Alliances and Partnerships, Business, Free News Articles, Software

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency partners with ACES Quality Management & Control

DENVER, Colo. -- ACES Quality Management® (ACES), the leading provider of enterprise quality management and control software for the financial services industry, today announced the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency has selected ACES' flagship platform ACES Quality Management & Control® software to support its mortgage origination compliance and quality control (QC).

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency finances and advances affordable housing opportunities for residents with low and moderate incomes throughout the state. The agency offers products and services to help Minnesotans buy and fix up their homes and supports the development and preservation of affordable rental housing through both financing and long-term asset management, all of which help build stronger communities and stabilize the lives of Minnesotans who are financially challenged.

"Minnesota Housing has helped build communities by providing affordable housing and finance options for over 50 years," said ACES CEO Trevor Gauthier. "We are proud to partner with them to ensure quality is built into the loan manufacturing process and their customers receive the highest quality lending experience."

ACES Quality Management & Control software enables financial institutions of all sizes to adequately manage the volume peaks and valleys to ensure quality and compliance throughout their operations while providing the flexibility to scale as volumes change. With ACES Flexible Audit Technology®, QC providers can configure the system to meet its specific needs to improve productivity and quality while controlling costs and risk.

About ACES Quality Management:

ACES Quality Management® is the leading provider of enterprise quality management and control software for the financial services industry. The nation's most prominent lenders, servicers and financial institutions rely on ACES Quality Management & Control® software to improve audit throughput and quality while controlling costs, including:

* 3 of the top 5 and more than 50% of the top 50 independent mortgage lenders;

* 7 of the top 10 loan servicers;

* 11 of the top 30 banks; and

* 1 of the top 3 credit unions in the USA.

Unlike other quality control platforms, only ACES delivers Flexible Audit Technology®, which gives independent mortgage lenders and financial institutions the ability to easily manage and customize ACES to meet their business needs without having to rely on IT or other outside resources. Using a customer-centric approach, ACES clients get responsive support and access to our experts to maximize their investment.

For more information, visit https://www.acesquality.com/ or call 1-800-858-1598.

Related link: https://www.acesquality.com/

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Awards and Honors, Business, Free News Articles

Down Payment Resource Presents 2021 Beverly Faull Affordable Housing Leadership Award to Ruth Johnson

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Down Payment Resource (DPR), the nationwide database for U.S. homebuyer assistance programs, today announced that Ruth Johnson, founder and CEO of Homes for Heroes, has been selected the winner of its fourth annual 2021 Beverly Faull Affordable Housing Leadership Award. Each year, the Beverly Faull Affordable Housing Leadership Award recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in broadening access to homeownership and affordable housing finance solutions.

Johnson was selected for founding Homes for Heroes, a national network of real estate, mortgage and local business specialists that provide housing services at a reduced cost to healthcare professionals, teachers, first responders, active military and veterans. To date, Homes for Heroes has helped give back $100 million in Hero Rewards to more than 50,000 heroes and their families so they can reach their homeownership dreams.

Each year, DPR makes a financial donation to the recipient's housing nonprofit of choice. Johnson has requested the donation be made to the Homes for Heroes Foundation, 501(c)3 nonprofit that aids heroes suffering from housing insecurity with housing assistance and home modification services. The foundation recently celebrated raising $1 million dollars to support heroes in need.

"I am incredibly honored to be named a Beverly Faull Affordable Housing Leadership Award recipient," said Johnson. "In the age of Covid, it is more important than ever to give back to the brave heroes that have remained dedicated to serving our country and its diverse communities throughout this crisis. Helping those heroes has been a lifelong passion of mine, and I look forward to continuing this mission with Homes for Heroes for years to come."

The Beverly Faull Affordable Housing Leadership Award is named in memory of Beverly Faull, a highly regarded housing industry veteran and one of DPR's first employees, who fully embraced the company's mission to provide greater visibility and access to down payment assistance programs.

Previous winners of this award include The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the oldest professional organization for Black and minority real estate professionals, Tonya Todd, Housing Director for Hilltop Securities, Inc. and John O'Callaghan, President and CEO of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc.

For more information about Johnson's ongoing work with Homes for Heroes, visit https://www.homesforheroes.com/.

