Commercial Real Estate

WASHINGTON – As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to prevent and effectively end homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it will offer $1.9 billion for fiscal year 2015 to support existing and new homelessness programs. Funded throughHUD’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), this notice will further incentivize local applicants to pursue permanent housing using a Housing First approach to target their resources to proven strategies.

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Are you looking for ways to find new investors for your project?  What if you could provide something better than a return.  If you have ever been to a GDF seminar, then you know that the three major components to any funding deal are:

1.  Job Creation

2. Provides Economic Development Activities

3.  Shovel Ready

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced $29 million in grants to help approximately 1,200 extremely low-income persons and families living with HIV/AIDS annually. These grants provide a combination of housing assistance and supportive services for this vulnerable population.

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The City of Fremont (City) is announcing a Notice of Funding Availability
(NOFA) for the creation of affordable rental housing in Fremont.

Approximately $8.0 million in funding is available to support predevelopment, acquisition and construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing.  The funding is intended to fill the financing gap between a project’s total development cost and other available financing sources.

The funding available through this NOFA is for capital costs only; no financing is available to fund operating subsidies or supportive services. It should be noted that if additional housing funds become available to the City during the NOFA evaluation process, the amount awarded through this NOFA may also increase.
Qualified affordable housing developers that can meet the NOFA requirements
and demonstrate their ability to finance, design, build/rehabilitate and manage affordable housing are encouraged to submit proposals. All proposals must be received by February 13, 2015.  Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Funding will be awarded by the City on a competitive basis to the project or projects that provide the best opportunity to address the City’s affordable housing needs.

The City reserves the right to request that Applicants submit additional information as may be requested by staff to clarify submitted information. Also, the City reserves the right to reject any and all proposals for any reason, and at its sole discretion.

Click here for more information.


​​​The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin setting aside and allocating funds to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund pursuant to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).   HERA authorized FHFA to temporarily suspend these allocations, and FHFA informed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of a temporary suspension on November 13, 2008.  In letters sent today (links below), FHFA notified Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of the agency’s decision to reverse the temporary suspension.

Separately, FHFA sent to the Federal Register an Interim Final Rule to address the statutory requirement that the allocations may not result in transferring their expense to originators or other Enterprise counterparties.  The Interim Final rule is effective upon publication and has a 30-day comment period.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced recently that USDA is investing $29 million to provide affordable housing for farm laborers and their families.

"Housing is often the first step on the road to more economic prosperity for farmworker families," Vilsack said. "These loans and grants will significantly improve the lives of farmworkers, who are vital to America's agriculture sector. This program is one of many tools that USDA has to strengthen the rural economy, which will help bring a brighter future for children from farmworker families."

USDA is providing assistance through the Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant program. Financing is available to qualified organizations to develop housing for domestic farm laborers. USDA also provides rental assistance to help very-low-income families afford the monthly rent.

Through today's announcement, USDA is awarding $20.7 million in loans and $8.3 million in grants for 10 projects in six states. When completed, the properties will provide 320 farmworker families with new homes. Rental assistance will be offered for 315 of the new housing units.

"I have witnessed firsthand the way these loans and grants help farmworkers and their communities," said Tony Hernandez, Administrator of USDA's Rural Housing Service, which runs the Farm Labor Housing program. Earlier this month, Hernandez toured the Sugarloaf Apartments farm labor housing complex in Hendersonville, N.C. Since the complex opened in 1995, it is usually fully occupied. Sugarloaf has two day care facilities onsite, one of which is year-round, making it a convenient place for residents to work and raise their families.

Below is a complete list of loan and grant recipients announced today. Funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their agreements.


  • Coachella Valley Villa Hermosa Phase II – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to add 68 units to the complex.
  • Peoples Self Help – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 33 units.
  • 9355 Avenida Maria – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 60 units.
  • 1006 Golden Valley – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 41 units.


  • San Luis Valley – $1.5 million loan and $1.5 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 30 units.
  • Straton Area Foundation – $750,000 loan and $1.6 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 12 units.


  • Homestead Housing Authority – $2 million loan and $1 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 20 units.


  • BDT Housing – $1.5 million loan and $1.1 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 20 units.


  • Farmworker Housing Development Corporation – $1 million loan and $2 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 20 units.


  • Grant County Housing Authority – $2 million loan and $1 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 16 units.

USDA Rural Development provided a $3.3 million low-interest Farm Labor Housing loan to build Villa Hermosa – apartment-style housing for migrant workers in Indio, Calif. Construction began in 2012. The complex is adjacent to the Fred Young Labor Camp, which began in the late 1930s as one-room, dirt-floor wooden shacks. It was converted in the 1960s to small, cinder-block apartments without heat or air conditioning.

