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NAAEI Leadership Experience: Powered by Dale Carnegie

Responding to the need for leadership training within the apartment industry, the National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) has partnered with Dale Carnegie Training to deliver a world-class leadership training program. This program targets regional employees and corporate department heads, helping them make the transition from being a great manager to an effective leader. Courses will be held March 4-5 in Raleigh, N.C.; May 13-14 in Austin, Texas, and Oct. 14-15 in Denver, Colo. For more information about this two-day program, click on the link below.
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Tax Issues and Tax Reform

"Tax Reform One of Several Significant Issues for New Congress"

State and Local Activities

"Council to Consider Support of Affordable Housing Project"
"In Environmental Mandate, Trouble for Affordable Housing?"

HUD-Related Activity

"2016 Budget Proposal Seeks $4 Billion Boost for HUD"
"HUD Issues NHTF Program Guidance"

Green Building

"Energy-Efficient Rental Housing Can Save Residents More Than $600 Per Year, Study Says"
"Thermos-Like Passive Homes Aggressively Save Energy"

Management and Compliance

"Protecting Affordable Housing Parties Against the Big, Bad Environmental Liability Monster"

Association News

Learn from Anywhere with Webinar Wednesday Series
Earn CECs: Order Session Recordings from the 2014 Conference
NAHMA Announces 2015 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award Program
Become a Specialist in Housing Credit Management® (SHCM®) Company!

Tax Issues and Tax Reform

Tax Reform One of Several Significant Issues for New Congress
Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits (02/15) Vol. 06, No. 2 Novogradac, Michael J.

The issue of tax reform is expected to receive significant attention under the new House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). A draft tax reform bill released in 2014 by outgoing Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) preserved the LIHTC, but also proposed a set of reforms that could considerably reduce affordable housing production. The bill also called for repealing the historic tax credit (HTC) and renewable energy tax credits (RETCs), and did not specify repealing or preserving the new markets tax credit (NMTC). A key budget issue facing the affordable housing community is a shift to calendar-year funding for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Project-Based Section 8 funding instead of when contracts expire throughout the year. This means that for contracts to receive a full 12 months of funding in fiscal year (FY) 2016, Project-Based Section 8 would require a major infusion in funding, last estimated at about $1.6 billion. It will likely be difficult for Congress to approve that increase, or it may make large cuts in other housing programs. Meanwhile, all financial discussions for this Congress will need to adhere to a series of fiscal deadlines, the first being the debt limit that faces the end of a temporary suspension to March 15.
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State and Local Activities

Council to Consider Support of Affordable Housing Project (02/16/2015) Ching, Monique

The city of San Angelo, Texas, has determined it will not waive permit fees for a proposed affordable housing project, but the City Council will consider a resolution supporting the project. At a Feb. 10 council meeting, council members said they will consider a resolution of support, which is expected to help the project compete for points in the Low Incoming Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program against projects in such Texas cities as Midland and Odessa. "LDG Development LLC, is asking council for a general resolution of support to make the Valleyview apartment project more competitive," a city memo states. "LIHTC projects are awarded funding through a complex point system, which includes monetary and non-monetary city government support." The project, known as the Outlook at Valleyview, has been proposed for 2900 Valleyview Blvd., and will target low- and moderate income families. The property has been zoned for multifamily housing since 1983. This means that any other developer could construct an apartment project on the site regardless of whether this one comes to fruition, according to city officials. The council proposed waiving $14,500 in permit fees for the $9.9 million project, but the move was abandoned in the wake of public opposition.
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In Environmental Mandate, Trouble for Affordable Housing?
Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) (02/01/15) Anderson, Zac

