Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recent posts of interest

New Video: Rental houses are popular in Denver

The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) applies to non-profits

The New Advanced Finance Academy Training has been rescheduled

Fremont County receives $148,000 in CDBG funds

The Department of Local Affairs has announced that $148,750.00 in CDBG funds has been awarded to Fremont County for the following project:

Fremont County, on behalf of the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments (UAACOG), will receive a $148,750 grant to continue their Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation program. They have operated this program since 1987, and this funding will allow them to rehab another 19 units for homeowners at or below 80% AMI in the next year.

Video: Analysis of new personal income data for Colorado

Personal income in Colorado has increased in recent quarters, but is not being driven by job gains.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Upcoming Private Activity Bond Allocation Committee Meeting

Colorado's Private Activity Bond Allocation Committee will hold a meeting on Monday, October 4th, 1:30 - 3:00pm, at the Centennial Building, 1313 Sherman St., Room 518 ("Mountainside"). A draft agenda is attached.

The Committee will hold a public hearing to take comments on the Department of Local Affairs' (DOLA's) priorities for use of the Statewide Balance. The Committee will also review two applications.

Please try to let us know in advance if you plan to testify at the public hearing, and direct any questions to Ann Watts at ann.watts -AT- or (303) 866-4652.

1:30 Convene Meeting

Approval of Minutes - recording posted on PAB website
1:40 Program Manager’s Report
· Statewide Balance Status
· Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZFB) Briefing

1:50 Public Comment on Statewide Balance Priorities

2:10 Presentation of Application to the Statewide Balance
· City of Colorado Springs Utilities - Acquisition of Front Range Power Plant
· Civil Technologies - Rossonian Redevelopment (conditional)

2:40 Committee discussion & vote on funding recommendations


Friday, September 17, 2010

Housing statistics release information

The reports for the single-family vacancy and rent survey and the statewide vacancy and rent survey are now posted at their permanent location on the main site:

We've also posted an archive for the Housing Snapshot, which can be found here:

Foreclosure reports through July are now posted in the permanent location as well on the main site:

The August foreclosure report for Colorado will be released Tuesday, September 21.

New Video: Rental houses are popular in Denver

Here's the latest Chart of the Week. A mere 2 minutes and 55 seconds of gripping economic news.

We look at the very low vacancies among rental houses, condos and townhouses. We also note that average rents have not kept up with inflation.

Two interesting charts on cost burden

Based on the American Community Survey 3-year estimates, here are two charts on cost burden for both homeowners and renters in large Colorado counties. A household that is cost burdened pays 30% or more of household income toward housing costs.

In the first one, we see the total number of cost burdened households by tenure.

In the second chart, we see how the totals add up as percentages of the total number of households by tenure.

This is based on 2006-2008 data. New American Community Survey data will be out later this month and will include 2009 numbers. Even more information will be released as the 5-year estimates for ACS in December.

Job openings at the Division of Housing

An official notice will be posted by DOLA September 17th through the 27th at Qualified applicants must submit a State of Colorado application and resume during the announcement period. Once announced, questions can be directed to the contact person listed on the official job announcement.

DUTIES:   As an Asset Manager, you will provide technical assistance to local governments, non-profit organizations and other housing providers for the administration of federal and state grant programs; identify available financial and non-financial resources; monitor for compliance with state and federal requirements; prepare various reports and assure program priorities and standards are achieved; conduct comprehensive compliance/performance monitoring of grant recipients and facilitate various meetings with local officials. Extensive in-state travel required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:   Qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and two years of professional experience in federal housing assistance programs or real estate/mortgage banking related to lending, title examination and/or consulting regarding low income housing assistance or real estate development. 

NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENT: Must possess and maintain a valid Colorado driver's license.

SUBSTITUTION:  High level professional experience with federal housing assistance programs or real estate/mortgage banking related to lending, title examination and/or consulting regarding low income housing assistance or real estate development which provided the same kind, amount and level of knowledge acquired in the required education may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for the bachelor's degree. A master’s or doctorate degree from an accredited college or university in a field of study related to the work assignment may be substituted for the bachelor’s degree and one or two years of general experience respectively.

