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HURRICANE IRMA

Posted on: September 9th, 2017 by Anne Gehlsen No Comments

As of about noon Saturday, Hurricane Irma was near the north coast of Cuba and 175 miles southeast of Key West with winds of 125 mph. It was moving west at 9 mph and is expected to turn north and head up the western coast of Florida, making landfall from early Sunday to early Monday as far north as Tampa.

In response to this threat and in order to ensure the safety of First Housing’s employees and their families, our offices will be closed through Tuesday, September 12th.  We anticipate returning to normal business operations on Wednesday, September 13th, barring any significant damages or transportation problems.

We send out prayers and well wishes to all Floridians preparing for this dangerous storm.

Florida Affordable Housing Success Story- Pasco County Community Development

Posted on: July 10th, 2017 by Anne Gehlsen No Comments

The Florida Housing Coalition recognizes the Pasco County Community Development, the Pasco County Housing Finance Authority, and Gorman & Company as a Model for Leveraging SHIP in support of developing Affordable Housing for Florida’s most vulnerable residents.  Watch on Vimeo here.

HUD to Require Energy & Water Benchmarking

Posted on: February 1st, 2017 by Angi Darling No Comments

As of April 15, 2017, HUD is seeking to require owners of HUD projects to provide the following utility consumption metrics for each property: Site and Source Energy Use Intensities (EUI), Site Water Use Intensity (WUI), and the ENERGY STAR Score for Energy, and – when available from EPA – the Energy Star Score for Water.

Covered property types include:
•    Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRAC)
•    Section 811 PRAC and Project Rental Assistance (PRA) contracts
•    Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contracts (PAC)
•    Section 202 Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contracts (SPRAC)
•    Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts
•    Multifamily Housing properties insured under Sections 223(a), 223(f), 221(d), 220, 231, 236, and 241(a)

The Portfolio Manager software – which must be used to meet HUD benchmarking requirements – calculates and reports these metrics in a standardized report format. This report may also include property identifiers (such as address and HUD contract number), building characteristics and other summary-level data underlying the benchmarking score calculations.

The ENERGY STAR Score for Water is currently pending release by EPA, so it will not be required until it is available. HUD will provide at least 90 days advance notice before a requirement to submit water efficiency data goes into effect.

Source: Florida Green Building
Full Source Document

First Housing provides construction loan for Tampa Heights project, The Pearl

Posted on: December 5th, 2016 by Anne Gehlsen No Comments

First Housing is proud to have provided the financing for this residential project in the Tampa Heights area.

From the Tampa Bay Business Journal: “Developers of an $820 million mixed-use development on the Tampa Heights waterfront have secured a construction loan for a portion of the project’s first phase.

Corporate entities tied to SoHo Capital, the firm behind the 43-acre development known as The Heights, secured a $60.8 million construction loan from Tampa-based, Ginnie Mae-backed First Housing on Thursday, according to Hillsborough County property records.”

the-pearl-rendering

For the full story in the Tampa Bay Business Journal, click here.

Memorial Day

Posted on: May 20th, 2016 by Kelly Lebarre No Comments

Memorial Day weekend is a fun time for most of us as we take out the grill for a good ole barbecue and splash around the pool while enjoying some beer and wine with our families and friends.  Others may chill at the beach or go camping during this awesome three day weekend!  Regardless of how we choose to spend this weekend, I’m positive that our fallen armed forces members want us to enjoy life.  Before you head out to celebrate time with your loved ones, please also take time to honor and remember those who died in America’s wars.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, which stemmed from the early tradition of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags.  We encourage all of our readers to visit a National Cemetery or a State Veterans Cemetery to keep the tradition of remembering the valiant men and women who have died serving our country.  Just click on the following link to find a location near you. http://www.cem.va.gov/cems/listcem.asp

Remember those who served . . .
    Put flags or flowers on the graves of men and women who served in wars.
    Fly the U.S. flag at half-staff until noon.
    Visit monuments dedicated to soldiers, sailors or marines.
    Participate in a National Moment of Remembrance at 3p.m.
    March in a parade.

flag

“We do not know one promise these men [and women] made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men [and women] and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”

-James A. Garfield, May 30, 1868 Arlington National Cemetery

All of us at First Housing wish you and your family a safe and joyful Memorial Day! Share your Memorial Day Photos with us on our Facebook page!

