Early Bird Discount Still Available for NAHMA 2012 Winter Meeting

Register before Feb. 10 and take advantage of the early bird discount for NAHMA's 2012 Legislative Issues Forum. The meeting is being held from March 11-13, 2012 (Sunday - Tuesday) at the Fairmont Washington Hotel located at 2401 M Street NW in Washington, DC.

Click below for the Preliminary Meeting Agenda, and registration details.

NAHMA Invited Panelists for March 2012 Meeting:

Monday, March 12
HUD Forum 9:30 – 11:30 AM
Panel 1: 9:30-9:45 AM Opening Remarks
• David Vargas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Real Estate Assessment Center, Public and Indian Housing, HUD

Panel 2: 9:45-11:30 AM HUD Program Staff Panel
• Marilyn Edge, Acting Director of Multifamily Asset Management, HUD (invited)
• Ben Metcalf, Senior Advisor, Multifamily, Office of Housing, HUD (invited)
• Delton Nichols, Deputy Director, Real Estate Assessment Center, Office of Public and Indian Housing, HUD
• Eric Ramsey, Acting Director of Policy and Participation Division, Office of Multifamily, HUD (invited)
• Margaret Salazar, Senior Housing Program Specialist, Multifamily, HUD (invited)
• Ted Toon, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Affordable Housing Preservation, Multifamily, HUD (invited)
• Yvette Viviani, Housing Program Manager, Office of Housing Assistance & Grant Administration, Multifamily Housing, HUD (invited)

NAHMA COQ Awards Luncheon 12:00 – 1:30 PM
• Marie Head, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Multifamily Housing, HUD

“The Changing Face of America and Likely Impacts on Affordable Housing” Discussion 1:30 – 3:00 PM
• David Smith, Chairman, Recap Real Estate Advisors

“Key Energy Issues, Trends and Policies” Panel 3:00 – 4:00 PM
• Michael Miller, President and CEO, American Utility Management
• Chrissa Pagitsas, LEED AP, Green Initiative Program Manager, Multifamily Risk, Fannie Mae (invited)
• Ted Toon, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Affordable Housing Preservation, Multifamily, HUD (invited)
• Michael Zatz, Chief of the Market Sectors Group, ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch, US Environmental Protection Agency (invited)

Tax Credit Committee 4:00 – 5:00 PM
• Paul Handleman, Branch Chief, Passthroughs and Special Industries, Office of Associate Chief Council, Internal Revenue Service
• Greg Proctor, President, Windsor Group, LLC
• Garth Rieman, Director, Housing Advocacy & Strategic Initiatives, Policy and Government Affairs, National Council of State Housing Agencies
• Grace Robertson, Program Analyst, Examination Specialization & Technical Guidance , Internal Revenue Service

Tuesday, March 13
Rural Housing Committee 8:30 – 9:30 AM
• Bryan Hooper, Deputy Administrator, Multifamily Housing, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture (invited)
• Janet Stouder, Deputy Director, Multifamily Housing Portfolio Management Division, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture (invited)
• Stephanie White, Director, Multi-Family Housing Portfolio Management, Rural Housing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (invited)
• Michael Steininger, Director, Multi-Family Housing Processing Division, Rural Housing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (invited)

Senior Housing Committee 9:30 – 10:30 AM
• Ben Metcalf, Senior Advisor, Multifamily, Office of Housing, HUD (invited)
• Margaret Salazar, Senior Housing Program Specialist, Multifamily, HUD (invited)

TRACS and Contract Administration Committee 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM
• Lewis Suiter, Deputy Director, Office of Housing Assistance Contract Administration Oversight, Multifamily Housing, HUD (invited)
• Lanier Hylton, Director, Office of Program Systems Management, HUD (invited)
• Matt Naish, Director, Project Management, San Francisco Multifamily Hub, HUD (invited)


