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JR Lephew, MSREI

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) multifamily projects are some of the most cautiously vetted in the commercial real estate industry. Their fixed-rate, fully-amortized, non-recourse loans offer some of the lowest interest rates in the business, but are underwritten twice – by HUD and the specific lender of interest. As a result, there are usually only a handful of defaults per year. Even so, HUD has been searching for ways to streamline its underwriting process to reduce waste and inefficiency by eliminating unnecessary paperwork while still providing a higher level of underwriting detail, including environmental and physical property assessments, and higher quality reports (which further lower the risk of default).

In 2012, HUD began formulating the idea to align industry best practices in an effort to streamline, and standardize Capital Needs Assessments (CNAs). The ultimate goal was to ensure that their portfolio of projects was reflective of their overarching mission, as well as functionally sound and financially secure assets. The CNA e-Tool is the product of those efforts, and is now the required reporting template for all Federal Housing Administration-insured loans under the HUD Multifamily Accelerated Process (MAP) 223(f) program, as well as Housing Assistance Payments (HAP), Transfer of Physical Assessments (TPA) and Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) transactions, with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program to follow suit in the near future.

JR Lephew, MSREI

JR Lephew is a Principal and Technical Director for HUD Services at Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. He has over 18 years of experience in due diligence assessments for a variety of property types and the requirements of reporting standards including HUD, ASTM, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and customized client formats. Mr. Lephew specializes in HUD-related environmental and physical due diligence services, including Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP), Lean-Office of Residential Care (ORCF), Architectural & Engineering/Cost Reviews (AEC), Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), and Permits & Approvals (P&A). Mr. Lephew has facilitated extensive compliance with local and state accessibility standards and laws, as well as federal standards such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and Section 504-Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) requirements as they pertain to commercial and multifamily residential building standards and practices. Mr. Lephew has a BA in communication from the University of Maryland at College Park and an MS in Real Estate and Infrastructure from Johns Hopkins University.

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