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Alerts Archive - August 2011

News Alert: August 26

HUD Announces $25M Energy Innovation Grant Program for Multifamily Properties

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced the Multifamily Energy Innovation Pilot Program which offers $25 million in grants for energy efficiency upgrades. HUD will award funds in two categories, Financing Demonstrations and Applied Research Demonstrations. Applicants who can demonstrate innovative methods for financing retrofits of multifamily properties should apply for the former, and those with innovative solutions to overcoming behavioral, structural, or regulatory barriers to retrofits should apply for the latter.

Grantees are required to demonstrate that they have acquired matching funds of at least $2 in private, non-governmental capital for every $1 requested for Financing Demonstrations, and at least $1 in non-governmental capital for each dollar for Applied Research Demonstrations. The requested funds must constitute at least 10 percent of the total capital for the proposed project. All grantees will be expected to use their awards within 24 months of award execution.

HUD will host a webcast on September 19 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. to review the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and to answer questions. Applications for Energy Innovation Funds grants are due to HUD by October 20, 2011.

News Alert: August 25

NYS HCR To Open Comment Period on Annual Action Plan

New York State Homes and Community Renewal has announced that the 30-day public comment period on its Annual Action Plan (AAP) will begin September 8. The AAP "describes the State's proposed use of available federal and other resources to address the priority needs and specific objectives in the Consolidated Plan; the State's method for distributing funds to local governments and not-for-profit organizations; and the geographic areas of the State to which it will direct assistance" and must be submitted to HUD.

The draft AAP can viewed and downloaded from, or requested by phone (518.473.3031) or email (

Comments must be received or postmarked by close of business on October 7. They can be mailed to: NYS HCR, Attn: Nancy Moreland, 38-40 State Street, Albany, NY 12207.

News Alert: August 24

NYSERDA Offers Efficiency Incentives to Homebuilders

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has made available $14.5 million in incentives to upstate homebuilders to construct energy-efficient homes. Builders can apply for up to $1,250 per house. There is also a $500 subsidy available for households that make less than 80% AMI to invest in energy saving improvements to their current home.

For more information about the incentives, go to and look for PON 2309 under Funding Opportunities.

News Alert: August 23

City Issues RFP for Renovation of Randolph Houses Complex

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York City Housing Authority have jointly issued an RFP for renovation plans concerning the Randolph Houses in Central Harlem. The development site consists of 36 5-story tenements, split in to North and South sections, on West 114th Street between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglass Avenues.

In addition to the various development subsidies available from state and city sources, NYCHA will provide up to $40 million in capital subsidy courtesy of HUD for the south section.

A pre-submission conference will be held at NYCHA, 250 Broadway, 12th Floor Board Room, New York, NY on September 12, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. An additional conference specifically covering the regulations of HUD's Mixed-Finance Program will be held on September 15 at 12:00 pm at 250 Broadway, 12th floor NYCHA Board Room. If you are planning to attend either or both of these conferences, please RSVP to All proposals are due in hand no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 7, 2011.  

The full RFP can be accessed here.

Click here for the full press release from HPD.

News Alert: August 23

FHA Records Record Multifamily Lending Activity and Streamlines Application Process

The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a press release documenting the record levels of multifamily financing undertaken by the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA has endorsed over $10.5 billion in multifamily rental housing loans since October 2010 with over 90 days remaining in this fiscal year. This marks only the second time that the FHA has exceeded the $10 billion mark.The FHA has endorsed 1,100 loans so far - seven times higher than just three years ago.

In addition, the FHA has published its revised Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) Guide which is intended to cut the time required to approve loan applications and to assure consistent application of program requirements and credit standards across all HUD processing offices. FHA’s new MAP Guide delegates more underwriting responsibility to approved “MAP lenders” and includes all relevant guidance published by FHA since the MAP Guide was last updated in 2002.

Click here for the full press release.

News Alert: August 23

HCR Celebrates Opening of 45-Unit ArtSpace Project in Patchogue


Artspace Patchogue contains 45 units of affordable living and work space for artists and their families, and is the new home of the C2 Fine Art Gallery. HCR leveraged multiple resources for the development, including $11.71 million Housing Finance Agency tax-exempt bonds, an annual allocation of $712,841 in 4% Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, a $610,000 allocation of State Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and a $1.575 million loan from the NYS Housing Trust Fund Homes for Working Families.

