Tech Partners

In a move to turbo-charge standards development, the National Multi Housing Council has partnered with Kroll Factual Data to provide ongoing tech support and developmental assistance for the Multifamily Information and Transactions Standards (MITS) initiative. MITS, which moved from internal management at NMHC to an outsourced partnership with Evergreen Solutions last fall, was facing budgetary constraints when Kroll offered to perform the tech support and development role free-of-charge, says NMHC vice president of technology David Cardwell. “The partnership will allow [MITS] to meet the growing needs for development and implementation of the data transfer standards,” he says. A MITS team member for four years, Kroll is a subsidiary of MMC, which was chosen to update electronic security for the Sears Tower following 9/11 and contracted to cyber-sleuth the location of millions of dollars in oil revenues electronically cached by deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. - Rachel Z. Azoff, Chris Wood 

Problem Parasites

The New York City Council has formed a bedbug advisory board as city-wide complaints jumped from 6,889 in 2007 to 9,213 last year. Virtually eradicated by pesticides in the late 1960s, bedbugs began a revived assault on U.S. apartments and hotels in the late 1990s and have proven to be impervious to containment and eradication efforts. “NYC has so many bedbugs, it is mind-boggling, but Cincinnati is awash in bed bugs, as is Las Vegas,” says Mark Sheperdigian, Rose Pest Solutions vice president of technical services. New York’s bedbug advisory board is due to report findings and recommendations to the City Council by the end of the year. - Chris Wood 


Street Kids

More than 1.5 million children are homeless each year in the United States—one in every 50 children, according to a report by the National Center on Family Homelessness. America’s Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness offers the first comprehensive state-by-state data on homeless children and ranks the states from top to bottom. Connecticut was the top-ranked state and Texas was the worst. The states were evaluated in four major areas—extent of child homelessness, child well-being, risk of child homelessness, and state policy and planning efforts. Children without homes have twice the rate of moderate to severe health problems compared to middle-class children, and they struggle in school. - Donna Kimura

Web Distress

As distressed assets continue to pile up, several Web sites are offering multifamily and single-family investors access into specific buying opportunities. The LFC Group of Cos., which auctions land and single-family homes online, launched a site this spring that seeks to become an eBay for investors looking to buy and sell mortgage notes. The site,, auctions nonperforming mortgage notes secured by commercial real estate, as well as other loan types. is not alone. One company already well established in the online distressed debt marketplace is the Boston-based site, The company has a contract with HUD to sell the agency’s distressed debt. In February, DebtX offered about $144 million in nonperforming multifamily and health care HUD loans. Regional sites are also emerging, including - Jerry Ascierto