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Statement on Tim Keller’s Election as Mayor of Albuquerque

Dozens of hot air balloons in various stages of rising over a large open area completely filled with thousands of people under a blue sky.

Hot air balloons rise above Albuquerque’s famed Balloon Fiesta

Released November 16, 2017

By Chuck Sheldon, MBA
President, CEO, CCIM, CPM, of T & C Management, LLC
President Pro Tem, AANM
President Elect, IREM

Winning any election is a long and difficult process, so congratulations and regards are due to Tim Keller for his successful campaign. I wish him the best people, ideas, and information as he moves into this new role on December 1st.

Albuquerque is my home because I love it, so I work hard for it. One of my main goals in my business dealings is to improve the lives of the people who live here. Working in tandem and partnership with the Albuquerque city government continues to be a big part of reaching that goal for me. I believe the same is true for the goals of the city. Partnership between public and private enterprise – the joining of our funds and infrastructure – needs to be the primary pathway to an ever-improving Albuquerque.

Many things need updated and brought under new scrutiny in Albuquerque, and Mr. Keller will have his hands full. I encourage him to remember the resources available to him in the private business sector as he deals with the many changing facets of Albuquerque. I look forward to interacting with Mr. Keller and his administration over the coming years. I believe great things are ahead for our city. Let’s keep working together.

Rent With Ease – Call a Property Manager!

By Jordan M.

I work here at T & C Management, and I loved interacting with property management companies long before I started here. But I’m a 20-something, not exactly the prime target for a company who manages other people’s residential investment properties, right? Turns out, that’s a limited view of the value of property managers! There are many advantages for the investor / landlord, certainly, but for those of us actually looking to rent, a place like T & C can be a lifesaver. Here’s how I found that out.

Just after graduating college, I went slogging through the internet searching for my first apartment. It was very frustrating. I’d lived on campus all through college, and had left all my peers – who might have been able to help with my lack of rental knowledge – back where I went to school. So I had no idea what I was doing, but I was determined to handle it. I spent a couple evenings sorting through at least three major apartment listing sites. I mostly found large complexes and sublets – and almost nothing in my price range. Every time I went out to see various complexes that seemed to fit my needs, I would go through a huge process just to get someone to show me around, and leave an hour or two later no further ahead, and with no time to go on to the others on my list. Sound familiar?

Finally, I just started calling numbers on signs I passed. One turned out to be a property management company, and it changed my whole experience.

I have to admit my ignorance here: I’d never heard of property management before this. I had no idea how it worked. But I was about to get a great education.

The leasing agent who answered the phone asked what I was looking for and if there were any other properties I might want to see, in addition to the one I called about. I was honest: I didn’t understand how she could show me multiple apartments at different properties? She explained that they handled the day-to-day business of a lot of different rentals throughout the city, so she could show me any of the properties listed on their website.

I jumped at the opportunity to work with just one company and still see multiple types of units.

We decided on a couple apartments that suited my price range (as low as you have, please) and location, and set up a time to go see them. At each, she told me various helpful points about the unit: a little history on the building, details about recent maintenance and renovations – which she knew because her company handled all that – and an idea of the feel of the community or neighborhood.

It was the only easy experience I had, and it ended in me finally getting the no-frills, simple apartment I needed. I loved the unit I chose, how easy it was to access 24-hour emergency maintenance, that I could pay my rent online, and more. The conveniences that came with a management company would never have been available had I rented directly from the landlord of a small property. It was so great that for my next apartment I convinced my roommate to trust me and go through one again. We had another great experience, and I’ll never go apartment hunting another way!

So if you’re in the market, give property managers a shot – T & C management can do the same for you that I experienced and loved.

Why 1031 Deferments Are Essential to the Real Estate Market

By Chuck Sheldon, MBA
President, CEO, CCIM, CPM,
T & C Management

Congress is in the midst of debating tax reform, and of course changes to investing, capital gains, and real estate tax law is of great interest to us and the investors whose property we manage. On October 26, the NAA published comments on research being conducted about the value of like-kind exchanges, i.e. 1031s. For years there have been discussions about how 1031s should be handled – especially whether 1031 deferments should continue being allowed. This round of tax reform debate needs to be influenced by research recently released which confirms the validity of what the real estate world has continued to fight for.