News Alert: August 22

HUD Announces Strong Cities, Strong Communities Fellowship Program

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that it is seeking a partner to help launch and manage a fellowship program that would support its new Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative.  

"Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) is a new and customized pilot initiative to strengthen local capacity and spark economic growth in local communities, while ensuring taxpayer dollars are used wisely and efficiently. To accomplish this, federal agencies will provide experienced staff to work directly with six cities: Chester, Pennsylvania; Cleveland; Detroit; Fresno, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and New Orleans. HUD hopes that approximately 30 competitively selected fellows will work with local governments, the private sector, and other institutions to leverage federal dollars and support the work being done at the local level to encourage economic growth community development.

Additionally, as part of the SC2 initiative and under the U.S. Department of Commerce, communities nationwide will be eligible to compete for a comprehensive economic planning assistance through a grant competition designed to spark local innovation. By integrating government investments and partnering with local communities, SC2 channels the resources of the federal government to help empower cities as they develop and implement their vision for economic growth."

Click here for the full press release. 

News Alert: August 21

Suffolk County Donates Four Parcels for Affordable Development to the Town of Brookhaven

As part of its Housing Opportunities Program, Suffolk County has donated four abandoned properties to the Town of Brookhaven to be set aside for households making less than 80 percent of area median income. Habitat for Humanity, the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk and the Long Island Housing Partnership are serving as partners. 

This donation brings the number of affordable units provided under the Housing Opportunities Program to 296. 

Click here for the story.

News Alert: August 21

Fannie Mae Extends Funding Tool to Senior Housing Developers reports that Fannie Mae is now offering an ARM that is a 7/6 1-month LIBOR-based product that allows for acquisitions or refinances and comes with features for borrowers looking for flexibility:

“'This new Fannie Mae option lets assisted living providers get a seven-year loan but make lower monthly payments as if it were a 30-year loan,' said Nick Gesue, Senior Vice President of Lancaster Pollard Mortgage Company.

Available up to 75% loan-to-value for assisted living facilities, the product gives borrowers the ability to take advantage of low interest rates and convert into a fixed rate if they decide to lock in long-term financing. Faced with a large backlog of applications for HUD’s 232 program, many assisted living borrowers are looking for non-recourse financing to buy or renovate properties, but don’t have time to wait for applications to clear the HUD backlog, said Guese."

News Alert: August 19

HUD Releases 2012 Fair Market Rent Guideline Proposal

Novogradac & Co. reports that HUD has proposed its latest guidelines for fair market rents (FMRs). FMRs are used to "to determine payment standard amounts for the Housing Choice Voucher program, to determine initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts and to determine initial rents for housing assistance payments (HAP) contracts in the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy (SRO) program."

Click here to see HUD's proposal in the Federal Register.

News Alert: August 18

Affordable Housing Industry Pushes Budget Supercommittee on Balanced Approach

The National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that over 40 affordable housing industry organizations have signed on to a letter delivered to members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction stressing that revenues must be a part of their proposed plan in order to mitigate consequences facing low income households.

The letter argues that affordable housing programs "have powerful impacts on individual and community well-being, not only directly by supporting stable housing for vulnerable people, but also through their effects on economic growth, education, employability, community health, and job creation, particularly for those at the bottom of the economic ladder who have been hardest hit by the recession.”

Click here for the full letter.

News Alert: August 11

HUD Rescinds PCBA Contracts and Plans New Round of Bidding

Due to a large number of complaints, HUD has decided to rescind contract offers to Performance Based Contract Administrators as a result of the most recent bidding process and plans to hold a new round of bidding within the next 60 days. All current PBCAs will be granted 6-month extensions.

The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) has been administering the HUD PBCA through the Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC) with their private sector partner CGI-AMS, Inc. The current PBCA contract for New York provides total annual revenue of $1,119,464,000. This includes $1,032,000,000 in HAP funds.

