Over two days at the NAR Worforce Housing Conference held in Chicago, a roster of experts gave a range of presentations and educational sessions looking at the special considerations of workforce housing. We’re going to take a look at a few of these sessions this week with an eye toward the topic’s relevance to the commercial real estate practitioner.
Workforce Housing and Multifamily
Looking at the issue of workforce housing from the standpoint of commercial property marketing, management and valuation, we’re reminded that the commercial property aspects focus first on multifamily. What’s more, the orientation toward renters as opposed to homeowners means the definition of “housing” in “workforce housing” comes up somewhat at odds with the topic’s default focus on home ownership. But numerous overlaps exist, from affordability metrics to tax credits to area or regional initiatives to drive economic development.
State Housing Authorities And Multifamily Property
In his appearance at the conference’s round table discussion, Kim Herman, Executive Director, Washington State Housing Finance Commission reminded attendees about the less-than-forefront role of state housing authorities with regard to multifamily. “HFAs have lots of authority to work multifamily property,”
To take one example, Herman’s own HFA provides a range of bond financing and tax credit options for the multifamily market in Washington State. “Check with your state HFA,” agreed Illinois Housing Development Authority‘s executive director Mary Kenney to the conference. Senior housing, nonprofit facilities, multifamily, farmer and rancher programs are on the table to make deals happen and spur economic development outside of the traditional homeowning model.
State Housing Agencies Directory
A comprehensive directory of state housing finance authorities is published online by the National Council of State Housing Agencies. Practitioners in multifamily, assisted living and other areas not covered by simple homeownership are encouraged to look at the programs in their own backyards.