Hilltop Landings Opening in Dade City

Posted on: May 13th, 2016 by Angi Darling No Comments

Hilltop Landings photo
First Housing Development Corporation of Florida announces the opening of Hilltop Landings in Dade City, Florida.

On May 12th, a warm sunny day in Central Florida, officials from the Pasco County Housing Authority and the development firm of Gorman & Company “Cut the Ribbon” on a new 69-unit affordable housing project which will replace an aging property that had seen its better days.   Built in 1982, the Dade Oaks Apartments, located just 1 mile away, dealt with extensive flooding issues to the point that the existing buildings, club house and infrastructure were significantly damaged, making rehabilitation infeasible.

In 2014, Gorman & Company secured FHA 221(d)(4) financing from First Housing Development Corporation of Florida, Collateralized Bond & HOME program financing from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, HOME & SHIP program financing from Pasco County and an allocation for Housing Credits, in order to construct Hilltop Landings.
The tenants currently residing at the Dade Oaks Apartments will get first dibs on securing a new place to live at Hilltop. The costs to relocate the residents to their new homes is covered by the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970.

Hilltop Landings is a tenant based rent and income restricted community located on 13.28 acres.  It contains 35 paired housing buildings with 14 one-bedroom, 23 two-bedroom, 17 three bedroom and 15 four-bedroom units plus a community room.  Amenities also include a playground accessible to children with disabilities, Energy Star rated appliances, and resident activities that will be sponsored by the owner and management company.  The goal is to foster a sense of community by bringing residents together on a regularly scheduled basis by providing activities such as holiday and special occasion parties, community picnics, newsletters and special functions for children.

 

Duval Park

Posted on: May 9th, 2016 by Tiffany Barnes No Comments

First Housing is proud to announce that Duval Park has finished Construction.  Duval Park, located in St. Petersburg, Florida, was developed by Blue Sky Communities and Boley Centers.  The newly finished community is for Veterans and their families.

First Housing performed the Davis-Bacon Compliance Monitoring and conducted monthly employee interviews to ensure the contractors stayed in line with the Federal Regulations attached to this project.    Blue Sky Communities and Core Construction, the GC for this project, were a pleasure to work alongside.

Duval Park recently held their grand opening event with speakers from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s Board of Directors, Blue Sky Communities, a Florida State Senator, the Pinellas County Housing Authority, and many more.  The project is fully supported by its community.

Our team of affordable housing experts can provide you with the same level of services for your next project and we can also offer in-depth, hands-on training for you D-I-Y developers and contractors.  To learn more, visit our servicing page http://www.firsthousingfl.com/services/service/ or call us to find out how First Housing can assist you Today!

Duval Park photo

 

New Income Limits

Posted on: April 20th, 2016 by Bridget Tracy No Comments

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year.  No, not Spring. It’s New Income Limit time! YIPEE!

I know we all look forward to this wonderful time, and it finally happened on March 28!

Just a couple of things you need to know this year:

•    HUD did not include the Determination of Maximum Income Limits Chart due to many geographic areas being re-defined. Because of this, HUD did not feel that this chart could be published accurately at this time.  This DOES NOT mean that the HERA Hold Harmless limits have been eliminated – they have not!

•    You never have to use an Income Limit lower than the previous year on already PIS (Placed in service) properties.

As always, if you have any questions or are unsure, please check with your monitoring agency to ensure you are using the correct limits! That’s what we’re here for!

Happy, Happy Spring everyone!

 

Don’t know why you keep getting turned down for Government jobs?

Posted on: April 15th, 2016 by Tiffany Barnes No Comments

Within each state and county, rent limits vary.  Families that cannot afford market value rent are looking for affordable housing.  Annually, HUD issues what is known as an Income Limit chart to determine household eligibility for affordable housing.  But do you know what other program uses this information?  Section 3 uses the Uniform Act Income Limits to qualify workers and businesses.  All agencies who receive federal funding are required, every year, to meet Section 3 plan objectives.  If you’re not getting your bids accepted, Section 3 could be the reason.
HUD’s Income limits PDF link is below for easy access.

https://www.huduser.gov/datasets/ura/ura16/IncomeLimits-URA-FY16.pdf

Is your business Section 3 certified? Are you unsure if you can become Section 3 certified?  Are at least 30% of your workforce at or below the income limits?