Association News
NAHMA Announces National Communities of Quality® Award Winners: 2011 Awards Celebrate 19th Year of Award Program
NAHMA Announces Multifamily Industry Award Winners: 2011 Honorees in Affordable Multifamily Housing Recognized for Outstanding Achievement
NAHMA Announces 2012 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award Program Details and Deadline
NAHMA Offers Green Housing Management Publication

Industry News
"Time Again for Tax Extenders"
"Opening Up LIHTCs for Foreclosed Homes"
"Q&A: Housing and Economic Reform Act Special Rent Limits"
"Making Sense of Market Studies"
"IRS Issues 'Repair Regulations,' Multifamily Industry Now Has to Figure Them Out"
"Study: Energy Efficiency in Apartments Could Save $3.4 Billion"
"Fannie Looks Ahead"
"Occupancy Standards Tightened for Housing Aid"
"The Need for Speed"
"Property Compliance Briefs - NAHMA"
"Raleigh's Low-Income Housing Faces an Uphill Battle"
"City to Finance Affordable Housing Projects Through Tax Credits"
"Supply Shortfall Persists for Apartments"
"High Apartment Rents Seen Pushing People To Buy Homes"
"Apartment Kick-Off Webinar: Look for Continued MF Growth"
"Affordable Housing Briefs - NCHSA"

Association News

NAHMA Announces National Communities of Quality® Award Winners: 2011 Awards Celebrate 19th Year of Award Program

For the 19th consecutive year, NAHMA has recognized the best multifamily affordable housing communities across the country for excellence in the way they manage the physical, financial and social condition of the properties. Winning member sites also are honored for the quality of life they offer residents, the level of resident involvement in community life, their financial stability, the certified quality of their staff, and the nature of collaborations with other organizations and agencies.

This year, there are five Communities of Quality® (COQ) award categories and winners.

For the 8th straight year, the COQ awards are co-sponsored, with NAHMA, by HD Supply Multifamily Solutions, a leading supplier of maintenance and renovation products to the multihousing industry.

The COQ awards will be presented at NAHMA’s annual winter meeting, March 11-13, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

“It’s quite an accomplishment to be named a National Community of Quality Award winner,” said Kris Cook, CAE, Executive Director of NAHMA. “The competitive process pits outstanding properties against one another, and our independent panel of judges carefully analyzes the entries to select the ones that really stand out.”

“Anybody who looked at the entrants, and especially the winners, of the National COQ Awards program couldn’t help but be impressed with the quality of the housing and the services provided to residents,” said NAHMA President Scott Reithel, NAHP-e. “These communities are certainly great assets to their communities.”

The 2011 COQ winners are:

Exemplary Family Development: Trolley Square Apartments
Cambridge, MA
Owner: Homeowner's Rehab Inc.
Management: WinnResidential

Exemplary Development for the Elderly
Back of the Hill Apartments
Boston, MA
Owner: Back of the Hill Community Development Corporation
Management: The Community Builders

Outstanding Turnaround of a Troubled Property
Leyden Woods Apartments
Greenfield, MA
Owner: TCB Leyden Woods LP
Management: The Community Builders

Exemplary Development for Residents with Special Needs
Mullen Manor
Sicklerville, NJ
Owner: MSAA
Management: PRD Management, Inc.

Exemplary Development for Single-Room Occupancy Housing
Aurora Apartments
Worcester, MA
Owner: The Community Builders
Management: The Community Builders

For more details, click on the link below.
NAHMA Announces Multifamily Industry Award Winners: 2011 Honorees in Affordable Multifamily Housing Recognized for Outstanding Achievement

NAHMA recently announced the winners of its annual Industry and AHMA Awards. The list includes both individuals and organizations that have worked in innovative ways to develop and improve affordable housing in their communities and to continually raise the standards of the affordable housing industry.

The awards will be given during the NAHMA March meeting, on Monday, March 12, 2012, at a reception starting at 6:30 p.m., at The Fairmont Washington. More details on the NAHMA meeting are available via the link below.

