Trip to HUD Headquarters in Washington D.C.
This week, HUD is holding roundtable sessions with industry leaders regarding the policies and guidelines for FHA condominium project approvals. Monday and Tuesday the sessions were with project consultants like me, and Wednesday and Thursday are sessions with lenders. These sessions are by invitation-only and I was honored to have been selected as a consultant to attend.
The next several articles will be directly related to discussions held during the roundtable, but I wanted to talk about the trip itself first, which was terrific despite the snow.
I left on Sunday morning and had made arrangements to meet up with friend and fellow ‘Rainer, Suzanne Otto, a home stager with Six Twenty Designs in Lansdale, PA. We met at Starbucks and spent a couple of hours talking about business, family and, of course, blogging. She chose a location that was convenient for me and I appreciate that she made the effort to do some extra driving to meet me!
I stayed with my friend, Chris, in Columbia, MD. Chris and I graduated high school together in 1991 and he joined the Secret Service following his retirement from the Navy. I was able to visit him at work in one of the service bays where he and his team work on the communications systems of the vehicles. It was pretty cool!
The roundtable sessions on Monday and Tuesday were headed by Joanne Kuczma, Housing Program Officer at HUD’s Headquarters; Gary Long, Senior Credit Policy Specialist; and Ada Bohorfoush, Policy Analyst. Also in attendance from HUD were the Chiefs of three of the four Homeownership Centers (HOCs): Philadelphia, Denver and Santa Ana; the Chief from Atlanta could not make it.
The Department of Veterans Affairs sent a representative as it is in the process of overhauling its condominium project approval process. There were two representatives from Fannie Mae in attendance. HUD and Fannie Mae have a great working relationship and maintain communication regarding each other’s policies and changes.
I was one of 16 consultants from across the country that were invited to attend the sessions. HUD discussed potential policy changes and issues that it is encountering with condominium approvals. The consultants were able to ask questions to clarify guidelines and to inquire about certain specific nuances and issues that we have regarding project approvals. They were highly productive sessions, in my opinion.
After Monday’s session, we got to have dinner with the folks from HUD and Fannie Mae. This was a fantastic opportunity to spend some personal time with folks with whom we work on an almost daily basis. It was a load of fun and I had a blast talking and laughing with them.
On the way to dinner, I ran into Senator Al Franken of Minnesota and stopped for this quick photo opportunity. I like Mr. Franken despite being politically opposed to most of his policies. But, how could I pass up a picture with SNL’s Stuart Smalley??
Aside from all of the tremendous information that I took away from the sessions, it is obvious that HUD really listens and makes adjustments as a result of feedback from the industry. The HUD team works hard to strike a balance between that which helps consumers while working to mitigate risk to the insurance fund, which are the team’s two main priorities.
These sessions are typically held twice per year. I hope that they hold the next one in September somewhere warmer. Texas and Florida were pitched as potential locations and to either one, I say “yes”.
The Condominium Project Approval Team at ReadySetLoan is dedicated to helping condominium projects across the nation to obtain their approvals with FHA and the VA or become recertified with FHA. We have assisted nearly 200 condominiums and we can help your association.
ReadySetLoan is an active member of the Connecticut and New England chapters of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and is a frequent contributor to Common Interest Magazine as an expert in FHA/VA condominium project approvals.
Please contact us with any questions regarding FHA or VA condominium project approvals. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 404-433-4565. I will be happy to answer any of your questions.
FHA/VA Condo Approval Specialist
404-433-4565 Cell Phone
860-644-3772 Fax Phone
Check out our article in Common Interest magazine on page 19!