DHA has always undertaken an entrepreneurial approach to its efforts to provide and sustain affordable housing in Decatur. DHA owns and manages its own rental housing. DHA has been a successful real estate developer of rental and ownership housing. In addition, DHA has expanded opportunities with ownership of private entities in the housing industry to create positive returns for DHA. These entrepreneurial funds make possible DHA's scholarships, resident services, and overall operational efforts. HUD's unprecedented reductions of administrative funding make it critical that DHA secure outside, non-federal funds, to make possible the provision of quality affordable housing in Decatur. Further, it is essential that DHA build a sufficient reserve of funds to assure that it is capable of sustaining operations as HUD reduces future funding, especially of administrative funds necessary for operations oversight.
Three key activities define DHA's entrepreneurial approaches, including Preserving Affordable Housing, Inc., National Housing Compliance, and Zeffert.
Preserving Affordable Housing, Inc. (PAH)
PAH Establishment - The Housing Authority of the City of Decatur, Georgia (DHA or Authority) has been involved in real estate development since 1938 when DHA managed the development and construction of the original 200-unit Allen Wilson community to create new affordable housing in Decatur. DHA undertook many additional affordable housing developments, including homeownership, in the intervening years. DHA formed and established Preserving Affordable Housing, Inc. (PAH) as a nonprofit development entity on March 18, 2008 in support of the redevelopment of the Allen Wilson Terrace site. DHA, acting through its instrumentality, PAH, acted as the developer for the revitalization of three phases Allen Wilson I, II, and II comprised of $28.3 million of real estate development and 191 units. After the completion of Allen Wilson, PAH became DHA's non-profit developer for Trinity Walk I and II comprised of $22.8 million of real estate development and 121 units. PAH acted as the non-profit developer for the $9 million revitalization of Trinity Walk III, now known as Oakview Walk, and as the developer for the $24 million Swanton Heights revitalization.
PAH Mission - PAH was created for the specific purpose of developing affordable housing for low to moderate income persons. PAH pursues low income housing tax credit development and supports DHA's larger mission of creating new and preserving existing affordable housing within the City of Decatur.
Board - PAH is a Georgia non-profit corporation (501(c)(4)) over which DHA has 100% control by virtue of all of its DHA Commissioners holding positions on the PAH board of directors and having control over amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws of PAH. The DHA and PAH Board meets monthly in a combined meeting with the Executive Director and senior DHA staff to review the development efforts underway. The Executive Director serves as the Secretary/Treasurer and implements the day-to-day activities of the non-profit.
National Housing Compliance
National Housing Compliance (NHC) is a 501c (4) corporation headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. NHC was specifically created by its 11 member agencies (10 public housing agencies and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs) to conduct performance-based contract administration for HUD, as well as provide professional services to the affordable housing industry. As the Performance-Based Contract Administrator (PBCA), NHC must oversee federally assisted properties to ensure that they are in compliance with their Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract and applicable program requirements. Services include: Management Operations Reviews (MORs); processing rental adjustments; review, verify, and authorize month Section 8 voucher payments, oversee health and safety issues on-site, address renewal of expiring HAP Contracts; and provide HUD reporting as required. NHC conducts this work for approximately 900 federally assisted properties throughout Georgia and Illinois representing 73,000 units.
DHA and the ten other public housing agencies (Americus, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Brunswick, Columbus, Hinesville, Macon, Marietta, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs) formed NHC in an effort to create a nonprofit company to provide services that would earn funds for the agencies. HUD has increasing cut the available funding to PHAs and it is necessary that PHAs adopt entrepreneurial approaches to make ends meet at the respective agencies.
NHC was formed in August of 1999 as Georgia Housing Assistance Payments and then renamed to National Housing Compliance at a later date. DHA and each the other member agencies used to have personnel on hand that did the work of the MORs and handled most of the business. The model shifted to a central corporate model with full staffing between 2008 and 2010. There are approximately 35 employees at NHC. NHC accomplishes the work and is managed by the NHC Board of 11 members. The governing Board members are the Executive Directors of the 11 agencies, or another member of the staff appointed to act on behalf of the agency as its designated Board Member. None of the Board Members receive any compensation for their services.
- DHA is one of eleven PHAs that own NHC. It is a separate corporation that provides services to HUD.
- Services include oversight of approximately 900 properties with 73,000 units in two states.
- As with any corporation, NHC is in business to make a profit. Distributions are provided to the eleven owners, including DHA.
- PHAs must earn entrepreneurial funds as HUD funding is not sufficient to cover costs of operation.
- NHC was selected as the low bidder by HUD in Georgia and Illinois in a competitive process.
- DHA uses its NHC distributions to support resident services, complete affordable housing development, and provide operational support to DHA's housing mission.
- For more information about National Housing Compliance visit their website at: www.nhcinc.org
Zeffert and Associates
Zeffert is a Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) training, inspection, audit, utility allowance, and compliance firm with 35 employees in St. Louis, MO. Zeffert is owned by the Americus, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Brunswick, Columbus, Decatur, Hinesville, Macon, and Marietta housing authorities who oversee the affairs of Zeffert as members of the Board of Directors.
NHC is working to increase its new business enterprises, especially training and consulting, in order to create revenue that will provide greater fiscal contributions to the member agencies.
For more information about Zeffert, please visit their website at https://zeffert.com/.