Lazio Joins Alliantgroup

Rick A. Lazio has been named a senior vice president at alliantgroup; he also will remain as "of counsel" with Jones Walker.

A specialty tax consulting firm, alliantgroup concentrates on qualifying smaller and mid-cap companies for various state and federal tax credits and incentives. In his new role, Lazio will work with IT start-ups, present at conferences throughout the nation, developstrategies for business development, and advise the CEO on public policy, talent development, and general strategic guidance. He had been a director with the company.

Lazio, who served four terms in Congress, has led Jones Walker’s affordable housing and housing finance group.

“I look forward to continuing to be associated with Jones Walker and working to assist clients with corporate and affordable housing issues,” he said in a statement.

Housing Partnership Equity Trust Names CEO

Anne McCulloch will head the Housing Partnership Equity Trust (HPET).

Anne McCulloch
Anne McCulloch

She steps into the CEO post after recently serving as senior vice president, credit and housing access, at Fannie Mae, where she's held a number of positions since 1999. McCulloch has also held positions at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and a private legal practice shortly after receiving a law degree from Tulane University.

HPET, the nation's first affordable housing REIT sponsored by nonprofits, was founded by members of the Housing Partnership Network, a collaborative of leaders in affordable housing and community development.

Launched with a $100 million investment in 2013, HPET's members have used capital to purchase 12 properties consisting of over 2,750 rental apartment homes affordable to moderate-income households across the United States. It anticipates owning almost 8,400 units representing a total investment of $885 million by 2019.

Current members of HPET include Aeon, AHC, BRIDGE Housing, Chicanos Por La Causa, Community Preservation and Development Corp., Eden Housing, Hispanic Housing Development Corp., Homes for America, LINC Housing, Mercy Housing, Nevada HAND, The NHP Foundation, National Housing Trust/Enterprise, and Preservation of Affordable Housing. In addition to funds invested by its members, HPET's major funders and investors include Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Prudential, Charles Schwab, the Macarthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

McCulloch will step into her new role as CEO of HPET in mid-April.

TCB Promotes Buonopane

Tom Buonopane has been named vice president of finance and asset management at The Community Builders (TCB), a leading nonprofit affordable housing developer and owner.

Tom Buonopane
Tom Buonopane

Buonopane joined Boston-based TCB in 2006 as a member of the finance department. He maintains relationships with tax credit syndicators and investors. He and his team work to manage TCB’s real estate portfolio and will continue to identify opportunities to reposition or refinance properties.

Previously, as the vice president of development finance at TCB, Buonopane and his staff provided support to development and finance activities in the organization. He worked closely with the development teams to secure financing and to design the capital structure for the various mission-based projects.

“The expansion of Tom’s role will make more seamless TCB's relationships with investors and the long term stewardship of our housing portfolio. Starting with investor selection and continuing through well-coordinated analysis and reporting, execution of any refinancing, repositioning or sales of properties, TCB will continue to create new ways for individuals and institutions to invest in the success of our residents and our neighborhoods,” said Bart Mitchell, president and CEO.

Hunt Mortgage Group Opens Office in Buffalo, N.Y.

Hunt Mortgage Group, a leader in financing commercial real estate, announced that it has opened a production office in Buffalo, N.Y., and has hired Zach Casale to oversee the local effort.

Casale was named director, mortgage banking, and is responsible for sourcing and closing deals of all kinds and will spearhead originations across upstate New York. Hunt Mortgage Group has three main business lines: the conventional loan business, small-balance loan business, and an affordable housing lending business.

Prior to joining Hunt Mortgage Group, Casale spent six years as a mortgage banker serving as managing director for originations for Largo Real Estate Advisors.

Holland & Knight Expands Tax Credit Practice

Tax lawyer Alan S. Cohen has joined Holland & Knight as a partner in the law firm’s New York office. He represents syndicators and corporate investors in structuring tax-advantaged real estate investments with an emphasis on low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and historic rehabilitation tax credits.

Alan S. Cohen
Alan S. Cohen

Previously, Cohen was a partner at Nixon Peabody. During his more than 30 years of practice, he has advised clients in making over $20 billion of real estate investments that provide tax advantages. These transactions include LIHTCs, historic tax credits, sale-leasebacks, New Market Tax Credits (NMTCs), and energy tax credits. His clients range from nationally recognized syndicators and multinational corporations in all business sectors to national and international banks and investment banks.

DCHFA Announces Appointments

The District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) has announced several key appointments.

Shirley Boubert-Rumble
Shirley Boubert-Rumble

Shirley Boubert-Rumble has been named deputy director, multifamily lending and neighborhood investment. She will contribute to the overall success of lending and investment team, including assisting in the multifamily financing program by reviewing, selecting, underwriting, negotiating, recommending, directing, and assisting in the closing of department multifamily mortgage revenue bond–financed mortgage loans and other affordable rental housing loan programs.

Before joining DCHFA, Boubert-Rumble managed DC Housing Enterprises (DCHE) Community Development Entity. Under her leadership, DCHE originated over $125 million in NMTCs that supported over $500 million in development activity in high-distress markets in the District of Columbia.

Boubert-Rumble brings over 22 years of residential and commercial finance and development experience to DCHFA.

Christopher Miller
Christopher Miller

Christopher Miller has been appointed housing investment officer. Miller will work with multiple departments and external subject matter experts to develop new tools and programs to further the agency’s mission. The position’s primary responsibility is the development of new housing investment products and financing initiatives and the innovation of existing DCHFA housing finance products and programs that support the creation and preservation of affordable housing units in the District of Columbia. Additionally, Miller will take the lead role on individual transactions and other special projects.

He joins DCHFA from Fannie Mae, where he worked as a senior analyst in the multifamily mortgage business unit.

Trichelle Ekpe
Trichelle Ekpe

Trichelle Ekpe joins the agency as the senior financial accountant. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the accounting operations and reporting functions. Ekpe is also responsible for assisting the controller with accurate and timely preparation of monthly close procedures and quarterly and annual audited financial statements.