NAHMA Industry Statesman
This award goes to an outstanding industry leader whose long-term service and dedication to NAHMA, its local affiliated AHMA and the affordable housing industry have been a constant source of inspiration: Ted Seldin, Chairman, Seldin Company, Omaha, NE
Ted Seldin has worked for more than 50 years to build one of the most productive and professional companies in the industry. In addition to starting up the Iowa/Nebraska AHMA, he was involved in the creation of NAHMA.

NAHMA Industry Achievement
The following awardee is recognized for his ever-increasing level of service, the strategic nature of this service and his commitment to affordable housing:
Daniel F. Murray, President, DM Associates, Scottsdale, AZ
Dan Murray is a recognized leader and innovator whose contributions have been integral to the success and continued growth of the affordable housing management industry at the local, national and international levels. He is a past president of NAHMA and has a long-standing commitment to the Institute for Real Estate Management (IREM), the National Apartment Association (NAA) and other trade/industry/agency groups.

NAHMA Industry Partner
The following co-winners deserve a great deal of appreciation for their long-time commitment to the affordable housing industry—among many other accomplishments.

Robert W. Reavis, Jr., former HUD Administrator
Bob Reavis recently retired from government service after a long career that culminated in his serving as the Acting Director, Jacksonville Multifamily HUB, after directing the Atlanta Multifamily HUB. He also served as the acting manager in HUD’s Miami and Memphis offices and from 1999-2000 served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs in Washington, D.C. Bob was instrumental in SAHMA’s ability to establish a partnership in Puerto Rico which has grown to more than 300 attendees at the seventh annual conference in San Juan.

Abebe Tsadik, Chief of Asset Management for the California Housing Finance Agency (CHFA)
Abebe (Abe) Tsadik serves as Chief of Asset Management for CHFA, which provides oversight and management to more than 500 affordable housing developments throughout California. In addition, among his accomplishments during the past 21 years, was the creation of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) program, providing housing to the homeless and mentally challenged.

AHMA of the Year
Regardless of size, these organizations excel in membership recruitment and retention, education and training, financial stability and growth and other criteria.

SAHMA (Large) – Always innovative, SAHMA in 2011 created a Housing Authority Membership, maintained an 88.7 percent membership retention rate, and continued its expansion of training and education to include 23 events that trained more than 900 students.

JAHMA (Medium) – In 2011, JAHMA achieved a 10.9 percent increase in membership, an 89-93 percent retention rate in affiliate and vendor members, respectively, and an increase in both course attendance and course offerings.

PennDel AHMA (Small) – PennDel AHMA boosted its membership with an attractive incentive program, income from its education and training events resulted in a significant improvement over previous years, and it expanded its focus on credentialing and COQ recognition.

AHMA Membership Recruitment Award
This award is presented to an AHMA that consistently achieves outstanding member recruitment levels in relation to its size and history.

MAHMA (Large) – MAHMA aggressively identified potential member companies and markets through its educational programs, through its numerous partnerships, and at conferences, including the first Midwest Affordable Housing Summit in Chicago, which it hosted and which was attended by more than 400 people. MAHMA also uses social marketing as an outreach tool.

NEAHMA (Medium) -- NEAHMA saw a considerable uptick in new members and renewals, aided by a unique one-time incentive for potential members called NEAHMA Bucks, which enables potential members to attend a training event for free to experience what NEAHMA is all about.

AHMA Innovation Award
These organizations are recognized for innovative approaches to challenges at their sites and/or in their communities.

PAHMA and NEAHMA (Co-winners for Medium)
PAHMA (The Professional Affordable Housing Management Association in Western Pennsylvania) shares this award for its innovative 25th anniversary fall conference and celebration, which included two days of education and training, a ceremony honoring communities receiving high REAC scores, and the awarding of PAHMA Platinum Awards for Communities of Excellence.

NEAHMA received the Innovation Award for two programs, one for expanding its services into areas of New England further afield than its traditional focus, which resulted in its participation in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire’s Tri-State Conference. The second innovation is the TEAM NEAHMA charity program.

