Volume 03 | September 29, 2017
From the Executive Director/CEO
The DC Housing Finance Agency is closing out a stellar Fiscal Year 2017 in all of the Agency’s divisions. In this edition of the newsletter I am highlighting our spring and summer accomplishments.
The Single Family Programs division launched new program enhancements, including Closing Cost Grants Giveaway, closing its first Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) deal as the program’s co-administrator, and sharing information with throngs of D.C. residents at the annual DC Open Doors House Crawl, DC Housing Expo and Manna’s East of the River Housing Fair. In July, the Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investments team introduced the Housing Investment Platform (HIP) and Single Family Investment Pilot at the groundbreaking of HIP’s first project, Elvans Road Townhomes.

As we move toward the end of the calendar year, DCHFA continues its mission of creating innovative solutions that provide affordable rental and homeownership opportunities in Washington, D.C.
Highlights from Homeownership Month
The month of June is always packed with activities and announcements for DCHFA’s Single Family Programs division. Ward 7 residents Leonidas Saturria Rosario and Lurden Martinez de Saturria became first time homeowners in June with assistance of HPAP.  The Saturria’s moved their family from a small apartment into a new four level townhouse in Deanwood. Their closing date was also a milestone for DCHFA, marking the first family to receive assistance from HPAP since the Agency began operations as the program’s co-administrator in March 2017. We were thrilled to have the Saturria’s to join us at the Home Expo on their moving day! HPAP is the DC Department of Housing and Community Development’s first-time homebuyer program. HPAP provides down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers in the form of interest free loans to qualified applicants for the purchase of their primary residence, including single family homes, condominiums, or cooperative units in the District.

Single Family Programs rolled out the Closing Cost Grants Giveaway during the June Housing Bloom kick-off event.   DCHFA offered $1,500 grants to be used towards closing costs to borrowers with incomes at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI), who used one of the DC Open Doors HFA Preferred loan programs (with or without Down Payment Assistance) and closed by September 1, 2017.

DCHFA expanded the potential number of buyers that may qualify for the DC Open Doors mortgage loan program by increasing the income cap to $132,360.

The Agency’s final homeownership month announcement was the offering Freddie Mac’s super conforming mortgages, with a maximum loan limit of $636,150. This higher loan limit lowers mortgage financing costs for borrowers located in high-cost areas like D.C. By decreasing the minimum down payment requirement, more moderate income (up to 120 percent AMI) households are able to purchase homes.

Innovations in Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investments
DCHFA’s Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investments division continues to innovate to meet the needs of its partners and the people of the District of Columbia.   This summer the multifamily financing process became paperless with the launch of the new Multi-Family Lending Application. No longer will developers need to deliver stacks of documents to the Agency to apply for financing. The online application has streamlined the borrowing process and sped up the review of applications to fund development projects.   The application was created to make it easier for developers to do business with DCHFA and to help increase the production of affordable housing in the District of Columbia. The application accommodates requests for both taxable and tax exempt bonds as well as and four percent low income housing tax credit and McKinney Act Pre-Development Loans.  
DCHFA Receives HUD “Level 1” HFA Risk-Sharing Program Approval and
Creates Master Parity Indenture
After an extensive application process we’re now celebrating approval from HUD for the “Level 1” HFA Risk-Sharing program. This program is unique because it allows state housing finance agencies (HFAs) to offer HUD- FHA insured loan multifamily products to our development partners. Because DCHFA co- insures these types of loans, the Agency has delegated approval authority which in turn provides greater underwriting flexibility, transaction speed and efficiency.
Building upon the capabilities realized through participation in HUD’s 50-50 Risk Share program, the Agency created what is known as a master parity indenture. The Agency will utilize its indenture to purchase, sell, and/or securitize the instruments used to facilitate the new construction or preservation of DCHFA-financed properties. The end result of this liquidity source is an efficient execution that benefits the development community and the Agency alike.