The $3 million loan USDA announced today will finance a second phase of construction at Villa Hermosa. It will finance 68 more apartments for the remaining occupants at the nearby Fred Young facility. Phase Two will have spacious units with heat and air conditioning, private patios, washer/dryers, dishwashers, a community center, a garden, playgrounds and a computer lab. For some residents, this will be their first home with carpets.


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced more than $62 million to help more than 9,000 homeless veterans find permanent supportive housing.  The rental assistance announced today is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.

HUD is awarding $57 million to support 8,276 Tenant-Based Vouchers for rental units in the private market, and $5 million for 730 Project-Based Vouchers (PBV) for existing units or new construction in specific developments.

With HUD approaching its 50th anniversary next year, Secretary Julián Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including the broader Administration goal of ending homelessness among veterans.  As First Lady Michelle Obama said in a Joining Forces speech in July 2014, “As Americans, the idea that anyone who has worn our country’s uniform spends their nights sleeping on the ground should horrify us.  And so it is truly our duty to right this wrong and put an end to veteran homelessness once and for all.”

HUD-VASH is an important part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to provide critical housing and services to veterans experiencing homelessness that also includes HUD’s Continuum of Care program as well as VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF).

“It is unacceptable that after their service and sacrifice, too many of our veterans find themselves living on our streets and in our shelters,” said Secretary Castro.  “We’ve made significant progress reducing homelessness among veterans by a third in just four years, and these vouchers will continue to help communities build on these gains, providing targeted assistance to those in need to ensure that every veteran has a home.”

Welcoming the progress made with HUD and local partners under the leadership of President Obama, VA Secretary Robert McDonald added, “As long as there remains a single veteran living on our streets, there is more work to be done. HUD-VASH vouchers are a vital tool in our efforts to reduce veteran homelessness.”

“Through the HUD-VASH program, communities are making historic progress toward ending homelessness by connecting veterans who have the most intensive service needs to the foundation of a home with supportive services,” said Laura Green Zeilinger, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.  “The grant awards announced today add crucial resources to this effort, helping to deliver on the promise that every Veteran who has served America has a home in America.”

Last month, HUD, VA and USICH released a new national estimate of veteran homelessness in the United States.  In January of 2013, thousands of cities and counties across the country reported 49,933 homeless veterans, a decline of 33 percent (or 24,837 people) since 2010.  This includes a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of unsheltered veterans sleeping on the street.

Since 2008, more than 59,000 vouchers have been awarded and over 74,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program.  Rental assistance and support services provided through HUD-VASH are a critical resource for local communities in ending homelessness among our nation’s veterans.

Additionally, Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. As evidence of that commitment, President Obama has asked for an additional $75 million for HUD-VASH vouchers to serve veterans experiencing homelessness in his fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress.

In the HUD-VASH program, VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) assess veterans experiencing homelessness before referring them to local housing agencies for these vouchers. Decisions are based on a variety of factors, most importantly the duration of homelessness and the need for longer term, more intensive support in obtaining and maintaining permanent housing.  The HUD-VASH program includes both the rental assistance the voucher provides and the comprehensive case management that VAMC staff offers.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.  VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.

DETROIT--The establishment of a new Innovation District in Detroit will be a catalyst for new jobs and small business growth throughout the city, Mayor Mike Duggan announced today.  

The announcement comes on the heels of a report released Monday by the Brookings Institution outlining how formalized Innovation Districts can facilitate new connections and ideas, accelerate the commercialization of those ideas, and support metropolitan economies.

Detroit was prominent as one of seven case studies in the report, and the Mayor’s office has been in discussions with the Brookings Institution, the New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan, and stakeholders in Greater Downtown and beyond about a possible formal designation for several months.  

“Everything we are doing in our city with economic development will be geared toward bringing jobs and development to neighborhoods in Detroit,” Mayor Duggan said.  “We have right now some great creative energy occuring in downtown and midtown.  The focus of the Innovation District will be to create an anchor to support neighborhood business incubators across the city.”

How the Innovation District will support  Neighborhoods:

•  Establish neighborhood small business incubators. Institutions based in the Innovation District already support local businesses across the city and will be expanding their efforts to do so.  TechTown, for example, already has established neighbhorhood offices in Brighmoor, Osborn, Jefferson East and Grandmont Rosedale and will further expand into additional neighborhoods, including Hope Village.  

• Establish entrepreneurial programs in neighborhoods. Mayor Duggan has appointed Jill Ford to his staff to lead the effort to bring entrepreneurial programs to the neighborhoods. She will bring together financial and mentoring resources to support entrepreneurs, including both high technology innovative businesses, as well as businesses that will revitalize neighborhood comercial corridors.