PennDel AHMA (Small) – In order to increase its contribution to the NAHMA Educational Foundation, PennDel AHMA created a Fall Conference Commemorative Journal for its annual conference and raised $8,125 by selling ads, an amount later complemented by its board to raise the amount to $15,000.

AHMA Communities of Quality® Award
NAHMA is pleased to acknowledge those organizations with the highest number of COQ properties based on AHMA size.

SAHMA (Large) – Since its banner year for participation in the COQ Award program, another 68 properties have become Nationally Recognized Communities of Quality, for a total of 314 properties. SAHMA actively markets the program and was pleased that one of its members again received a national COQ Award.

NEAHMA (Medium) -- NEAHMA received this award for having the most member properties submit applications to the COQ awards program, with more than 90 applications submitted.

PennDel AHMA (Small) – PennDel AHMA continues to grow and now has 50 Communities of Quality® members. Three management company members of PennDel AHMA are COQ Corporate Partners, a distinction held by only 15 companies across the nation.

NAHMA Membership Recruitment
This award goes annually to a NAHMA member who leads in new member recruitment for the previous 12-month period (based on data maintained by NAHMA staff).

Co-winners: Jim McGrath, President, PRD Management, Inc., Pennsauken, NJ, and Karen Newsome, Vice President, Administration, WinnResidential, Boston, MA.

NAHMA Communities of Quality® Awards
This annual award is given to the NAHMA members with outstanding participation in the NAHMA National Recognition Program COQ Registry (based on data maintained by NAHMA staff).
Most New in 2011: PK Management, Greenville, SC; Peabody Properties, Boston, MA; The Community Builders, Boston, MA
Most Total: AIMCO, Denver, CO

NAHMA President’s Award
This award is announced and presented at NAHMA’s March 12, 2012 annual Winter Meeting’s awards reception.

Click below for meeting registration details.
NAHMA Announces 2012 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award Program Details and Deadline

NAHMA recently announced the deadline for submissions for the its 2012 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award will be April 13, 2012.

The Vanguard Award celebrates success in the multifamily affordable housing industry by recognizing and benchmarking new, quality multifamily affordable housing development. The award –

• Pays tribute to developers of high-quality affordable housing;
• Demonstrates that exceptional new affordable housing is available across the country, and that it is a positive addition to any neighborhood;
• Demonstrates that the affordable multifamily industry must be creative and innovative to create exceptional properties given the financing and other challenges to development;
• Highlights results of private-public partnerships required to develop today’s affordable housing;
• Shares ideas for unique design and financing mechanisms with industry practitioners to further stimulate creative development in the affordable multifamily industry.

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

Who May Apply:
Affordable multifamily housing communities that are less than three years old (as of April 13, 2012) may apply (based on date of completion of new construction or completion of major rehab). 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.

Where and When to Apply:
Applications should be submitted to the National Affordable Housing Management Association by April 13, 2012. Please email your PDF application to NAHMA at, or mail a CD containing your PDF application to NAHMA Vanguard Award, 400 N. Columbus St., Suite 203, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Entry Fees:
The entry fee is $150 per property for members of NAHMA or an AHMA, and $325 per property for non-members. Please reference the name of the applicant property when submitting payment, via either credit card at the NAHMA Webstore at, or via check payable to NAHMA and mailed with a completed application to NAHMA Vanguard Award, 400 N. Columbus St., Suite 203, Alexandria, VA 22314.

The Judging Process:
NAHMA will convene a distinguished panel of multifamily affordable housing practitioners in late April 2012 to conduct the judging process.

The Awards Ceremony:
Winners of the Affordable Housing Vanguard Awards will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the NAHMA Summer Meeting in June 2012 in Boston.

Beyond the Recognition – Other Benefits of Participation:
- A congratulations letter and certificate
- A draft press release for use with local media
- A draft letter for sending to Congressional representatives
- A free subscription to NAHMA News ($100 value)
- A crystal award
- Inclusion in a press release distributed by NAHMA to national media and trade press
- Inclusion in a detailed article on award winners in NAHMA News and on the NAHMA website

How to Apply:
Applications must be submitted in PDF format.