Florida's rebounding economy has pushed environmental protection and affordable housing back to the forefront. However, there are concerns that a voter-approved mandate requiring that a third of all funds collected from state taxes on real estate transactions be put toward conservation efforts could jeopardize efforts to promote affordable housing, which depends on the same real estate taxes. Florida Housing Coalition President Jaimie Ross says affordable housing is again a big concern because property values and rents are on the rise, while incomes remain stagnant. Last year, lawmakers earmarked $168 million from the housing trust fund for affordable housing, marking a seven-year high; and housing advocates hoped that the projected budget surplus would allow that figure to keep growing. There would be $267 million available in the housing trust fund next year if the funds are not diverted for other purposes. Environmental groups are firing back, noting that the state is poised to collect over $2.2 billion in real estate taxes next year; and after a third is put toward environmental spending, about $1.5 billion would still remain for affordable housing and other programs.
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HUD-Related Activity

2016 Budget Proposal Seeks $4 Billion Boost for HUD
Affordable Housing Finance (02/02/15) Kimura, Donna

President Obama's fiscal 2016 budget proposal allocates $49.3 billion funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), reflecting a $4 billion, or 8.7 percent increase above current levels. The HUD budget request seeks $21.1 billion for the Sec. 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, an increase of $1.82 billion from the fiscal 2015 enacted level. HUD says this funding will provide roughly 2.4 million very low-income families with decent and safe housing. The budget also allocates funding to restore 67,000 vouchers lost to sequestration in 2013 as well as $10.8 billion for project-based rental assistance. This amount would support 12 months of funding for rental assistance contracts with private owners who maintain affordable rental housing for 1.2 million families, and $6.6 billion in operating and capital subsidies to preserve affordable public housing for 1.1 million families. Furthermore, the Obama administration is seeking $250 million for the Choice Neighborhoods Program, a $170 million increase above the 2015 enacted level. The HOME program is proposed to receive $1.06 billion, of which $10 million would be set aside for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program. For HOME, the request is $150 million more than the 2015 enacted level. In contrast, the popular Community Development Block Grant program is proposed to receive $2.8 billion, down from $3 billion in 2015. "We think this request really helps us continue our progress toward all of our goals, starting with providing housing support to millions of low-income Americans," said HUD Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti.
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HUD Issues NHTF Program Guidance
Affordable Housing Finance (01/30/15) Kimura, Donna

Federal housing officials expect that states will receive their first National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) allocations by the summer of 2016. States will begin developing plans to allocate the money this year, and submit these plans to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with their 2016 Annual Action Plans. On Jan. 30, HUD published an interim program rule to the Federal Register that offers guidance to state and local entities for implementing the trust fund. States and state-designated entities are eligible grantees for the new funding. Annual formula grants will be made, of which at least 80 percent must be used for rental housing, up to 10 percent for homeownership; and up to 10 percent for the grantee's reasonable administrative and planning costs. The funds may be used for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities. All NHTF-assisted units must have a minimum affordability period of 30 years. Eligible activities and expenses include real property acquisition, site improvements and development hard costs, related soft costs, demolition, financing costs, relocation assistance, and operating cost assistance for rental housing.
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Green Building

Energy-Efficient Rental Housing Can Save Residents More Than $600 Per Year, Study Says
Phys.Org (02/11/15) Gehrt, Katie

A yearlong study conduced on behalf of Housing Virginia found that residents of energy efficient apartments save an average of $54 a month, or $648 per year. The study's target communities comprised affordable rental housing developed through the Virginia Housing Development Authority's (VHDA) Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, inclusive of senior housing and family housing. It also looked at the differences between new construction, rehabilitated housing, and adaptive re-use. Starting in 2007, the VHDA implemented a set of incentives in the LIHTC program that encouraged developers and builders to use a recognized third-party standard in design and construction to achieve long-term energy usage reductions. The incentives required the use of rigorous standards, third party testing, and inspection from EarthCraft Virginia and LEED. Virginia was one of the first states to provide these types of incentives in the LIHTC program, and has been a national leader in this regard. This study confirms that these policies are reaching their intended goals. The findings suggest a need for better education for residents about the potential savings and strategies for adjusting their behavior. The study also indicated a need for more education about the equipment and design of residents' apartments in order to take full advantage of efficiency technologies.
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Thermos-Like Passive Homes Aggressively Save Energy
National Geographic News (01/20/15) Koch, Wendy

