Estes to Leave NHC

Chris Estes, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference (NHC), will leave the organization at the end of September to join Rebuilding Together to work on community revitalization strategies, including supporting their immediate hurricane relief efforts, and to advocate to governmental entities for support of their mission.

“I’ve had five terrific years at NHC, and I am proud of our NHC team and their dedication to bringing the housing community together to cultivate and advance best practices, share ideas and objectively advocate for effective affordable housing policy," Estes said in a statement. "... I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to do work on the ground again, and to make an impact on affordable housing at the local level, through a national organization.”

Ethan Handelman, who has been directing the organization's policy and advocacy agenda since 2011, will serve as acting CEO,

Aeon Names Vice President of Housing Development

Blake Hopkins has been named vice president of housing development at Aeon, a nonprofit developer, owner, and manager of affordable homes in the Twin Cities. Hopkins joined the firm as a senior project manager on the development team in 2015.

He has experience in both the public and private sectors, having previously worked as a project manager for an affordable housing development company in California, a tax credit underwriter for the state of Texas, and a community development consultant.

To address the need for affordable housing, Hopkins says Aeon and other affordable housing developers need to continue to use tax credits and other traditional financing tools but should also compete in the marketplace to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH). Aeon, which owns 45 properties in the Twin Cities area, has begun growing its portfolio through NOAH projects and has launched a social impact investing initiative to support these types of acquisitions.

Dominium Promotes Barnes to VP, Senior Project Partner

Chris Barnes has been promoted to vice president, senior project partner, at Dominium, where he will supervise multiple business units within the development team.

Chris Barnes
Chris Barnes

This newly created position was fueled by the company’s continued growth as it moves toward its goal to reach 40,000 units by the year 2025, according to leaders at Dominium, a Minneapolis-based owner, developer, and manager of apartment communities nationwide. The firm has more than 27,000 owned and/or managed units at over 200 sites in 23 states.

In his new role, Barnes will supervise multiple leaders within the development team while monitoring their development and acquisition pipelines. He also will continue to oversee new project development, financing, and acquisitions of his own portfolio.

Previously, Barnes was a vice president and project partner.

CommonBond Hires EVP of Resource Development

Derek Madsen has been named executive vice president of resource development at CommonBond Communities in St. Paul, Minn. He was recently CEO of the Winona Family YMCA in Winona, Minn.

Derek Madsen
Volkman Photography Derek Madsen

In his role at CommonBond, Madsen will lead the strategy, planning, and execution of individual, corporate, and foundation fundraising. He will also oversee marketing and communications as well as social impact investing activities. Madsen brings a mix of experience in executive leadership and strategy formulation, relationship development and donor cultivation, local and regional community building, and a background in human service and youth intervention programs.

Madsen follows Ann Ruff in this executive position. Ruff has led fundraising for CommonBond for 18 years and will continue to work with CommonBond donors and socially motivated investors.

Gardner Capital Announces SVP of Development

Ronald L. Roberts has been named senior vice president of development at Gardner Capital.

Ron L. Roberts
Lance Tilford Ron L. Roberts

He joins the firm’s senior leadership team and will be initially responsible for specific projects, to include affordable housing developments, in key metro markets. Roberts will oversee the projects from deal origination through conversion to ensure project execution and successful completion.

He will also serve as managing director of Development Synergy Partners (DSP), a minority-owned real estate development enterprise in which Gardner Capital is making a strategic investment. Gardner and DSP are jointly committed to implementing visionary and innovative real estate developments that transform and create value for urban neighborhoods in strategic markets, said firm officials.

Roberts brings to Gardner Capital nearly 20 years of housing development, finance, and syndication experience across various product types, including large-scale, master-planned redevelopment initiatives. Most recently, he was senior vice president of capital markets for Hunt Cos. in Chicago. His experience also includes serving as senior vice president with McCormack Baron Salazar and as development manager with a national low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity syndication firm.

Gardner Capital is an affordable housing and solar development, tax credit syndication, and investment company.

Meta Housing Promotes Two

Meta Housing Corp., a Los Angeles–based affordable housing developer, has announced the promotions of Aaron Mandel and Chris Maffris to executive vice president. These promotions coincide with the firm’s growth and expansion into new housing types, according to Kasey Burke, president.

Meta Housing, which has long focused on affordable housing for families and seniors, has recently expanded into developing new affordable housing types such as veterans, homeless, and supportive housing.

Aaron Mandel
Aaron Mandel

Mandel has been with Meta Housing for more than 13 years. During his tenure, he has overseen the financing and development of more than 2,000 apartment units. In his new role, he will provide strategic direction and management for Meta’s development division. He will also continue to oversee all aspects of development projects from initial land acquisition all the way through lease-up, as well as structuring and arranging complex layered financing for these developments.

Chris Maffris
Chris Maffris

Maffris, who joined Meta in 2003, has supervised the development of more than 3,700 apartment units and 30,000 square feet of commercial space. In his new role, he will oversee the development team while focusing on urban infill and revitalization projects that strengthen neighborhoods and improve outcomes for residents.

Since 1993, Meta Housing has developed more than 6,000 residential units.

Vesta Corp. Hires Compliance Director

Vesta Corp., a leading real estate firm specializing in the redevelopment of distressed affordable housing communities, announced that Ashley Johnson has joined the property management company as the director of compliance.

Ashley Johnson
Ashley Johnson

Johnson will guide all regulatory compliance activities across the portfolio. She will lead a compliance team that is responsible for reviewing property and resident files along with other necessary documents to ensure compliance with all regulatory guidelines.

