NHPF Annual Report 2021: Creating Opportunity

Industry Trends & Takeaways for 2021

2021 will long be remembered as a year when hardship, renewal, ingenuity, and elbow grease combined to bring about positive outcomes and a favorable outlook for the future. Not every trend that we encountered was a winning one (The Great Resignation, for example?) but in the aggregate we believe in an upswing for the affordable housing industry in 2022. Here are some of the 2021 trends and takeaways we have kept in mind as we navigate the challenges of this year: THE GREAT RESIGNATION: Twelve million Americans left their jobs in the 3rd quarter of 2021 and the affordable housing industry at large wasn’t spared. However NHPF retained and added new employees continuously, something we owe to more than a simple combination of reliably competitive pay and benefits. “Creative Leadership” led to many of our staff expanding their roles, trying their hands at assignments out of their proscribed wheelhouses, and accomplishing new tasks with aplomb. This “shake-up” instilled confidence, prevented burnout and refreshed our entire staff. Ready for whatever lies ahead? Yes! INCREASING CONSTRUCTION COSTS: A major refrain heard throughout the year was how to grapple with supply shortages and inflated operating expenses. While much of the cost of hard materials remains out of anyone’s control, not so with many other costs of doing business. For example, we found simple measures such as earlier inclusion of our Construction Team in design reduced time and costs accordingly. As well, performing audits on all of internal systems and processes unearthed cost savings. MORE AMERICANS CONCERNED ABOUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Pew Research in 2021 demonstrated that housing concerns outpaced respondent worries about other local issues. The percentage of adults labeling affordable housing a major problem where they live is larger than the percentage saying the same about drug addiction (35%), the economic and health impacts of COVID-19 (34% and 26%, respectively), and crime (22%). IMPACT OF COVID-19: Frankly, across the board from Development to Asset Management to Resident Services, we feel work in 2021 was unimpeded by ongoing Covid-19 concerns. NHPF staff had already incorporated health and safety concerns seamlessly into daily tasks as well as remote work, and 2021 was a very smooth year in that regard for residents and employees. Having a very adaptable, unflappable team gives us confidence that 2022 will be more of the same. NEW INDUSTRY TECHNOLOGY: The rapidity with which new tech comes online is amazing. Organizations which embrace it all will be winners in 2022. Some of the innovations we have adopted that save time, money, and resources include Otter AI, the automated note- taking software, and On-Site IQ which provides constantly updated, virtual, visual pictures of construction sites, helping reduce construction management oversight and administrative costs for projects. RISE IN AFFORDABLE MULTIFAMILY FUNDING: A marvelous statistic from 2021: According to Fannie Mae, the funding of multifamily affordable housing rose more than 23% in 2021 to the highest volume in the history of its 33-year-old Delegated Underwriting and Servicing program. What a great outlook for 2022 and incentive to do all we can to grow that number in the months to come.

The NHP Foundation | Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report


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