Here is an excerpt of NAA’s comments:

As Congress continues to debate tax reform, NAA/NMHC have strongly argued for lawmakers to retain Like-Kind Exchanges in their current form as they incentivize investment and improve market values.

Reinforcing that message, a new study has found that the value of a like-kind exchange, as a percentage of the price of the replacement property, can be up to nearly 8 percent of property value. […] The research, conducted by Professors David Barker, David Ling and Milena Petrova demonstrates the key role that like-kind exchanges play in preserving property values.

Many proponents of repealing like-kind exchanges believe the Treasury would gain substantial revenue that could be used to pay for lower statutory tax rates in a tax reform package. The authors find, however, that “repeal (of like-kind exchanges) appears likely to generate less than $500 million per year to the Treasury.”

The math in favor of 1031 exchange deferment is simple and essential for lawmakers to understand.

If, for instance, you want to trade up your property and have $100,000, without 1031 deferments you have to anticipate paying approximately 30% in capital gains taxes on that $100,000. As such, you are forced to trade for a lower-value property in order to cover the taxes, slowing your growth and contributing to the stagnation of the real estate market. But if you have the opportunity to use a 1031 deferment, you will be able to invest the full $100,000 for trading up into a more valuable property, and wait on paying the capital gains tax. This allows your personal money to grow faster, the real estate market to gain momentum, and governments to have larger, higher-valued properties to tax.

Removing the 1031 deferment would not ultimately produce greater revenue for the Treasury, but merely a reduction in ease of growth for property investors and the real estate market at large. It appears that the new tax plan as presented by Republicans will be retaining 1031 deferments, which is a step in the right direction. Without them, the real estate market is likely to see a reduced speed of growth. It is important that we keep on top of this issue to ensure that 1031s remain fully intact for the good of the wider market and individual investors.

A Real Chance Looms for Tax Reform This Year

Apartment Industry Advocates,

Tax reform is front and center on the congressional agenda, and there is a real chance it will become law this year. The last comprehensive tax reform legislation was the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA 1986) signed into law 30 years ago by President Ronald Reagan. We all remember how that bill devastated the industry for years, so it is imperative that we engage with policymakers to ensure a more positive outcome.

In the years since TRA 1986, legislation has changed the tax code — mainly at the margins — focusing on rate changes and other targeted provisions while comprehensive reform has eluded policymakers. The election of Donald Trump and continued Republican control of the Congress has changed the outlook for tax reform. One-party rule where reform is a priority for all of the key players has increased the odds that broad-based legislation can become law.

At this stage of the process, House Republicans are taking the lead on reform. While President Trump made a number of proposals during the 2016 campaign, it is House Republicans who have put forward the most detailed plan. Entitled “A Better Way Forward for Tax Reform,” the House GOP released a “blueprint” for reform last summer, which is the starting point for their internal discussions. The blueprint would:

  • Reduce the top tax rate on LLCs, partnerships, S Corporations and other pass-thru entities to 25 percent from 39.6 percent;
  • Tax capital gains, dividends, and interest at a maximum rate of 16.5 percent;
  • Replace depreciation with immediate expensing of all investment except for land;
  • Eliminate the deduction for business interest;
  • Eliminate like-kind exchanges;
  • Eliminate the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit; and
  • Repeal the estate tax while retaining stepped-up basis for inherited assets.

It is important to note that while the blueprint appears to eliminate the LIHTC, there are good indications it may be put back into the House GOP proposal.

As the most developed tax reform product in circulation at the moment, the Blueprint is the centerpiece of conversation around tax reform. However, it is not yet legislation, and there could be significant changes made before an actual bill is introduced. Moreover, the White House and Senate still need to flesh out their own proposals. There is much time to go before a reform agreement is reached, if at all, and we can expect the details of any agreement to change several times along the way.

