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NAHMA Announces 2013 Affordable 100 List

The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) today announced the release of the NAHMA Affordable 100, a list of the 100 largest affordable multifamily property managers, ranked by affordable unit counts. The list is available at NAHMA’s website (see link below).

NAHMA would like to extend its sincere thanks to the NAHMA Survey Task Force, without whose hard work and support this survey would not be possible. In particular, sincere appreciation goes to Task Force Chair John Yang of, and task force members, Janel Ganim, Property Solutions; Jed Graef, MRI Software; Dave Layfield,; Mark Livanec, Yardi; Lori Russell, RealPage; Gustavo Sapiurka, RealPage; and Shari Smith, Choice Property Resources, Inc. For more details, click on the link below.
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Tax Issues and Tax Reform

"With Tax Reform in Sight, Threat to Housing Credit Looms Large"
"Budget Proposal Includes Encouraging Support for Tax Credits"


"Public Housing Agencies Push to Impose Time Limits, Work Requirements for Aid Recipients"

State and Local Activities

"Marijuana Laws Trouble Owners, Operators"
"Texas Legislature Eyes Big Changes to QAP"
"Housing Credits Are Solid Investment"

Green Building

"Benchmarking Performance"
"Energy Efficiency Upgrades Provide Many Opportunities to Improve Occupant Health"

Association News

NAHMA Announces Entry Deadlines for 2013 Communities of Quality Awards Submissions
Become a Specialist in Housing Credit Management® (SHCM®) Company!
NAHMA and NAA to Collocate National Education Conferences in June 2013

Tax Issues and Tax Reform

With Tax Reform in Sight, Threat to Housing Credit Looms Large
Apartment Finance Today (05/13) Cadik, Emily; Lawrence, Peter

Policy analysts Emily Cadik and Peter Lawrence tell Apartment Finance Today that a simplified tax code, with all its many benefits, could potentially be the death knell for some beneficial programs built into the tax code. The determination to scrap credits and deductions and reduce corporate rates could, for example, endanger the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) that has been in effect for 26 tears, Cadik and Lawrence note. In late April, amidst tax reform hearings in both chambers of Congress, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on tax reform and residential real estate. Bob Moss, Senior Vice President of Boston Capital and Chairman of the Housing Advisory Group, testified on behalf of the A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) Campaign -- a grassroots coalition of more than 450 national, state, and local organizations dedicated to preserving and bolstering the LIHTC. His testimony underscored the deep need that exists for affordable rental housing and how the LIHTC addresses it, the ensuing economic impacts, and the features that have made the program a success. Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), and Richard Neal (D-Mass.) also praised the LIHTC as a shining example of a successful public-private partnership. "But with all tax expenditures on the chopping block in pursuit of lower rates, a commendable track record may not be enough," Cadik and Lawrence say.
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Budget Proposal Includes Encouraging Support for Tax Credits
Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits (05/13) Vol. 04, No. 5 Novogradac, Michael J.

President Obama's proposed budget for fiscal year 2014 recommends the passage of certain tax provisions related to affordable housing. One of the provisions calls for letting LIHTC (low-income housing tax credit) properties comply with an income-averaging rule and making LIHTCs beneficial to real estate investment trusts (REITs). The former proposal would create a new minimum set-aside test based on a minimum of 40 percent of the units in a project being occupied by tenants with incomes averaging no more than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). Units identified as non rent-restricted, however, could be occupied by tenants with income higher than 80 percent of AMI. For purposes of computing the average, any unit with an income limit that is less than 20 percent of AMI would be treated as having a 20-percent limit. For the second proposal, the administration would allow a REIT that receives LIHTCs to designate as tax-exempt some of the dividends it distributes. Such designated dividends would be excluded from the gross income of the shareholders that receive them. But if there is insufficient earnings and profits to make distributions that fully use the calculated allowable exemption amount, the unused authority to designate tax-exempt dividends could be carried forward indefinitely. If a REIT or regulated investment company is a shareholder that receives these tax-exempt dividends, the recipient could designate as exempt a corresponding amount of dividends that it distributes.
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Public Housing Agencies Push to Impose Time Limits, Work Requirements for Aid Recipients
Wall Street Journal (05/06/13) Levitz, Jennifer

