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NALHFA Member Spotlight: Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 11, 2019
Updated: Thursday, July 11, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County with the Multifamily Excellence award in recognition of The Lindley.

 

In Montgomery County and across the nation, rents continue to outpace wage growth, particularly for the lowest-income workers. Nowhere in the country can a family afford to rent a modest, two-bedroom apartment on the minimum wage. In Montgomery County alone, the median household income is $103,178 while the average annual income for HOC customers receiving housing subsidies – most of whom work or are seniors or persons with disabilities – is $18,600. Furthermore, as government resources for affordable housing development disappear, both subsidized and naturally-occurring affordable housing options have become increasingly scarce. As a result, many low- and moderate-income households are forced to seek housing options in far-flung parts of the county without suitable public transit options or connections to high-performing schools.


In response, HOC looked for more sustainable alternatives to fund affordable housing development through an innovative financing strategy for The Lindley in Chevy Chase, Maryland. With The Lindley, HOC became the first Public Housing Authority in the country to include private foundation capital as a source of equity while also maintaining principal control and ownership of the property. Furthermore, the development of the Purple Line light rail connecting Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties presented an opportunity to increase affordable units near a future transit hub, connecting residents to community resources, high-performing schools and employment opportunities.


Maintaining a shared dedication to increasing affordable housing, HOC partnered with Bethesda-based residential developer EYA to increase density at the property. Selling a portion of the original site to EYA and consolidating the low-rise garden apartments into a 200-unit high-rise building allowed HOC to leverage the value of the land in highly desirable Chevy Chase, Maryland. Furthermore, HOC embarked upon a partnership with the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation to include private equity as a source of development funds. The Lindley is the first mixed-income affordable housing property in the nation to use private foundation funding as a source of equity.


While partnerships are pivotal to the sustainability of affordable housing finance and development, HOC maintains as a guiding principle that ownership by Public Housing Authorities or other mission-driven, nonprofit developers is key to ensuring affordability for the long-term. To ensure the retention of affordable units, it was critical for HOC to maintain ownership of The Lindley. These unconventional and crucial public-private partnerships helped ensure successful execution and delivery of The Lindley to the Chevy Chase community.

 

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NALHFA Member Spotlight: Housing Finance Authority of Miami-Dade County

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the Housing Finance Authority of Miami-Dade County with the Redevelopment Excellence award in recognition of Courtside Family Apartments.

 

Courtside Family Apartments is the first of a three-phased master planned community; each phase of the revitalization initiative will provide much needed affordable housing. Retired NBA star, Alonzo Mourning conceptualized Courtside Family Apartments to continue his charitable work in the City of Miami in line with establishment of the Overtown Youth Center and creation of his annual community outreach events, “Zo’s Summer Grove” and Zo’s Winter Grove.”


The property was secured by Mr. Mourning via a 65-year ground lease on approximately four (4) acres of land on the grounds on the post-civil rights era Culmer Center in Overtown where over 50% of the population lives below the federal poverty level.  The development is located on Miami-Dade County–owned land it shares with the Culmer Neighborhood Community Service Center and which provides social services to the area’s low-income residents. 


Courtside Family Apartments is an 84-unit affordable housing development located at 1700 NW 4th Avenue in Miami’s historic Overtown neighborhood. Courtside Family Apartments is an affordable (60% or less of AMI), 6-story mid-rise residential community that includes 10 one-bedroom, one-bath apartments; 53 two-bedroom, two-bath units; 21 three-bedroom, two-bath units; and four live-work units. Located in Miami’s historic Overtown Neighborhood where, according to 2013 Census data, approximately 62% of Overtown's 13,000-plus residents are African American and a third are of Hispanic descent.

 

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Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Close Low Income Housing Tax Credit Loophole

Posted By Administration, Thursday, June 27, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) introduced a bipartisan bill, the Save Affordable Housing Act of 2019, that would make a critical correction to the Qualified Contract (QC) provision in Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code that will save thousands of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) properties from prematurely converting to market rate. Representatives Joe Negues (D-CO) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

 

“The Low Income Housing Tax Credit has proven to be a critical tool for spurring investment in affordable rental housing and providing stability for low-income Americans, including veterans, seniors, and those with special needs,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “By maintaining the availability of affordable rental units, this bipartisan bill will ensure the program continues to give workers and families a better opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”

 

The Save Affordable Housing Act would a close a loophole that currently allows owners the ability to convert affordable housing units to market rate 15 years earlier than the program was intended. Since 2017, nearly 50,000 affordable units have been lost at an increasing rate due to QCs. The Save Affordable Housing Act would eliminate the qualified contract for Housing Credit properties receiving allocations after January 1, 2019.