About Down Payment Resource:

Down Payment Resource (DPR) is a nationwide database of down payment assistance and affordable lending programs. The company tracks funding status, eligibility rules, benefits and more for approximately 2,300 programs in 13 categories. Its award-winning technology helps the housing industry connect more homebuyers to the down payment help they need. DPR has been recognized by Inman News as "Most Innovative New Technology" and the HousingWire Tech100(tm).

DPR is licensed to Multiple Listing Services, Realtor Associations, lenders and housing counselors across the country. DPR's subscription-based service, Down Payment Connect, helps agents and loan officers match buyers to available programs. For more information, please visit DownPaymentResource.com and on Twitter at @DwnPmtResource.

Related link: https://www.downpaymentresource.com/

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Business, Free News Articles, Funding and Investment

Kuni Foundation Awards $100,000 Housing Access Grant to Community Vision

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Community Vision, a leader in advancing self-advocacy and person-focused housing for people who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities, received a $100,000 grant from the Kuni Foundation to enhance housing access efforts.

"Housing access is the basis of leading a self-determined life. When the individuals we work with have housing that meets their needs, the impacts reverberate to other aspects of their lives, and often the growth is nothing short of transformative. I am excited to see the advances we will make in equitable access to housing thanks to our partnership with the Kuni Foundation," says Allen Hines, Community Vision's Housing Access Director.

The region's lack of affordable housing impacts people who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) especially hard, as this community is often left out of affordable housing policy discussions and planning. Yet the majority of individuals who experience I/DD are low income and increasingly face housing insecurity.

In addition to financial challenges, individuals who experience I/DD are continually isolated, due to decades of systemic barriers that prevent inclusion. Thirty years after the adoption of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), people are still grouped together outside the classroom, in specialized housing, and in certain areas of the community. Individuals often face multiple barriers to accessing safe, stable, and affordable housing such as communication challenges, lack of understanding and outright discrimination. These factors, combined with a lack of navigation conspire to limit independent and person-focused housing options for individuals who experience I/DD.

"Our goal is to transform a lack of understanding and awareness regarding the housing needs of individuals who experience I/DD into enthusiasm and action for increased options and opportunities," said Greg Goodwin, Board Chair of the Kuni Foundation. "We're excited about this initiative and proud to support the inclusive efforts of Community Vision, who work to bring the words and intentions of the ADA to life."

In response to the housing crisis faced by people who experience I/DD, the Housing Access Program will focus on three main areas: the development of new units; housing support and navigation services; and advocacy efforts.

To advance the creation of affordable, accessible units, Community Vision will partner with local housing developers and Community Development Corporations (CDCs) to set aside units in new housing projects for people who experience I/DD and think creatively about other housing options, such as ADUs. The organization will also help families and individuals navigate the complexities of accessing affordable housing, in addition to providing the support and resources people need to be successful in maintaining housing. In collaboration with activists, providers and other stakeholders, Community Vision will advocate for system change at the local and state level, including state rental assistance funding, integrated and inclusive housing models, and the development of an accessible rental registry.

About Community Vision:

Since 1989, Community Vision has worked to ensure that people with disabilities can live, work and thrive in the communities of their choice. The organization provides supported living, employment services, housing resources, financial education, advocacy, and assistive technology. To learn more, visit https://cvision.org/

About the Kuni Foundation:

Based in Vancouver, Washington, the Kuni Foundation funds cancer research and supports programs and initiatives that enhance the lives of adults who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more at https://www.kunifoundation.org/ or via Twitter at @KuniFoundation.

*PHOTO link for media: https://www.Send2Press.com/300dpi/20-0806s2p-kuni-fdn-colleen-300dpi.jpg
*Caption: Colleen found housing that fits her needs and preferences thanks to the work of Community Vision. Thirty years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, housing remains a critical need for people who experience disability as affordable housing policies and projects often exclude this community.

Media Contact:
Angela Hult
Angela.hult@kunifoundation.org

Related link: https://www.kunifoundation.org/

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, NonProfit and Charities, Real Estate

Coalition for Responsible Community Development Expands Executive Leadership Team

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD), a South LA based non-profit serving the community through youth, workforce and economic development initiatives, is proud to announce the addition of two members to their executive leadership team, Chief Operating Officer Angela LoBue and Chief Real Estate and Economic Development Officer Alejandro Martinez. The increase in senior staff will allow CRCD to develop new programs and initiatives while expanding their footprint.