“Today, there are 30,000 small business entrepreneurs in Detroit.  Helping them expand their businesses is the best way to create new jobs for Detroiters and rebuild our neighborhood comercial strips,” Mayor Duggan said.   

To lead the effort, Mayor Duggan has named Nancy Schlichting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System, as Chair of a 17-person advisory committee that will develop a framework and plan towards the designation of a formal Innovation District in Greater Downtown and its development as a hub for innovation across all city neighborhoods. Henry Ford Health System established the Henry Ford Innovation Institute in 2011 with the philosophy of using innovation to improve healthcare and the patient experience.

“Powerful Assets in Place”

The Greater Downtown area of Detroit already has some of the region’s most powerful and concentrated innovation assets.  In its roughly 4.3 square miles, Greater Downtown contains 3.1% of the city’s land mass while hosting 55% of the city’s jobs. It also is home to two major medical centers, one of the country’s best design schools, three university satellite facilities, 30+ entrepreneurial service providers, and a decade of private-sector job growth.

Innovation districts have been successful in other parts of the world through focused strategies including better stakeholder coordination; innovative policy and experimentation with zoning and land use; packaged and holistic real estate marketing and investment; coordinated efforts around education, medical, digital and creative clusters; and more.

“We have seen tremendous momentum in this geography over the last several years through all of our individual efforts and hard work,” said Schlichting. “This is a unique moment in time, when we can take that momentum and very intentionally work together to leverage it in way that not only accelerates growth in Greater Downtown, but ensuring that it directly supports growth across all city neighborhoods.”

Bruce Katz, vice president of the Brookings Institution and co-author of its report, said the establishment of innovation districts has proven to create well-paying jobs in other major cities and could do so in Detroit.

“Innovation Districts work. Barcelona’s innovation district developed 4,500 new companies in less than a decade. Boston’s 1,000 acre innovation district helped usher in more than 200 new companies and more than 6,000 jobs,” Katz said.  “No city is alike, but Detroit has the distinctive assets to develop a designated district and fuel powerful economic growth.”  

The financial industry greats will be the first to tell you that real estate investing has the potential to bring in serious profits. They will also gleefully inform you that the risks in some cases far outweigh the potential, especially if they are among the more cautious investors in the industry. Those who have made their fortunes in real estate however will tell you that investing in real estate is worth every ounce of risk when you manage to work through the rough patches and find your way to real estate investing fortunes.

Commercial real estate is somewhat unique among real estate investment types. This is the type of real estate that requires a high investment to get into the game, much higher than most residential property and poses equally great risks depending on what you plan to do with your commercial real estate investment. Of course you will also find more than a few options for your commercial real estate investment that many investors find appealing.

Most investors find leasing office or building space to be the safest route to take when it comes to real estate investing is the path of leasing office space or warehouse space to businesses. They feel that this is a relatively steady source of income because most businesses prefer to keep their locations as long as possible. Smart business owners are well aware that customers, clients, and vendors need to be able to find them in order to do business with them and for this reason, prefer to keep their business in the same location whenever possible rather than reestablishing themselves in different locations year after year.

Commercial real estate investing is a bit of a different animal than traditional residential real estate that many of us are more familiar or comfortable with. You will need to do a lot of research before jumping in with both feet with this particular sort of real estate investment. Commercial real estate investments can take on many forms. From strip malls and outright shopping malls to business and industrial complexes to sky scrapers and high rise condos you will find all manner of commercial real estate interests. Whether your interests lie in business or personal types of commercial real estate there are significant profits that stand to be made.

Unfortunately, beginners often find the path to commercial real estate investing laden with thorns. You will need a massive contribution to fund your commercial real estate pursuits and it is probably best if you can find a group of investors in order to share some of the risks. Real estate, in and of itself, is a high-risk venture. Commercial real estate bears a little more of the risks in the beginning however once you're established and people, particularly investors, know your name you will find that path to real estate wealth is much easier obtained through commercial real estate, if you play your cards right than many other types of real estate investing.

To create even bigger profits it is often best to work as part of a team of investors when it comes to commercial real estate investing. Not only does this approach spread out the risks to some degree but also helps find the good buys, spreads the labor pool, creates an environment of ideas, and allows you to bounce those ideas off one another seeking temperance and enthusiasm for members of your investment group in like measures. It is a great idea for those who are looking to build a prosperous future in the field of commercial real estate investing and can be extremely profitable for all involved.

Commercial real estate investing can be extremely intimidating if you allow it to be. Avoid putting yourself in a situation where you feel out of control or completely uncomfortable for your first commercial real estate investment but if you have the means, the price is right, the deal appears to be solid, and you feel you are ready for the challenge, commercial real estate profits can be a serious motivation.