For full program details and how to apply, click on the link below.
NAHMA Offers Green Housing Management Publication

A new publication, Green Housing: A Practical Guide to Green Real Estate Management, is now available from the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA). The 82-page spiral-bound book is an informative yet easy-to-read primer on green real estate management, and covers all of the basic concepts, such as energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, resource efficiency, site sustainability, water efficiency, integrated pest management, tenant green education, and creating a green operation and maintenance plan.

According to a recent report by the U.S. General Services Administration, green buildings have 13% lower maintenance costs and consume 26% less energy. Though there is a common perception that “going green” can be cost-prohibitive, property management professionals and building owners and developers are discovering that greening their properties is not only cost-effective but can be truly profitable. Green Housing, by real estate professional and certified green-building expert Barry P. Weaver, is a timely manual for those who have the desire but not a great deal of capital to accomplish green upgrades.

The book may be purchased for $35 per copy, plus $5 shipping and handling, via NAHMA’s webstore via the link below.

Industry News

Time Again for Tax Extenders
Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits (02/12) Novogradac, Michael J.

Congress has formed a conference committee for reconciling proposed tax extension legislation, including a measure to extend the 9 percent floor for the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). The legislation is expected to be passed by Feb. 29. The LIHTC program itself is not subject to expiration, but a key provision under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) is scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. HERA temporarily set a 9 percent tax credit percentage floor for the LIHTC, which expires for developments placed in service after Dec. 30, 2013. Properties financed with housing tax credits usually can take up to two years to develop, so many investors, syndicators, and state allocating agencies will need to underwrite allocations using the floating rate starting in 2012. That floating rate was 7.44 percent for January 2012, which is 17 percent less than the 9 percent rate. Developments that do not have excess eligible basis at the 9 percent floor rate and are using the 30 percent bonus would see a 17 percent loss in tax credit equity. On Dec. 14, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to make permanent the 9 percent tax credit percentage floor for LIHTCs. The legislation also would extend the same policy to 4 percent allocated housing tax credits, but not to 4 percent LIHTCs generated by tax-exempt bond financing.

Opening Up LIHTCs for Foreclosed Homes
Housing Finance (01/18/12) Kimura, Donna

An Obama administration official is calling for the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program to be used to convert foreclosed single-family homes into rental properties that can be leased at affordable prices. Carol Galante, the acting assistant secretary for housing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, said developers are already using LIHTCs to finance scattered-site developments and that the program could be used to help address the foreclosure problem if a few changes are made. For instance, exemptions for foreclosed properties from the 10-year holding rule should be used. In addition, Galante said a proposal for creating an "income-averaging" option could help convert foreclosed single-family homes into affordable rental properties. The income-averaging option would allow properties to serve households with an average income of no more than 60 percent of the median income for their area and with no individual household above 80 percent of the median income. Galante noted that while this proposal has not moved forward, federal officials are continuing to work on it.

Q&A: Housing and Economic Reform Act Special Rent Limits
Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits (02/12) Vol. 3, No. 2,

After the 15-year compliance period, a low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) property using the Housing and Economic Reform Act of 2008 (HERA) special income limits will no longer be able to use these limits after receipt of a new allocation of credits. Income limits under the normal multifamily tax subsidy project (MTSP) are used after receipt of the new credit allocation. HERA introduced a "hold harmless" policy, which prevents a change in the method of determining area median gross income (AMGI) from causing a reduction in the AMGI determined regarding certain projects launched in 2007 and 2008. To qualify for the HERA limits under the hold harmless policy, the project must have relied on the income limits in 2007 or 2008 and the MTSP tables for 2009 must indicate whether the area of the project is affected by the hold harmless policy. According to the IRS, the HERA special income limits are applicable to a project even after the 15-year compliance period, during which the credits are subject to recapture. However, a new allocation of credits and a new credit period after the 15-year period means that the normal MTSP income limits would be used since the new credits did not rely on the HUD income limits from 2007 or 2008. Any tenant determined to be income-qualified at the time of move-in for the extended-use agreement is a qualified low-income tenant for any subsequent allocation of credits.