 

“The lack of affordable housing is at crisis levels in communities all over America. At a time when we desperately need to build new affordable housing, we’re losing thousands of units per year to this loophole,” Senator Wyden said. “Saving existing affordable housing units is essential to any effort to address our housing crisis. This is a no-brainer.”

 

NALHFA applauds this bipartisan legislation aimed at preventing the premature loss of Low Income Housing Tax Credit and will continue to monitor any development on the legislation. Please contact Katelynn Harris at kharris@nalhfa.org for any questions or concerns.

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NALHFA Member Spotlight: Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 25, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation (SETH) with the Single-Family Excellence award in recognition of the SETH/Freddie Mac Lender Training Webinar Series.

 

SETH’s goal for the webinar series was to increase awareness of the advantages found in their DPA Products and increase program usage among borrowers in the low and moderate income communities. With this webinar, SETH was able to reach over 1,000 Loan Officers in Texas with training and tools to help educate lenders about program options available to first time homebuyers and incentives to assist homebuyers under 80% AMI.

Freddie Mac provided the webinar at no cost to SETH or the Lenders in attendance. Freddie Mac included specific program guidelines, such as SETH’s income limits, purchase price limits and program logos. There was no cost to SETH to create this customized presentation and since it was a webinar, there were no additional cost incurred for the presentation.

This webinar provided program training and valuable insights to Lenders when working with DPA Programs. Detailing how to use the Freddie Mac HFA Advantage Product to provide a superior mortgage option for their buyers was one of SETH’s goals. The training covered special advantages for buyers with student loan debt, grants for buyers under 50% and 80% AMI, free homebuyer education provided by SETH for lower income borrowers, lower mortgage insurance requirements, no loan level price adjustments and marketing flyers/social media materials available to reach buyers in local communities. Lenders also had the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters which included Freddie Mac, SETH as the HFA, and US Bank and Gateway Mortgage as the Master Servicers.

The first training was for the SETH 5 Star Program in October 2018 and reached the capacity of 500 very quickly. Freddie Mac stated that this was the largest HFA Training they had ever conducted. Freddie then offered a second date to accommodate the lenders that continued to express interest. A 2nd webinar was scheduled later in October and received another 189 attendees. Then in February 2019, SETH offered this training again for their GoldStar Program. This webinar had 350 attendees. The final total for these 3 webinars was 1,039 registered attendees. SETH targeted the following special groups: single-family and large family households, minorities and recently graduated students. SETH credit this series of webinars with a 25% increase in program activity among low and moderate income buyers in several major counties in Texas: Bexar, Dallas, Tarrant and Harris.

SETH believes the collaboration with industry partners was a key to the success of these webinars. Freddie Mac has proven to be a valuable resource by providing this training to SETH’s Lender Partners. This webinar series serves as a model for all HFAs, as it is easily replicated and can be quickly tailored to meet the needs of an HFA.

 

Learn more about Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation’s award-winning webinar series in the latest episode of the NALHFA Affordable Housing Podcast.

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NALHFA Member Spotlight: Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 10, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority with the Multifamily Excellence award in recognition of The Fallstead.

 

The Fallstead is a shining example of how partnering with nonprofit developers in the revitalization of outmoded county facilities results in affordable housing preservation and new production in Fairfax County. Before the renovation, the facility housed a 22-bed independent living facility. Located on 8.66 acres in McLean, Virginia, the former Lewinsville Elementary School was transferred from the Fairfax County Public Schools to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 1985.  The use of the former Lewinsville Elementary School addressed the then current need for senior housing but did not fully integrate that housing in the surrounding community. The Fallstead at Lewinsville Center now addresses this need by offering  a total of 82 units of affordable housing for seniors earning between 30 percent and 50 percent of the area median income.

 

Wesley Hamel Lewinsville LLC was the master developer of the infrastructure improvements for the entire 8.66-acre site, while Wesley Lewinsville Limited Partnership is the owner and developer for The Fallstead (senior residences), which will have a 99-year ground lease on approximately 2.66 acres of the site.