CRCD was established in 2005 by community leaders in an effort to bring resources to underserved youth in South LA including workforce development and education programs, permanent supportive and affordable housing, as well as opportunities to serve and lead in their own neighborhoods. CRCD has connected more than 2,950 young people with diplomas, jobs, and housing; currently manages a combined investment of $103 million in South LA real estate with their partners; and runs City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department sponsored WorkSource and YouthSource centers that support low-income individuals with job placement and workforce training.

Angela LoBue brings to CRCD extensive experience having worked directly with children, youth, and young adults experiencing the child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health systems in the San Francisco Bay Area, Angela saw firsthand the impact of these systems on the development and success of youth and young adults and the communities where they live. She saw that real change requires comprehensive partnership and collaboration across sectors, and sees her role as a navigator to implement these resources in the community.

As Chief Operating Officer at CRCD, Angela will oversee the strategic integration and coordination of CRCD's departments, with a focus on sustainable growth and impact. Prior to joining the team at CRCD, Angela served as the Youth Systems Integration Manager at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), where she oversaw the development, implementation, and programs that make up the coordinated entry system for youth in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care. Angela first began working with CRCD as a Program Manager in the Los Angeles office of CSH, where she managed the local transition age youth (TAY) initiatives, which aimed to better understand the model of Permanent Supportive Housing for TAY, in the context of tenant characteristics, support service needs, and outcomes.

Alejandro Martinez has dedicated his professional career to ensuring that underserved communities have access to quality affordable housing and appropriate supportive services in Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles and throughout the City and County of Los Angeles. Developing affordable housing in these communities has been a great tool to revitalize the built environment but also the human spirit, which in turn engages people in communities to build civic and social engagement.

In his most recent position as VP of Real Estate at East LA Community Corporation (ELACC), Alejandro served as Vice President of Real Estate and Asset Management. The ELACC Real Estate Department developed a variety of project types from single family subdivisions, permanent supportive housing, to large family affordable rental housing projects by accessing local, state and federal programs. During his tenure at ELACC, he developed over $250M in affordable housing projects as the Chief Real Estate and Economic Development Officer Alejandro will oversee all CRCD real estate functions including ways to increase affordable housing in South Los Angeles and ways to boost economic investments in the business and residential corridors of the area.

"We are very excited to announce the addition of Angela and Alejandro to our executive team," commented Mark Wilson, Executive Director of CRCD. "The expertise that they each bring to the organization will support our ongoing efforts to expand programs and our service areas. We look forward to working with them and our exceptional community leaders who have demonstrated their dedication to our shared mission."

For more information about CRCD and their programs visit http://www.coalitionrcd.org/.

Related link:

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Architecture, Business, Construction and Building, Free News Articles

Choli Aronson of Currie Sowards Aguila Architects Addresses Social Responsibility and Healthy Communities at AIA National Conference

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. -- Last week's American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Conference in Orlando united the country's leading decision makers from across the industry for innovative presentations on the best practices for building a better world. Choli Aronson, Senior Associate at Currie Sowards Aguila Architects (www.csa-architects.com) in Delray Beach, addressed the hot button topic of social responsibility in architecture.

Discussing the success of the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), she examined emerging issues in the affordable housing category.

"There are several topics that must be addressed in order to build the kind of affordable housing which will nurture healthy families," explained Choli, AIA, LEED AP BD&C. "During my presentation, I discussed current housing issues including grandparents as child care providers, aging in place designs and multi-generational/multi-income communities."

Choli spoke of the need for affordable housing units to adjust age restrictions to allow for the expanding trend of grandparents assuming the role as primary caregivers for their grandchildren. She also addressed the nature of design to enhance the elderly's independence. And she showcased the importance of restoring the street grid to integrate affordable housing into the community while mixing multiple generation, multiple incomes and multiple housing options in one area.

Choli was encouraged by the partners at Currie Sowards Aguila Architects to serve on the Delray Beach Housing Authority, and during the Orlando conference she highlighted a successful partnership that transformed the historic LaFrance Hotel into a low income senior housing complex.

