Property Compliance News Briefs - June 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

In its annual ranking of the nation's top 50 apartment owners and managers, the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) named Boston Capital, with 192,711 units, the largest owner for the third year in a row. Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC, with a portfolio of 157,423 units, retained the top spot on the 2012 NMHC 50 for apartment managers. NMHC found that the top 50 owners and managers each grew their collective portfolios by more than 60,000 units in 2011, to reach a total of 3 million and 2.8 million, respectively. Complete rankings and an analysis are available at www.nmhc.org.

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The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) is accepting entries for its 2012 Communities of Quality (COQ) Awards program. The awards recognize property management companies that provide high-quality affordable multifamily housing. Categories for this year's competition are Exemplary Family Development, Exemplary Development for the Elderly, Exemplary Development for Residents with Special Needs, Exemplary Development for Single Room Occupancy Housing, and Outstanding Turnaround of a Troubled Property. Entry materials should be submitted by November 9. Winners will be notified in January 2013 and will receive their awards in a ceremony at NAHMA's winter meeting in Washington, D.C. More information on the COQ awards is available at www.nahma.org.

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HUD, through its Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), awarded nearly $41.2 million in competitive grants to 99 fair housing organizations and other not-for-profit organizations to assist victims of housing discrimination. Funds will be used to enforce the Fair Housing Act (FHA) through investigation and testing of alleged discriminatory practices and to educate housing providers, local governments and potential victims of housing discrimination about their right under the FHA. HUD received requests for more than $70 million in FHIP grants. The award amounts and corresponding categories are: $30 million in Private Enforcement Initiative grants to help local not-for-profit organizations carry out testing and enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices; $5.9 million in Education and Outreach Initiative Grants to groups that educate the public and housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under fair housing laws; and $5.25 million to help build the capacity and effectiveness of not-for-profit fair housing organizations, particularly those that focus on the rights and needs of underserved groups such as rural and immigrant populations.

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released updated information on preventing and addressing bed bug infestations in HUD-insured or assisted multifamily properties. Notice H 2012-5, "Guidelines on Addressing Infestations in HUD-insured and Assisted Multifamily Housing," supersedes previous bed bug guidance contained in Notice 2011-20. The April 23 guidance affirms owners' rights to pursue damage claims and termination of tenancy as a result of bed bug infestations, as well as distinguishes between provisions that are applicable only to assisted properties and those that are applicable for all HUD properties, according to the Midwest Affordable Housing Management Association. Download a copy of Notice H 2012-5 from www.hud.gov.

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The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) revised its utility allowance policy to offer an energy consumption model option. The model must take into account specific factors that include unit size, building orientation, design and materials, mechanical systems, appliances, and characteristics of building location. If OHFA approves an owner's energy consumption model, its accuracy must use actual consumption information from the building and be verified within three years after the date of initial approval and every five years thereafter. The policy is available for download at www.ohiohome.org.

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