The Housing Council

2014 IREM Vendor Showcase

BEST DEAL IN TOWN

2014 IREM VENDOR SHOWCASE

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26TH
11:30AM – 2:30 PM Double Tree Hotel, 1111 Jefferson Road
Admission $10 Includes Vendors, Lunch, Raffles

Click here for more information.

MINI SEMINARS
Grants Rebate Programs NYRSERDA and RG&E
11:30am—Noon
Buffalo Energy Carl Ceccanti
Plumbing and Heating
12:15pm-12:45pm
Ferguson Enterprises Gary Mule
On Line Payment Solutions
1:00 pm-1:30pm
Pay Rent Chex Lou DiRenzo
Emergency Planning
1:45pm-2:15pm
Servpro SE Mike Necci

IREM’s Mission:

Our Mission is to provide the Chapter’s CPM (Certified Property Manager) and ARM (Accredited Residential Manager) members with up-to-date information about chapter activities, educational opportunities, employment information, and industry news.

IREM Rochester – Western New York Chapter 58 covers a 23 county area, from Syracuse westward, in Upstate New York. Our membership currently includes 60 active CPM members, 4 CPM Emeritus, 1 Lifetime CPM, 23 Candidates, 80 active ARM members, 14 Associate. Fourteen property management firms hold the AMO designation within our Chapter area.

The Chapter is governed by an Executive Council elected annually by the membership, in accordance with the Chapter and National Bylaws. The Executive Council consists of: The Chapter President, Vice President, and up to two Members at Large. Non-voting participants on the Executive Council include the Chairpersons of the various committees established by the Council, including Minority Outreach, Education, Vendor Fair, and Experience Exchange, and others as may be determined necessary. The Executive Council generally meets monthly to ensure the proper function of chapter activities, and appoints members to attend Regional Training Conferences and National Meetings and Conferences, who in turn report back to the chapter regarding those activities.

Congress to cap flood insurance hikes at 18%

WASHINGTON-Rochester-area residents living in the town of Gates and elsewhere likely won’t have to worry that they will lose their homes due to dramatic increases in flood insurance premiums.

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to pass legislation capping the annual premium increases at 18 percent, and the Senate is expected to pass the same measure soon.

The bill “absolutely saves families from losing their homes immediately,” town of Gates Supervisor Mark Assini said Wednesday. He added that an 18 percent increase would be “a pretty hard pill to swallow” for homeowners with tight budgets or living on a fixed income.

From the RBJ…Building firm aims to grow key markets

Taking a bigger piece of growing markets for retail, education and multifamily housing construction and expanding its operating territory are goals for R-J Taylor General Contractors Inc., which does business as Taylor, the Builders.

The Penfield-based general contracting firm marks its 30th anniversary this year. Its expansion will focus on the Southern Tier and Ithaca regions, said CEO and co-founder James Taylor.

While there are plans to grow, the business will continue to focus on customer satisfaction, he said.

“Clients can’t afford to have people come back for repairs,” Taylor said. “Things have to be done right the first time.”

Started in 1984, the company was co-founded by Richard Taylor, James’ father. He worked for small- to midsize regional businesses that did not have internal construction departments. He was named president in 1986.  read more at the RBJ…

Renting to Monroe County Temporary Assistance Clients updated for 2014

As an owner or manager of rental property in Monroe County, you may encounter prospective tenants who are recipients of Temporary Assistance. While federal and state laws do not require you to rent to individuals and families who receive Temporary Assistance, it is to your advantage to assess each applicant on an individual basis regardless of source of income. Read the updated publication to learn procedures and regulations of the Monroe County Department of Human Services as they apply to renting to Temporary Assistance clients.

Follow the link below:

Renting to Monroe County Temporary Assistance Clients updated for 2014 

Slaughter Secures $110 Million in Lead Safety Funding

Slaughter Secures $110 Million in Lead Safety Funding

Bill Adds $60 Million to Original House Proposal

ROCHESTER, NY – Today, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) announced $110 million for lead poisoning prevention from the funding package that passed last week – a $60 million increase over the original proposal offered by House Republicans last year.