For our part, the apartment housing industry’s primary objective in reform is to support legislation that promotes economic growth and investment in rental housing without unfairly burdening apartment owners and renters relative to other asset classes. To this end, we are pushing lawmakers to ensure the following priorities are reflected in any bill that moves forward.

Tax reform must protect “flow-through entities” (e.g., LLCs, partnerships, S Corporations, etc.), which are the dominant business structure in our industry. Under this model, a firm’s earnings are passed through to the partners who pay taxes on their individual tax returns. Accordingly, Congress must not reduce corporate tax rates financed by forcing flow-through entities to pay higher taxes by subjecting them to a corporate-level tax or by denying credits and deductions.

It is also a priority for the apartment housing industry to maintain “like-kind exchanges” where property owners can defer tax on the gain on sale of an asset if, instead of selling their property, they exchange it for another comparable property. These rules encourage property owners to remain invested in the real estate market. Such an important tool for investment must be maintained in a reformed tax code. Notably, with the exception of land, the expensing proposal in the House Republican Blueprint provides for de facto like-kind exchanges.

Tax reform should also take care to preserve investment incentives. Borrowing is a central part of how apartment housing is financed (a typical development project could be financed with 1/3 capital and 2/3 debt and the tax code has long provided a full deduction for interest. Indeed,) without business interest deductibility, the cost of debt financing would increase and shift many real estate business models. This would inhibit development activity at a time when we face significant affordability challenges.

Policymakers should also take care when making changes to cost recovery rules like depreciation so they do not harm real estate investment. Apartment buildings are current depreciated on a 27.5-year schedule. While House Republicans are proposing to allow buildings to be immediately expensed, others have suggested extending the current-law depreciation period. This would surely lead to reduced development and investment and ultimately undermine real estate values and stifle job creation.

Finally, protecting the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is a priority for the apartment housing industry. The LIHTC is the central vehicle producing housing for moderate- and low-income families. We are in a period of crisis in housing affordability and need stronger incentives like the LIHTC to effectively respond. This program must remain a vital part of the strategy to address our nation’s housing needs.

You will notice some overlap between what is being proposed, at least in the House GOP Blueprint, and the apartment housing industry’s priorities. It is important to remember that policymakers are truly looking to reshape how taxes are levied in this country and that perhaps what they propose could effectively replace what is in the tax code now and keep the apartment housing industry whole. We remain open minded on this point as we continue to press for our top priorities and evaluate in detail what tax reform proposals mean for our business.

Every member of the apartment housing industry must be engaged in the advocacy campaign on tax reform. That means contacting your members of Congress and communicating our message. Changes to the tax code will impact all of us, and it is our responsibility to ensure whatever reform is passed does not harm our ability to provide housing to one-third of the nation. To learn more about how you can get involved in shaping the debate, contact Peter Fromknecht at pfromknecht@naahq.org and take our Advocacy Interview at http://re.spon.se/OTmUtG to see who you might know on Capitol Hill! Your relationships with lawmakers and your willingness to act on those relationships will make the difference between success and failure on tax reform.

Thanks for reading.

For this and many other articles visit Apartment Association New Mexico

Unpacking the Meaning of a Trump Administration for the Apartment Industry

Uncertainty dominated the commentary written by key real estate analysts trying to forecast how the apartment industry and economy overall will be affected by the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. President.

Most industry groups, admittedly, said they were caught off guard by the result, and they, no doubt, will continue to analyze the situation between now and January’s Inauguration Day.

The fact that Trump has never held a public office and that many say he manages impulsively, among other things, has caused most to suggest there is an even greater factor of unpredictability going forward.

Writes columnist Michael Gerson in The Washington Post, “Hillary Clinton proved incapable of defeating a reality-television host whom more than 60 percent of Americans viewed as unfit to be president.”

The election’s result has created a rare one-party, four-way control of the federal government (House, Senate, Executive and Supreme Court) and the continuation of the GOP’s domination of state governments and governor houses. (See “By the Numbers.”)

