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Challenges For Financing Multifamily

Today's lending market is getting more conservative because of all the regulation and it seems to take more work to get deals done, according to the executives at Bisnow's recent Annual Multifamily Conference in LA. 


AIG Global Real Estate president and CEO Douglas Tymins, Cusumano Development CEO Michael Cusumano, The Bascom Group managing partner Jerome Fink, Mosaic Real Estate Investors managing partner and co-founder Vicky Schiff, and Allen Matkins partner Mark Hartney made up the panel discussing lending.

One of the biggest challenges is how competitive the market is, according to Mike.

Vicky said the greatest challenge is making sure "our borrowers have the ability to execute the business plan."


There are also financial challenges when it comes to affordable housing, according to Highridge Costa Housing Partners CEO Michael Costa.

In the past 25 years, it's grown "exponentially more difficult" to develop affordable housing, Michael said.

Bank of America SVP Charmaine Atherton said one of the indicators is what the capital stacks look like now. It used to be possible to get money and land from the Community Redevelopment Agency and then possibly money from the city.

These days it’s more like six sources is standard, she said.

Charmaine has done deals with as many as 13 sources, which "makes it complicated and takes a long time," she said.


The panelists, including Affirmed Housing CEO Jim Silverwood and moderator AGH principal of real estate advisory services Wes Hudson, also discussed proposed state legislation, including California Gov. Jerry Brown's "by-right" housing proposal (which has since failed, but may be reconsidered next legislative session).

It proposed bypassing local approvals and allowing by-right development that would include setting aside 20% for affordable housing units in new projects.  

A sentiment echoed throughout was how the entitlement landscape may change with proposed ballot initiatives, including Build Better LA and the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative.