Page 1

May 2014

Cornerstones Accessibility 101: Fair Housing Act Requirements.................4

What do Idahoans Dream of in a Dream Home?

Serving Those Who Served Our Country Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program........................5

There’s no question a lot has changed in the housing industry as it has moved through the housing crisis. As the recession thaws and home buying heats up again, there’s renewed focus on what buyers are looking for and the factors that drive their decisions.

Future Looks Bright for Young REALTOR® Jennifer Brunson Helps Homebuyers in Eastern Idaho............6 Housing Developments Statewide............................. 7 Programs and Services Updates .............................. 8 IHFA’s Community Involvement.........................10 Calendar of Events.................11

One thing is clear: Buyers’ priorities and preferences have clearly shifted. Regardless of the demographic, the decisions people make when they buy, build, or renovate are based on ways they can improve their lives, said Stephen Melman, an expert on housing trends for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Melman, the NAHB’s director of economic services, contributed to a comprehensive survey released in February 2013 that reveals that homeowners’

priorities after the recession revolve around energy efficiency and organization. “Things like walk-in closets in the master bedroom or a laundry room that’s well-ventilated, well-lit, and wellorganized… none of that is terribly sexy but it adds value,” Melman said, because it helps homeowners spend “more time doing the things they want to do instead of stuff they have to do.” …continued on page 2

Market Trends: Idaho’s Rental Housing With an increase of foreclosures during the Great Recession, and consumer confidence being shaken regarding homeownership, the number of renter households in the United States saw quite an increase. According to the most recent Joint Center for Housing Studies the 2000s marked the strongest decade of growth in renter households over the past half-century. Renter households rose at double the rate of recent decades to a total of 43 million in 2013, and is expected to increase to between 4.0 and 4.7 million by 2023. With the economy recovering and the rate of foreclosures dropping, the rental trend is turning toward urban apartments according to ­— at least on a national level. To get a better understanding of how the economic recovery is affecting the rental housing market in Idaho and what renters are looking for, we spoke to property managers in each area of the state. …continued on page 3

Idaho Housing and Finance Association is expanding housing and funding opportunities statewide.

Focus: Housing Preferences

What do Idahoans Dream of in a Dream Home? …continued from cover The same goes for energy efficiency. “Nine out of 10 buyers would choose a highly energy-efficient home with lower utility bills rather than one costing 2-3 percent less without those features,” the survey pointed out. In fact, four of the most-desired features involve saving energy— from Energy Star-rated appliances to energy efficiency in the laundry room. Idaho home buyers seem to fit into the national trend according to Steve Martinez, the immediate past president of the Idaho Building Contractors Association. “People want more efficient furnaces and water heaters or thicker insulation and better windows,” Martinez said. As energy-efficient features have gotten more cost-effective and mainstream, Martinez said his company is starting to see people re-prioritize where they spend their money on a home with an eye on the initial costs and ongoing maintenance. “Retirees who are on a fixed income say, ‘We only have so much coming in every month I can’t have a house that is eating up a chunk of that in maintenance costs.’ Then, we’re seeing it from the younger demographic that has had that mentality growing up.” While buyers overwhelmingly said they want energy efficiency in a home, the conundrum is they’re not willing to pay a premium for it, according to the NAHB report. It’s a balancing act for wary buyers, Melman said.

fixtures, a well-organized laundry room, bathroom linen closets, ceiling fans, and exterior lighting.

“You get to a point where a buyer is going to opt out of a tankless hot water heater, an extra level of insulation or the more high-quality appliance,” Melman said. “You’re talking about people who are buying $225,000 homes, so if you add 5 percent to the cost that’s significant.”

Even in starter homes, amenities such as, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances have almost “become an expectation,” said Troy Ashworth, an associate broker for Idaho’s Silvercreek Realty Group.

Quality Over Quantity The NAHB survey showed that consumers are still cost-conscious but that, too, only goes so far these days. Homebuyers increasingly demand high-end amenities, especially in the kitchen, even if that means a smaller home.

Still, Ashworth said he works with a lot of buyers who are willing to trade high-end upgrades for more space.

