HUD Secretary to Chair New Council Encouraging Investment in Opportunity Zones

BY  ON DECEMBER 13, 2018

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced that HUD Secretary Ben Carson will be chairing a new council, composed of 13 federal agencies, that will engage with all levels of government on ways to better use taxpayer dollars to revitalize low-income communities.  It will work to improve revitalization efforts by streamlining, coordinating, and targeting existing Federal programs to economically distressed areas, including Opportunity Zones.  The committee, known as the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council was formed via an Executive Order from President Donald J. Trump.

Charles Tassell, Chief Operating Officer of National REIA, said “In an effort to help streamline reinvestment in America, President Trump has asked Secretary Carson to lead a 13 department team in focusing up to $6T in untapped equity that could rejuvenate impoverished areas through Opportunity Zone tax incentives!  Unlike previous zones, the idea behind the Opportunity Zones is to unleash market forces and private money into areas desperately in need of jobs, housing, and business investments…by 2026.  If you aren’t looking into these areas now, you are missing out on the ground floor growth potential!”

The information below is from a HUD release dated 12/12/18:


CREATING OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL: President Trump is encouraging investment to create opportunity in distressed communities. 

  • President Trump today is signing an Executive Order establishing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.
    • The Council will be chaired by Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and comprised of 13 Federal agencies.
  • The Council will engage with all levels of government on ways to better use tax payer dollars to revitalize low-income communities.
  • The Council will improve revitalization efforts by streamlining, coordinating, and targeting existing Federal programs to economically distressed areas, including Opportunity Zones.
    • Lack of coordination and targeting has led to cumbersome applications, program waste, and ineffective benefits.
  • The Council will consider legislative proposals and undertake regulatory reform to remove barriers to revitalization efforts.
  • The Council will present the President with a number of reports identifying and recommending ways to encourage investment in economically distressed communities.

ENCOURAGING INVESTMENT: Opportunity Zones will spur private investment to revitalize hurting communities and unleash their economic potential.

  • In 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which established Opportunity Zones to incentivize long-term investments in low-income communities across the country.
  • These incentives offer capital gains tax relief to investors for new investment in designated Opportunity Zones.
  • Opportunity Zones are anticipated to spur $100 billion in private capital investment.
  • Incentivizing investment in low-income communities fosters economic revitalization and job creation and promotes sustainable economic growth across the Nation.

LIFTING UP COMMUNITIES: Opportunity Zones help drive economic growth and lift up communities that have been left behind.

  • Opportunity Zones are a powerful vehicle for bringing economic growth and job creation to the American communities that need them the most.
    • On average, the median family income in an Opportunity Zone is 37% below the state median.
    • The average poverty rate in an Opportunity Zone is 32%, compared to the national rate of 17%.
    • There are approximately are approximately 760,000 persons living in public housing within Opportunity Zones.
  • 8,761 communities in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and 5 Territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones.
    • Nearly 35 million Americans live in communities designated as Opportunity Zones.


Click here to read the media advisory at

Add your reaction Share

The Details Make The Difference in Short Term Rentals

RPOA’s Rental Property OWNER & Real Estate INVESTOR Podcast hosted by Brian Hamrick

In a recent RPOA podcast, Brian Hamrick talks with Frederick Kidd about nuts & bolts techniques involved in successful short-term rental investing – especially when some owners are getting 3 to 4 times what they would be making from a long-term rental. But, as Brian points out, for every investor who’s making a killing with their short-term rental, there’s another investor who either hasn’t gotten started or is losing money because they’re doing it wrong.  Frederick Kidd shares his best practices for managing short-term rentals remotely, finding the right team members, understanding the expenses, getting the 5-star ratings from guests, communicating effectively when problems occur, and the top things you must do to be successful.  If you’re interested in getting into this market this podcast is a great place to start.


Add your reaction Share

Fannie & Freddie Suspend Evictions Over the Holidays

Government-back giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have announced they will suspend eviction lockouts over the holiday season.  As reported by Mortgage News Daily, the GSEs (Government-Sponsored Enterprises) will start their eviction moratorium (applying to single-family through 4-unit properties) from December 17 through January 2, 2019.

“We believe it is important to extend the timeline of help for struggling borrowers during the holidays,” said Jacob Williamson, Vice President of Single-Family Real Estate at Fannie Mae.

Click here to read the full story at Mortgage News Daily.

Add your reaction Share

Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Seattle’s Rental Inspections Law

Earlier this month a group of tenants and landlords in Seattle, Washington teamed up with the Institute for Justice to file a class action lawsuit against the city for its use of invasive, warrantless searches to inspect rental units. According to a recent article in the Rental Housing Journal, the lawsuit doesn’t seek to stop the city from inspecting rental units (where the tenants agree to the inspection) or keep the city from addressing problem properties. It does, however, want the city to stop entering  private homes of Seattle’s renters without consent or a legally obtained warrant that is based on evidence of a specific problem or issue.  Indeed…

“By subjecting tenants to random, government-mandated inspections that would not occur if that same person owned their home, Seattle is treating renters like second-class citizens,” said William Maurer, the managing attorney of the Institute for Justice’s Washington state office. “Your home is your castle, regardless of whether you rent or own it. It is plainly unconstitutional for Seattle to force renters to open up their homes to government inspectors when nothing is wrong inside.”

