The National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) is celebrating its 20th year as a champion of affordable multifamily housing across the nation.

"NAHMA has raised the standards of professionalism in affordable housing management, become a partner to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other federal agencies, and become the go-to provider of information about how government policies and regulations play out in the real world," said Dan Murray, NAHMA's board president and president of Corcoran Jennison, Inc. "It was founded by industry practitioners, both owners and managers, who felt a strong need to educate legislators, government agencies, and the general public about the needs and value of housing for people of modest means."

NAHMA has its roots in the early 1970s, when it became clear that the management of assisted housing (later known as affordable housing) required a new set of knowledge and skill sets than had previously existed.

Property owners in this nascent industry created the National Advisory Council of HUD Management Agents in 1976. Not long afterward, property managers began creating local Affordable Housing Management Associations (AHMAs) so that they could support one another in interacting with local HUD offices, state agencies and others. This group eventually coalesced into the National Federation of AHMAs.

Fourteen years later, in 1990, the two organizations merged and created NAHMA.

NAHMA's national network has grown to include 20 AHMAs across the country as well as individual, corporate, and affiliate members. Its board of directors is composed of NAHMA members, who are typically owners/CEOs or senior-level managers at regionally or nationally focused property management companies.

As NAHMA evolved, it stuck to some fundamentals while also branching out into uncharted territory.

Today, NAHMA's mission is to support legislative and regulatory policy that promotes the development and preservation of decent and safe affordable housing. NAHMA serves as a vital resource for technical education and information, fosters strategic relations between government and industry, and recognizes those who exemplify the best in affordable housing.

The foundation of NAHMA's vital mission is based upon:

  • Solid partnerships with HUD, Congress, the Department of Agriculture's Rural Development office, the Internal Revenue Service, state housing finance agencies, and housing credit monitoring agencies;
  • Promotion of industry standards for professionals in affordable housing management through initiating and maintaining professional education and certification programs;
  • Commitment to Communities of Quality® for families living in affordable housing; and
  • Preservation of existing units of affordable housing.

Member Bill Wollinger, president of WinnResidential, said he believes NAHMA "to be a great organization, carrying out its business with flexibility in an always changing environment of housing issues. It's grown, and its relevancy adapts to whatever is current. What I'm most proud of is its ability to be flexible enough to evolve over time." He gives the organization "an A-plus for achieving the goal of improving the professionalization of the housing management industry."