Thom Amdur Author Archives

New Developments: The Long Road to Recovery

It has been a momentous few months for the affordable housing community. After a bumpy presidential transition, there has been a flurry of positive activity from the Biden administration and 117th Congress. The enactment of American Rescue Plan of 2021 provides much-needed financial support for affordable housing renters at a critical moment. Our champions in Congress have reintroduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act and Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act with expanded scopes that would dramatically enhance and expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit if enacted.

New Developments: Bending Toward Justice

America has a long and complicated legacy of discrimination and racism, dating back more than 400 years to when the colonists of Jamestown brought slavery to our shores, through the Jim Crow era to today.

New Developments: COVID’s Long Tail and Hidden Trauma

Later this month marks the one-year anniversary of when our world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Friday, March 13, 2020 marked the last day the team at NH&RA was all together in person at the office and the beginning of a scramble to adjust to the new reality of the pandemic world.

New Developments: Shovel Ready in 2021

2020 was a year of superlatives. The worst, the longest, the most dysfunctional, the most frustrating, the most divisive, etc.…the entire world is more than ready to put the year in the rear-view mirror. Since dashing out my last column, we even got a little bit of good news, a hint that 2021 may be going in the right direction. Two Coronavirus vaccines were approved and distribution has begun. A desperately needed emergency relief package and year-end spending and tax package was enacted after months of congressional stalemate.

New Developments: Time to Update Location, Location, Location?

Mark Twain famously recommended, “Buy land, they’re not making any more of it.”  Forget that he lived contemporaneously with the filling of Back Bay in Boston (and not that far away in Hartford, CT) where they did in fact make more of it, the observation is generally true but not especially good investment advice. Not all land is built the same – to quote another old real estate proverb, “There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.” Whether you are developing apartments or a shopping center – knowing your market area and where you sit in it is essential for success.

New Developments: Time to ‘Build Back Better’

With the conclusion of the 2020 elections, Washington is once again embracing a season of change which includes the transition process from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration as well as from the 116th to the 117th Congress.

New Developments: Revisiting Healthy Housing Principles

Last month, NH&RA hosted an inspired town hall focused on health and sustainability in affordable housing. The panel theme was inspired by a conversation I had with Krista Egger, vice president of National Initiatives at Enterprise Community Partners. Krista had recently updated me on the latest iteration of Enterprise’s Green Communities (EGC) Standard, which is the “gold standard” for affordable housing green building standards. I was intrigued and excited by the new ways the EGC update incorporates resident health into its design strategy.

New Developments: Keeping the Mission in Mind

Barack Obama famously told House Republicans in 2009 that “elections have consequences.”  While we do not know what the results will be once the polls close on November 3 (or even when we will know who actually won) we do know that this particular election will be very consequential.

Talking Heads:Brian Tracey Community Development Lending and Investments Executive, Bank of America

One major difference between the current recession and the one that occurred a decade ago is that major depository institutions are financially stable and providing much needed capital to the communities they serve.

New Developments: Designing A Better Vegetable Peeler

A few weeks ago, I drove my family up to Connecticut to visit my parents (my first real trip since COVID-19 struck) and found myself shucking some local oysters one evening with my dad. My shucking technique is only so-so and the oyster knife I was using was a bit of an antique. The knife slipped more than a few times and, while I managed to avoid a trip to the emergency room, I felt a bit like Beetle Bailey enduring punishing KP duty.

New Developments: The Pivot Point

As the economic crisis triggered by the Coronavirus extends into its fifth month, I am deeply concerned for the economic well-being of the nation’s low- and moderate-income renters.


Connecticut Extends COVID-19 Financial Relief Available for Multifamily Borrowers through End of Year

The Connecticut Housing Finance Agency (CHFA) extended the COVID-19 multifamily financial relief period through December 31, 2020. Any mortgagor of a multifamily rental housing development in CHFA’s portfolio experiencing financial distress due to COVID-19, beyond the financial ability of the mortgagor to correct or mitigate, may contact CHFA to request its assistance. For more information, […]

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