Click here to read the full story at Rental Housing Journal.

Click here to read the full release at the Institute for Justice.

Add your reaction Share

HUD Gives $23 Million To Fair Housing Organizations

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded over $23 million to nearly 80 fair housing organizations working to protect consumers from housing discrimination through their Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI).  These grants will be used by fair housing organizations across the country so they can carry out testing and enforcement activities.  Be sure to look at the list of recipients in your city and state.

“It’s been 50 years since the passage of the Fair Housing Act, yet the fight against housing discrimination continues,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “Today we are making another investment to support our fair housing partners and protect families from discrimination.”

Click here to read the full release, including all of the various recipients, from HUD.


Add your reaction Share

Cities Where Homebuyers Are Deepest in Debt

Debt is almost one of those facts of life like death and taxes.  Recent data even show that Americans have over $13 trillion in household debt.  With that in mind the folks over at analyzed mortgages taken out in the first 8 months of 2018 and calculated the median debt-to-income ratio for borrowers in the 200 largest metropolitan areas (limiting it to two metros per state) to find those markets where buyers’ budgets are stretched the most.  Indeed….

“…make no mistake—the real estate implications of high debt loads can be huge, constraining buyers and potentially slowing price appreciation to a crawl. Correspondingly, lower debt levels can be a sign that a housing market has plenty of room to grow..”

Click here to read the full story on


Add your reaction Share

30-Year Mortgage Rate Highest in Eight Years

In case you haven’t been paying attention (which we highly doubt), interest rates have been creeping over the last several months and, according to recently analyzed data by the NAHB’s Eye on Housing, are now approaching an eight-year high.  They say that the 30-year FRM – Commitment rate, inched up considerably by 20 basis points to 4.83% from 4.63% in September, with October’s increase being the highest since early 2011.  Indeed….

“…As a result of rising mortgage rates, affordability is at the lowest level in a decade and new home sales have been soft in recent months…”

Click here to read the full report at the NAHB’s Eye on Housing.


Add your reaction Share

Zumper’s National Rent Report for December

Rental information site Zumper recently released their National Rent Report for December showing that the median national rent for 1-bedroom apartment was $1,212 and the median two-bedroom rent was $1,430.  Year over year, both one and two bedroom prices are up 1.9% and 3.9%, respectively.  Zumper analyzes rental data from over 1 million active listings across the United States. Data is aggregated on a monthly basis to calculate median asking rents for the top 100 metro areas by population, providing a comprehensive view of the current state of the market. The report is based on all data available in the month prior to publication… sure to check out their entire list of 100 cities.

As for 2019;  Zumper predicts:

“Rents in 2019 will most likely see accelerated growth due to pressure from a continued slow for-sale market, with continued interest rates hikes on the horizon, millennials favoring a sharing economy, so owning things, from cars to houses, is becoming less of a priority than it has been before, and an overall lack of available supply to meet a growing demand (U.S. rental vacancy is at 6.8%, which is the lowest it’s been since early 1990’s.”

Click here to read the full report at


Add your reaction Share

ABODO: Rent Prices Increasing Nationwide

National apartment listing site ABODO recently reported that the median nationwide rent price for one-bedroom units in December rose slightly to $1,025 (up .57%) with two-bedroom units coming in again at $1,279 (up .08%).  ABODO uses over 1 million listings across the United States to calculate the median 1-bedroom rent price by city, state, and nation and then track the month-over-month percentage change. To avoid small sample sizes, they restrict their analysis to cities meeting minimum population and property count thresholds.

Click here to read the full report at


Add your reaction Share

Opportunity Zones in Amazon HQ2 Markets

Now that Amazon has revealed the three locations of their second headquarters (aka HQ2), the folks over at ATTOM Data zeroed-in on those locations (New York, Washington, D.C., and Nashville) to analyze their markets vis a vis the new Opportunity Zones created by Congress last year.  Interestingly they found that homes located in Opportunity Zones nationwide and in each of these three markets consistently were sold at a discount but also have appreciated more quickly over the past five years compared to homes outside of the Opportunity Zones.  Their analysis looked at housing characteristics, such as home values and price appreciation for 7.4 million residential properties and 259k home sales in over 3k Opportunity Zones.

“The new Opportunity Zones created by the tax reform legislation passed in December 2017 provide real estate investors with prime, tax-incentivized investing opportunities, particularly if they can find zones that are in the path of progress,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “The newly announced Amazon HQ2 markets certainly qualify as being in the path of progress.”

Click here to read the full report at


Add your reaction Share