Adds columnist Eugene Robinson, writing in The Washington Post, “Some of the nation’s most diverse and populous states, including Texas and Florida, are living under one-party Republican rule.”

New York Post columnist Kyle Smith points out, “What kind of president will Trump be? It’s a tad too early to say, isn’t it? The media are supposed to tell us what happened, not speculate on the future.”

While it certainly is too soon to speculate what impacts the Trump Administration could have on the industry and the broader economy, following is a summary of thoughts and projections expressed during the 12 days following the Nov. 8 election.

Apartment Market/CRE Fundamentals

KC Sanjay, Senior Real Estate Economist, Axiometrics, believes the apartment market will perform well during Trump’s first term with average occupancy rates close to 95 percent and rent growth exceeding 3 percent from 2017-2020.

“New supply is expected to average about 330,000 units per year during the same time period,” Sanjay says. “But higher GDP and job growth, as Trump predicts will happen, could mean rent growth and occupancy increase by an extra 50-100 basis points.”

“It’s important to remember that many economists have a mild recession built into their models within the next 18 to 24 months, regardless of who is at the helm,” Paula Munger, NAA Director Industry Research and Analysis, says. “That’s obviously a downside risk to the apartment industry, but the demographic fundamentals are still pretty solid.”

“The economic cycle kicks in no matter who is president,” Sanjay writes. “The current economic expansion has lasted more than seven years, and the longest expansion period on record was 10 years. That means the business cycle is pointing toward a downturn in the not-too-distant future.

“Also, a recession has always occurred within 12 to 36 months (an average of 24 months) after the unemployment rate falls below the natural rate of 5 percent-it was 4.9 percent in October. So, it is likely a recession-albeit mild-will occur by the end of 2018.”

Concisely, Sanjay adds, “We expect the apartment market-and the economy-to be generally positive during the next four years, even though unexpected outside shocks could muddle things up.”

The Real Estate Roundtable, one of the CRE industry’s most active lobbying groups, said in a statement that the major planks of tax and financial regulatory reform, infrastructure investment, immigration issues, energy policy and physical and cybersecurity will all present opportunities to advance the economy and the stability of U.S. real estate markets.

According to Roundtable CEO and President Jeffrey D. DeBoer, “Real estate public policies are non-partisan. They should be based on objective economic principles, responsive to changing economic cycles and sensitive to societal demands.”

John Kevill, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director for U.S. Capital Markets, says, “Despite all the noise, Trump in my mind won on a promise of growth. His proposed infrastructure spending, plans for lower taxes, moving jobs back and a target of 4 percent growth all speak to that.

“If it appears that things are starting to happen in that regard, expect CRE investment to follow as yield will look to be relatively attractive. For now, investors will be hanging on his every word and every appointment until late January and not making too many major bets.”

Determined Advocacy Goes Forward

One sure bet is that NAA will work with the new administration.

Gregory S. Brown, NAA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, says, “The outcome of the 2016 elections has dramatically changed the political landscape in Washington and the outlook for policy priorities of the apartment industry. We have one-party rule for the first time since 2010. That could mean accelerated consideration of numerous high priority Republican policy priorities, some of which impact the apartment housing industry. NAA looks forward to working with the new Administration, newly-elected members of Congress and returning incumbents of both political parties on critical housing concerns like flood insurance, tax policy and regulatory reform.”

Immigration and Apartments

Sanjay adds that stricter immigration laws are imminent. In the short-run, displacement of population could reduce the national consumption side of the GDP equation. For the apartment market, more immigrant renters may double up, reducing occupancy.

“Over the past 10 years, approximately two-thirds of new renter households were foreign-born and minorities,” Munger says. “Stricter immigration policy would absolutely impede that growth moving forward, but we just don’t know how much yet.”

Tax Policy: Individuals, Business

Randyl Drummer, CoStar, Senior News Editor, Los Angeles, writes, “Most of president-elect Trump’s proposed policies on corporate, individual and foreign taxes have been widely embraced by the real estate and financial industries, with the exception of Trump’s vow during the campaign to scrap the deduction for carried interest income.”