The federal government in 1996 introduced a pilot program that allows select housing authorities to set time limits or work requirements for those receiving government housing benefits. But President Barack Obama's 2014 budget calls for "substantial expansion" of the project from the 39 housing authorities out of 3,200 nationwide that have this power currently. Housing groups are pushing for the expansion, saying the current system does not motivate residents to gain financial independence and is unfair to thousands of impoverished renters who need help now but must wait years for help. Directors of both the Houston and Milwaukee housing authorities say they would likely add work requirements for individuals receiving assistance there. Residents with jobs would pay a higher percentage of the rent, and the housing officials would be able to help more people, they say. The housing authority in Tacoma, Wash., in March began limiting new recipients to five-year limits. Officials in San Mateo, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas, plan their own versions of time caps within the next year. These restrictions apply mostly to rent vouchers and public housing in some cases, with the exceptions of disabled and elderly residents. Other cities are writing rules that would require public housing residents to get a job. Beginning this year, new residents between ages 18 and 54 in Champaign County, Ill., must work 20 hours a week. The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services plans to debate the proposed expansion soon, as does the Senate Committee on Banking Affairs, according to congressional aides.
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State and Local Activities

Marijuana Laws Trouble Owners, Operators
Multifamily Executive (05/13) Machak, Lindsay

Michigan passed a medical marijuana law on a 2008 ballot letting patients with a certified prescription card possess up to 2.5 ounces of the drug. This law has posed a problem for property owners and managers who are using federal funds in their developments, as marijuana is one of the illegal controlled substances banned in federal housing communities, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Property managers and housing authorities participating in the rental assistance programs have the authority to evict tenants based on their use of marijuana. A HUD press release states, "Under the law, housing authorities and landlords may use discretion when deciding to terminate assistance for Section 8 tenants or terminate tenancy for public housing residents to those who violate housing authority policies. Basically, while there's a requirement that housing authorities and landlords have lease provisions that give them the right to evict, that decision is theirs." Michigan lawyers have been grappling with how to advise property owners and tenants on which cases are acceptable and which are not, without being discriminatory. "I would advise a landlord that you need to uniformly enforce the rule," says Matthew Paletz, a managing partner of Paletz Law Firm in Troy, Mich. "You can't just pick and choose, because then you could face some discriminatory blowback." The most definite opinion on how to interpret the law arrived in 2011, from state Attorney General Bill Schuette. But Paletz warns that the opinion leaves the choice of whether to ban smoking up to the property manager, and that it is not a mandate or judgment.
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Texas Legislature Eyes Big Changes to QAP
Apartment Finance Today (05/13) Kimura, Donna

Legislation passed by the Texas House of Representatives would give state lawmakers a huge say in whether developers receive an award of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs). Under the bill, letters of support or opposition from lawmakers would be highly scored in the stiff competition for housing credits awarded by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). The move is an about-face to the state Sunset Advisory Commission's recommendation to eliminate lawmakers' letters of support as a required scoring item in awarding housing credit. The House passed an amendment that not only maintains the legislator letters in the LIHTC scoring process but bolsters their significance. The move aims to elevate the state senator and representative letters to being the second-highest scoring item in the current qualified allocation plan (QAP) from the sixth-highest priority scoring item. The House proposal states that if neither a state representative nor a senator provides a written statement of support or opposition, a developer could get a resolution from the appropriate city council or county commission regarding the development to still be able to retain some points.
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Housing Credits Are Solid Investment
Springfield News-Leader (Missouri) (04/06/13) Hart, Debra

This commentary says that low-income projects in southwest Missouri "have been a win-win for our state, as affordable housing developed with the assistance of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs), strengthens communities, creates jobs and provides opportunities to get ahead for Missouri's lower-income families, seniors, veterans and people with special needs." The author warns that cuts included in the recently passed Senate Bill 120 "will lead to significant hardship for those who rely on affordable housing and will reduce construction jobs and local sales tax revenues," and calls on the Missouri House of Representatives to work instead to strengthen the low-income housing tax credit program. The author notes that the state LIHTC program is not growing at all: In 2009, the program was cut by 40 percent (from a peak of $316 million to $192 million). Also, the LIHTC program is a solid investment for taxpayers; on a typical affordable housing project, less than 10 percent of the award goes to the developer - and much of that is paid to developer employees or to the state and local governments in taxes. The vast majority of LIHTC funding goes for materials and to create jobs for carpenters, painters, plumbers and others involved in the construction.
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Green Building