Summit Multifamily Housing Corporation, a newly formed entity, was created by Akron (Ohio) Metropolitan Housing Authority and Du & Associates. The same corporation was also awarded PBCA contracts in Maryland and New Jersey.

DHCR/HTFC have been the program’s state contract administrator since May 2000 overseeing a portfolio of 996 contracts covering nearly 100,000 units. HTFC used management fees generated from the program to assist in the preservation and advancement of affordable housing and community development through a variety of programs including Access to Home and the New York Main Street program. It is unknown at this time if another revenue source exists to fund these important programs.

For more information on the Akron MHA go to Du and Associates is a professional consulting firm based in Bethesda, MD and led by Lucie Du. For more information go to their web site at

In addition to New York State, thirteen other states lost their PBCA contracts with HUD. Click here for the full list of PBCA awardees.


News Alert: August 11

Obama Administration Seeks Input on Disposition of GSE-held properties

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Department of the Tresaury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a Request for Information concerning options to pursue in dealing with the foreclosed single-family properties held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The objectives of the RIF include reducing the GSE portfolio holdings, stabilizing home prices, reduce loan losses incurred by the GSEs and address property rehabilitation needs. Sale, rental and demolition strategies are all on the table.

This follows on the recent report  that Senator Reed (D-RI) wrote to the FHFA that "the number of vacant foreclosed homes waiting to be sold at depressed prices is increasing at the same time that the demand for rental properties is increasing... It would appear that an answer to both of these problems could be found by analyzing these problems together.”

As of June 2011, Fannie Mae holds almost 136,000 foreclosed single-family properties, while Freddie Mac holds more than 65,000. The article notes that the House Financial Services Committee is already considering a bill with a similar premise: the Neighborhood Preservation Act (H.R. 2636) would authorize Fannie and Freddie to rent foreclosed properties back to their original owners or to other renters with five-year lease agreements.

News Alert: August 10

HPD Launches Online List of At-Risk Buildings

As part of its Proactive Preservation Initiative, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development has launched an online service that lists those buildings "deemed as at-risk, based on the number of open housing code violations, complaints and liens on the property." The list is designed to shed light on properties with poor maintenance records and track their progress. By making this information public and accessible, it is hoped that building owners will rectify poor housing conditions and avoid entering the more aggressive Alternative Enforcement Program.

Of the 34 properties to make the inaugural list, 5 have already reduced violations by 80-90 percent since their initial HPD inspection. While most of the other listed properties have exhibited moderate improvement, four properties have seen an increase in violations since initial inspection. 

To view the full press release, click here. 

News Alert: August 10

Courts Affirm City's Right to Negotiate Project-Based Agreements with Trade Unions

Crain's New York reports that a federal ruling reached last week allows the city to move ahead with project-based contracts with trade unions on over $6 billion in infrastructure projects. The agreements would allow the city to save $300 million over the course of four years by way of more efficient work rules, standardized holidays and no-strike pledges.  The ruling found that "the city's conduct in agreeing to the agreements was akin to what private entities are permitted to do" and thus legally permissible.

The agreements upon which the lawsuit focused only applied to infrastructure projects. It is undetermined at this time whether the ruling would allow for the city to exercise the same latitude on affordable housing development projects.

 Click here for the full story.

News Alert: August 10

Nassau County Unveils Veterans Housing at Mitchel Field

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Community Development Corporation of Long Island, Nassau County opened the first portion of 60 planned housing units for veterans and active military personnel at Mitchel Field in East Garden City. The County assumed ownership of the property from the Navy in April and the County Legislature last month approved the 60-unit plan.

Click here for the full press release.

News Alert: August 8

Morgan Stanley Recommends Bulk Purchases of Foreclosed Homes reports that housing analysts at Margan Stanley have issued a report advising investors to purchase foreclosed homes in bulk quantities and convert them to rental properties. The report contends that the glut of already available homes coupled with the 7.5 million homes facing foreclosure threatens the fluidity of the credit markets. Purchasing these homes en masse and renting them out will help to stabilize the housing market and help to meet the demand for affordable housing.