Drummer adds that previous guidance provided by the Trump campaign reported that Trump’s tax reform plan would reduce marginal tax rates on individuals (top rate of 25 percent) and businesses (top rate of 15 percent), increase the standard deduction to nearly four times current levels, and put a cap on existing tax breaks other than mortgage interest and charitable giving.

“Regarding real estate ownership and investment, Trump said he would tax long-term capital gains at a maximum rate of 20 percent, impose a ‘reasonable cap’ on the deductibility of business interest expense, and tax carried interest as ordinary income,” Drummer writes.

Economic Impact for Consumers

Economists considered that potential Trump policies could put additional dollars in consumers’ pockets and therefore increase consumption to help boost GDP, and perhaps job growth. This would occur, for example, through potentially less cost for health care (for citizens and employers), child-care tax credits and higher wages for low-skilled workers.

Randyl Drummer, CoStar, Senior News Editor, Los Angeles, suggests that these job sectors should improve during the Trump presidency.

“With plans to increase active duty military personnel and scale back international alliances, increased spending is likely to provide a boost to defense and aerospace industries,” Drummer writes.

Again, based on Trump’s campaigning, rust-belt industrial areas and auto manufacturing areas such as the Southeast (because of the potential for higher tariffs on auto imports) could get a boost, many say. Apartment investors and developers should take note.

Carried Interest Concerns

“Most of President-Elect Trump’s proposed policies on corporate, individual and foreign taxes have been widely embraced by the real estate and financial industries, with the exception of Trump’s vow during the campaign to scrap the deduction for carried interest income,” Drummer writes.

Drummer adds that previous guidance provided by the Trump campaign reported that Trump’s tax reform plan would reduce marginal tax rates on individuals (top rate of 25 percent) and businesses (top rate of 15 percent), increase the standard deduction to nearly four times current levels and put a cap on existing tax breaks other than mortgage interest and charitable giving.

“His tax plan would repeal both the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax,” Drummer writes. “Regarding real estate ownership and investment, Trump said he would tax long-term capital gains at a maximum rate of 20 percent, impose a ‘reasonable cap’ on the deductibility of business interest expense, and tax carried interest as ordinary income.”

According to a widely cited report by the Tax Policy Center (TPC) of candidate Trump’s tax proposal, it would “… reduce federal revenue by $9.5 trillion over its first decade and an additional $15 trillion over the subsequent 10 years, before accounting for added interest costs or considering macroeconomic feedback effects,” Drummer writes.

“Supporters of this tax reform contend that the cuts will stimulate economic activity that will offset the projected revenue losses,” Drummer adds.

What About GSEs?

The issue that might have the most direct impact on multifamily is the fate of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The GSEs guarantee covers almost all of the residential mortgages and nearly half of the multifamily mortgages originated.

Paul Fiorilla, Associate Director of Research, Yardi Matrix, in an article that appeared in Multi-Housing News, writes, “Trump did not talk about housing finance leading up to the election. Republicans in general are less inclined to see the need for the GSEs to backstop the housing finance industry, but Republicans are not in agreement on a solution. In recent years, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced a bill with Democrat Tim Johnson (former senator for South Dakota) that would involve a gradual wind-down of government involvement, while Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX-5) has proposed legislation that would eliminate the GSE guarantee except as it relates to affordable housing. How easy it will be to eliminate the GSEs and what system will replace it is a big question, since virtually all home mortgages and a significant portion of multifamily mortgages originated today are backed by the GSEs.”

Cindy Chetti, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at NMHC, says in the Multi-Housing News article, the shape of GSE reform could depend on the identity of the new Treasury secretary. “We want to make sure that no matter how they go forward here, that they look at multifamily and understand its unique characteristics” relative to the single-family market, according to Chetti.

Hensarling met with Trump in the week after the election. Some speculate that the U.S. Treasury Department was a topic of conversation.

This article and more can be found at National Apartment Association

Helping Your Elderly Parents Find A Home or Apartment?