 In April of last year, Slaughter pushed for an increase in funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. In June, Rep. Slaughter criticized House Republicans’ effort to gut lead safety funding by 61 percent in the Fiscal Year 2014 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations package. Funding was restored to a level of $110 million in the final legislation.

“Our local campaign against eradicating lead poisoning has been a massive success and a model for the nation – now is not the time to hold back on our efforts,” Rep. Slaughter said. “I pushed for this increase in funding because no child in America should be subject to the permanent damage caused by lead poisoning, and parents deserve the peace of mind that their home is a safe place for their children.”

Slaughter also worked to protect funding for the Centers for Disease Control’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program after 94% of the funding for the program was cut in FY12. The $15 million in funding represents a seven-fold increase from the $2 million figure provided in FY12.

Rochester has made remarkable progress on preventing child lead poisoning in recent years, but more must be done. According to the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, the number of detected cases of lead poisoning in Monroe County children under six years old fell for the third straight year, down to 182 children in 2012 from 222 in 2011 and 290 in 2010. Since 2000, the number of children under six years old in Monroe County testing positive for lead poisoning has declined by over 85 percent.

“I want to thank Rep. Slaughter for pushing for this increase in funding. Locally, we’ve seen lead poisoning cases in children drop almost ten-fold since 2000, and if we want to ultimately eradicate lead poisoning in our community, we have to maintain our investment in detection and prevention,” said Mel Callan, co-chair of the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning.

Lead is a highly toxic metal that when absorbed by the skin, inhaled, or swallowed can cause behavioral and cognitive problems, damage to vital organs, and mental and physical development problems.  To learn more, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/nlppw.htmor call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD. To contact the New York State Department of Health about NLPPW events, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/healthyhomes/programs/ny.htm.

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Katie LaShomb

Community Liaison/Press Assistant

Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY25)

3120 Federal Building, Rochester, NY 14614

o: 585.232.4850 bb: 202.680.0813

e: katie.lashomb@mail.house.gov

f: 585.232.1954

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One of downtown Rochester’s architectural gems has a storied past, a dismal present and perhaps a new future.

One of downtown Rochester’s architectural gems has a storied past, a dismal present and perhaps a new future.

A Syracuse real estate developer plans to remake the long-vacant Bevier Memorial Building on South Washington Street into housing and office space. Apublic hearing is scheduled for Jan. 21 on a set of county tax breaks being sought by Franklin Bevier LLC toward the $3.85 million project.

The pedigree of the Bevier building is notable. It was designed by noted Rochester architect Claude Bragdon, whose portfolio also includes downtown’s First Universalist Church building. And it sits on the site of Rochester founder Nathaniel Rochester’s home. But the four-story building, built in 1910, has been vacant and decaying for at least a decade.

“We’d looked at it for several years, just driving by and noting it,” said Douglas Sutherland, one of the principals with Franklin Properties. “Intriguing building. Really handsome structure. Marvelous tile work. Good-sized windows.”

But, he added, “Each year it looked a little worse than the year before. It looked like the kind of thing we enjoy bringing it back to life.”

Downtowns across upstate New York have been a residential real estate success story in recent years.

In downtown Buffalo, historic building renovation projects proposed in recent months include the Miller’s Livery building on West Huron Street and the Knights of Columbus building on Delaware Street, while a 78-unit apartment complex, Buffalo River Lofts, was announced last year for Ohio Street.

And Syracuse’s downtown population, at about 3,000, is up nearly 50 percent over the past decade, according to the Downtown Committee of Syracuse.

More than 6,000 people live in downtown Rochester, and between 2000 and 2010 that population grew more than 11 percent at the same time the city’s overall population was declining, according to the Rochester Downtown Development Corp.

