Ready, Set, Inspect

Washington, D.C., is working to minimize code violations at apartment buildings throughout the city. The District plans to place the city’s 4,800 rental properties on a four-year inspection cycle; buildings with violations will be placed on a two-year cycle. The city currently does not have a routine inspection process. The move follows an investigative series that ran in The Washington Post, which cited properties riddled with major health, safety, and security issues. D.C. operators are encouraged that the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. (AOBA), was consulted to ensure the inspection process is conducted fairly. “The challenge is to make sure they implement an even-handed code,” says Shaun Pharr, AOBA’s senior vice president of government affairs. —Rachel Z. Azoff

Lasting Legacy

Trammell Crow, the legendary developer who founded Trammell Crow Residential (TCR) and Trammell Crow Co., died in January at age 94. During his career, Crow reshaped Dallas by developing several skyscrapers, the city’s largest hotel, the world’s biggest trade center, and dozens of warehouses. In 1977, Crow stepped down as CEO of Trammell Crow Co., which he founded in 1947. In 1997, the company went public and was sold in 2006 to CB Richard Ellis Group. To date, the firm has developed or acquired about 500 million square feet of commercial and residential space. The privately held TCR, founded in 1977, has developed more than 200,000 units of multifamily housing nationwide. The Crow family is still active in real estate investment. —Rachel Z. Azoff

Foreign Affairs

When it comes to multifamily real estate versus other property classes, it’s love at first sight for foreign investors. According to the 17th annual survey of members of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), multifamily is now the preferred property class among survey respondents, who control about $371 billion worth of U.S. real estate. For the past two years, multifamily had trailed the office sector. The survey also found that foreign investors expect to funnel more capital into the United States this year. Foreign lenders say they anticipate increasing lending by 58 percent; equity investors plan on increasing activity by 73 percent. The top five U.S. cities for foreign real estate investment as revealed by the survey were Washington, D.C.; New York; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Houston. —Chris Wood

Pushed Out

Homeowners aren’t the only victims of the foreclosure crisis, according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a Washington, D.C.-based organization. NLIHC says that more than 20 percent of the properties facing foreclosure nationwide are rentals. And, since many rental properties house multiple families, renters could make up 40 percent of the families facing eviction. The organization also thinks low-income and minority families will face the bulk of the rental foreclosures. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have tried to address this problem by suspending evictions of renters in foreclosed properties. The GSEs have extended this program three times since announcing it last fall. —Les Shaver