You may be finding yourself with a parent who needs more time and attention. If your mom or dad needs to downsize their home, there are resources to help them find inexpensive housing.

Low Rent Apartment Search: This link from Housing and Urban Development brings it all together. You type in your location and they’ll give you names and numbers of subsidized buildings in your price range.

Get the Government to Pay the Rent: It’s true. Low-income individuals can apply for vouchers and use them to pay rent almost anywhere.

Guide to Apartments by State: This link, also from HUD, is a giant list of apartments in your state. It doesn’t have much information in terms of who is eligible for what, but it makes for good browsing.

Public Housing: If that doesn’t sound very appealing just keep in mind they’re actually just apartments managed by local housing agencies with funding from the federal government.

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT APARTMENT FOR YOU

Don’t let searching for an apartment be intimidating. With over 40 years of commercial property ownership and supervision, we have seen trends in finding the right home that stand the test of time. Take these handy tips to help you narrow your search and find the right home for you and your family.

1. SET REALISTIC GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS

It does take some effort to find the perfect apartment. Don’t expect to find the right place for you during your first search. This way, you will be less likely to be disappointed if you don’t find an apartment right away. Just take things in stride, and know that you will reach your goal in due time.

2. CONSIDER THE LOCATION

If being near friends and family is important to you, be sure to consider that in your apartment search. How is the commute to work, schools, or the nearest grocery store? Is it close to public transportation? Learning what’s nearby and what’s easy to get to is truly essential when choosing an apartment. Additionally, you should consider the neighborhood and its reputation. Drive by on several occasions, both night and day, to get a true perspective. Is it in a safe area?

3. SEPARATE THE HAVES FROM THE HAVE NOTS

When searching for an apartment, it’s important that you have a clear picture in mind of what it is you’re seeking. Try putting together a list of your needs and desires. What do you absolutely have to have, and what would be nice to have? Use the Internet as much as you can to do your research before visiting different properties to help save yourself some time and learn which ones fit your criteria.

Consider the following:

  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  • How much closet space do you need?
  • How important is location?
  • Are any features — such as an updated kitchen, or built-in shelves — important?
  • How is the parking, for both you and your visitors?
  • What amenities do you desire?
  • Do you need a place that allows pets?
  • Do you need a lot of storage?

4. DETERMINE WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD

Once you know what you’re after in an apartment, take into consideration what you can afford. Being prepared ahead of time will help steer you in the right direction and help prevent the disappointment of finding the perfect apartment that you just can’t financially manage. Typically, you’ll want to figure a maximum cost of no more than one-third of your monthly income.

5. GOT ROOMMATES?

The two or three of you should come up with a plan of action. Aside from taking into consideration what each person desires and can afford, each can be responsible for helping out in the apartment search. Divvy up tasks, depending on schedules. Maybe someone can preview a handful of listings while the other checks out some others.

6. VISIT THE PROPERTIES

Once your initial research is complete and you’ve narrowed it down to a handful of properties, it’s time to go visit each space. When you arrive, go first to the manager’s office or the leasing office, and let them know that you’re interested in seeing an apartment. Be specific about the size you need, and don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way, such as:

  • How much is the rent?
  • Will you have to pay a deposit or additional rent to lease?
  • Do they allow pets and, if so, how much is the pet deposit or pet rent?
  • Are utilities included?
  • What are the amenities and hours of operation?

As you make your way to the model apartment, be sure to look for things on the exterior, such as broken windows, trash, loud music, yelling tenants, sagging doors, broken sidewalks or lights. These are telltale signs of an unkempt, poorly managed apartment complex. Mark properties off your list if you notice two or more of these items.

Once you’re on the inside, take note of the layout and design, and determine if it will fit your needs and desires. Look at the ceiling for cracks and water stains. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and look for signs of bugs or rodents. Open closets and use your nose. If there’s a funny smell inside, it’s likely there will be one in your unit as well.