On August 17, the Agency successfully closed the FHA-Insured Pass-Through Revenue Refunding Bonds (Multi-Family Development Program) Series 2017. It is the first series of bonds issued under DCHFA’s Multifamily Development Program Parity Indenture, with an issuance amount of $34,444,074. 
The refunding process serves the public interest by lowering the cost of maintaining and expanding available housing opportunities for low and moderate income persons living in the District.
People Making Moves
The Multifamily team is growing in order to support all of its initiatives. After graduating Georgetown University with a Master’s in Real Estate Finance during the spring, Bobvala Tengen was promoted from Development Analyst to Multifamily Loan Underwriter. This summer Calvin V. Jones III joined the Agency.  Jones brings more than eight years of experience in multifamily residential and commercial real estate industry to his position as Multifamily Loan Underwriter. He previously held positions at Berkadia, PNC Real Estate Banking and Freddie Mac.  
DEAL PROFILE : Elvans Road Townhomes
One of the most exciting events of the quarter was the launch of the Housing Investment Platform (HIP) and Single Family Investment Pilot on August 3 rd during the groundbreaking of HIP’s first project Elvans Road Townhomes (2501 Elvans Road Southeast). At the groundbreaking congratulatory remarks we were given by Deputy Mayor Brian T. Kenner, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White,  Councilmember At-Large Anita Bonds, Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney Snowden, Brian E. Argrett, President & CEO, City First Bank of DC and Harvey Yancey of H2 Design Build. 

As a part of the Single Family Investment Pilot, DCHFA partnered with H2DesignBuild, a Washington, D.C. Certified Business Enterprise and City First Bank, to construct five new townhomes in Ward 8’s Barry Farm neighborhood.  

This project gives us a direct link to creating homeownership. DCHFA’s investment will contribute to the funding of the construction of five single family townhomes that will be priced affordable to workforce families earning 80 percent of area median income. Future residents at Elvans Road Townhomes may use DCHFA’s DC Open Doors mortgage products, Mortgage Credit Certificate and/or the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) toward making this new development their home. The 2,000 square foot homes will feature three bedrooms, gourmet kitchens and garage parking.  The project represents an opportunity to stimulate affordable development in a transitioning neighborhood before future developments are priced into the cost of housing.

HIP is an extension of DCHFA’s mission of stimulating and providing expanded homeownership opportunities in Washington, D.C. DCHFA established HIP as a platform for innovative investments that will increase the Agency’s support of the D.C. housing market outside of traditional bond and tax credit financing. The HIP’s Single Family Investment Pilot is targeted towards emerging developers as a platform to build capacity among the District’s local entrepreneurs. The project will create employment opportunities to construct the new homes. 

Construction is underway on Elvans Road !
Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016  
On October 1, 2017 the DC Office of Human Rights began enforcing the Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016.  The act is comparable to the “Ban the Box” Fair Criminal Record Act regarding the disclosure of criminal history on employment applications.  The Fair Criminal Record Screening or Housing Act states: 

To assist in the successful reintegration of those with a criminal history by
removing barriers to securing adequate housing accommodations, to restrict a housing provider’s inquiry into a housing applicant’s pending criminal accusation
or prior conviction until after a conditional offer of housing is made, to allow a housing provider to consider an applicant’s pending criminal accusation or criminal conviction only if the conviction occurred during the last 7 years and only with respect to specific crimes, to ensure criminal record-screening policies achieve substantial, legitimate, non-discriminatory interests, to authorize the Office of Human Rights to adjudicate complaints filed under this act, to establish penalties, and to provide for immunity.

It is important that residents that are seeking housing are aware of this act and the protections it provides. Housing providers equally need to educate themselves to determine if they are subject to the act and to ensure properties are being managed within compliance of the act.  

All housing providers are not covered by this law. Exceptions apply for housing providers that live in their own building that has three or less rental units; and when federal law or D.C. law requires housing providers to consider criminal history, or allows for denial of an applicant due to certain criminal convictions. Housing providers subject to the law must provide in writing notices to applicants before an application is accepted, received, or before accepting an application fee all eligibility criteria used in deciding whether to rent to the applicant, including financial, employment, criminal and rental history; and a statement that applicants may provide evidence of errors within their criminal record, rehabilitation or other mitigating. 

The DC Office of Human Rights has resources to educate both property owners and people seeking housing in the District. 
Upcoming Events at DCHFA 
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Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"