHP-e, executive vice president, ALCO Management, Inc., are sharing the award for Housing Advocate of the Year for their outstanding leadership of NAHMA’s Alternative Futures Task Force.

NAHMA Communities of Quality Award
Most new in 2014: Housing Management Resources Inc., North Quincy, Mass.
Most overall in the program at the close of 2014: WinnResidential, Boston, Mass.

NAHMA Presidents Award
Given annually by NAHMA’s president for outstanding leadership or other contribution to NAHMA and the affordable multifamily housing industry-to be named by NAHMA’s president at the ceremony.

To read more about the Industry and AHMA Awards, click on the link below.
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Early Bird Registration Deadline for March Meeting Approaching

Join the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) as the organization hosts its annual winter meeting focusing on federal affairs issues. The three-day event features educational panels, networking opportunities, industry awards, Communities of Quality® (COQ) Awards luncheon and keynote speaker. The event concludes with prearranged Capitol Hill meetings with congressional representatives and their staff. Time is running out to receive the early bird room block discount. So register online today.

The Federal Affairs Issues winter meeting, March 8-10, takes place at the Fairmont Washington, 2401 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20037. The NAHMA room block single/double rate is $299 and expires Feb. 6. The discounted rooms are available on a first-come first-serve basis. After Feb. 7, prices increase by $50. Reserve your room online,

Event registration includes admission to the COQ luncheon, Monday, March 9. To see the full agenda, visit the Meetings page on the NAHMA website or click the link provided below.
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Become a Specialist in Housing Credit Management® (SHCM®) Company!

The three national associations sponsoring the Specialist in Housing Credit Management® certification program invite your company to become a Specialist in Housing Credit Management® (SHCM®) Company, a corporate designation created specifically to honor management companies that successfully maintain a significant portion of their properties and staff to the high standards of the SHCM certification program. The SHCM program, developed especially for management companies involved with properties developed and operated under the Low Income Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, is sponsored by the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA), the National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI), and LeadingAge (formerly AAHSA, the American Association of Housing and Services for the Aging).

Earning the SHCM Company® designation publicly demonstrates that a company is among the finest managers of LIHTC housing in the industry.

For more details on how to become a SHCM Company, click on the link below.
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January 2015