 

A second County building is scheduled to open late this spring, which will include a senior center, adult day care center, and two private child daycare centers. At no cost to the County, Wesley-Hamel designed, developed, constructed, and owns and operates The Fallstead.

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NALHFA Member Spotlight: City of Austin Neighborhood Housing

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 10, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing with the Multifamily Excellence award in recognition of Aldrich 51.

 

Aldrich 51 is an innovative partnership between Austin Housing Finance Corporation and DMA Development Company. The 240‐unit affordable rental housing development is ideally situated within the 700 acre Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (RMMA) redevelopment. Aldrich 51 provides a unique opportunity for low‐ and moderate‐income households to readily access jobs, transportation choices, parks and recreation facilities, fresh healthy foods options, and numerous other amenities. Of the 240 units, 85% or 204 units are affordable to households at or below 60% MFI.

 

The development was primarily financed through the 4% non‐competitive LIHTC program. In order to ensure a viable project – one that combined deep affordability with high quality construction in a desirable urban location, it was clear that development was going to require multiple partners and financing sources.

 

In the late 1980s, in anticipation of the closing of Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (RMMA), the City of Austin began to contemplate reuse and redevelopment of the 700 acre property, which is situated less than three miles from downtown and two miles from the University of Texas at Austin. After two decades of an inclusive citizen‐driven effort, the Mueller Master Development Agreement (MDA) was inked, memorializing the partnership between the City of Austin, Catellus Development Corporation (Master Developer), and the citizens of Austin. The guiding principles of the redevelopment included an ambitious affordable housing component: at least 25% of all homes at Mueller are required to be affordable to households at or below 80% MFI (ownership) and 60% MFI (rental). All affordable units were to be generally distributed throughout the 700‐acre development, thereby ensuring a vibrant, inclusive, mixed‐income community.

 

Today, the Mueller development is approximately 75% built‐out and includes a mix of commercial, retail, and residential. Homes range from small apartments to townhomes to condominiums to live‐work spaces. Commercial development includes the Dell Children’s Hospital, medical offices, the Thinkery Children’s Museum, AISD’s performing arts space, Texas Mutual Insurance, and Austin Energy’s headquarters (soon to break ground). Retail ranges from small business to “big box” retail such as HEB Grocery, Home Depot and Best Buy.

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NALHFA Member Spotlight: Allegheny County Residential Finance Authority

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 3, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the Allegheny County Residential Finance Authority with the HOME Excellence award in recognition of Forest Hills Veterans Housing.

 

The Forest Hills Veterans Housing is the rehabilitation of a previously vacant and blighted structure in the Borough of Forest Hills into 41 units of affordable housing for seniors and veterans. 21 units have a preference for veterans and 20 units have a preference for seniors, with all units restricted to tenants with incomes below 60% area median income. 

 

The building sat vacant for nearly 10 years until ACTION-Housing, along with the support and encouragement from the local community, elected officials, and community partners, proposed the plan to transform this highly visible building into a community asset. Southwestern Pennsylvania has a higher concentration of both seniors and veterans, and affordable housing for these groups is in high demand, with little supply. Forest Hills Veterans Housing aims to help alleviate both of these shortages with units for both seniors and veterans. The building houses 33 one-bedroom units, 8 two-bedroom units, a community room, computer rooms, laundry, offices and a garage below ground. Supportive services are provided by the Veterans Leadership Program designed specifically to help veterans develop the ability to live independently and self-sufficiently. 


In summary, Forest Hills Veterans Housing combines a rare affordable housing opportunity within a prosperous, suburban community, supports tailored to veterans and seniors, an exemplary of the adaptive reuse of a vacant, blighted building, and finishes and systems throughout designed to deliver a calming sensory experience for all residents.

 

 

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House THUD Subcommittee Releases FY 2020 Spending Bill

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Today, the House Committee on Appropriations released their draft of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 spending bill for the House Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee in advance of tomorrow’s mark-up. The THUD bill provides a total of $50.1 billion for HUD, which is $5.9 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level and $13.4 billion above the President’s budget request.
 