Downtown Rochester’s numbers continue to grow. Along with the Bevier project, the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency has before it the proposed $6.8 million renovation of 155 and 169 Saint Paul St. into 54 lofts and retail space.

Behind that proposed project are developers Larry Glazer and Robert Morgan — who last year received nearly $19 million in COMIDA tax breaks toward redeveloping downtown’s Midtown Tower into office and retail space and 181 apartments — and Dan Morgenstern, one of the principals at St. Paul Properties, which previously redeveloped 116 St. Paul.

Franklin Properties’ Sutherland said that while the office market in upstate is soft, “There are some residential opportunities … in particular spots.”

Plans for the 26,000-square-foot Bevier building are for 15 loft-style apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail space. Work is expected to start in June and take about 12 months, Sutherland said.

Last month, Rochester City Council approved canceling any past-due city taxes on the property owed by current owner Robert Conte and a loan of up to $750,000 to help cover redevelopment costs.

Demand for downtown housing is driven by young professionals and by empty nesters now downsizing. “Those two markets, the belief is, they’ll continue to grow for some time,” he said.

MDANEMAN@DemocratandChronicle.com

Three factions at odds over Pittsford housing plan

Since it was unveiled, there have been scores of public meetings and nearly as many consultants and lawyers. Wrangling over code requirements and a volley of lawsuits among the developer, the village and angry residents have sunk the project — 167 apartment units and a 125-seat restaurant — into political and legal limbo with no immediate prospect of disentanglement.

At a court hearing earlier this month, the developers asked a state Supreme Court judge to bar the village trustees from doing anything to interfere with a public hearing set for this coming Wednesday. The Friends of Pittsford Village asked the judge to strike down an approval the developer secured because proper procedure hadn’t been followed. The village asked him to keep everyone else out of its proper business.

In short, it’s a mess, and neither the key players nor several interested observers could offer much practical wisdom as to how other municipalities or developers could avoid a similar predicament.

How did it get this bad?

The three principals — Mark IV, the village and Friends of Pittsford Village, a resident group opposing the project — all had ready answers.

“You can start with a mayor that doesn’t lie,” Mark IV Chief Operating Officer Chris DiMarzo said. He accused Pittsford Mayor Robert Corby of manipulating the political process to stall the project and said the village, already mostly developed, doesn’t have the expertise to work with builders.

“We feel everybody should comply with our code requirements,” Corby said, casting the village trustees as protectors of Pittsford’s historic character. He said DiMarzo changed the site plan beyond what is acceptable then blustered with its lawyers when the village called him on it.

“The developer didn’t listen,” Friends of Pittsford Village president Justin Vliestra said. He represents village residents who think the project is too large and will disrupt traffic on Monroe Avenue, among other complaints. “If you know what the stance of a majority of the residents is but you ignore it and go through with it anyway, things go wrong.”

The developer’s decision to relocate its restaurant away from the Erie Canal toward Monroe Avenue is being held up by the village as possible grounds for a new environmental review. Questions of political process are in front of Supreme Court Justice John Ark, and the village will hear public input Wednesday in deciding whether to grant site plan approval.

Both Corby and DiMarzo said they believed communication early in the planning process was important. But it appears one of the village’s mechanisms for that communication, its Development Review Committee, did more harm than good.

That committee comprises members of the village board of trustees, the planning board and the preservation board. It meets in private with developers — skirting open meetings law by not having a quorum from any one of the boards — to hash out details of proposed projects.

That committee convened several times to discuss Westport Crossing. At the court hearing earlier this month, Mark IV’s lawyers repeatedly said the reason the developer moved the restaurant was that Corby and others recommended it during a committee meeting.

Corby responded by saying those meetings were “just a discussion.” If the developer wants to move the restaurant, he said, it should be prepared to go through the permitting process again.

He defended the Development Review Committee and accused Mark IV of “(using) it as a tool to push their agenda.”

“I think we have to rethink the limits of what that body is about,” he said. “It’s about communication, not about making binding decisions.”