Salary:       salary range $3,895-5,000/month


Friday, September 10, 2010

A great lineup for the Economics Panel at the Housing Colorado Now! Conference

This October, DOLA staff will be moderating Workshop #10 at the Conference on October 13th. Here's the lineup:


NEW SPEAKER - Patty Silverstein, President, Development Research Partners
Ron Throupe, PhD, Assistant Professor of Business, University of Denver
Andy Knudtsen, Principal, Economic and Planning Systems

Wednesday, 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Look at the effect of current economic conditions on housing in the present and future. A panel of economists and demographers will provide insights into current trends in employment, credit and economic growth. Gain a richer understanding of how residential real estate fits into the larger economic picture in Colorado.

Ryan McMaken, Economist and Communication Director, Colorado Division of Housing

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Division of Housing announces obligation of all NSP1 funds

All Neighborhood Stabilization Funds have been obligated

The Department of Local Affairs announced today that it has obligated all Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP1) funds ahead of the September 10 deadline. Per the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (2008) all funds were required to be obligated (under executed purchase, rehab or Developer contracts) within 18 months of receipt of funds from HUD. The entire $37,918,555 in grant funds administered by the State, including $3,904,989 entitlement funds awarded to Colorado Springs, has been obligated at this time.

Thank you to all of our grantees and partners who made the completion of the NSP1 obligation process possible:

Adams County
Jefferson County
City of Broomfield
City of Aurora
City of Denver
Douglas County
El Paso County
Arapahoe County
Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network
Greccio Housing Unlimited, Inc.
Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust
Greeley Urban Renewal Authority
Douglas County Housing Partnership
Greeley Habitat for Humanity
Flatirons Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver
Jefferson County Housing Authority
Denver Urban Renewal Authority
Denver Neighborhood Development Collaborative
City of Pueblo
City of Englewood
Adams County Housing Authority
Greeley Housing Authority
Posada, Inc.
Pillar Property Services, LLC.
Wheat Ridge 2020
Community Housing Development Associates
Partners in Housing
Funding Partners for Housing Solutions
ICF International

Chart of the Week: Foreclosure trends this year up to July 31

Here's the most recent Chart of the Week. We look at the most recent data from Colorado and also look at how a couple of recent news items are relevant to trends both in Colorado and nationwide.

The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) applies to non-profits

This posting has been updated. See here:

The Beige Book on real estate and construction

The Kansas City Fed released its Beige Book for the district today. The district includes Colorado. The section on construction and real estate reads:

Real Estate and Construction

Residential real estate activity dropped sharply in late July and August, but the downturn in commercial real estate activity lessened somewhat. Housing starts declined, with several builders noting continued financing difficulties. Expectations for future homebuilding remained weak, although one Colorado contact believed a floor seemed to be forming in that state. Residential construction supply firms also reported a drop in sales. Home sales plummeted from the previous survey, especially for higher-priced homes, and home inventories rose across the District. Real estate agents blamed the steep drop in home sales on expired tax credits and increased customer uncertainty, and most expected little improvement in the near future.

Mortgage lenders reported that overall mortgage demand improved slightly from last month, primarily due to a continued rise in refinancing loans. The downturn in commercial real estate stabilized somewhat in late July and August, but most contacts expected little improvement in coming months. Vacancy rates and leasing activity were flat compared to the previous survey, while construction fell further. Office prices and rents also continued to decline. Many commercial real estate contacts cited continued financing difficulties and high economic uncertainty among customers.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

HUD Announces Allocation of $1 billion in NSP3 Funding

All NSP Announcement - September 8, 2010
NSP Resource Exchange | Subscribe

HUD Announces Allocation of $1 billion in NSP3 Funding

HUD announced the allocation of $1 billion in NSP3 funding today. These funds, appropriated by the recently enacted Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, have been allocated by a formula based on criteria specified in the original NSP legislation.

Read HUD's press release here.

View the funding allocation table here.