Benchmarking Performance
Multi-Housing News (04/13) Murray, Barbara

Sustainable and energy efficient projects are incredibly popular, but there are currently no accepted standards to determine just how effective green technology or building techniques are. Currently, the U.S. green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is accepted as the global verifier that a project has met certain requirements to be deemed environmentally friendly. However, LEED does not determine performance. Benchmarking can determine just how well buildings perform when it comes to energy efficient technology. There are several methods and tests to determine where energy is being lost in a building or where air is escaping. Research was conducted on buildings that were LEED-certified and those that weren't to determine how efficiently buildings were run. The results of the study have not yet been released, but experts predict it is a sign that benchmarking will become popular. Following the construction of a LEED certified building benchmarking can determine just how green the project is after being used. "It’s just a very new trend, so it will be interesting to see in the next few years what the results tell us and if the results motivate us to do something," says Rachel Cluett, research analyst for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
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Energy Efficiency Upgrades Provide Many Opportunities to Improve Occupant Health
EcoBuilding Pulse (04/01/13) Weeks, Katie

Green building and renovation will help reduce energy and healthcare costs, according to environmental health consultant Ellen Tohn. Energy upgrades address indoor environmental threats such as carbon monoxide, mold, tobacco smoke, chemicals, and pests. “Could part of a multifamily energy audit and upgrade be talking to building owners about smoke-free housing?” Tohn asks. “You bet. One of the jobs of an energy upgrade should be to minimize asthma triggers." Residents of energy efficient homes have fewer runny noses, throat irritation, sneezing, coughing, fatigue, and irritability compared to a control group in a Canadian study. Energy efficient homes generally have better ventilation, lower levels of air contaminants, and lower humidity and moisture levels, so there are fewer respiratory irritants such as dust mites, mold, and volatile organic compounds. However, consumers are not well educated about indoor air quality, with a recent survey showing that nearly a third of homeowners were either very unconcerned or somewhat unconcerned about air quality. This presents an opportunity for builders and renovators to educate customers about how energy upgrades contribute to healthier indoor environments.
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Association News

NAHMA Announces Entry Deadlines for 2013 Communities of Quality Awards Submissions

The submission deadline for entries to the National Affordable Housing Management Association’s (NAHMA) 2013 Communities of Quality Awards program is Nov. 8, 2013. The Communities of Quality Awards recognize outstanding property management companies providing the highest quality of safe, affordable multifamily rental housing in communities across the country.

To enter the 2013 Communities of Quality (COQ) Awards competition, a property must first apply for and achieve National Recognition as a NAHMA Community of Quality with a minimum score of 325 points on its National Recognition Application. The deadline for submitting an application to a local AHMA to become a Nationally Recognized Community of Quality in time to also submit an awards entry is Sept. 6, 2013.

NAHMA is also pleased to announce that this year’s COQ Awards program will be jointly sponsored by HD Supply Multifamily Solutions, a leading supplier of maintenance and renovation products to the multi-housing industry, and RealPage, a leading provider of on-demand products and services for the rental housing industry.

For more details, click on the link 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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NAHMA and NAA to Collocate National Education Conferences in June 2013

Registration and Housing Information Now Available!!!

The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) will again hold its annual summer meeting in conjunction with the National Apartment Association (NAA) Education Conference & Exposition on June 19-22, 2012 in sunny San Diego, CA. The 2013 NAA Education Conference & Exposition is the largest event in the multifamily housing industry and includes world-class educators and a star-studded lineup of speakers.

Through this partnership, both conferences will address the critical needs of affordable housing communities and the apartment industry as a whole. Discounts will be available to attendees who register for both conferences. These discounts will provide a cost neutral solution to your training and development needs.

NAA headline speakers include founder of The Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson as the Thursday Keynote speaker and graffiti artist, author and entrepreneur Erik Wahl as the Friday General Session speaker and Bert Jacobs, Co-founder & Chief Executive Optimist of Life is good® as a speaker for the Special Saturday session.

At the NAHMA Public Policy Issues Forum, to be held as a full-day meeting on Wednesday, June 19, discussions will focus on public policy related to federal legislative and regulatory initiatives that impact all of the affordable housing programs, from HUD programs (project-based Section, Section 8 tenant vouchers, Section 202 senior housing, and Section 811 special needs housing); to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program; to Rural Housing Service programs (Sections 515, 538 and the revitalization program). In addition to its full day of meetings on June 19, NAHMA will be providing affordable housing-specific sessions as part of the NAA conference – for details, see below.

