Property Compliance News Briefs - October 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) is accepting entries for its 2012 Communities of Quality (COQ) Awards program. Now in its 20th year, the program recognizes property management firms that provide quality affordable rental housing around the nation. Sponsored by HD Supply Multifamily Solutions, the awards competition includes five categories: 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 Troubled Property. Entries must be submitted to NAHMA by Nov. 9. Winners will be notified in January and will receive their awards in March at the NAHMA 2013 winter meeting in Washington, D.C. For details, go to www.nahma.org.

***

According to the National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC’s) 2012 Apartment Compensation Survey, 65 percent of multifamily firms expanded their staffing last year and 62 percent increased their merit bonus pool to meet new rental demand. The firms that grew their staff increased the total number of employees by an average of 11 percent. The survey results suggest positions such as maintenance, leasing and property management are the highest in demand and are also the positions that are most likely to receive a salary increase at an average of 3 percent. Of the 93 major apartment firms that participated in the survey, 81 percent reported an increase in their total compensation budgets. The staffing growth trend follows a solid year in the industry, with 77 percent of firms rating their 2011 financial performance better than 2010. The NMHC survey also contains information on staff turnover rates, employee salaries and benefits, newly created positions and projected budgets. The survey is available for purchase on www.nmhc.org.

***

HUD invites public comments on the revised Section 8 Renewal Policy Guide, which was updated in August to implement policy changes and recent legislation. The guide offers property owners six renewal options. Property owners can mark the property up to market, opt for another contract renewal with current rents at or below comparable market rents, refer to the Office of Affordable Housing Preservation (OAHP), renew projects exempted from OAHP, renew portfolio reengineering demonstration or preservation projects, or opt out of the contract. Comments must be submitted to HUD’s reports liaison officer by Oct. 9. See the Aug. 8 Federal Register for more details.

***

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is requiring owners and agents to enter into an agreement for the state to provide third party verification of unemployment benefits. Although the agreement entails a fee for each verification request, the HUD office in Milwaukee will provide assistance by recognizing the fee as an eligible project expense. If an employer does not wish to incur a charge for a third party verification, Milwaukee HUD will allow the applicant to provide verification documents directly to the owner or agent. For more information, go to www.wheda.com.

***

U.S. Bank teamed up with Portland, Ore. nonprofit Schoolhouse Supplies to host a backpack and school materials giveaway at Appian Way Apartments in Kent, Wash. in August. Employees from the Seattle area provided supplies to 244 children. U.S. Bank hosted a similar event in Denver, Colo. on the same day. Employee volunteers distributed free backpacks and school supplies to 113 children living at Mercy Housing’s Grace Apartments in Denver.

Journal Category: