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Homes and Community Renewal

2008-B-01: Housing Information and Resource Conference

To: All Housing Companies
     Owners, Managing Agents and Site Managers

From: David Cabrera, Deputy Commissioner

Date: January 8, 2008

Subject: Housing Information and Resource Conference


In our continuing effort to provide Owners and Managing Agents with the resources to deal with the complicated and challenging issues which they face on a daily basis, the Management Bureau is planning to conduct their Third Annual Housing Information and Resource Conference on April 2-4, 2008 at the Sagamore Hotel and Conference Center located on Lake George in Bolton Landing, New York. This facility is easily accessible by air to the Albany Airport; by Amtrak to the Albany Station; or by car via the Northway (I-87).

The average cost, depending on the type of accommodation, will be $430 per person, and will cover:

This is an approvable housing company expense chargeable to account # 6390. The total allowable cost for each housing company will be determined at the time of registration.

If you are interested in attending this Conference, you can participate in the planning process by responding to Parts A and B listed below. Part A will give us an idea of the number of Owners, Managing Agents, and Housing Company Staff who would like to attend; Part B will tell us which of the proposed Workshops are of interest to you.

PART A:

I would like to attend this Conference on behalf of ___________________________________________________________________ Housing Company.

Total number of staff who plan to attend from my organization are __________.

PART B:

Please check all of the topics that interest you.

Preservation Strategies for Mitchell-Lama Housing Companies Panel Discussion

Many of our Mitchell-Lama housing companies may wish to: reduce their debt service in order to meet expenses with minimum rent increases; raise additional funds for current capital improvements; or bolster reserve funds for future capital improvements. This workshop will discuss State preservation initiatives.

Preparing for the REAC Inspection

This seminar is designed to familiarize owners, management staff, and on-site maintenance personnel with various procedures, operational modifications and tips that can help ensure that their developments receive a passing REAC score. The presenters, who are experts in the REAC protocols will clarify what the inspector is looking for, as well as provide a few "inspection day" strategies that could add points to a housing company's score.

Low-Income Housing Credit Project Compliance Monitoring

This Workshop will review the role of DHCR in monitoring the compliance of affordable housing projects which utilize low-income housing credits. The workshop will include a review of the Internal Revenue Regulations for Credit project compliance monitoring. The Credit project compliance monitoring systems at DHCR will be examined with emphasis on the physical and operational reviews that are conducted on the over 1,000 Credit projects the Division is currently monitoring. Also included will be a discussion of the unique monitoring considerations faced by those acquiring and rehabilitating occupied Credit projects.

Housing Preservation in Federally Assisted Mitchell-Lama and Other Federally Assisted Properties

This workshop will discuss the trends in housing preservation involving federal assistance, including Section 236 interest subsidy reduction, Section 202 Direct Loan refinancing and the restructuring of properties that have completed HUD's Mark-to- Market program. This workshop will explain the roles of DHCR and local housing agencies, and detail the issues that arise in these transactions. This workshop will also provide housing updates from a Washington D.C. and New York State perspective.

Effective Time Management

Just because you're on time, doesn't mean that you're on schedule. DHCR's Office of Training and Professional Development (TPD) has been helping housing professionals take the first steps in organizing their work and personal schedules. This workshop will discuss techniques to identify "time wasters" and their possible causes, and strategies for using available time more effectively. In addition to identifying ways to improve time management, the course will also identify how some of the techniques used can help increase productivity and possibly relieve stress.

Managing Stress

What is stress? Stress helps us to meet life's challenges, but too much can hurt mentally and physically. This workshop is designed specifically for busy and rushed housing professionals both in the public and private sectors. Problems, conflicts, illness, and deadlines, regardless of where they originate, affect all of us at the office. This course is designed to acknowledge the factors of stress and to help manage them. The material discussed in this session is informational and not intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgement of a qualified health-care professional.

The National Institutes of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the Channing Bete Company ® self-care series of books contributed to the data used in this workshop.

Round Table Discussion - Changes in Mitchell-Lama Regulations

Open discussion of the proposed changes in the Mitchell-Lama regulations, particularly in regard to Procurement, Occupancy Requirements and Waivers, and Tenant Selection. Moderated by Deputy Commissioner David Cabrera, this format will encourage audience participation, discussion, and input as we enter into a new era of simplified, less onerous, and ultimately more relevant Mitchell-Lama housing regulations.