Six new rowhouses being built by Habitat for Humanity in Washington, D.C., will be so well sealed that they will perform much like a coffee thermos. The buildings are projected to use up to 90 percent less energy than a typical house, with 12-inch-thick exterior walls and triple-pane windows. The rowhouses are meant to house low-income families and meet what may be the world's strictest energy standards: Passive House, which originated in Germany but is becoming more popular in the United States. German-born architect Katrin Klingenberg is co-founder and executive director of the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS), which has certified or pre-certified 130 projects in North America, compared to just 12 in January 2012. Many of these are single-family homes, but a growing number are apartments and non-residential buildings. Buildings account for 40 percent of total U.S. energy use and 10 percent of its greenhouse-gas emissions. Passive House focuses on one metric: energy use. Instead of requiring solar panels or wind turbines, passive houses cut energy use with meticulous air sealing of joints and hairline cracks, superior insulation, and ultra-efficient windows and appliances. In March, PHIUS plans to roll out new standards for North America, developed partly with funding from the Department of Energy, that will vary the requirements by climate. It remains to be seen whether the passive movement will succeed in North America, particularly in California, where the state is requiring that by 2020, all new residential buildings produce as much power as they use. Skeptics of passive building notes that "sick-building syndrome" can occur when an air-tight space contains pollutants. The certification also can be costly and limit design choices.
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Management and Compliance

Protecting Affordable Housing Parties Against the Big, Bad Environmental Liability Monster
Affordable Housing Finance (01/29/15) Torbitt, Alison B.

During the development of an affordable housing project, it may be discovered that the property has contamination of the soil, soil vapor, or groundwater. The owner, developer, and lender may find that the environmental remediation project costs millions and has a negative impact on property value. Typically, the real property owner is initially responsible party for the costs of remediation. However, if a low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) investor had lent money to an affordable housing project, the investor may become the majority shareholder in the limited partnership owner. As a result, an indemnity obligation may be triggered. The 1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the authority to respond to environmental and health hazards at real property. It is important to take note of the "secured creditor exemption" from liability found at Section 101(20)(A) of CERCLA, which applies to a party that does not "participate in management" of the real property. In a foreclosure situation, however, a lender will often be forced to participate in management activities and lose the "secured creditor exemption." Ideally, LIHTC investors will ensure the real property they are lending money to, developing, or assuming ownership in has no or minimal contamination. Liability can be potentially avoided by satisfactorily conducting an All Appropriate Inquiry, which as of Oct. 6, 2015, will be the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Practice E1527-13.
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Association News

Learn from Anywhere with Webinar Wednesday Series

Join NAAEI, Apartment All Stars and Multifamily Insiders for Webinar Wednesdays, the largest premium webinar series in the industry to provide SHCM designates with access to industry thought leaders to discuss innovative ideas, best practices and emerging industry trends. These webinars will give participants the tools they need to become industry superstars in their own right. To review upcoming webinars or to register click on the link below.

• Feb. 25, Transforming Technologies: Marketing to a Mobile Generation presented by Toni Blake
• March 11, Stop Yelling at Me! What to Do When Residents and Customers Are Not Happy presented by Rommell Anacan
• March 25, How to Master Writing a Marketing Plan presented by Lori Valenti Webb
• April 8, Fair Housing CSI: Deconstructing Disability Disasters to Avoid Repeating Them! presented by Doug Chasick
• April 15, How to Get Your Customers to Write Reviews and Creative Ways to Use Them to Generate Traffic presented by Kate Good
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Earn CECs: Order Session Recordings from the 2014 Conference

If you did not attend the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) summer meeting, held in conjunction with the National Apartment Association (NAA) Education Conference and Expo, you do not have to miss the excellent education sessions that were presented in Denver, Colo.

You can order 20 video recorded and 22 PowerPoint-synced audio sessions from top industry speakers featured at the 2014 conference.

The entire 2014 Rewind series is available for $199, a $100 savings for SHCM designates only. Please enter the coupon code REWIND100 at checkout to receive your SHCM discount.

Session 1: NAHMA Presents Scenarios for Housing Credit Reform—Is There Life Afterward?
Industry experts discuss likely scenarios of reform to the Housing Credit program, as well as what forward thinkers may already be contemplating as “Plan B” if the Housing Credit program undergoes major change.
Speakers: Nicolo Pinoli, Novogradac & Company LLP; Lawrence Curtis, WinnDevelopment; Michelle Norris, National Church Residences; Kris Cook, NAHMA

Session 2: NAHMA Presents Energy-Saving Solutions Designed to Pay for Themselves
Attendees learn from HUD Energy Innovation Fund grant recipients about the energy-efficient programs they launched and the successes they achieved.
Speakers: Darien Crimmin, WinnDevelopment; Jeffrey Greenberger, Affordable Community Energy; Richard Samson, SAHF Energy, a division of Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future; Kris Cook, NAHMA

Session 3: NAHMA Presents the Clipboard Is Dead—Long Live the Tablet!
Learn how to say goodbye to the clipboard and welcome new maintenance tools to optimize site staff time and efficiency, lower utility and operations costs, be persistent with performance checks and realize all the savings promised by sophisticated systems.
Speakers: Michael Ferguson, Peabody Properties Inc.; Matthew Holden, Sparhawk Group; Michelle Kitchen, NAHMA

Session 4: NAHMA Presents Legislative and Regulatory Issues Affecting Affordable Multifamily Housing
Learn about the impact of federal budget appropriations, sequestration and the deficit on funding for affordable multifamily housing programs now and in the future; the latest regulatory initiatives impacting the Housing Credit, HUD and rural housing programs; and real-world impacts on communities, management companies and owners.
Speakers: Gianna Solari, Solari Enterprises Inc.; Greg Brown, National Apartment Association; Kris Cook, NAHMA; Michelle Kitchen, NAHMA

To purchase session records, click on the link below.
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NAHMA Announces 2015 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award Program

The deadline for submissions for the NAHMA 2015 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award is April 3. The award celebrates success in the multifamily affordable housing industry by recognizing and benchmarking new, quality multifamily affordable housing development.

Vanguard Award Categories:
A. New Construction (two subcategories: more than 100 units and under 100 units)
B. Major Rehabilitation of an Existing Rental Housing Community
C. Major Rehabilitation of a Nonhousing Structure into Affordable Rental Housing
D. Major Rehabilitation of a Historic Structure into Affordable Rental Housing

Affordable multifamily housing communities that are less than three years old, as of April 3, 2015, may apply, based on date of completion of new construction or completion of major rehab. Please note: A management company may submit only one entry for each category. Affordable is defined as a property participating in a government funded, insured or otherwise sponsored program that results in rents that are below market-rate housing.

This year’s Vanguard Awards program is sponsored by the NAHMA-endorsed Multifamily Affordable Housing Insurance Program (MAHIP), provided by Wells Fargo Insurance Services. For details on the national resources, depth-of-industry understanding and market strength of the MAHIP program, visit
. “Wells Fargo is a proud sponsor of the Vanguard Awards,” commented Megan Davidson, ARM, CRIS, vice president of Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc. “We appreciate and support what you do to make communities better and safer places to live and thrive. Wells Fargo believes and supports affordable housing from a lending and investment standpoint, as one of the largest providers of insurance to affordable housing providers, and as volunteers and supporters of organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. Our goal is to support your success by financially protecting what you value most, and fulfilling all your commercial insurance needs,” she said.

For more details on the awards program visit, click the link below. To download the application, visit,
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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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February 2015