Karla Burck is playing a key role in the expansion of Herman & Kittle Properties.

Since joining the Indianapolis-based affordable housing owner and developer in 2011, she has helped increase the firm’s acquisition activity from one state to more than 10. Burck has also grown the acquisitions team from one to four members and been instrumental in closing a pipeline of more than 30 properties, representing 3,000 units and $300 million in investments.

Her department focuses on acquiring either general or limited partner interests in properties. A good majority of the developments are struggling assets that Herman & Kittle will turn around and maintain as strong affordable housing communities.

“I love the part of my job where I can think outside the box and take a deal that has not worked and try to transform it into a deal that does work,” Burck says.

In some cases, the solution may be as straightforward as changing property management. Other times, a restructuring of the debt or a new capital improvement plan is necessary.

Burck got her start in the business in 2002 when she joined the Indiana Housing Finance Authority, now the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, as an analyst in its low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) department.

At the housing finance agency, Burck advanced to managing the tax credit allocation program. She then worked for a national LIHTC syndicator before joining Herman & Kittle.

“Karla has a deep understanding of how to make LIHTC acquisitions work,” says Jeff Kittle, president and CEO of the firm. “Her persistence, creativity, and knowledge give her the tools to negotiate win-win deals. I enjoy working with Karla because she consistently brings new and innovative ideas to every deal to make them work.”

The world has come full circle for Burck, who lived in a LIHTC property when she was a 20-year-old working as a receptionist and waitress.

“It stuck with me,” Burck says. “When I went to work for the agency and learned about the program, I understand that it works. It worked for me. It was housing when I needed it at a rate I could afford.”

Burck earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and holds multiple LIHTC compliance certifications. She has been involved in industry organizations, including Council of Large Affordable Housing Owners and the Indianapolis chapter of Commercial Real Estate for Women.

Burck and her husband have two children.