When the LaFrance opened in the late 1940's it was the only Black-owned hotel between Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale. In 2004, the Delray Beach CRA purchased the LaFrance to redevelop the property while preserving its history. CSA Architects was hired to renovate the original 3,800 SF hotel building and include a 4,000 SF addition. Now used as low-income senior housing, the complex contains eight studio units, six 1-bedroom units, laundry facilities and storage, all built around a common courtyard.

"This project exemplifies social responsibility," said Aronson. "This redevelopment preserved an historic site, one of tremendous pride for the community, while creating much needed affordable senior housing, assuring that the older residents would have an opportunity to remain in their beloved neighborhood."

About Currie Sowards Aguila:

Founded in 1969, the award-winning architecture firm's bold designs have enriched communities around the globe. The team's creative inspirations have graced cultural centers, residential communities, commercial / mixed-use developments and an array of municipal projects.

The versatile practice, known for its distinctive designs, has garnered acclaim for their singular ability to transform once utilitarian facilities into iconic structures for municipalities. From community centers to parking garages, fire stations to bridges, CSA allows design to be experienced in unexpected ways.

Their practice is augmented by the commitment of the partners to community involvement. Bob Currie, Jess Sowards and Jose Aguila have defined their legacy through their philosophy of "giving back by design and service."

Learn more about Currie Sowards Aguila Architects at: http://www.csa-architects.com/.

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Free News Articles, Government, Real Estate, Restaurant, Hotel and Hospitality

Housing Advocates and Los Angeles Residents Call on Los Angeles City Council to Limit Short-Term Rentals in L.A.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- A growing alliance of affordable housing advocates, local neighborhood renters and homeowners, hotel employees and hotel representatives gathered today in front of Los Angeles City Hall to call on City officials to adopt smart regulations for short-term rentals, according to Keep Neighborhoods First.

Participants urged the City Council to adopt a low limit on the number of days per year a host could rent a unit short-term.

"Regulations must include a cap on the total number of days hosts are permitted to rent short-term. This cap must be low enough as to not economically incentivize landlords to rent short-term instead of long-term," explained Becky Dennison, Executive Director of Venice Community Housing Corporation. "The current draft has a cap that is much too high. We believe the right number is 60 days per year - and other cities agree."

Dennison mentioned caps in Santa Monica and Amsterdam of 60 days; as well as 90-day caps recently implemented in San Francisco, New Orleans and London. Palm Springs enacted a cap of 32 days. The draft ordinance currently being considered in Los Angeles includes a cap of 180 days, or six months out of the year.

The group also expressed strong support for banning any type of short-term rentals in rent-stabilized (RSO) units, arguing that allowing RSO units to be rented short-term will result in significantly more risk for some of our most vulnerable renters than any possible benefit.

"As a longtime tenants' rights advocate, I can assure you that short-term rental practices has literally put a target on the back of every renter living in RSO housing. Tenants are being evicted and units are being converted to short-term because landlords make MUCH more money renting short-term," said Larry Gross, Executive Director of Coalition For Economic Survival. "We can no longer allow short-term rental companies to continue to operate practically unchecked. Their practices of taking critically needed affordable rent control units off the market is making our already dire housing situation worse."

Also on hand were hotel representatives that called on the City to enact regulations built on sound politics, not false budgetary needs. Specifically, the California Hotel and Lodging Association quoted a recent report related to the downfall of cities accepting voluntary taxes from Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms. The voluntary agreements are being questioned all over the nation.

"We're adding the voice of the state's hotel industry to the Los Angeles community asking for a city ordinance that ensures a level playing field for those of us in the hotel industry and full transparency from all short-term rental platforms," said Lynn Mohrfeld, President & CEO California Hotel & Lodging Association.

The City Council is expected to take up the current draft ordinance in coming weeks, beginning with the Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM).

More information on Keep Neighborhoods First: http://www.keepneighborhoodsfirst.org/.

Venice Community Housing Corporation - http://www.vchcorp.org/

Coalition for Economic Survival - http://www.cesinaction.org/

California Hotel & Lodging Association - http://www.calodging.com/

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