MORE DETAILS COMING SOON on two exciting events that will be held in conjunction with the NAHMA meeting: (separate registrations for both events apply):

The free NAHMA-hosted party will be held, Wed. evening, June 19 at Fluxx.

The NAHMA Educational Foundation will be hosting a fundraising event on Tues. evening, June 18.

NAHMA members who register for the NAA conference may use the NAHMA member discount code provided below for a $200 discount off the NAA full conference registration rate based on the rate at the time registration is made.

How to Register:

Meeting Registrations for the NAHMA and NAA events are separate - please register separately for each of the events you would like to attend:
1) Registration for the NAHMA Public Policy Issues Forum on Wed. June 19, will be available online at the NAHMA meeting webpage by early April 2013; click on the link below. A preliminary agenda for the NAHMA Policy Forum is posted at this webpage.
2) Registration for the NAA Conference June 19-22 2013, is now open. Click on and use promo code NAHMA13 for the NAHMA member discount ($200 off NAA full conference registration rate based on the rate at the time registration is made)
(NAA registration rates increase on Feb. 1, April 19 and again after June 6, 2013)

For Hotel Reservations:
If you are attending both the NAHMA and NAA meetings, you can make reservations one of two ways:
1) follow the prompts for reserving your hotel accommodations after you register online for the NAA conference; or
2) use the NAHMA print hotel reservation form linked at the NAHMA meeting webpage, linked below
If you are attending only the NAHMA meeting, please click on the link below and download and print the hotel reservation form, and return as noted on the form's instructions
(Hotel reservation deadline for either online or via NAHMA form is May 29, 2013, or earlier if room blocks fill up.)

NAHMA Sessions to be Held During the NAA Conference:

Session 1, Thurs. morning, 9 am – 10:30 am, June 20, 2013: NAHMA Presents Connecting the Trends: Impacts of the New Fiscal Reality on Affordable Housing
Industry experts will analyze driving trends in the economics of providing affordable multifamily housing, and will help attendees understand and prepare for this new reality. Key discussion areas will include:
a) Federal budget cuts will be on the horizon for a while, and will impact all programs;
b) As a result of reduced Federal spending, there will be changes in State and local government approaches to affordable housing;
c) To survive, property management companies will need to find operational changes and solutions to save money; and,
d) There will be changes in preservation and production strategies as a result of across-the-board reduced resources.

Session 2, Thurs. morning, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm, June 20, 2013: NAHMA Presents Innovative Technology and Green Solutions in Affordable Housing
Industry experts will present and analyze innovative technology and green solutions for improved operations and cost-savings in affordable multifamily housing. Attendees will learn tried-and-true approaches to maximize innovative, cost-effective and efficient solutions. Key discussion areas will include:
a) The Top 10 easiest, cheapest and most effective technology solutions for affordable multifamily housing;
b) The Top 10 easiest, cheapest and most effective green solutions for affordable multifamily housing;
c) Cutting-edge technology and green solutions – is it hype or real savings for some of these trendy solutions?
d) Tracking and measuring your ROI.

Session 3, Friday morning, 9:45 am – 11:15 am, June 21, 2013: NAHMA Presents Inspiring New Directions in Providing Niche Affordable Housing
Industry experts will present and analyze new trends in affordable housing, specifically finding niche programs and serving vulnerable populations. Attendees will learn about new funding and programs for specialized programs and populations. Key discussion areas will include:
a) Veterans – an overview of programs and key factors in serving returning and homeless veterans;
b) Vulnerable populations – a look at programs focusing on transitional age use (persons aging out of foster programs) and supportive housing for homeless and special needs residents;
c) Senior housing – a discussion of emerging trends and programs, factors to consider for frail elderly, aging baby boomers, and other senior housing issues; and
d) Workforce housing – a look at the housing and transportation affordability index, mixed-income housing, and other key current issues.

Session 4, Friday afternoon, 2:15 pm – 3:45 pm, June 21, 2013: NAHMA Presents Connecting the Trends: Case Studies in Innovations in Affordable Housing
Industry experts will present case studies showcasing the key concepts from NAHMA’s earlier sessions during the conference, including new trends resulting from today’s fiscal realities, innovative technology and green solutions, and inspiring new directions in providing niche affordable housing. Attendees will learn real and practical applications of all of the latest emerging trends impacting affordable multifamily housing.
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May 2013