Carol Galante, deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), hasn’t been on the job long, but she’s already tackling some pressing issues, including salvaging the growing number of affordable and market-rate apartment properties facing financial stress.
Last week, Galante told a group of attorneys, developers, and government officials at the American Bar Association’s Affordable Housing Community Development and Law Conference in Washington, D.C., that, right now, her main three priorities were working with the Department of Treasury on affordable housing tax credit issues; housing preservation; and the multifamily program under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
With stalled affordable housing projects all around the country, the Treasury and HUD will fund struggling housing projects through the Tax Credit Assistance Program, or T Caps. “I really want to be a housing voice to the Treasury,” Galante said. “The tax credit program needs a voice.”
Galante also sees opportunity in the growing numbers of market-rate assets facing financial stress. She sees a scenario where FHA financing or tax credits could be used to help these properties pencil out, possibly even make them affordable. “I think there are opportunities for financing,” she said.
Right now, the one program that’s effectively producing new housing is the FHA 221(d)(4) program. While Galante says the program is basically “the only game in town,” she is “working to streamline FHA and development programs that are useful.”