Carpenter to Retire from VHFA

Sarah Carpenter, the longtime executive director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), announced that she will retire later this year.

Sarah Carpenter
Sarah Carpenter

“As a result of Sarah’s vision and skill thousands of Vermonters have moved into decent, affordable homes since she arrived at VHFA in 1998,” said Randy Amis, chair of VHFA’s board of commissioners. “She has expertly led VHFA’s financial activities and programs, built strong partnerships, and shared her deep expertise with state and federal policymakers. Vermont is a better place to live thanks to Sarah’s impact.”

During Carpenter’s 20-year tenure, the volume of VHFA mortgages provided to low- and moderate-income Vermonters grew by $1.3 billion, largely due to her work with VHFA’s staff, board, advisers, and partners, according to the agency. Most recently, she worked with legislative leaders to enact a downpayment assistance program for first-time homebuyers.

In 2000, VHFA spearheaded a successful effort to encourage Congress to increase caps for the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program and private-activity bonds. That same year, Carpenter worked with legislators to enact a state housing credit. These efforts pushed the total number of apartments financed through VHFA up to 8,600.

Earlier in her career, Carpenter served as executive director of the nonprofit Cathedral Square Corp. A native of Burlington, Vt., she has earned numerous honors, including the Vermont YWCA Susan B. Anthony Woman of the Year and the NeighborWorks America Government Service awards. She has also served on numerous of boards including Leading Age, the National Council of State Housing Agencies, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and Fletcher Allen Healthcare (now the University of Vermont Medical Center).

Industry Veteran Joins JLL Capital Markets

Anson Snyder has joined the capital markets platform at JLL as vice president. He is based in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Anson Snyder
Anson Snyder

Snyder, who specializes in affordable housing, construction and infill development, and complex structured deals, has more than 22 years of experience in commercial real estate.

Prior to joining JLL, he worked in multifamily finance at Barings and in the real estate group for Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco.

JBG SMITH Names Head of Washington Housing Initiative

AJ Jackson has joined JBG SMITH as executive vice president, social impact investments. He will lead the firm’s participation in the Washington Housing Initiative, a $100 million to $150 million triple-bottom line impact initiative that will combine JBG SMITH’s capabilities and experience with external capital to preserve or build between 2,000 and 3,000 units of affordable housing in metro Washington, D.C.

AJ Jackson
Steven Halperson AJ Jackson

Prior to joining JBG SMITH, Jackson was a partner with EYA, a D.C. area urban infill development company. He led EYA’s participation in more than $1 billion of mixed-income development projects, and he has extensive experience in the creation of programs and policies supporting affordable and workforce housing.

JBG SMITH is an S&P 400 company that owns, operates, invests in, and develops assets concentrated in leading urban infill submarkets in and around Washington, D.C.

Former HUD Senior Counsel joins Nixon Peabody

Kathie Soroka has joined Nixon Peabody as counsel in the firm’s affordable housing and real estate practice in New York City.

Kathie Soroka
Kathie Soroka

She is an expert in the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), having been a key player in the development of the program’s structure while serving as senior counsel to the general counsel at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In addition to her RAD work, Soroka was vital in HUD’s efforts to harmonize LIHTC and Federal Housing Administration multifamily requirements, rewrite the 2530 regulations, and update the Sec. 232 health-care documents.

Soroka will focus her practice counseling developers, syndicators, housing authorities, public entities, and other LIHTC stakeholders in navigating regulatory requirements in all types of affordable housing transactions.

Union Bank Names Community Development Executive

Elizabeth Van Benschoten has joined Union Bank’s Real Estate Industries group as managing director and market manager for community development finance (CDF) in Northern California. She is responsible for managing the Northern California CDF team in its efforts to originate debt and equity transactions for affordable housing that will assist the bank in meeting its Community Reinvestment Act obligations. She is based in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Elizabeth Van Benschoten
Elizabeth Van Benschoten

Van Benschoten previously served as president of Bridge Impact Capital, the community development financial institution affiliate of BRIDGE Housing Corp., a leading West Coast affordable housing developer. Prior to that, she held several positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Walker & Dunlop Adds to Team

John Gilmore IV has been named senior vice president and managing director in Walker & Dunlop’s multifamily finance group. Gilmore is focused on the affordable multifamily space and has extensive experience sourcing loans for execution through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD. Based out of the company’s New York office, Gilmore will drive multifamily loan origination growth in one of the most important rental housing markets in the country.

Prior to joining Walker & Dunlop, he was a vice president and senior relationship manager in the community development and investment group within KeyBank Real Estate Capital.

Mark Besharaty has been joined Walker & Dunlop as senior vice president and chief production officer to lead a new initiative focused on multifamily small loans. He is based in the firm’s Irvine, Calif., office.

Besharaty has originated over $2 billion in overall commercial real estate volume over the course of his career, including $1 billion of multifamily loans. His experience will provide the basis for Walker & Dunlop’s expansion into the multifamily small loan space. Small loans are typically defined as $3 million or less nationwide, or $5 million or less in higher-cost markets.

Under the initiative, Walker & Dunlop plans to meet the financing needs of property owners in secondary and tertiary markets and plans to be particularly active in the western region, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Besharaty recently served as director in the small balance commercial real estate lending group at Hunt Mortgage Group. Earlier in his career, he served as vice president for MUFG Union Bank.