Housing Matters

homes and set of keys

Fall 2017, Volume 30

CalHFA in the Media

Tia Boatman Patterson
CalHFA Executive Director
Tia Boatman Patterson
Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson has been working on getting the word out about CalHFA, and has written articles that were published in each of the past two months. In addition to Ms. Boatman Patterson’s pieces in the Sacramento Bee and Western City, the monthly magazine of the League of California Cities, CalHFA was mentioned in an October 26 report by KCRA Channel 3.

That TV news story was focused on The Mills at Broadway, a unique Sacramento-area housing development that is offering homes at affordable prices. To help buyers get into the homes, the developer is pushing potential homeowners to check out CalHFA’s down payment assistance programs.

As for the two Boatman Patterson-penned articles, in October she wrote an Op-Ed for the Sacramento Bee in which she highlighted the housing struggles of California’s “Missing Middle” as well as the programs CalHFA is developing to help that often-overlooked and rent-burdened population.

Here’s an excerpt:

As I look out the window of my California Housing Finance Agency office in downtown Sacramento at 5 p.m. on a Wednesday, I see a lot of cars.

Filled with public employees, teachers, nurses and construction workers, the cars aren’t going to nearby homes. They are lining up to jump on the freeway and drive to the distant homes their drivers can afford. These are middle-income, working families who can’t find housing in the region’s most important job center. And this isn’t just a Sacramento problem, it’s a California problem.

While it’s no secret that our state is in a housing crisis, what isn’t as widely known is that the crisis is affecting people with good, stable jobs. Even those making 120 percent of their area’s median income – $91,000 for a family of four in Sacramento and $77,750 in Los Angeles – are having trouble finding an affordable place to live.

In downtown and midtown Sacramento, housing is getting built, but none of it is affordable for the moderate-income group that we call the “missing middle.” According to a recent study by the Capital Area Development Authority, of the 12,848 units set to be built in the central core, only 26 are designated for families making between $61,000 and $91,000 a year.

Several weeks earlier, Western City invited Ms. Boatman Patterson to write an article for its September issue.

In it, she tackled the question: What’s the answer to the housing crisis facing California?

Her answer in short – A potluck.

What follows is an excerpt from the article, which goes on to give some background on the state’s housing struggles and some detailed descriptions of CalHFA programs to create and preserve affordable housing:

What’s the answer to the housing crisis facing California? A potluck.

The California Housing Finance Agency urges those working to create affordable housing solutions — from state government agencies to counties, cities, nonprofits and all other relevant entities — to give this idea some consideration.

A community holds a potluck when it wants to combine its resources to make the resulting meal more bountiful than one person could easily put together. And with limited resources available to fund the creation and preservation of affordable housing in California, that kind of collaboration is the best way to get better results.

In particular, partnerships between state agencies and local governments are a key way of maximizing resources and putting us one step closer to resolving California’s current housing troubles.

What Has CalHFA Done for California Lately?

Ocean View Senior Apartments
CalHFA this year collaborated to preserve affordability for 100 senior apartments at the newly rehabilitated Ocean View Senior Apartments

In a very successful 2016-17 fiscal year, CalHFA showed its passion for partnerships while continuing to help more Californians find a place to call home. We widened the range of opportunity for homebuyers, localities and other multifamily partners to use our products, giving extra consideration to special populations like veterans, teachers and seniors. Those collaborations resulted in our financing of more than 2,100 affordable rental units and over 7,200 single family homes for Californians.

We celebrated Homeownership Month in June by giving away 400 sessions of online homebuyer education and counseling (usually $99) to first-time homebuyers in California.

We were also able to make life easier for our single family partners by reducing documentation required for subordinate loans as well as lowering extension fees.

Additional program enhancements made 90-day rate locks available, while income from Accessory Dwelling Units can now help homebuyers meet income qualifications and K-12 school staff at any California public school or district office is now eligible for down payment assistance from the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program.

Because housing for our brave veterans is vital, CalHFA now gives processing priority to multifamily developments that include affordable units restricted for veterans, and we require housing preference to veterans in all developments receiving CalHFA subsidy funding.

