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JLL Jumps Into Affordable Housing Fray With New National Division

Affordable housing in Seattle

JLL Valuation Advisory is launching a national affordable housing division amid growing demand for more financially accessible rental housing.

The new practice is headed by newly promoted managing directors Chip Ard and Andrea Gillman. Both co-heads, who are based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have experience in allocating state and federal taxes, appraisals and other affordable housing-related taxing and laws.

“We continue to see growing demand for affordable housing valuation services, which is best served by having a dedicated national team overseen by two experienced leaders,” said Tony Lenamon, JLL Americas head of valuation advisory, in a release.

“Under Chip and Andrea’s stewardship, the affordable housing platform will be able to thrive as a separate, dedicated team within JLL’s Valuation Advisory group and allow us to service our clients even more.”

JLL previously worked in affordable housing through its multi-housing practice. The new practice will increase its headcount, though JLL didn't specify the exact number.

“The affordable housing market is as active as it has ever been across the country,” Ard said in the release. “Skyrocketing rent growth in the market-rate segment has led to an increased need for more affordable options, and there just aren’t enough affordable units. We expect a surge in the amount of new affordable and workforce housing developments.”

Despite a national need for affordable housing, and more housing in general, groups are struggling to snag funding and overcome hurdles to build more affordable housing units. The stalled Build Back Better bill was supposed to inject billions of dollars into affordable housing, and though the new fiscal 2023 federal budget includes substantial increases in housing program funding, it remains to be seen whether that will survive a congressional vote.

A dozen housing developers nationwide spoke to Bisnow in February about a persistent lack of funding for affordable housing and new struggles that arose out of the pandemic. In Brooklyn, projects were thrown into limbo; in Washington, D.C., local regulations stonewalled a newly created housing conservation nonprofit.