How the Multifamily Industry Is Adapting to COVID-19 Compliance Challenges
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected multiple facets of both business and day-to-day life. Multifamily properties experience a unique challenge in that they combine both under the same roof — business operations as well as residential life — along with a host of other components, such as common areas and amenities, as well as the compliance requirements to operate the facility. On Wednesday, June 3, NAHB will host a webinar, COVID-19 Compliance & Operational Challenges in Multifamily Property Management, to highlight best practices in property management and compliance and provide action plans for the COVID-19 crisis. One of the key challenges is how to adopt virtual protocols to connect with applicants and residents. "From a compliance standpoint, gathering information required by housing programs while being unable to meet with applicants and residents easily and safely in person presents real challenges," shared Scott Michael Dunn of Costello Companies, one of the panelists for the upcoming webinar. "Of course, property managers have much more than just compliance work in their very people-centric job description. Every aspect of their job is affected by an inability to meet with applicant or residents as they have in the past." Comparable to inspections, where cities have opted to go virtual to help keep construction projects moving forward, tax credit allocators are also exploring situation-based reasonable measures to ensure compliance. This includes measures such as the collection of electronic documents and scanned signatures, which may or may not have been previously permitted in certain jurisdictions. An additional example, Dunn noted, is looking to HUD guidance and best practices to determine if adjustments to state tax credit policies would be beneficial. "For several years, HUD has allowed for the collection of paystubs as third-party verification, and HOME also requires this," he added. "Many states that have not allowed this in the past for tax credit certification to conform with other programs are now starting to do so as an option to meet COVID-19 challenges." Dunn and his fellow panelists — Wesley Daniel of ConAm Management, Susan Westbrook of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, and Jennifer Marchand of Oregon Housing and Community Services — will share more practical ideas to identify and meet compliance and operational challenges in the multifamily market in their upcoming webinar on June 3 at 3 p.m. ET. Register today.