As an example, if you are in Fort Lauderdale the income limits are as shown below:

1 Person              2 Person              3 Person              4 Person              5 Person              6 Person
$40,600                $46,400              $52,200                $58,000               $62,650                $67,300

If you employ a worker who is single, with no dependents, who makes $19.51 an hour or less, they are considered a qualified Section 3 worker.

If you have 15 workers, only 5 of them need to be Section 3 Certified Workers for you to qualify as a Section 3 Certified Business.

Contact us at loanadmin@firsthousingfl.com to help answer your questions and get you pointed in the right direction.

If you want to start winning more bids, this could be your answer.

 

Florida Building Code Update

Posted on: April 5th, 2016 by Tiffany Barnes No Comments

The building code of Florida is being updated.  Some of the changes you will see are going to be Accessibility, Code Administration, Electrical, Energy, Fire, Mechanical, Plumbing, Roofing, Special Occupancy, Structural and Swimming Pools.  According to Floridabuilding.org, “The Florida Building Code should not exclude any code section which is in the base code, even if some may think a code section is not application in Florida, such as a Snow Load.” If something is not applicable for a project, then it’s not enforced, but will not be removed from the Code Section.

A structural change is going to be a challenge in some regions of Florida.  “The State of Florida is the only state of the contiguous states where the entire land mass is a hurricane prone region.  Florida has endured numerous land falls form hurricanes and special attention is merited for the installation of hurricane protection.” (floridabuilding.org)  Certain high rise buildings will need to ensure they have the property safety routes in case a hurricane comes through and takes out several stories of a 15 story high rise. These building code changes are not just for the State to say they have updated their codes, but for the safety of everyone living in or around a building.  The State of Florida is surrounded by water, and 19 million people live here; so they need to be concerned about safety and the public’s well-being.

As a Floridian, I want to preserve the natural beauty of the land around us.  We have gorgeous oceans, lakes, and ponds that serve more than just recreational needs. This is where some plumbing code changes will benefit the state now and in the future.  We have a wealth of springs, wetlands, rivers, and lakes all around us, but how will we preserve them as recreational enjoyment and a water supply?  Adopt high efficiency flow rate for all plumbing fixtures.  This is not going to be an easy change, but it will be a worthy investment.  Changing how much water we flush each time, how much water we use when the dishwasher runs, the lower amount of water to wash those 3 loads of laundry per week, will all add up in each household to a savings.  We are a growing state and our water supply is going to be the first demand we see rise.

“Domestic consumption of publicly supplied water is one of the largest uses of water.  Florida is currently the only state in the nation to face water supply challenges” (floridabuilding.org). “The proposed efficiency measures can reduce deficits of future increased demand.  As a result of this proposed modification, a direct impact in reducing demand and ensuring the long-term sustainability of Florida’s water resource can be had without significant sacrifice by any party. This change would provide a foundation for further improvements of water use efficiency at a statewide level” (floridabuilding.org).
Several counties in Florida, including Miami-Dade, have already adopted a similar method.  Building Codes are more than just putting a building up, people live there for years, and then they sell it to a buyer for a higher price.  Building Codes are enforced to regulate the State, save energy and water, and protect the safety of all who live here.

“Governor Scott signed a Florida Building Code on March 25, 2016.  The changes that he has made in this new update include:

    Increased the building’s or dwelling unit’s maximum tested air leakage measure from ‘not exceeding 5 air changes per hour’ to ‘not exceeding 7 air changes per hour’ in all of Florida.

    The minimum fire separation distance for non-fire resistant rated exterior walls shall be 3 feet or greater and non-fire resistant rated projections shall have a minimum fire separation distance of 3 feet or greater.  Projections within 2 feet and less than 3 feet shall include 1-hour fire-resistance rate on the underside.  Projections less than 2 feet are not permitted.

    Mandatory blower door testing for all residential buildings or dwellings units.

    A restaurant, cafeteria, or similar dining facility, including an associated commercial kitchen, is required to have sprinklers only if it has a fire area occupancy load of 200 patrons or more”(floridagreenbuildingcoalition.com)

Resources:
Florida Building. www.floridabuilding.org. 2016
Florida Green Building Coalition.  www.floridagreencoalition.com.  2016

 

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