Colorado allocations:

Adams County $1,997,322
Aurora $2,445,282
State Of Colorado $5,098,309
Colorado Springs $1,420,638
Denver $2,700,279
Greeley $1,203,745
Pueblo $1,460,506
Weld County $1,023,188
Colorado Total $17,349,270

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Latest Chart of the Week: A 3-minute discussion on employment

Colorado added 14,000 jobs in July. This week's COTW looks at recent employment trends:

How's the shadow inventory doing?

I frequently receive questions, or overhear questions, about the "shadow inventory" of distressed homes. Specifically, people want to know how big the shadow inventory is. The problem with the shadow inventory is that it is shadowy, of course, so it's hard to discover without scanning the books of all the mortgage companies that have REO properties on the books.

I've seen the term used differently by different media outlets. It seems that the most useful definition would be: The shadow inventory is the inventory of foreclosed properties that have reverted to the mortgage company and now await liquidation.

In Colorado, and most places in general, this is very hard to track since these properties have gone through the foreclosure process and no longer show up in foreclosure records. Yet, we know from people in the real estate industry, and from the mortgage companies themselves, that there are a lot of properties out there that have foreclosed, but are sitting on the books of the mortgage companies and haven't yet been liquidated.

The foreclosure prevention task force was told early this summer by the mortgage companies that they were going to get more aggressive about getting these properties off the books. If and when this happens we'll likely see a decline in home values, at least temporarily. I don't have any good data on the shadow inventory for Colorado, but according to DSNews, at the national level at least, the shadow inventory has been getting smaller, and this has likely been contributing to some of the drops in home prices we've seen in the last month, although the end of the tax credit likely contributed to that as well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

$250,000 in CDBG funds granted to Huerfano County

The Department of Local Affairs has announced that $250,000 in CDBG funds has been awarded to Huerfano County for the following project:

Huerfano County, on behalf of the South Central Council of Governments (SCCOG), is received a grant of $250,000 to continue the funding of their two-county (Huerfano and Las Animas) Single-Family, Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program. These grant funds will be used to provide low-interest loans for eighteen (18) rehabilitation projects and eight (8) essential repairs to households at 80% of the Area Median Income in these counties. This rehabilitation program has received funding from the Colorado Division of Housing since 1987 and has completed the rehabilitation of over 412 homes.

$281,143 granted to San Luis Valley Housing Coalition

The Department of Local Affairs has announced that $281,143 in CDBG funds has been awarded to Alamosa County for the following project:

Alamosa County, on behalf of the San Luis Valley Housing Coalition, Inc., received a grant of $281,143 to support their on-going Housing Rehabilitation Program from October 2010 through September 2011. This program will provide and administer twelve (12) housing rehabilitation loans and two (2) replacement homes in Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Saguache, Mineral Counties and the Cities of Monte Vista and Del Norte. The SLVHC markets to potential program participants through other community organizations, the local governments and the building departments.

$222,249 granted for housing in Bent, Crowley, and Otero Counties

The Department of Local Affairs has announced that $222,249 in CDBG funds has been awarded to the Town of Fowler for the following project:

The Town Of Fowler, on behalf of the Tri-County Housing and Community Development Organization (TCHCDC), received a CDBG grant of $222,249 to continue the funding of their three-county (Bent, Crowley and Otero) Self- Help, Single-family, Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program for households at 80% of Area Median Income or less. The new grant funds will be combined with other sources to provide low-interest loans for 8 self-help rehabilitation projects. These grant funds are combined with Rural Develop low-interest mortgages to assist first- time buyers become home owners. All households must attend first-time homebuyer training and contribute at least 20 hours a week of labor. This self-help housing rehabilitation program has received funding from the Colorado Division of Housing since 2005 and has completed a total of 35 homes to date.