Johnson has worked in affordable housing for over 14 years and has extensive experience monitoring compliance in LIHTC and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) projects. Prior to joining Vesta, Johnson was with MCR Property Management Co. in Hamden, Conn.

Headquartered in Weatogue, Conn., Vesta owns and/or operates 44 affordable housing communities, with over 7,500 apartment homes in multiple states. Vesta has more than 250 employees in its corporate office and in the field.

Industry Veterans Form Hill Tide Partners

Dan Winters and Robert Long have founded Hill Tide Partners, an affordable housing real estate investment company that provides growth capital and investment services to its partners.

Robert Long
Robert Long

Headquartered in Atlanta, the firm focuses on forming strategic partnerships with experienced affordable housing developers. Its role may include providing financial backing and administrative support, serving as a development partner and guarantor, and assisting partners with the placement of debt and equity.

Winters will be COO and is responsible for overseeing strategic partnerships in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. He has over 14 years of real estate acquisitions and management experience all pertaining to the LIHTC industry. Prior to his role at Hill Tide Partners, Winters was responsible for originations and acquisitions for two nationally recognized tax credit syndicators.

Long will act as CFO and is responsible for overseeing strategic partnerships in the Southeast and Texas. He has over 18 years of experience in the real estate industry, including over 14 years of LIHTC acquisitions and closing responsibilities. Prior to founding Hill Tide Partners, Long worked for two nationally recognized tax credit syndicators, a leading global consulting firm, and a national multifamily REIT.

They said Hill Tide has established five partners operating in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

Regions First Sterling Names Vice President

Michael McGovern has joined Regions First Sterling’s originations group as vice president, relationship manager for the Midwest region, and will work out of Regions’ Chicago office. He will focus on sourcing and originating affordable housing transactions in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Michael McGovern
Michael McGovern

Previously, McGovern worked at Associated Bank, originating Community Reinvestment Act tax credit equity investments, including low-income housing, historic, and New Markets tax credits. Prior to Associated Bank, he worked at LaSalle Bank in Chicago.

Regions Affordable Housing is a national LIHTC fund syndication firm. Regions Bank is one of the nation’s largest participants in affordable housing finance through the LIHTC program and provides comprehensive real estate banking and capital management services to developers and investors. Regions Bank is also a Fannie Mae DUS Multifamily Affordable Lender and a HUD Tax Credit Pilot Program Multifamily Lender.

WNC Promotes Advani to EVP

Anil Advani has been promoted to executive vice president of originations and finance at WNC, a national investor in real estate and community development initiatives.

Anil Advani
Anil Advani

In his new role, he will lead WNC’s growing originations team and oversee the development of the firm’s strategic relationships with key lenders. Advani joined WNC in 2011 and most recently has been responsible for oversight of the firm’s proprietary funds, investor due diligence, and originations/syndication team.

Prior to joining WNC, Advani served as managing director with Red Capital Group, working in the company’s tax syndication group. He also served as manager of tax credit investment advisory services at Ernst & Young. He began his career with the Reznick Group in 1996.

Spear Joins L.A. Housing Department

Industry veteran Sean Spear has become assistant general manager for the housing development bureau of the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department.

Spear returns to the city of Los Angeles from Hunt Mortgage Group, where he served as managing director. Prior to that, he served as executive director of the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, director of major projects with the city of Los Angeles Housing Department, and community development manager for Fannie Mae.

RUPCO Adds to Team

Jake Michels has become director of property manager at RUPCO, an affordable housing advocate and community developer in New York’s Hudson Valley. He will be based in the organization’s Kingston, N.Y., office.

Michels, who is studying for a real estate license, will oversee issues related to tenant property and maintenance as well as coordinate best practices to ensure departmental efficiency. He previously worked in management for luxury and commercial markets based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Nevada Rural Housing Authority Announces Hire

John Alphson
John Alphson

John Alphson has joined Nevada Rural Housing Authority as director of its community development group, which is focused on bringing together local government, private business, for-profit and nonprofit interests, and social-service organizations to maximize resources and achieve local and regional affordable housing goals and objectives.

Alphson has extensive experience in the office, industrial, retail, and multifamily real estate sectors. He has closed more than $600 million in direct commercial real estate transactions, including ground-up real estate development, debt/equity capital raise, acquisitions and dispositions, and leasing.

Berkeley Point Names Head of Affordable Housing

Eric Keifer has joined Berkeley Point Capital as senior managing director, head of Federal Housing Administration (FHA), affordable, and seniors housing.

Eric Keifer
Eric Keifer

Keifer brings over 20 years of commercial mortgage experience in the multifamily and health-care arenas. Prior to Berkeley Point, he was general counsel and senior vice president at Rockport Mortgage Corp., where he oversaw all HUD-insured multifamily and health-care closings from loan commitment through securitization and provided strategic guidance in the structuring of a broad range of transactions encompassing all aspects of FHA-insured financing and affordable housing. Prior to that, Keifer worked at Berkadia and Capmark.

Hunt Opens Boca Raton, Fla., Office

Hunt Mortgage Group has opened a new office in Boca Raton, Fla. Bill Papagno, director, has been tapped to lead the local effort.
He was responsible for heading the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office, which he opened in 2015.

Papagno will focus on originating agency debt, including small-balance loans under the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae small-balance loan programs as well as bridge financing through Hunt Mortgage Group’s Proprietary Loan Group. This move allows him to serve a broader geography and more clients throughout southeastern Florida.

The Boca Raton office is the 10th office Hunt Mortgage Group has opened nationwide in the past year. The firm finances all types of multifamily rental housing including: small balance, market rate, workforce housing, and affordable communities.