Archive for September, 2013

Affordable Housing Programs Unnecessarily Complex

From the Washington Post’s Wonkblog comes a piece about how federal housing aid programs are too complicated in many metropolitan areas when they really don’t need to be:

So let’s say I’m living in a chronically disadvantaged neighborhood in D.C., paying rent with the assistance of Section 8, and I find a cheap place in a much better neighborhood in Virginia. The process of moving while keeping my place in the program is extremely complicated. “The process of moving to a different PHA jurisdiction is administratively burdensome for both PHAs and families,” Turner and Katz write. “The receiving PHA may apply different or more rigorous screening criteria or require the family to attend another orientation briefing, duplicating steps for both parties. At the same time, PHAs may use a different application form and calculate subsidy levels differently, all of which makes it more difficult for families to find a unit and negotiate a lease in the limited search time.”

And there are also problems for landlords and property managers. “PHAs sometimes find themselves in competition for area landlords rather than working together to recruit the largest possible pool of participating landlords,” Turner and Katz note. “Moreover, landlords are often confused by the multiplicity of local programs, and may hesitate to participate in the program at all because of uncertainties about who is administering it and how reliably it operates.”

So Turner and Katz want to consolidate things. Instead of having Section 8 run at the local level, they proposed setting up metro area-level housing authorities to run it. So instead of Alexandra, Fairfax, Arlington, Montgomery, P.G., and D.C. all having their own housing authorities administering Section 8, there’d be a D.C. metro authority. Once you got your voucher there, you could move to wherever in the area is most affordable, safe, and has the best schools for you and your family, without regard to municipal or state boundaries.

The main effect would be to make the program better serve its main purpose. “The biggest effect of this is on program outcomes. Letting them make rational choices about how do you get closer to work, to quality schools,” Katz tells me. “I think more families would use them to go to neighborhoods that are safe and where things work already,” Turner says. “We’ve got a growing body of evidence that escaping from  distressed neighborhoods pays off for families in ways that pay off for all of us.”

It’s an interesting read and worth taking a look at the entire thing.

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September 30, 2013 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

Millennial Renters

USA Today has a good article about a trend that folks in the apartment industry have noticed over the past couple of years: the hesitance of Millennials to become home buyers.

For many Americans hard hit by the recession or dealing with large student loan debt, the idea of renting indefinitely has become appealing. No mortgage to pay off, a living space that comes with built-in amenities, and a landlord who takes care of upkeep and maintenance.

This may be particularly true for the country’s youngest adults, who are delaying homeownership and for whom taking on a mortgage is seen as one more debt to pay off. From 2006 through 2011, 25- to 34-year-olds experienced the largest decline in homeownership compared with any other age group, according to a USA TODAYanalysis of Census Bureau data. Among households headed by 25- to 34-year-olds, renters increased by more than a million from 2006 to 2011, while the number who own fell nearly 1.4 million, the analysis shows.

Today’s young adults are not only delaying homeownership, they’re delaying many of the life events that often come with homeownership, including marriage, children and settled careers. The flexibility to be able to pick up and leave an apartment building or city for a job can be crucial.

September 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

Housing Greensboro Changes Name to Community Housing Solutions

In the past PTAA has been fortunate to team up with Housing Greensboro on two different occasions for our annual Labor of Love project and it has been a wonderful partnership. We’re excited to share the news of their name change to better reflect what they do for the community. From their press release:

The Board of Directors of the nonprofit organization formerly known as Housing Greensboro is proud to announce our new name – Community Housing Solutions. This change is a result of feedback from low-income homeowners and volunteers who said that our previous name was easily confused with other organizations in Greensboro. We are excited about the process we took to come up with the new name and how this will allow us to serve more people in our community through our home repair programs.