Building tension

Former trustee Trip Pierson ran against Corby for mayor last year and lost. He supports the development and said he has “no idea” why the process has been so cumbersome.

“Why we as a village are making this so difficult, I don’t know,” he said. “If I knew the answer, maybe I would have done better in the election.”

Architect Roger Brown has worked for both the village and the developer. He helped create Pittsford’s 2002 comprehensive plan and also worked for Mark IV, trying to marry the village’s vision with the developer’s needs.

He said the unpleasantness surrounding the project is partly a product of the tension between residents wary of high density and a developer who needs to make his investment pay off.

“As the density increased, you’re creating a disparity with the way things are traditionally done in Pittsford — single family, two or three stories at the most — and people would look at that and say it’s not compatible,” he said.

“It’s just hard to convince the public sometimes. The developer is victimized by the cost it takes to make this happen and the public can’t understand that and thinks the density will be detrimental, when in fact, over time, it would probably be a very good thing for the village’s economic vitality.”

Westport Crossing isn’t the first development in Rochester’s suburbs to be slow-tracked: Anthony Costello noted his plan for the Reserve, a housing development on the canal in Brighton, took eight years to get approval.

“I don’t know whether any work ahead of time could alleviate (all the) problems that might come up as the process goes on,” he said. “It depends on the individuals who are involved in the process and what they see as the future of their community.”

JMURPHY7@DemocratandChronicle.com

Twitter.com/CitizenMurphy

If you go

There will be a public hearing on final site plan approval for Westport Crossing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15 at Pittsford Village Hall, 21 N. Main St.

For more information, go to villageofpittsford.org or call (585) 586-4332.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV)

SU EBV-F Recruiting Poster

The Entrepr
eneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) is a one-of-a-kind initiative that leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veter
ans with service-related disabilities.

 

The next class is kicking off at  Syracuse University March 7 – 14, 2014.  The deadline to apply is February 1, 2014.  For more information and toapply, please visit, http://vets.syr.edu/ebvf
Please share with your veterans and family members as appropriate.

Title Track: New year, new CFPB mortgage rules

Title Track: New year, new CFPB mortgage rules

By William M. Butler
Posted: 4:15 am Tue, January 14, 2014

William M. Butler

William M. Butler

While most of us are just getting back into the swing of things after all the New Year’s Eve festivities or getting used to writing 2014 instead of 2013 on our documents, new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules for mortgage Lending went live on Jan. 10.

In cooperation with Congress, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) established the CFPB to protect consumers by carrying out federal consumer financial laws. Among other things, they:

• Write rules, supervise companies, and enforce federal consumer financial protection laws;

• Restrict unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices;

• Take consumer complaints;

• Promote financial education;

• Research consumer behavior;

• Monitor financial markets for new risks to consumers; and

• Enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance.

The CFPB final rules document is over 800 pages long, so in the interest of time, I will point out three of the important changes you need to know:

1. New loan applicant(s) should have the Ability to Repay (ATR) the loan. Lenders must document and verify employment, income, assets, current debt obligations and credit. Most lenders have already been doing this, but the rules have standardized how this is to be done, and what documentation is required to provide due diligence.

2. Qualified Mortgage (QM) products need to be available to the borrower. A QM assumes that the lender has already verified all factors in the ATR and is providing a loan that has rate, points and fees that are fair and have no predatory or disadvantageous terms.