7. STAY ORGANIZED

Once you’ve started researching more than a few apartments, it’s easy to get them confused. Stay organized by taking notes. For example, consider tracking the following:

  • an apartment’s location
  • the broker, owner, or tenant and their contact information
  • the number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • the pros and cons
  • any promises that were made or deals that were offered
  • additional notes

Keep a folder, notebook or file handy to house any brochures, floor plans, pictures or other printed materials.

8. LET US HELP

T &C Property Management can assist you with your apartment search. Be sure to check back often for available listings. Call 505-268-1181 when you’re ready to set up an appointment.

What the Fair Housing Guidance on Criminal Background Checks Means for Real Estate

What the Latest Fair Housing Guidance on Criminal Background Checks Means for Real Estate

HUD’s guidance released on April 4, 2016, states that as many as 100 million U.S. adults – or nearly one-third of the population – have a criminal record of some sort. When individuals are released from prisons and jails, their ability to access safe, secure and affordable housing is critical to their successful reentry to society. Yet formerly incarcerated/non-convicted individuals encounter significant barriers to securing housing, because of their criminal history.

While persons with criminal records are not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, HUD’s guidance maintains that criminal history-based barriers to housing have a disproportionate impact on minority groups. Because minorities are a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, HUD’s guidance says that creating blanket criminal-based policies and restrictions could potentially violate the Fair Housing Act.

In light of HUD’s Guidance, please consider the following:

  • You may still deny an applicant based on other factors in your criteria, i.e. if they do not qualify financially or have unfavorable rental history
  • Eliminate policies that require denial of all ex-offenders regardless of criminal history or exclude applicants based solely upon arrest records.
  • You must perform an individualized assessment on the applicant, but maintain certain guidelines and apply them evenly
  • Screening criteria reflects a willingness to look into individual circumstances such as:
    • The facts surrounding the criminal conduct
    • The age of individual at time of conduct
    • Evidence the applicant has maintained good tenant history before or after the conviction or conduct and
    • Evidence of rehabilitation efforts
  • Review screening policies for the following:
    • Give greater weight to convictions for violent offences than non-violent offenses
    • Give greater weight to convictions than arrests or
    • Give less weight to criminal activity that occurred years ago
  • You may exclude an applicant who was convicted of the distribution or manufacture of drugs without further inquiry
  • Provide updated fair housing training for on-site staff and refresh resident screening policies.

 

Chuck Sheldon is the President of the Apartment Association of NM, Owner and Qualifying Broker for T & C Management, LLC. Contact us or your attorney for more information.

T & C Management, LLC

1701 Moon St. NE | Suite 400

Albuquerque, NM 87112

(505) 268-1181

Managing Homelessness

Homelessness
By Chuck Sheldon, CPM, CCIM
President of T&C Management, LLC

Our distinguished, Mayor Richard Berry, has reached out to the community, for assistance with reducing homeless. This assistance is through placing homeless folks, into apartment homes. Participating with this program has it challenges, but it’s also rewarding. With several agencies participating, over 400 families, including individuals, have been placed into apartment homes, and communities.

How do you participate in eradicating Homeless when we have strict rental guidelines? When managing market rent properties we have sets of guidelines that help create consistency among our clients and help to create a successful residency. Typical policies and guidelines state: no felons, no evictions, no bad credit, and require a successful rental history. And to top it off, we must be consistent within our application process.

Well, the homeless meet none of these rules; in fact they are in violation of some of these rules, if not all of them. What to do? How do we stay consistent and not violate HUD housing guidelines, by treating clients differently, creating a different class of tenants.

When the Mayor’s initiative was launched with the focus on eliminating Veteran’s Homeless, I reached out to The Veterans Administration, and we created a Memorandum of Understanding, “MOU”, stating clients coming through a program, such as The Veterans Integration Center, “VIC”, we would set aside the standard rental guidelines, and use a set developed to allow clients with troubled pasts to rent an apartment. When living under a bridge, or in open spaces, without a job, food or money, it is hard not to have violated a law or ordinance. Consequently, it is imperative that we adjust our leasing standards to accommodate these individuals, by stating under what conditions we can provide housing. As of April 4, 2016, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued guidance urging housing providers to exorcize caution when implementing criminal history policies or practices used to make housing decisions. A person with a criminal history can challenge the housing provider’s decision, placing the burden on the housing provider to prove that their policies are in fact are non-discriminatory. The issue centers around creating desperate impact on a group of persons, as the preponderance of people with criminal histories are minorities. This direction now directs us to have a policy and evaluate applicants individually as to the type of criminal history they may have. For a copy of this direction, go to WWW.hud.gov.