The Bloomberg piece quotes the report's lead author, Oliver Chang, as saying that “What’s important to do is help clear the backlog as quickly as possible with as little detriment to home prices as possible... The goal here isn’t to help investors. The goal is to provide quality, affordable housing.”

Click here for the full article.

News Alert: August 8

Senator Reed: GSEs Should Be Required to Rent Foreclosed Properties

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, should opt to rent out foreclosed properties instead of incurring heavy losses from quick sales, according to Senator Reed (D-RI). This policy seeks to reduce losses incurred by the GSE portfolios while meeting the need for affordable housing. reports Senator Reed's contention that "the number of vacant foreclosed homes waiting to be sold at depressed prices is increasing at the same time that the demand for rental properties is increasing... It would appear that an answer to both of these problems could be found by analyzing these problems together.”

As of June 2011, Fannie Mae holds almost 136,000 foreclosed single-family properties, while Freddie Mac holds more than 65,000. The article notes that the House Financial Services Committee is already considering a bill with a similar premise: the Neighborhood Preservation Act (H.R. 2636) would authorize Fannie and Freddie to rent foreclosed properties back to their original owners or to other renters with five-year lease agreements.

News Alert: August 5

Related Companies Joins with City to Preserve 258 Affordable Units

Related Companies has partnered with the NYC Housing Development Corporation to purchase three properties in Manhattan in a series of transactions that will renovate 258 units and perserve them as affordable for an additional 35 years.

Upgrades at the New Horizons (West 111th Street; 48 units) development in Harlem are being financed through $10.1 million in HDC tax-exempt bonds. In addition, renovations at Terrific Tenements (West 48th Street; 87 units) and North Park (West 102nd Street; 123 units) are being funded by $25 million and $36 million respectively in tax-exempt bonds.

All of the units in these buildings are priced as affordable to households earning at or below 60% AMI.

Click here for the full press release.

News Alert: August 5

CDFI Announces $26.7 Billion in New Markets Tax Credits Applications

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund announced that it has received 314 applications totalling nearly $26.7 billion for the 2011 round of New Markets Tax Credits. The number of applications submitted is a 14 percent increase from 2010. The total dollars requested exceeds the total $3.5 billion NMTC allocation by over 700 percent.

The application deadline was July 27, 2011 and allocations are expected to occur in early 2012.

Click here for the full press release.

News Alert: August 3

New York State Passes Land Bank Law

Governor Cuomo signed into law on Friday the Land Bank Act. Designed to address the issue of disinvestment in real property, the Land Bank Act allows for the creation of legal entities empowered to acquire property by various forms of contract from private sources or from public sources in the case of tax delinquencies, tax foreclosures or abandonment.

Land banks will be able to charge rents or fees pertaining to the use of banked property or for services provided by the land bank. They will also be able to "design, develop, construct, demolish, reconstruct, rehabilitate, relocate, and otherwise improve" property holdings. In addition, land banks will be able to issue tax-exempt bonds. Property held by land banks and any income are also exempt from state taxation.

Click here for the full bill language.

News Alert: August 3

Governor Launches Regional Economic Development Councils

Following up on the recently unveiled drastic changes to the state's economic development grant application process, the Governor has formally launched the ten Regional Councils through which state development funds will flow. Under the new process, the ten Regional Councils will be able to apply for state funding to support projects they determine to be part of their regional strategy using a new Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), making the projects eligible for grant money and tax credits from dozens of existing programs. The combined pool of funding accessible through the CFA totals up to $1 billion.

Click below for the official press release for each region:

News Alert: August 2

Federal Support for Affordable Housing Being Threatened

Affordable Housing Finance reports that legislation brewing in the Republican-controlled House will pare back the GSEs support of affordable housing and eliminate the National Housing Trust Fund.

The House Financial Services Committee’s capital markets and GSE subcommittee has put forth H.R. 1226 which would eliminate the affordable housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage purchases. In addition, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) has introduced legislation (H.R. 2441) that would abolish the national affordable housing trust fund, which was supposed to be financed through contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (However, due to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being in receivership, the NHTF currently lacks a dedicated funding source.)

Click here for the full article.

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