Making Sense of Market Studies
Affordable Housing Finance (01/12) Gill, Cash

David Shafer, executive vice president of tax credit syndicator WNC & Associates, Inc., has a particular definition of rural. "Rural America consists of communities of 10,000 or less in population and not necessarily served by a major highway," he says. This aligns with how the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Handbook defines rural. Meanwhile, developers and other users of affordable housing market studies tend to use the textbook definition of "urban" as any area with 50,000 persons per square mile and any adjacent area with 2,500 total population or 500-plus persons per square mile. Separate sets of guidelines exist for nearly every type of market study. An urban study may have a primary market area (PMA) comprising several block areas within a city, while the PMA in a rural study may be much larger and include the city itself, or even the county or multiple counties. Differences in urban and rural market studies typically can be narrowed down to market areas, commuting patterns, employment opportunities, and so on. Lancaster Pollard, a lender that works in both rural and urban markets, relies heavily on market studies to assess risks that they convey to credit enhancement agencies as well as to the secondary market investors who will buy the securitized loan.

IRS Issues 'Repair Regulations,' Multifamily Industry Now Has to Figure Them Out
Multi-Housing News (01/12) Stribling, Dees

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued temporary and proposed rules, which went into effect on Jan. 1, that require multifamily property owners and others to determine the tax treatment of costs incurred while acquiring, maintaining, or improving that property. The National Multi Housing Council has said that multifamily property owners must wade through the lengthy document to determine its impact on their property holdings. The purpose of the IRS regulations is to clarify whether expenditures with tangible property should be treated as capital improvements and depreciated over time, or be ordinary and necessary repairs and thus deducted immediately from income. Property that is constructed or permanently improved, restored, or converted to an alternate use must be depreciated under the regulations, but the costs of routine maintenance can be deducted under the new rules.

Study: Energy Efficiency in Apartments Could Save $3.4 Billion
Forbes (01/27/12) Kho, Jennifer

According to a newly released study from think tanks CNT Energy and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, energy-efficiency upgrades in U.S. apartment communities could slash energy bills by nearly $3.4 billion a year nationwide. The estimate includes $2.03 billion in potential electricity savings and $1.34 billion in potential natural gas savings from such retrofits as more efficient lighting, appliances, and air- and water-heating systems. These types of measures could reduce utility bills for multifamily housing with at least five rental units by as much as 30 percent, the report finds.

Related Stories: (1/31/12), Supply House Times (1/31/12)

Fannie Looks Ahead
Affordable Housing Finance (02/12) Ascierto, Jerry

Preliminary estimates made by Fannie Mae's lenders show that the agency will record roughly $1.75 billion in affordable housing production volume for 2011. That volume was spread out among preservation, New Issue Bond Program (NIBP), and low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) deals, and would be significantly higher than the estimated $1.1 billion in volume posted by Freddie Mac last year. Although Fannie Mae had fallen behind on bond credit enhancements and immediate funding for preservation over the last several years, the agency took a variety of steps in 2011 to remedy its problems. For instance, the major reorganization that Fannie Mae undertook last year significantly shortened turnaround times. Meanwhile, Fannie Mae began securitizing all of its immediate fundings via the Capital Markets Execution program, which in turn made the agency less competitive when it came to underwriting flexibility. However, Fannie Mae Vice President Bob Simpson, who leads up the agency's affordable housing unit, said that he has some concerns about the production of new affordable housing in the coming year, despite the improvements in the LIHTC market. Simpson noted that the reductions that have been made to gap financing will be seen at the local level in 2012. He added that the lack of gap financing and the increased competition for credits by existing properties will act as a drag on new construction of affordable housing.