“The last five years it was quantity over quality in the majority of the market. People were trying to maximize square footage for the cheapest price they could absolutely get,” Martinez said. “Now it’s getting back to where quality of the product is getting more important.” Nationally, 62 percent of the respondents in the NAHB poll said they favored high-quality amenities over space. At the top of the buyers’ wish lists: Energy-Star appliances, high-end kitchen cabinets and

“In the higher price range, if they’re comparing a home that’s 2,500 square feet with lots of upgrades to one that’s 3,000 — as long as the layout fits and they have what they need — I agree they would go with the smaller one with more upgrades,” Ashworth said. In the $250,000 or less price range, however, a buyer likely will “push for an 1,800 square foot home over a 1,500 square foot home and give up the granite counters to get the extra space.” The bottom line is buyers are willing to give up a few things but not everything, Melman said. “Maybe you don’t need

Features Buyers “Do NOT Want”

(Percent of Respondents)

Community Features

Golf-Course Community

High-Density Community

Mixed-Use Community



Gated Community w/ $100-$200 Fee







Floor Plan Features Elevator Only Shower Stall in Master Bath

Two-Story Family Room

Two-Story Entry Foyer


70% 51% 43%

51% 51%




Details/Small Features

2  May

Wet Bar


Wine Cooler



Laminate Countertop



Market Trends: Idaho’s Rental Housing

Features Most Wanted by Homebuyers (Percent of Respondents)

n Essential/Must Have

…continued from cover

n Desirable

“We are still seeing a lot of interest in both single-family and apartment rental housing. The main amenity renters are concerned with is having their utilities included with their rent fee.”

Energy Efficient Features Energy-Star Rated Appliances Energy-Star Rated Whole Home




Energy-Star Rated Windows




Floor Plan Features

Laundry Room

Bathroom Linen Closet

Garage Storage

57% 39% 32%

Table Space for Eating in Kitchen

Pantry in Kitchen

36% 51% 54%





Details/Small Features

Exhaust Fan in Bathroom

Exterior Lighting

Ceiling Fan

the big media room. Maybe you don’t even want a fifth bedroom. But the four bedrooms you have you really want it to be a nice house.”

High-Tech Trends Technology — from wireless security systems to home automation — is another necessity for an increasing number of homebuyers. Though few buyers currently have them, the NAHB survey shows that a significant number of them would like to have hightech features in their homes. Wireless home security systems; remote, programmable thermostats; wireless lighting control; and wireless audio lead the list of most popular items. “It’s starting to become a necessity,” Martinez said. “I think as you see a younger demographic come into the market they’re expecting those things already built in.” The good news for buyers, builders, and remodelers, Martinez said, is that costs are coming down and manufacturers are pushing the envelope with new products. “You can be in home automation for $2,500 now. It’s allowed people to be able

53% 41% 48%

37% 49% 40%

to do some of these things. Fifteen years ago you couldn’t afford to do it.”

Location, Location, Location One of the most surprising findings of the NAHB survey has more to do with where we want our homes than what we want in them. Recent conventional wisdom says that increased demand for apartments, rising rents, and high fuel prices have Baby Boomers and Gen Y alike flocking from the suburbs to downtowns and city centers. However, the NAHB survey found that “the overwhelming majority of buyers do not care to live in a central city, as only 8 percent report that as their preferred location. Instead, more than a third—  36  percent —  would prefer to buy in an outlying suburb, 30 percent in a close-in suburb, and 27 percent in a rural area.” continued on page 5…

– Dar Hayes, property management assistant, Brawley Property Management, Twin Falls. “As full as all our rentals are, tenants are taking whatever is available. There are even wait lists in higher-end areas like Southeast Boise. As much as people would like pools and playgrounds for their children, the main concern these days is that a washer and dryer are included in their own unit.” – Randy Mason, vice president of property management, Tomlinson & Associates, Boise. “We get such a variety of people and needs – either they want an apartment and don’t need much else, or they want a home with a lot of space. We’ve had quite a few people lately that are looking for a home in a rural setting that could accommodate horses, etc. Probably the biggest amenity people are looking for is a garage, but others are utilities included, cable and internet ready, and storage space.” – LeeAnne Clark, property management assistant, BMG Rentals – Property Management, Idaho Falls “We are seeing a rise in interest for apartments and duplexes, but rental units are still in such high demand people are moving wherever they can. A washer and dryer in their own unit is probably the biggest item we are hearing requests for, but the need for storage is a growing request.” – Connie Loftis, leasing agent, Ex-cell Property Management, LLC, Coeur d’Alene. n

Cornerstones 3

Focus: Housing Preferences

Accessibility 101: Fair Housing Act Requirements Tom Wilson knows the importance of the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility requirements better than most. As an architect, he designs accessible apartments that make life easier for everyone. And thanks to a “face-plant on a concrete slab” months ago meant he needed to use a walker for several months, he knows first-hand how even small details in a home can make a big difference in simple day-to-day tasks like opening a door or adjusting a thermostat.