DOLA and ARA Assist in Neighborhood Stabilization Deal

From the ARA web site:

ARA Assist in Neighborhood Stabilization Deal
Atlanta, GA ( 8/30/2010
Denver Team Reps Araphahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network in Sale of 16-Units
Littleton, CO (August 30, 2010) — Atlanta-headquartered ARA, the largest privately held, full-service investment advisory brokerage firm in the nation focusing exclusively on the multihousing industry, recently brokered the sale of 5368-5388 South Fox Street in Littleton, CO. The Buyer, Arapahoe Douglas Mental Health Network (ADMHN), Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network (ADMHN), a private, non-profit provider of comprehensive mental health treatment services for children, adolescents, and families in the south metro Denver area, purchased the property for $625,001, representing a price per unit of $39,063 and a price per square foot of $52.08. ARA Denver-based, Justin Hunt, represented the Buyer at the Arapahoe County Public Trustee auction.

Fox Street Apartments was funded via the State of Colorado's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP1) grant allocation. Created through the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA), the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was established for the purpose of mitigating the negative effects of foreclosures in neighborhoods identified as areas of greatest need.

Through the Department of Local Affairs, Division of Housing, these funds allowed for the acquisition and future rehabilitation of the of the 16-unit property. Once rehabbed, this community will provide affordable housing to residents at or below 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI), including clients of Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network

Fox Street Apartments is centrally located in Littleton, Colorado. Constructed in 1962, the property features 16 spacious units, consisting of one- and two-bedroom floor plans in an exterior walk-up style, solid brick building. The community provides residents with access to ample parks, including Progress Park, which is just two blocks away. In addition, downtown Littleton is less than one mile from the property providing access to shopping, dining, and the Light Rail.

"Fox Street Apartments is one of many NSP transactions ARA has handled over the last year. This transaction was interesting in that the prior ownership had defaulted on a sale walking away from their equity at the advice of their legal representation. This presented the Buyer with an opportunity to purchase this property at a public trustee auction for less than their prior contract price." said Justin Hunt

About ARA
Atlanta-headquartered Apartment Realty Advisors (ARA) is the largest privately held, full-service investment advisory firm in the nation that focuses exclusively on the brokerage, financing and capital sourcing of multihousing properties including conventional, distressed, affordable, seniors, student, manufactured housing, note sales and multihousing land. ARA is comprised of the country's top investment professionals who leverage a unique and fully integrated cooperative business platform of shared information, relationships and technology driven solutions. ARA's unified enterprise approach ensures that clients are delivered the broadest asset exposure, effective matching of buyers and sellers, and the shortest transaction timeframes in the industry. The combination of resources, unparalleled market expertise and nationwide presence in the multihousing marketplace has resulted in average annual production volume of $6.3 billion in real estate transactions since 2003. For detailed information on ARA's extensive multihousing investment services, visit

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The New Advanced Finance Academy Training has been rescheduled

It has been moved back to November 2-3, 2010.

Full brochure available here.

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs/Division of Housing is pleased to announce the presentation of its workshop, the Advanced Finance Academy. It will be held on November 2nd and 3rd in the Community Room at CHFA (Colorado Housing and Finance Authority) at 1981 Blake Street in Denver. We will have expert panelists on hand to answer your questions on financing your projects during this time of changing economic conditions.

This is a 2-day workshop and it is mandatory that you attend Day 1 in order to attend Day 2. The workshop is a "hands-on" use of the computer spreadsheets used by the Division of Housing in its funding application process. You will need to bring a laptop computer with you in order to participate in the class. We will provide you a CD with the spreadsheets preloaded onto it which you will be able to take home with you.

Lunch will not be provided, but there are many restaurants available within a short walk of the building. The registration fee is $75.00 and must be paid by check payable to the Colorado Division of Housing. Registrations are due by October 18 and class size is limited to 18 participants.

Parking for the workshop is available for a fee in the parking lots near Blake and 20th Street. NOTE: If there is a Rockies baseball game at Coors Field, it will be more expensive to park your car in the immediate vicinity of the training. You may want to consider using public transit as an energy-efficient alternative.

This workshop fills up quickly, so be sure to register early. Please see the attached brochure/registration form for more detailed information on the workshop and how to register, or call Una Dobrinic (303-866-4441) or Denise Selders (303-866-4650) if you have any questions.