New Protocols for the DHCR Field Visits in 2008

In 2008, DHCR's field visits will place renewed emphasis on Tenant Selection, Financial Administration and Heating Plant Operation. This workshop will present the new protocols that DHCR will follow during the field visits. This more comprehensive review will be the basis for future evaluations of our Housing Companies.

Board of Directors in State-Supervised Mitchell-Lama Co-Ops

Board members play an important role in State-Supervised Mitchell-Lama Co-ops. The workshop will discuss the basic role, responsibilities and powers of The Board of Directors and explain the role of DHCR and the professionals hired by the housing company.

How to Improve Your Score on the 2007 Management & Occupancy Review (MOR) - Update for 2008

This two-part workshop will offer practical advice to our Owners and Managing Agents on how they can prepare their site(s) for the HUD 9834 Management and Occupancy Review.(MOR). It is essential for housing company management staff who manage our Federally Assisted housing developments to attend this updated training. Training in the audit process will instruct the Federally Assisted developments in how to comply with HUD requirements, thereby assuring continuation of funding. This training will be divided into two sessions:

Part A:
Discussion of the specific steps that the Owners/Managing Agents must take prior to, during, and after this review to expedite the process.

Part B:
Explanation and review of potential findings presented in the prescribed "condition, criteria, cause, effect, and corrective action" format, combined with a hands-on approach on how to avoid verification/calculation errors. The impact of change 2 on this process will also be discussed.

Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

DHCR's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is responsible for promoting the participation of minority and women-owned businesses in contracts let by DHCR, and oversight of fair housing activities and monitoring. This workshop will be divided into three parts and will present the key requirements which govern: 1) Affirmative Marketing Plans; 2) HUD Section 3 of the Fair Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968; and 3) Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise participation.

Case Studies in Mixed Finance and Refinanced Redevelopments Part A & B

Part A:
Public Housing Mixed - Finance Redevelopments: This session will discuss those transactions in which a housing authority transfers a project to a private entity pursuant to special legislation. Substantial renovations are performed with funding through low income housing tax credits, tax exempt bonds, Housing Modernization funds, and other loans and grants, while the project continues under the overall supervision of the housing authority. (e.g.: Middletown Housing Authority redevelopment).

Part B:
Mitchell-Lama Refinanced Redevelopments: This session will discuss those transactions in which a Mitchell-Lama housing company refinances and performs substantial renovations with funding from tax exempt bonds or a private lender, low income housing tax credits, and other loans and grants. Typically, these housing companies receive a Section 236 subsidy which is decoupled and applied to the new mortgage, and Enhanced Vouchers for the current tenants. The housing company does not dissolve, but remains in the Mitchell-Lama program. (e.g.: Sacred Heart Housing Corp. refinance).

Fair Housing Seminar

Given by an attorney, this workshop will discuss in detail: 1) how to select residents and enforce the lease without discriminating; 2) what to do when one resident claims another resident discriminated against him or harassed him because of his race, religion, disability, familial status, national origin, or sex; 3) what a "reasonable accommodation" is and when a requested accommodation is not reasonable; and 4) how fair housing laws apply to the application process, period of occupancy, and the eviction process. This workshop will be in a non-confrontational setting in which staff can ask the attorney about fair housing issues that have come up at a particular site.

The Cost/Benefit Equation of Refinancing

Many factors need to be considered before undertaking the complicated and stressful process of refinancing and retooling your project. What are the costs and benefits to the Board, tenants and to the physical asset, itself? Building upgrades can address accessibility problems, energy efficiency and safety issues but is the process worth the disruption and hassle? Will refinancing net you the cash and physical improvements to guarantee longevity and make it worth while? The answer is most likely "yes", but being prepared for what lies ahead is the key. A panel of development specialists and housing professionals who have lived through the process will provide the framework for you to make informed decisions.

Sales/Broker Workshop

In order to manage property in New York State you must be licensed by the State as a Real Estate Broker. You may already have the required experience. Come to the workshop to listen to an overview of both courses and learn what is required to secure a Sales or Brokers License.

My Own Suggestions For Additional Workshop Topics Are:

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If you are interested in attending our Housing Information and Resource Conference, please complete PART A and PART B of this notice and send it by facsimile to Linda Kedzierski at (212) 480-7270, by February 1, 2008, or e-mail her at LKedzierski@nyshcr.org.

-David Cabrera

Last updated on 05/21/10