4. An accessible route into and through the dwelling. 5. Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations. 6. Reinforced walls in bathrooms that allow the installation of grab bars. 7. Kitchens and bathrooms that can be used by a person in a wheelchair.

“The Fair Housing Act really assists all of us at one time or another during our life,” Wilson said.

Why do architects, builders, owners, and others in the industry pay attention to Fair Housing Act requirements?

The Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements will be the topic of a training session May 15 in Boise. (See the box below.)

Not only is accessibility good for residents, it’s good for the bottom line. The cost to lower the height on thermostats, cabinets, sinks and light switches or to add reinforcement in walls where grab bars may be installed is negligible during construction, Wilson said.

Although the training session is technical in nature, accessibility features affect everyone, whether they’re pushing a stroller or riding in a wheelchair.

What are the Fair Housing Act design and construction provisions? In general, the Fair Housing Act accessibility regulations apply only to “covered multifamily housing” built after March 1991. This type of housing must meet seven basic design and construction requirements. 1. An accessible building entrance on an accessible route. 2. Accessible public and common use areas. 3. Doors usable by a person in a wheelchair.

How do the Fair Housing Act requirements differ from Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? The ADA primarily deals with accessibility of public facilities and commercial facilities. Title II of the ADA covers housing provided by state and local governments while Title III requires that public and common-use areas at housing developments are accessible.

Accessibility Training in Boise The Idaho Fair Housing Forum and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will hold a Fair Housing Accessibility training session on May 15 in Boise. The all-day session will cover the Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements as well as accessible-route and compliant- bathroom requirements. This free program will be held in the Washington Group Plaza Auditorium, 720 Park Blvd., Boise. The session is registered with the American Institute of Architects. Architects can receive up to six continuing education credits.

Registration is required. For more information or to register, contact John Ritzu at or 312.913.1717, Ext. 228.

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“You’ve got to think about those things ahead of time. You’ve got to know the law. You’ve got to spend some time on research,” Wilson said. “It pays off in the long run and it’s better for everybody.” If you don’t think about those features ahead of time, Wilson said, renovations, fines or both can add up quickly.

I’m not an architect, builder, or owner, why should I care? It’s possible that each of us will need accessible features at some point. If a home is built in a way that it can be adapted to meet whatever needs a person has it ensures that the resident will be safe and able to function as they always have regardless of their needs. For example, take something as seemingly innocuous as a door handle. “If you hurt your hand playing basketball, the last thing you want to do is turn a doorknob, especially when you can do it with your elbow.” Wilson said.

Where can I go for more information? Go to HUD’s Fair Housing Accessibility First website,, for more resources and detailed information. n

IHFA News: Personal Story

Serving Those Who Served Our Country Sherry joined the military to serve her country, to be part of a team, gain work experience, and travel. She spent several years in the Air National Guard stationed at a few locations in the United States and four years on active duty, which included a tour in South Korea. She was in her twelfth year of military service when she started a family. As important as serving her country was for Sherry, being a hands-on mom was even more important. After becoming pregnant with her first child, Sherry left the military and became a stay-at-home mom, eventually having three boys. When the marriage did not work out, Sherry found herself moving home to Coeur d’Alene to be with family. The next few years were very trying. “Living with family, and looking for a job in the middle of a recession after more than 10 years of not being employed was difficult,” Sherry said. After no luck in the job market, she turned to the Health Care for Homeless Vets center in Spokane for assistance. Sherry began working with a caseworker at the VA medical center who referred her to the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program. The VASH program was established through a unique collaboration between Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The program combines HUD rental assistance for homeless veterans with

case management and clinical services through VA medical centers. In North Idaho, IHFA’s Coeur d’Alene branch office administers the VASH vouchers that allow participants to rent an apartment at affordable rates.

from North Idaho College by spring 2015. “I hope to combine my experience with the jobs I did in the military and my degree to get a better job and be fully self-sufficient in supporting my family,” Sherry said.