“The new name better reflects the essence of what we do in Greensboro.” states Gene Brown, President and Executive Director. “We believe that Community Housing Solutions will be a name that quickly connects people in need of our services or interested in supporting our work through volunteering or donations.” The organization has repaired more than 320 homes since 2005 for homeowners who could not physically or financially afford the work themselves. More than $3.7 million has been invested locally by Community Housing Solutions preserving affordable housing utilizing more than 40,000 volunteer hours to complete the work led by their skilled construction staff.

You can find out more at Community Housing Solution’s new website http://chshousing.org/

September 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm Leave a comment

PTAA Announces Inaugural Leadership Lyceum Class

The Board of Directors of the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association is pleased to present the following members of its inaugural Leadership Lyceum Program class:

  • Michelle Chesson, Community Manager – Hodgins Retreat & Marketing Director – Burkley Communities
  • Nikol Edwards, VP Marketing & Promotions – Blue Ridge Companies
  • Shana Golladay, Community Manager – Hawthorne Residential Partners, Stonesthrow Apartments
  • Leigh Hayworth, Corporate Account Manager – Central Wholesalers
  • Ben Kramer, Business Development Representative – Disaster One
  • Andra Padgett, Market Sales Manager – Apartment Guide
  • Linda Wendelken, Owner/President – Corporate Accommodations/Executive Furniture Leasing

The Leadership Lyceum Program is designed to groom future leaders of PTAA. The purpose of the program is to get people involved in, and to impart knowledge of, the PTAA and the multifamily industry. Requirements for Program participants include:

Attendance at three half-day courses including an Introduction to PTAA, a session dedicated to learning about PTAA’s education offerings and a session devoted to learning about PTAA’s government affairs initiatives. Class members are also required to attend AANC’s Legislative Days in Raleigh in 2014 and are encouraged to volunteer 12-15 hours with a community-based nonprofit organization such as Second Harvest Food Bank.

We at PTAA are very excited to kick off this program and look forward to welcoming a second Lyceum class in 2014.

September 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm 1 comment

Landmark Apartment Trust of America Buys Mission Battleground Park

From MHN Online:

Landmark Apartment Trust of America, a REIT that owns about 16,000 units in various Southern metro areas, has acquired two multifamily properties in two separate deals for a total price of $37 million. One is in Nashville, Tenn., and the other is in Greensboro, NC…

The Greensboro property is Landmark at Battleground Park, a 240-unit apartment complex. Formerly known as Mission Battleground Park, it’s located at 3520 Drawbridge Pkwy. and was built in 1990…

Landmark at Battleground Park boasts a community clubhouse and playground. Landmark Apartment Trust says it plans to renovate all of the units at both properties.

September 18, 2013 at 8:42 pm Leave a comment

New Software Tool for Evaluating Leasing Professionals

A Raleigh-based company has launched a software product that seeks to help managers evaluate and place leasing professionals:

Low retention rates in leasing offices have been plaguing the multifamily industry for decades, though nobody knows exactly why.

But with tons of metrics available, Raleigh, N.C.-based Leasalytics is hoping to solve that puzzle, by offering a more transparent view of leasing consultant performance.

The new software aims to give managers a better handle on which leasing agent would succeed in a certain environment, on who the right leasing agent is for a given time and place.

Read the full article here.

September 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm Leave a comment

Multifamily Developer Confidence at All-Time High

From Floor Covering Weekly:

Production of apartments and condominiums gained momentum in the second quarter of 2013, according to the latest Multifamily Production Index (MPI), released today by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The index increased nine points to 61, which is the highest reading since its inception in 2003…

“Multifamily developer confidence is currently at an all-time high according to our survey results, and we expect to see that continue for the foreseeable future,” said W. Dean Henry, chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Leadership Board. “Much of the consumer demand that we are now seeing is coming from a large generation of young people who are able to find jobs and establish their own households as the economy continues to improve.”

“The apartment and condo sector continues to expand production,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “This increased level of activity is needed to meet current demand and to compensate for a serious lack of new units developed during the housing downturn.”

(h/t to Matt Ketterman for sending us a link to the article)

September 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm Leave a comment

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