LESSONS TO SHARE Beyond the protection of property, communication with team members and occupants, and swift remediation after the fact, there is another level of responsibility
for affordable housing managers that other residential managers needn’t deal with: reporting to the Department of Housing
and Urban Development. With every storm, “We have to put
together a detailed recovery plan—right out of the HUD handbook—that we have to present to them. HUD was involved in
the approval of the specs and they wanted to see the construction schedule. They wanted to make sure dollars spent were
paid out properly in terms of the percentage of work completed.”
For other affordable housing managers whose assets stand in
harm’s way, he advises you to make sure that all of the “T”s are
crossed and “I”s dotted in this additional layer of paperwork.
Also be sure to share all of HUD’s requirements upfront with
any contractors with whom you are involved.
“It’s only fair to them,” he says. “They need to know how
payments get released and what they have to do so their pay-
ments can get all the necessary approvals from HUD and the
mortgage holder. You want to avoid anything getting kicked
back because it’s inaccurate or incomplete.”
Despite Community Realty Management’s nearly 50 years
in the Caribbean, there are still new lessons to be learned.
Prime among these, the firm now has satellite phones to main-
tain communication, no matter the condition of the power grid
or cell towers. “They’re not inexpensive, but cost in this sort of
situation is negligible.”
—SAYS MICHAEL B. SIMMONS, CPM, NAHP®-E.
With every storm, “We have to put
together a detailed recovery plan—
right out of the HUD handbook.”