Programs in the bill include:
  • $8.6 billion for the Office of Community Planning and Development, $917 million above the 2019 enacted level and $5.7 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • $3.6 billion for Community Development Block Grants, $300 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
  • $1.75 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, $500 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
  • $32.7 billion for the Office of Public and Indian Housing, $1.7 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $6.9 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • $23.8 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance, $1.2 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $1.6 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • $13.7 billion for the Office of Housing, $1.1 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $846 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $12.6 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, $843 million above the 2019 enacted level and $570 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $803 million for Housing for the Elderly, $125 million above the 2019 enacted level and $159 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $259 million for Housing for Persons with Disabilities, $74 million above the 2019 enacted level and $102 million above the President’s budget request.
 
The subcommittee is expected to take up the bill this week, with a full committee vote after the Memorial Day congressional recess. NALHFA will continue to advocate for budget increases for HUD programs in both the House and the Senate Appropriating Committees. Please contact Katelynn Harris with any questions. 

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NALHFA Announces Leadership Team for 2019-2020

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA) is pleased to announce that its 2019-2020 leadership team was installed last week at the association's Annual Conference in Denver, CO. At the annual business meeting, the NALHFA membership re-elected Richard Froehlich, First Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the New York City Housing Development Corporation as the association's 2019-2020 President.

 

"Throughout the past year NALHFA has been at the forefront representing the legislative and regulatory interests of the local housing finance industry and its members," said Froehlich. "NALHFA remains committed to providing high value services in the areas of advocacy, networking and education for the membership."

 

"I look forward to maintaining a close relationship with Rich as we continue moving NALHFA forward, growing membership, and advancing the priorities of the association," said NALHFA Executive Director Jonathan Paine. "His experience and leadership will help drive NALHFA forward as we build on last year's growth and successes to advocate on behalf of our members and the affordable housing industry." 

 

In addition to Froehlich, the other members of the 2019-2020 NALHFA Executive Committee are:

  • Vice President: Dawn Luke, Chief Executive Officer, Invest Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
  • Treasurer: Vivian Benjamin, Assistant Director, Mortgage Finance Division, Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission (Kensington, MD)
  • Secretary: Cheree Gulley, Executive Director, Housing Finance Authority of Miami-Dade County (Doral, FL)
  • Immediate Past President: Ron Williams, Executive Director, Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation (Houston, TX)

The following six individuals were elected to the Board of Directors for a two-year term expiring in May of 2021:

  • **William Brewer, Executive Director, Nevada Rural Housing Authority, (Carson City, NV)
  • Damon Burns, President and CEO, The Finance Authority of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
  • Tom Cummings, Director, Dept. of Housing, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) 
  • **Jonah Lee, Director of Portfolio Management & Preservation San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development ( San Francisco, CA)
  • W.D. Morris, Executive Director, Orange County Housing Finance Authority (Orange County, FL)
  • **Melissa Taphorn, Deputy Executive Director, Washington County Community Development Agency (Woodbury, MN)

**Denotes new board members elected

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Legislative Alert: FHA Clarifies Rules for Mortgage Lending Program, Requests Feedback

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 10, 2019
In an effort to provide clarity and streamline mortgage lending program requirements, FHA is seeking public feedback on proposed changes to its loan-level certifications, annual lender certifications, and the Defect Taxonomy. The proposed updates are posted on the Single Family Housing Drafting Table and are available for public comment for a 30-day period from May 9th – June 8th.
 
Loan-Level Certifications
FHA is proposing significant revisions to the Addendum to Uniform Residential Loan Application (Form 92900-A). These proposed changes to the loan-level certifications are intended to reorganize Form 92900-A (loan-level certification) in a logical, easy to read, and understandable format, and to eliminate duplicative information collected elsewhere.
 
Annual Lender Certifications
FHA is proposing changes to its annual lender certifications to better align them with National Housing Act standards while continuing to hold lenders accountable for compliance with HUD eligibility requirements. To help stakeholders understand the proposed revisions, FHA has posted a comparison document on the Drafting Table showing the current certification statements and proposed changes side-by-side.
 
Defect Taxonomy
FHA is posting a draft of the Defect Taxonomy Version 2 for stakeholder review and feedback. The Defect Taxonomy was created in 2015 and implemented through the Loan Review System in 2017. Version 2 will provide more clarity and transparency into FHA’s existing loan-level quality assurance processes.
Proposed changes include:
  • updated Severity Tier definitions;
  • potential Remedies that align each Severity Tier;
  • revised Sources and Causes in certain Defect Areas;
  • new Defect Areas for Servicing loan reviews; and
  • HUD policy references.

Please contact Katelynn Harris with any questions.

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