Great point, Brent! That's also where AFPOE can be helpful. Responses which come off like "because...
Wendy Dorchester
Hire for culture, train for skill! Love this. Jared, you have always emulated great culture in every...
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Posted by on in Affordable Housing
Aside from a few negative comments made last year during the presidential campaign, there has been very little indication of where Secretary Ben Carson and the Trump administration will take federal fair housing policy in the future. A recent decision by the US District Court in Denver, Colorado, however, indicates that, regardless of what the Trump administration does, courts and state legislatures may step in to pick up the slack in fair housing enforcement. In Smith v. Avanti (Civil Action No. 16-cv-00091-RM-MJW), Judge Raymond Moore addressed fair housing claims asserted by a couple, one of whom is a transgender woman, seeking to rent a townhouse. The couple had two minor children. After meeting with the couple and touring the property, the owner notified them that she would not rent the townhouse to the couple, citing the couple’s “unique relationship” and possible noise caused by their children. In response, the Smiths filed a complaint, alleging that the owner violated provisions of the Fair Housing Act (FHAct) that prohibit discrimination on the basis of familial status and sex, and under Colorado’s fair housing law, which also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and familial status. In his decision, issued on April 5, 2017, Judge Moore concluded that under Tenth Circuit precedent, the FHAct’s prohibition on the basis of sex could not be read to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. As a result, discrimination based solely on a person’s status as a transgender person does not constitute discrimination on the...

Posted by on in Affordable Housing
Secretary Ben Carson spoke Monday morning, March 27, at the annual DC conference of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). He focused his remarks on the need to reduce burdensome regulation. He also discussed the idea of a more holistic approach to community development and bridging across traditional subject matter areas in order to address community needs on a comprehensive basis. Is it possible that such an approach could find broader support in the Trump Administration?Secretary Carson identified reducing regulatory burden within existing housing programs as a key area of focus. He encouraged the audience of housing professionals to consider new and innovative approaches to service delivery. He disparaged the bureaucratic approach as one more concerned about rules than about outcomes, and encouraged his audience to renew their focus on achieving outcomes through outside-the-box thinking. It will be interesting to observe how this perspective will be applied during the Secretary’s tenure, and which regulations take center stage in the Administration’s effort to reduce their impact.Secretary Carson also encouraged the NAHRO attendees to consider new ways to break down traditional barriers between subject matter areas and to address community development on a more holistic basis. “How do we develop the entire community?” he asked. “How do we ensure there are adequate schools and education?” Beyond education, he also identified the issues of health and working with the Department to Health and Human Services; workforce development and working with the Department of Labor; and the criminal justice system, particularly skills...

Posted by on in Affordable Housing

The President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), Diane Yentel, released a statement last week in response to the Trump administration’s budget proposal, specifically regarding the previously mentioned cuts to (and of) key housing assistance programs at HUD. The official position of the NLIHC is “[the budget proposal] is the wrong approach. Mr. Trump and Congress should be increasing investments in affordable homes-not dramatically cutting resources”. Yentel and the NLIHC further implored Congress to reject the proposed cuts, should they remain a part of the final budget proposal, citing them as “unacceptable”. The statement put out by Yentel and the NLIHC also highlights Secretary Carson’s previous commitment to maintain existing HUD programs, and to refrain from any drastic cuts until an alternative program is created in its place.

Posted by on in Affordable Housing
Dear Gabby,  I know you have talked about the micro apartment trend before, but could you give us an update? Should they still be on my radar? I am not sure if my location will even be affected since I live in a smaller market. People here didn’t find out that Bey was pregnant until 2 days after her Instagram announcement for goodness sake! #ATrendyMultifamilyManager    ________________________   Dear #ATrendyMultifamilyManager ,  First off, where do you live for people to be that out of the loop? We had a celebratory toast at the office in honor of Bey’s pregnancy.  Second, thank you for the fabulous question! With new trends there is always the risk of it losing steam and becoming just another fad. With micro apartments, however, that’s not the case!  As I said in my last post, micro apartments mean something different to different people. Some think about their environmental footprint and opt to live in a smaller space to minimize their impact on the earth. Others choose the smaller unit because it is cheaper. They would rather sacrifice space than location, quality, safety, etc. Lastly, some people choose the space simply because it is trendy. No matter the reason, people seem to choose a micro apartment to serve a totally different purpose than a conventional one. On average, micro renters don’t stay as long, causing community to have higher turnover. That’s not to say that these communities are going to begin emptying out. More and more people (mainly young...

Posted by on in Affordable Housing
The multifamily real estate market in the US is on the rise for the past few years; therefore, the demand of affordable housing units is also steep. Though multifamily units have transformed urban living, large occupancy rates are posing diverse challenges such as energy efficient affordable housing and high utility rates, which are a definite threat to the environment. To curb wastage of resources and make living spaces eco -friendly, investors need to take a few measures. Continuing the discussion, the blog post discusses a few ideas to turn multifamily units more eco-friendly than before.  1. Invest in Green Zones A large number of multifamily occupants are millennials with a desire of lush green zones inside the units, where they can grow fruits, herbs, vegetables to nurture irrational passions. In addition, investing in solar panels for an uninterrupted power supply can also turn the property into an energy efficient affordable housing. Doing so can minimize the dependence of the building on conventional fossil fuels to generate energy, which is a boost to the eco-friendly initiative. 2. Focus on Water Conservation Conserving water is a vital aspect in multifamily units, in order to avoid the exorbitant wastage. Therefore, investors need to plan in advance and opt for low-flow faucets, high-efficiency toilets and timer-based irrigation and sprinkling systems to keep a tab on water usage in the units. In addition to that, investors can also consider installing systems to track water usage or arrange water conservation programs to assess the monthly efforts. 3....