As part of the ongoing Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention (VHHP) program, we teamed with CalVet and HCD to announce awards this year for 12 new construction/rehab projects from Eureka to San Diego which will create 836 affordable units, 470 of which will be veteran-occupied.

Beginning Nov. 1, our single family division will have its own VA program as well.

And, in just one example of our mission to assist California seniors, CalHFA this year collaborated with local and federal partners, nonprofit developer BRIDGE Housing Corporation and other contributors to preserve affordability for 100 senior apartments in Pacifica at the newly rehabilitated Ocean View Senior Apartments.

In all, we collaborated with localities, developers and other multifamily partners to provide $369 million in financing for 24 multifamily projects in fiscal year 2016-17. Meanwhile our single family division helped homebuyers with first mortgage loans, down payment assistance and mortgage credit certificates to the tune of $2.25 billion in 2016-17. In just this year, we have helped more than 9,300 California families find homes they can afford.

CalHFA Offers New VA Program and Improved Manufactured Housing Guidelines

CalHFA VA flier
CalHFA's new VA program will be
available November 1.
With Veterans Day coming in just a few weeks, CalHFA is getting ready to roll out our brand new VA Loan Program. This VA-guaranteed first mortgage loan, which can be used beginning Nov. 1, is eligible to be combined with either the MyHome Assistance Program or the Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program for down payment and/or closing cost assistance.

In addition to the new VA program, CalHFA has made changes to several other programs that will allow us to help more Californians become homeowners.

For folks looking to use the CalHFA FHA first mortgage program for a manufactured home, as of Oct. 2 we have removed most of the overlays, which will allow a 660 minimum credit score for buyers.

Other program changes include an increase of CalHFA sales price limits to $660,000 for the entire state, and a streamlining of our income limits into one set for both our Conventional and FHA loan programs.

More information will be coming soon about the VA loan and details on the other program changes can be found on our homepage under “What’s New at CalHFA.”

CalHFA Honored at NCSHA Conference

NCSHA awards
CalHFA won two awards at the
2017 NCSHA conference.
CalHFA senior staff was in Denver last month for the National Council of State Housing Agencies 2017 conference, and came home with some hardware.

The Agency won a pair of awards and saw Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson re-elected to the NCSHA Board of Directors and picked for the Board’s Executive Committee as an at-large member. In addition, CalHFA Board Member Tiena Johnson-Hall was named secretary of the National Conference of State Housing Boards 2017-18 Board of Directors.

CalHFA added to its trophy case with an award in the Management Innovation area, where the Agency won in the Human Resources subcategory for our Wellness Program entry "How CalHFA brought Wellness to its work environment."

CalHFA was also honored in the Communications area, earning our award in the Promotional Materials and Newsletters subcategory for our Multifamily Brand Launch entry, which was highlighted by our lego-themed booth table and mugs.

Michael Carroll is CalHFA’s New Director of Multifamily Programs

Mike Carroll
CalHFA Director of Multifamily
Programs, Michael Carroll.
Bringing with him decades of experience in affordable housing, most recently from a nine-year stint with the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Michael Carroll has been appointed to the post of Director of Multifamily Programs by the CalHFA Board of Directors.

“Michael’s experience in both the public and private sector makes him a perfect fit to lead our Multifamily Division,” said CalHFA Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson. “His passion for affordable housing and his proven ability to make connections with the folks who are working so hard to make sure more Californians find homes they can afford, are two of the many reasons we are so thrilled to bring Michael on board.”

Michael was Director of Lending and Housing at RCAC, overseeing the growth of the organization’s loan fund to $130 million in lending capital and helping to introduce several new lending program during his tenure. He brings additional experience from his time with Fannie Mae, where Michael was Director of Multifamily Sales and Marketing and also served as Director of the Central Valley Partnership Office in Sacramento.

Prior to that, Michael worked as a Senior Vice President at Bank of America, managing community development lending and product development. He first came to Sacramento to be a loan officer with the Department of Housing and Community Development in the late 1980s.

Michael, who is married with three children, has lived in the state capital since 1988.

He succeeds Tony Sertich, who has been CalHFA’s Director of Multifamily Programs since 2015. Tony will remain with the Agency and continue the transition to his new position, Director of Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance. Tony was appointed to that position by California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in April.

