CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., is boosting its capital markets platform by launching a HUD-FHA-insured multi-family and health care lending initiative in its multi-housing group. The firm also announced today that it was adding two industry veterans to the team to expand the offerings. “This new initiative will significantly strengthen CBRE’s capital markets platform, enabling us to offer our clients the full range of HUD-FHA-insured mortgages for new construction, substantial rehabilitation, refinancing or acquisition loans on apartments, senior housing and health care facilities,” Ron Halpern, managing director of CBRE’s multi-housing group, said in a release. A CBRE spokesman told CPN today that the initiative was not a reaction to the changing market conditions. He said planning for the HUD-FHA lending programs began in late 2006, when CBRE hired Halpern and Peter Donovan. Both men came from Deutsche Bank Berkshire Mortgage, where Donovan was CEO and Halpern was the president and COO. At the time Donovan was hired in November, 2006, CBRE noted that he had helped steer DBBM to a “market-leading position in government-sponsored multi-family loans.” At DBBM, Halpern was credited with “helping create a national production platform with a multi-billion dollar capacity.” Halpern started at CBRE in December 2006. Halpern, who previously worked for HUD and the Federal Housing Administration, will launch this program for CBRE while continuing to run daily operations of the multi-housing group. New to the CBRE team are Jayne Hulbert, who will help lead the production efforts, and Thom Cooley, who will be the chief underwriter for FHA and help grow the platform. Hulbert most recently was a loan officer at DBBM. She has worked for more than 30 years in origination, development, construction, financing, underwriting and asset management of multifamily residential, health care and commercial income property loans. Cooley has recently held senior-level positions at Prudential Huntoon Paige and ARCS Commercial Mortgage Co., L.P. He has more than 25 years of experience in commercial development with most of that focused on multifamily housing.