The next step is to create relationships with the agencies supporting the mission of placing the homeless into affordable housing. We need to learn agency nomenclature, which will assist the client with their readjustment back into society and we need to get on a first name basis with their caseworker, creating a conduit which helps when a client intervention is required. Many of the homeless have PTSD, or some form of mental illness, most not acute, but they will need assistance until they can fully transition back into society. People that have lived on the street have learned to live within the frame work of the street society, which is not always conducive to living in an apartment community, consequently the need for a caseworker.

Why should we do this – go through all this work? Besides being the moral thing to do, there is an economic side to this equation. It has been proven that there is a 93% reduction in shelter costs, a 95.9% decrease in jail costs, 65.9% reduction in emergency room costs, and a forty per cent decrease in medical outpatient care costs. All these savings show a 31.6% savings in decreased costs to the community. Reference: www.abqheadinghome.org.

We have successfully housed over 50 families by working with agencies. The greatest reward is having a tenant who was destructive, get back on their medicine, become stable, purchases a vehicle, and ultimately, purchases a home. This veteran has successfully transitioned back into society. One star fish saved; if we each help one family or individual, we can make a difference.

Chuck Sheldon CCIM, CPM
Qualifying Broker/Principal
T &C Management, LLC
Albuquerque NM, Suite 400
87112

Immigration

The president, Mr. Trump indicates that with military precision, we are removing the most dangerous of immigrants; murderers, rapist, and drug king pins. Yes, we have “Dragoons” ICE agents waiting by court houses to bludgeon immigrants who were trying to adhere to civic duties by going to court, but ending up in a dragnet, putting them in unmarked cars and sending them to detention centers. These parents, fathers, and mothers of US Citizens, young under aged children, are being carted off in the guise of being “Bad Hombres'”. In military terms, collateral damage.

Today I had a young mother of three come into my office to let me know that she would have to move due to the fact that her husband had been deported, a dishwasher, who was supporting his family. WOW, what a win! Now we will have children living on the state’s welfare system. We just removed a hard working individual in the guise of removing bad guys. Yes, we will get some bad guys, but at what cost? These parents have children, US Citizens, born in the US, and working like all of us to support our families. We are deporting people that have been here for years, or decades that have been hard working people, contributing to society. We are chilling our communities, people will not call police, and women will suffer in silence, due to fear of being deported. ICE agents are not profiling whites, but people of color. Immigrants are selling their homes in preparation and fear of deportation.

I here all the time these immigrants are taking our jobs! When some one that speaks little English takes a job, it is not because they are cutting pay, but because no one else wants the job. We can’t fill dishwashing or culinary jobs, roofing jobs and construction positions, and least of all agriculture jobs. When food expenses double or triple, and construction costs turn your investments negative, and clothing costs double, there will be a a revelation as too the value of our immigrants.

These policies are anti-American and ill conceived. Proponents argue that these are not dragnets, that these are just casual encounters. What a delusion! I don’t agree that we should deport, but if someone commits a serious crime we should put them in federal prison. No one wants someone in their communities that will hurt them or their family, consequently they need to be tried and imprisoned, so that they don’t reenter the country. We have placed our communities against the federal government. That is why we have the Second Amendment, so the Citizenry can protect itself from the ternary of the Federal Government. We now have Church’s, private citizens creating safe zones. Are these just all liberals? No, it’s the 52% that did not vote for these policies. The President who ran on Washington is not listening, is not listening. Surprise, surprise!

Chuck Sheldon CCIM, CPM
Qualifying Broker/Principal
T and C management, LLC
Albuquerque NM, Suite 400
87112