Keep Your Home California Economic Impact Report Updated

(Courtesy of KHYC)

KYHC imact report infographics
KYHC's impact on California has meant $1.4 billion in property value preserved, a 2.0 statewide economic multiplier, $536 million in employee income, 9,831 jobs preserved, $3 billion in economic impact and $98.7 million in tax revenue.

Earlier this year, The Economic Impact of Keep Your Home California: A Statewide and Regional Analysis was authored by Dr. Joseph C. Von Nessen, a Research Economist at the University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business.

The report analyzed Keep Your Home California funding data from 2010 to 2015 and found that for every dollar issued to help homeowners through the mortgage assistance program, a total of two dollars’ worth of economic activity is preserved within the state's economy. Recently, Dr. Von Nessen completed an updated version of the report, which now includes 2016 data.

As was the case with the initial report, the statewide multiplier remained at 2.0. The economic impact of Keep Your Home California increased by over $500 million with the additional year of data included, to a total of $3 billion.

The charts and infographics highlighting the report findings on the economic impact report webpage have been updated to reflect the most current results. The webpage also includes updated economic impact data for California's cities and counties.

Statewide, Keep Your Home California preserved $1.4 billion in property value, saved about 9,800 jobs which generated $536 million in labor income, and protected $98.7 million in tax revenue from 2010 through 2016, according to the report.

Alta Mira Senior and Family Apartments Wins National Award

Alta Mira courtyard
Alta Mira Senior and Family Apartments in Hayward was made possible by collaboration from multiple levels of
government, financing partners and developers and has earned several awards.

Developed by Eden Housing using funding from CalHFA and other partners, the Alta Mira Senior and Family Apartments in Hayward has earned national accolades once again  – this time selected in September as Reader’s Choice in the Urban category by readers of Affordable Housing Finance magazine.

According to AHF, Alta Mira is at the heart of an emerging urban transit village in Hayward. The complex, which is a short walk from a BART station that also features a hub of bus lines, is made up of 151 units of affordable housing. The family building includes 87 one-, two- and three-bedroom units while the senior building provides 64 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Alta Mira was developed in conjunction with an AMCAL Multi-Housing’s 206-unit luxury development, which is directly adjacent to the affordable complex. This mix of affordable and market-rate units was beneficial for both financing and construction, allowing this vital housing to be built.

In addition to Eden and CalHFA, financing from Alta Mira came from the city of Hayward, Alameda County, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, California Community Reinvestment Corp., Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, BART and Wells Fargo, using 4% tax credits.

Neil Saxby of Eden told AHF that the $52.5 million project required that collaboration from multiple levels of government, financing partners and developers to get to the finish line.

That partnership also resulted in Alta Mira winning a 2017 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Metro/Urban category. Additionally, the collaboration was honored by the San Francisco Business Times as one of its Real Estate Deals of the Year.

The residents of Alta Mira, who were picked from the 4,500 applications received, not only get easy access to transit, but also a playground; community garden; after school, summer and technology programs for youth; and financing management and homebuyer training for adults.

CalHFA #HomeHacks

If you haven’t seen our #HomeHacks campaign on the CalHFA Facebook and Instagram accounts, here are some cool tips for new (or longtime) homeowners.

Laundry tips

1. Save your money – and your clothes: People assume the more detergent they use, the cleaner their clothes will be, but that is a laundry myth. Limit your use and you will be surprised to see your clothes are cleaner and you’ll save money by not having to buy detergent as often.

Paint your walls white to make your room appear bigger

2. Small room? No problem, just go white: If you have small spaces in your home, try painting your walls white to make the room appear bigger and brighter!

house with green yard

3. Just the right amount of water: There are lots of ways to keep a well-organized home on the inside, but what about outdoor etiquette? If you have grass or plants, it’s easy to forget to water them if you don’t have a watering system set up. Surprisingly, more plants are killed from being over-watered than under-watered. Keep your front yard looking great by watering just the right amount.

Plant in window light

4. Go au naturel: Natural light is a great way to define and enhance space, in addition to being energy efficient. Studies show natural light makes us physically and emotionally healthy, so open the blinds and let the light in!