All posts by Thom Amdur

Thom joined National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) in 2004 and currently serves as its as Executive Vice-President and Executive Director. NH&RA is a national trade association and peer-network for affordable housing and tax credit developers and related professionals including: investors, lenders, public agencies and professional advisers. Thom directs the association’s day-to-day operations including legislative and regulatory advocacy, committee activities, conferences and events, publications, financial management and strategic planning.

Thom also serves as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Developers Council, a state-wide trade association for affordable housing developers and professionals active in Tennessee. In 2013 he spearheaded the launch of NH&RA’s Preservation through Energy Efficiency Project, a major educational initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Thom also serves on the Board of Directors for International Center for Appropriate & Sustainable Technology (iCAST) as well as the Advisory Board for its ResourceSmart program, a turn-key, cost-effective, green rehab provider for multifamily affordable and market-rate housing communities and nonprofit facilities.

Thom is a frequent speaker at affordable housing, sustainable development and tax credit industry events and has been published in a variety of industry journals including Tax Credit Advisor, Independent Banker, and the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credit Housing. Thom also serves as the Associate Publisher of Tax Credit Advisor, a monthly magazine for tax credit and affordable housing professionals and is an Executive Vice-President at Dworbell Inc., a boutique association management and communications firm in Washington, DC.

Thom was previously employed at a national lobbying firm focusing on financial services and technology issues. Prior to moving to Washington, Thom worked in media relations in the New York State Assembly and as a research assistant for New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Thom graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University with a double major in Political Science and History.

Economic and Fixed Income Insights, July 9, 2019

US employers added 224,000 jobs in June, far surpassing the expected 160,000 gain, according to Bloomberg.  Prior to Friday’s report, the markets were bracing for a 25 basis point rate cut from the Fed at this month’s meeting.  Now, as Chairman Powell testifies before Congress Wednesday and Thursday, investors will be looking for any indication that the report might delay policy actions as officials remain data dependent. Long-term treasury rates are up week over week as investors moved to riskier assets on the strong jobs data.  The 10-year UST finished 9 basis points higher, while the long bond finished 4 basis points higher.  Municipals lagged behind treasuries and finished just slightly lower for the week.

Interest Rate Observations


Source: Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg. The table above reflects market conditions as of July 9, 2019.

Important Disclosures

This material was prepared by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel”). This material is for informational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy discussed herein. The information contained is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by Stifel as to accuracy or completeness. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Stifel does not provide accounting; tax or legal advice and clients are advised to consult with their accounting, tax or legal advisors prior to making any investment decision.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated is a broker-dealer registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member FINRA, NYSE & SIPC. © 2019

Wisconsin Updates 2019-2020 QAP

WHEDA has issued modifications to the 2019-2020 QAP. These changes may impact scoring and deal structuring for the 2020 HTC Application Cycle.  Areas modified include:

  • Scoring Category 3. Mixed Income Incentive
  • Scoring Category 4. Serves Large Families
  • Scoring Category 9. Financial Leverage
  • Instructions/Scoring Summary Page
  • 4% State of Wisconsin Housing Tax Credit Program Cure Period
  • 9% Housing Tax Credits – Maximum Awards Per Developer

Enterprise & NeighborWorks Publish New Report on Health Outcomes

Enterprise Community Partners and NeighborWorks America has published a new report titled, “On the Path to Health Equity: Building Capacity to Measure Health Outcomes in Community Development.”   The report highlights the findings of an innovative national demonstration project designed to build the capacity of 20 community-based organizations to measure the health outcomes of their work. This ground-breaking effort provides further evidence of the importance of the community development and healthcare sectors working together to find scalable solutions to the complex community challenges that are the root cause of many of the health disparities we see today. By the end of the project, the 20 participating organizations were equipped to engage in the catalytic cross-sector partnerships necessary to improve the health of low- and moderate-income communities.

RetrofitNY Publishes Report on Deep Energy Retrofits

The RetrofitNY team is proud to share a study conducted by Ian Shapiro of Taitem Engineering assessing the transferability of the Energiesprong concept to New York State – Energiesprong: A Dutch Approach to Deep Energy Retrofits and Its Applicability to the New York Market. Based on numerous site visits and interviews in the Netherland, Ian’s report includes Engergiesprong’s background, building stock, technical approaches, relationship management, and identifies unusual issues.

He shares how net energy use is successfully being eliminated by reducing energy use, converting all energy uses to electricity (eliminating fossil fuels), and producing this electricity on-site with solar. Explore the report to learn more about the recommendations made for adopting or modifying the Energiesprong program for implementation in New York State.