Posted by on in Affordable Housing
Dear Gabby,   So I’ve been hearing a lot about these “micro apartments”...what exactly are they? Are people just okay with living in closets? I can’t imagine living in one room with my boyfriend...where would we go to get away from each other after fighting? That would be HORRIBLE!   #AConcernedGirlfriend   __________________________________________________________________________________     Dear #AConcernedGirlfriend,   First off, you may want to rethink living with you boyfriend if you’re concerned with “space”. My first thought, of course, is closet space…where would all my shoes go?! Anyway, to the actual point. Micro apartments are sweeping the nation...well at least sweeping the nation’s big cities. Some members of the architecture community and urban policy makers will tell you that these micro apartments are becoming popular because people want to create a smaller environmental footprint. If I’m being honest, I think the main reason they are popular is because there is an affordable housing crisis going on. People need a place to live but can’t afford the average rent in major cities. Now developers are creating really small spaces, putting a smaller price tag on them, and calling them “micro apartments” to make them “trendy”. They are even going as far as describing the units as “micro luxury”...puh-lease! Even if you do believe that the ultimate goal of these small spaces is for environmental reasons, micro apartments may not seem so trendy and fun once you think about it realistically. Your house or apartment is supposed to be a safe space for...

Posted by on in Affordable Housing
All rental properties that are considered low-income housing go through the process of standardized REAC inspections to stay in compliance with safe housing standards and the UPCS inspection codes. In order to remain operable, these properties much achieve a REAC score of 60 or above on the 100 point scale during each inspection. It can be an overwhelming and time consuming process to prepare your rental to meet UPCS standards and receive the highest possible REAC score. Many factors of the property are carefully examined to ensure the safety of the tenants, and failing to comply with HUD housing standards can lead to numerous additional expenses for your real estate business. Luckily, the development of digital property management software makes getting ready for a REAC inspection a quick and streamlined process! By saving you both time and money, these digital tools can take the guesswork out of ensuring your properties are up to UPCS code.  Stay ahead of the game by using digital inspection software to periodically monitor your properties.  Digital property management software is a game-changer when it comes to accurately evaluating your qualifying low-income housing rentals. ...

Posted by on in Affordable Housing
If you are looking for a safe way to invest in real estate, why not start with a multifamily property? There is a great need of multifamily units in the U.S., specifically because there has been a higher demand for multifamily property and the real estate market is finding it difficult to meet this surge. This implies that there are many advantages of investing in multifamily property. In this brief blog post, we discuss about the benefits of investing in multifamily property. Lesser CompetitionMultifamily housing has been here for a while but the competition is still less in comparison to other sectors of real estate. Lesser competition means better opportunities and profit for the investors. People tend to avoid investing in commercial property like multifamily units because it requires more work and comes with a huge price tag. The long term benefits that multifamily properties come with definitely overshadow a few negatives.Availability of Loan OptionsThere are separate loans for the individuals who want to purchase a multifamily property with up to four units. Investors can borrow more money as they can use the rental income to qualify for a loan. In addition to this, the owner-occupant loans have lower interest rates and lesser down payments as compared to the commercial property loans.Beneficial in Difficult TimesIt is true that income from a multifamily property can be of great help during unexpected events. It is an additional income that may be used to pay mortgage, medical bill or study loan. In addition to...

Posted by on in Affordable Housing
Multifamily properties are buildings that consist of more than 5 families. Budget conscious people take into consideration some essential factors like the cost of acquisition, rent or energy consumption when they look for a multifamily property. Many multifamily property owners look for energy savings options in order to attract more tenants and get better return on their investment. Energy efficient buildings is an easy way of reducing carbon footprints and lowering your energy bills. Let us now discuss 5 ways that can make your property energy efficient.Programmable thermostatsInstalling programmable thermostats with sophisticated controls allows homeowners to regulate the heating and cooling levels and thereby lower the energy bills. The good part is programmable thermostats aren’t a super-expensive investment. Multifamily property owners who plan to construct energy efficient buildings take into consideration the installation points during the construction phase. An affordable housing general contractor can help you out with deciding the installation points.Cool roofsIt won’t be wrong to consider installing cool roof, which has emerged as an ultra-modern concept especially among multifamily property owners. Such roofs are made of reflective material which doesn’t absorb much heat from the sun, keeping the house fairly cool during summers and thereby saving electricity costs to a great extent.Water heatersSimilar to thermostats, you can install energy efficient technology ridden water heaters that come with sophisticated controls. This enables the users to set the water heater at the lowest setting to ensure that there is no wastage of power. Energy efficient appliancesInstalling energy efficient appliances may prove...

Posted by on in Affordable Housing

A Significant Impact to Affordable Rental Housing

The state of New Jersey has introduced a bill that would significantly impact affordable housing across the state.  Senate, No. 1585 is seeking to establish guidelines for creditworthiness determinations concerning government subsidized housing programs.  The new restriction is intended to aide applicants who have poor credit history so their chances of receiving government assistance are improved.