Occupancy Standards Tightened for Housing Aid
Spokesman-Review (02/02/2012) Bannach, Chelsea

Due to budget cuts, the Housing Authority of Spokane, Wash., is making changes to its housing voucher program. The agency has altered occupancy standards and will pay rent based on one bedroom for every two people in a home. "If you have a family of four, you would have a two-bedroom unit" rather than a three-bedroom one, according to Executive Director Steve Cervantes. The agency has experienced budget cuts of $2.2 million for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program over the last six months, he says, while in November Congress slashed $650 million from the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program nationwide. The Spokane Housing Authority’s voucher program budget totals roughly $20 million annually. The agency contracts with landlords to pay a portion of rent for low-income households. Clients will have the option to have one person per room, but they will have to pay more to make up the difference. The housing authority says that in the five-county area it serves, there are more than 4,740 low-income households receiving rental assistance. Up to 40 percent of those receiving assistance could be impacted by the new occupancy standards, which go into effect on April 1, Cervantes says.

The Need for Speed
Affordable Housing Finance (01/12) Ascierto, Jerry

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will launch a new pilot program in spring intended to accelerate affordable housing deals. The Tax Credit Pilot Program is modeled on the LEAN program for healthcare loans and will help speed up the processing of deals using low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs). In 2010, the FHA processed about $294.5 million in LIHTCs deals, which increased by 50 percent to $441.5 million in 2011. In order to achieve more LIHTC deals, the FHA has been streamlining its process for borrowers over the last three years. The agency also has added a chapter on tax credit deals in the updated version of its Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) guide. The FHA processed approximately $560.5 million in firm commitments for LIHTC deals in fiscal 2011, a 35 percent increase from the $416.7 million it did the previous year, which was almost double the $224.1 million done in 2009. Processing timelines at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) remain the key hurdle for affordable housing developers, especially the deadlines imposed by tax credit financing. "That's the main challenge now, getting systems within each of the HUD offices to process efficiently," says Mark Beisler, chairman and CEO of MAP lender Red Mortgage Capital. "They view the pilot program as important and part of their mission, so that's certainly high on the agenda."

Property Compliance Briefs - NAHMA
Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits (02/12)

The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) is accepting submissions for the 2012 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award. The Vanguard Award recognizes new, quality multifamily affordable housing development and highlights the results of private-public partnerships required to develop affordable housing. Affordable housing communities that are less than three years old may apply and will be considered under four award categories –- New Construction, Major Rehabilitation of an Existing Rental Housing Community, Major Rehabilitation of a Non-Housing Structure into Affordable Rental Housing, and Major Rehabilitation of a Historic Structure into Affordable Rental Housing. Applications should be submitted to NAHMA by April 13.

Raleigh's Low-Income Housing Faces an Uphill Battle
Raleigh Public Record (NC) (01/30/12) Rudd, Leslie

In Raleigh, N.C., the chasm is widening between the number of low-income residents and the inventory of affordable housing in the city. Less than 5 percent of Raleigh's total housing supply consists of assisted affordable housing units, according to Raleigh's Comprehensive Plan. The increasing demand for affordable housing in the city is exacerbated by government budget shortfalls, says Raleigh Housing Authority Spokeswoman Allison Hapgood. Because expenses remain the same but wages and available jobs have gone down, people are remaining in public housing longer now -- as long as seven years for some, instead of the average of three to five years, Hapgood notes. North Raleigh boasts few of the city's affordable housing developments, says Shawn McNamara, program manager for Raleigh's Community Development Department. There is a particular dearth of affordable housing developments in Northwest Raleigh, where property values are some of the highest in the city, McNamara adds. His agency is trying to nudge development in these areas with the city's scattered housing policy, which prioritizes approving proposed projects where there are not any. Hapgood says because the private real estate market has cooled considerably due to the economy, more developers are thinking twice about affordable housing projects. That is what she is banking on as the city's list of people waiting to find an affordable home continues to grow. "The private sector has to step up and be the net for the folks that are falling behind," she says.