AHTCC to Host Webinar on Advocating for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act

The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition will host a webinar at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 12, 2019 on advocating for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, legislation to expand and improve the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). This bill has the potential to increase affordable housing production and preservation by more than 550,000 homes over ten years while making the Housing Credit a more efficient and effective tool. Join the AHTCC for a webinar on Friday, July 12 at 3:00 pm EDT to learn about key provisions in the legislation, its potential impact, and how you can effectively advocate for this important proposal. We encourage you to share this invitation with your colleagues who may be interested in expanding and strengthening the Housing Credit. This webinar is open to AHTCC members and nonmembers and there is no registration fee.

Urban Institute Highlights Zoning Strategies to Improve Housing Affordability

A recent post on the Urban Institute website by Solomon Greene and Jorge Gonzalez highlights how local governments are “increasingly recognizing that restrictive zoning and outdated land-use regulations can suppress housing supply, drive up housing costs, and widen racial and economic disparities. Leveraging smart zoning reforms and easing building restrictions can unleash housing supply to help meet the needs of current and future residents.”  The post highlights several local strategies including:

  • Minneapolis, MN – first major city to eliminate single-family zoning
  • Fairfax County, VA – easing height and density restrictions
  • Washington, DC – in-law units
  • Seattle, WA – rezoned single-family neighborhoods as “residential small lot” areas
  • Santa Rosa, CA – streamlining review for infill housing
  • Pinellas County, FL and Austin, TX – expediting review processes and waiving fees if the project involves dedicated affordable housing
  • Buffalo, NY, Hartford CT and San Francisco, CA – eliminating off-street parking requirements
  • New York, NY – Mandatory inclusionary zoning
  • New Orleans, LA – tailored neighborhood inclusionary zoning
  • King County, WA – affordable housing providers get “first look” at county-owned land

LISC Boston to Host Opportunity Zone Showcase; Toolkit Release

On July 31 LISC Boston will host its Opportunity Zone Showcase & Toolkit Release in Massachusetts.  As of 7/9, LISC Boston had not announced the event location, which will run from 9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  The event will:

  • Showcase Massachusetts Opportunity Zone communities, strategies, and opportunities.
  • Connect stakeholders to drive inclusive investment.

Who should attend? Community leaders, municipal officials, business leaders, residents, investors, developers, anchor institutions, consultants, foundations and others who are interested in what opportunity zones have to offer.

Joan Hoover Appointed President of Conifer

Conifer Realty announced today that it has appointed Joan Hoover as its President. Ms. Hoover has over 25 years of experience in the financial management and development of affordable housing. Ms. Hoover has a great passion for personal and professional growth, both her own and others, and is interested in intrinsic motivation, self-deception in leadership and emotional systems theory. Since joining Conifer in 2007, Ms. Hoover has been responsible for multiple functions including financing, acquisition & dispositions and most recently, she has led a talented multidisciplinary team of Development, Finance, Legal and Human Resources associates.

As Conifer Realty has grown, succession planning has been a key strategic objective for more than 10 years. “It is a privilege to be in a key leadership position at Conifer during a period of significant growth and change. As Conifer grows, so must our Leadership. I look forward to working with incredibly talented professionals to support high performing teams,” says Hoover. “We are very fortunate at Conifer to have a team of committed, bright, kind, individuals that truly make a difference in people’s lives every day. This Team is the reason Conifer is able to Build A HOME for Possibilities for those who need it most.”

“It is because of Joan’s strong leadership skills and the depth and breadth of the organization’s diverse employee base, that allows Conifer to Do What We Do Better and devote significant time and efforts to new growth initiatives,” said Tim Fournier, Chairman and CEO of Conifer.

Ms. Hoover serves on NH&RA’s Board of Directors and serves an officer on NH&RA’s Executive Committee.

New York Times Op-Ed Profiles Democratic Presidential Candidates Housing Affordability Plans

On Sunday July 7, the New York Times Editorial Board published an Op-Ed titled, “A New Approach on Housing Affordability: Some Democratic presidential candidates are emphasizing the need to build more housing. That could make a big difference.”  The Op-Ed highlights plans from four Democratic candidates including Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro (D-TX), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).  It observes, “Democratic presidential candidates are promoting industrial-strength plans to ease the pain. The ideas come in two flavors: subsidies for renters, and efforts to increase construction.”  The candidates plans range from land-use reforms, expansion of market rate development, expansion of rental subsidies, to increased federal dollars for the construction of affordable housing.  The Editorial Board concludes, “The federal government is an irresistible force when it chooses to prioritize an issue. It is past time to prioritize the availability of affordable housing.”