3. The QM guidelines include The 3 percent rule — finance charges, points (excluding bona fide discount points) and fees cannot exceed 3 percent of the loan amount (based on a loan amount equal to or greater than $ 100,000). Also, compensation paid by a creditor to a mortgage broker must be included in points and fees, in addition to any origination charges paid by a consumer to a creditor. This is an excerpt from CFPB final rule (at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201301_cfpb_final-rule_ability-to-repay.pdf) that verifies what fees can be used in the 3 percent calculation:

Real estate-related fees

(§ 1026.32(b)(1)(iii))

The following categories of charges are excluded from points and fees only if:

1. The charge is reasonable;

2. The creditor receives no direct or indirect compensation in connection with the charge; and

3. The charge is not paid to an affiliate of the creditor.

If one or more of those three conditions is not satisfied, you must include these charges in points and fees even if they would be excluded from the finance charge:

• Fees for title examination, abstract of title, title insurance, property survey and similar purposes;

• Fees for preparing loan-related documents, such as deeds, mortgages, and reconveyance or settlement documents;

• Notary and credit-report fees;

• Property appraisal fees or inspection fees to assess the value or condition of the property if the service is performed prior to consummation, including fees related to pest-infestation or flood-hazard determinations; and

• Amounts paid into escrow or trustee accounts that are not otherwise included in the finance charge (except amounts held for future payment of taxes).

Why do lenders want to comply with the CFPB rules with regards to QM? They are not required to originate qualified mortgage products, but a non-QM or high cost loan will not be protected by safe harbor rules and deemed unsalable with investors like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. If a lender wants to originate non-QM products, they may have to keep them in their own portfolio, and be under additional scrutiny by the CFPB. I would agree that there would be an underserved market need for non-QM products, but it would be the exception rather than the rule in today’s tighter mortgage lending industry.

Ultimately, the CFPB was designed to help people buy and keep houses they can afford to live in and create stability in the housing market. I believe that by promoting full transparency in the entire real estate and lending industry this will be accomplished. Anything that creates an unfair and unnecessary expense to a borrower, and creates additional profit for those involved should be unveiled, disclosed, and allow the borrower to make the appropriate decisions. These rules will effectively create a level playing field for borrowers to receive fair treatment by lenders and service providers and creates a process for consumer complaints. For more information on this or other Consumer Financial Protection Bureau information — you can go to the CFPB website at www.ConsumerFinance.gov or call 1 (855) 411-2372.

William M. Butler is the vice president of Business Development for WebTitle Agency, an authorized title insurance issuing agent for First American Title Insurance Co. of New York, Fidelity National Insurance Co. and Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. WebTitle Agency offices are located at 500 A Canal View Blvd., Rochester, NY 14623; and the Executive Office Building, 36 W. Main St., Suite 51, Rochester, NY 14614; phone (888) 250-9056; www.webtitle.us.
Read more: http://nydailyrecord.com/blog/2014/01/14/title-track-new-year-new-cfpb-mortgage-rules/#ixzz2qPp0aDAH

Unite Rochester 2014: Housing

None of the problems that contribute to widespread racial and socioeconomic inequities in Rochester exist in a vacuum.

So it is no surprise that the lack of quality, affordable housing in the region is exacerbated by one problem (high rates of city unemployment) and, in turn, contributes mightily to others (poor academic performance among city students and the utterly high degree of segregation of the county).

Tackling persistent disparities in housing thus touches on issues affecting Rochester’s economically disadvantaged residents across the board.

Unite Rochester: Our biggest stories from 2013

More topics of discussion:Justice — Jobs — Education

Jim Lawrence: Rochester’s caring must translate into action

Housing discrimination was outlawed by the 1968 Fair Housing Act but, as is often the case when it comes to civil rights, practices made illegal on the books live on in less-blatant ways. The result: A recent analysis by the Rochester Area Community Foundation found Rochester’s poorest residents more heavily clustered than almost anywhere else in the country, with 47 percent of city residents living in neighborhoods of extreme poverty.

The Rochester Housing Authority has rightly made increasing its inventory of properties a top priority.

Now, more elected leaders must step up to encourage and welcome more affordable housing in their communities, as Gates Supervisor Mark Assini has done.

And national leaders must shore up federal Section 8 housing voucher funds, which have been repeatedly slashed over the past five years.

And, of course, more living-wage jobs in the region would provide more opportunity for the unemployed to seek better housing.

Poverty has chained too many Rochester residents to a life of hardship. The housing link of this chain must be broken.