During today’s general session of the very first National Skilled Nursing Investment Forum (held by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry [NIC]) in San Diego, attendees heard from a panel of HUD-approved lenders and experts on the “practical realities” of the HUD LEAN application process.
HUD LEAN Panel
Leonard A Lucas, First Vice President-Senior Loan Originator, Love Funding Corp.
Scott Moore, Managing Director, RED Mortgage Capital, Inc.
T. Brian Pollard, Managing Director, Lancaster Pollard
Moderated by Alan Plush, President, HealthTrust
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)/Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured funding has, as NIC states in its program for the Forum, “become the dominant source of capital in the tenuous credit environment.” With the LEAN application process for HUD funding in place for more than a year, the panel was assembled to discuss some key issues influencing delays or rejections of submissions. These issues will have a direct impact on seniors housing for years to come.
There is already a growing queue of applications waiting to be financed, which was not by design, the panel said. Here are some current challenges affecting the timing of the HUD LEAN process:
· Understaffing (program was originally forecasted to have 100 employees; there is currently around half of that number dedicated)
· Risk management
· Portfolio monitoring and asset management
To address the issues with timing, a “green lane” has been implemented for the process to allow lower risk loans to be approved with faster processing times. However, because the green lane is relatively new, there is not enough data to show if this feature is actually any faster than the normal process. The panel hinted that perhaps in six months to a year from now enough information will have been collected to give a precise update on the green lane’s effectiveness.
Forget about being high risk
HUD applications are a tough sell. So tough, in fact, that two-thirds of HUD applications over the last four months have been rejected, the panel said.
The following characteristics can make an application high risk:
· Location in a HUD-declared high risk state, which include one of the following eight states heavily affected by the economic downturn: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio
· A full market rate project