This is the fifth in a series of blog posts chronicling the Rural Rental Housing Preservation Academy. TSAHC, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Enterprise Community Partners, the Rural Rental Housing Association of Texas and Motivation, Education, & Training, Inc. partnered to present the academy which was a series of no-cost training and peer learning sessions designed to help rural housing providers and nonprofits acquire and/or preserve USDA housing in their respective communities. Special thanks to the Capital One Foundation for providing financial support for the academy.
Attendees participated in “Session 5: Supportive Policy and Property Management” in Austin September 11-12. This is a recap of that session provided by Julie Gunter, Senior Advisor, Community Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Roy Lopez, Assistance Vice President and Community Development Officer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, welcomed participants to the fifth session and applauded the important work being done by academy organizers and participants.
Julie Gunter gave a thorough review of previous academy sessions and reminded everyone that recaps of Session 1, Session 2, Session 3 and Session 4 are available online for those interested.
Emerging Policy Issues (Supporting Materials)
Liz Osborn - Enterprise Community Partners
Ms. Osborn reviewed federal policies and potential legislation that could impact the development and rehabilitation of rural housing units. She highlighted the New Market Tax Credits Program, rural provisions in the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (strengthening the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program), the Rural Housing Preservation Act and the Federal Farm Bill.
Rural Rental Housing Association of Texas (RRHA) Policy Platform Discussion
Dennis Hoover – Hamilton Valley Management
Robbye Meyer – Arx Advantage
Ginger McGuire – Austin Stone
The panel, all members of RRHA, led a discussion on state policy issues that impact rural housing development and identified the following three priorities: (1) scoring of proposed Low Income Housing Tax Credit developments, (2) the appraisal method applied to affordable housing developments, and (3) strengthening rural housing preservation efforts and resources.
USDA Policy & Systems Improvement (Supporting Materials)
Larry Anderson - Get RD Done Right
Mr. Anderson identified policies that USDA Rural Development could implement or support to enhance efforts in preserving USDA rural housing developments. These include: (1) making rental assistance available after mortgage maturity, (2) prioritizing the preservation of developments with maturing mortgages, (3) creating a two-step transfer process that allows nonprofits to acquire a property first and then rehabilitate it, and (4) requiring small development to be included with large developments in portfolio transactions.
Resident Services (Supporting Materials)
Kate Moore - True Casa
Jennifer Hicks - True Casa
Ms. Moore and Ms. Hicks reviewed different types of housing and the services that can be provided at those developments. They emphasized the tenancy needs unique to USDA 515 properties.
Putting it all Together (Supporting Materials)
Will Eckstein - Greystone Affordable Development
Mr. Eckstein discussed the landscape of rural housing preservation. He provided a comprehensive list of funding sources and presented the different ways to put preservation deals together. He spoke to the benefits of portfolio transactions and highlighted one such deal in Georgia.
Property Management (Supporting Materials)
Jonathan Bell - TX USDA RD
Melissa Drewry - TX USDA RD
Mr. Bell and Ms. Drewry reviewed TX USDA RD requirements for property management including key management documents, a management certification, a management agreement, identifying interest disclosure, and going over management fees.
Disaster Recovery & Mitigation (Supporting Materials)
Susan Anderson - Enterprise Community Partners
Ms. Anderson presented on Enterprise's work in supporting the design and development of resilient communities. She highlighted the disaster staffing toolkit and multifamily resilience strategies.
USDA Technical Assistance (Supporting Materials)
Rose Garcia - Tierra del Sol
Ms. Garcia concluded Session 5 by going over the technical assistance Tierra del Sol provides for nonprofits interested in acquiring or developing rural housing. Tierra del Sol provides individual technical assistance plans, and in some instances financial assistance, to help nonprofits navigate the property transfer and/or development process.
Session 5 marks the conclusion of the Rural Rental Housing Preservation Academy, but the work to preserve rural rental housing will continue. Stay tuned for future updates on what the partner organizations will be planning for 2019 and beyond.
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