City to Finance Affordable Housing Projects Through Tax Credits
Chicago Tribune (01/26/12) Cancino, Alejandra

Chicago's Department of Housing and Economic Development has set aside $30 million in federal tax credits to help pay for 41 affordable housing developments, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced Jan. 26. The tax credits are intended to reduce investors' tax liability over the next decade, and are expected to produce more than $250 million in equity. Builders will use the equity to help fund the $840 million developments to construct more than 3,000 units, the city announced. The federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit pays for construction of affordable housing projects for individuals earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income -- $45,060 annually for a family of four.

Supply Shortfall Persists for Apartments
Wall Street Journal (01/24/12) Wotapka, Dawn

Nareit says that a shortfall of 2.5 million apartments nationwide is the biggest in more than 50 years, caused by a jump in demand at a time when construction activity is low. The national apartment vacancy rate fell to 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Reis Inc., but Nareit says the rate could decline even more due to pent-up demand. The trade group says that the household formation rate dipped to 0.5 percent annually from a normal rate of 1.2 percent per year as a result of the economic downturn, which prompted people to live with their parents or with roommates. The shortfall in apartments is "about three times what it has been in previous business cycles," according to Nareit Vice President of Research and Industry Information Calvin Schnure. He adds, "[Once those doubling up] have an income that they can make their own rent payment, they're going to rent on their own." He thinks the pent-up demand could fuel the market for several years.

High Apartment Rents Seen Pushing People To Buy Homes
Investor's Business Daily (01/27/12) P. A10 Cariaga, Vince

With Marcus & Millichap's National Apartment Report showing that the U.S. average for asking rents in 2011 came in at $1,061 a month, housing analysts believe more apartment residents will look to own. Some expect the average monthly rent to rise to as much as $1,101 this year, which Paul Bishop of the National Association of Realtors says should prompt more potential home buyers to "think twice before renting." Rising rental rates are partly the result of fewer available apartments. The U.S. apartment vacancy rate fell to 5.4 percent in 2011 from 6.6 percent the year before. Analysts expect the vacancy rate to dip to 5 percent this year. Ron Witten, president of Dallas-based apartment research and advisory firm Witten Advisors, acknowledges that apartments are less affordable than a couple of years ago. He concludes, "But you have to keep in mind that we are coming off a market when rent affordability was at a 20-year high. Rents have moved up substantially the last couple of years, but only to normal levels."

Apartment Kick-Off Webinar: Look for Continued MF Growth (01/05/12) Sorter, Amy Wolff

According to panelists in the third annual Kick-Off Event for Apartment Development, the multifamily sector in 2012 will experience ongoing growth and activity throughout the United States. The fundamentals driving that growth are unlikely to change, from the limited supplies of apartments to a growing pool of young renters and growth fostered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Mark Humphreys, CEO of locally based Humphreys & Partners Architects LP, said that roughly 5 million apartments built during the 1960s and 1970s during the last renter's boom are now dwindling. Humphreys and colleague Greg Faulkner, president of Humphreys & Partners, also observed that, on the development end, the trend is more toward urban mid-rises and high-rises as well as mixed-use developments and higher densities. National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) President Doug Bibby said that otherwise, things have not changed from 2011. "Developers are eagerly buying land and filling development pipelines, while single family developments continue to be very, very weak," he said. This is not to imply that everything in the multihousing sector is rosy, however. Bibby, in discussing some of the challenges inherent in the coming year, pointed out that the job growth initially hoped for has not materialized, though its absence has not yet affected the multihousing sector. Furthermore, he noted, the implementation of BASEL III and the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2011 "are causing lenders to be very skittish. It has everyone on edge."

Affordable Housing Briefs - NCHSA
Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits (02/12)

The National Council of State Housing Finance Agencies and other organizations wrote President Obama and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to urge them to propose fiscal year 2013 funding levels for USDA rural housing programs at their FY 2011 appropriated levels or higher. The groups expressed their strong concern over the Administration's proposed cuts to rural housing programs in FY 2012. Specifically, the letter requests that the Administration propose funding for the Section 515 rural rental housing program equal to the amount proposed in FY 2012 and include enough funding to develop new units. It highlights the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization program and the Preservation Revolving Loan Fund as vital to the preservation of Section 515 units.

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February 2012
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