“Being able to move to a place of my own has allowed me to be more independent again, move my boys from a three-parent household, and really boosted my self confidence,” Sherry said. “It is definitely tough being a single mom, so I appreciate having my family nearby to help out, but having a place of our own means the world to me and the boys. We can decorate as we like and have re-established

As part of the VASH program, Sherry meets monthly with her caseworker at the VA medical center and is in regular communication with IHFA’s housing specialist. “Sherry has done so well in this program because she is driven,” said Sarah, IHFA’s housing specialist. “She is all about looking forward and being a good example for her kids. I am confident she will be successful in meeting her goals.”

“Being able to move to a place of my own has allowed me to be more independent again.”  — Sherry, ex-military member

family nights with popcorn and movies in any room we choose.” Sherry is taking full advantage of the VASH program. In just the few months she has been receiving assistance, she gained employment and started going to school full time. Working diligently, she hopes to obtain her administrative assistant degree

To be eligible for the VASH program, a participant must be a homeless veteran in need of case management. Staff members at the VA medical center determine who is eligible and refers them to IHFA if they are in need of rental assistance. These organizations work closely to help make sure all VASH vouchers are being fully utilized. n

What do Idahoans Dream of in a Dream Home? …continued from page 3 The Mountain Census division, which includes Idaho, is almost identical to the national trend — 8 percent prefer a central city location, 33 percent want to live in an outlying suburb, 27 in a close-in suburb and 32 percent in a rural area.

Thinking Ahead Regardless of where they choose to live, homebuyers are increasingly thinking through their current and future needs and choosing homes that make sense for their current and future lifestyle.

“If this were 10 years ago they would be buying that home so they could sell it in two years and make 25 percent and that’s not what’s going to happen anymore,” Melman said. “Yes, it’s an investment, but it’s not a speculative investment. They’re looking to live there (long term). I think that’s really what’s changed everything.” Martinez agrees. He said he helps his clients do a great deal of long-term thinking and planning before they renovate or build.“Our goal is to do it right so that when and if they ever need to, they can use the house the same as they do now.” n

Cornerstones 5

IHFA News: Industry Innovator

The Future Looks Bright for Young REALTOR® If you think kicking off a real estate career in the depths of a recession is a challenge, try doing it when you’re 19 years old. It’s a good thing Jennifer Brunson has never been one to back away from a challenge. “It was probably the worst and the best time to start,” Brunson said. It took a lot of hustle and hard work, but Brunson has come a long way since that dubious beginning in late 2007. The lessons she learned while weathering the down market played a significant role in her current success.

tiny manufactured home for $17,000. Since then, she’s bought three more homes and has probably given me 10 referrals.” In the past two or three years people her age have reached the point in their lives that they’re ready to buy their first homes. Although the younger demographic accounts for a majority of her sales, Brunson said, some are still hesitant. “A lot of people just don’t ask the right questions. They just think they’re going to be renters for the next 10 years.”

“A lot of people just don’t ask the right questions. They just think they’re going to be renters for the next 10 years.”

“I was never spoiled,” Brunson said. In October, Brunson, one of three co-owners of Idaho Rocky Mountain Real Estate, celebrated her 26th birthday by opening a new office in Chubbuck. She’s the designated broker for a six-person team that covers all of Eastern Idaho. Back then, “my phone didn’t just ring,” she said. Her age made it especially tough to sell a home. “A lot of people kind of looked at me and asked if I was old enough to even own a house, let alone sell one.” (For the record: She does own a home. In fact, she was her own second client.) Brunson initially tried to market to her peers, most of whom were still in school. “A lot of them, the last thing that they ever wanted to even think about was buying a home. They were still at college, partying.” Instead, she tapped into a group of slightly older contacts she had made in previous jobs. “They had respect for me, not just in real estate, but in general.” Brunson learned to respect every transaction that came her way — no matter how small, she said. “Those people have friends and those people move up. I had one client — she was probably my fifth or sixth sale — she bought a


What helps set Brunson apart is her focus on educating her clients to help turn renters into first-time homeowners. “They think I’m crazy, but after they really listen and I show them the numbers and get them in contact with a lender … it pays off.” She also takes advantage of social media sites like Facebook to reach out to clients, especially those in the younger demographics. Brunson said burgeoning development in Eastern Idaho also gives her hope that the market has turned around. “It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been a good whirlwind,” she said. n

$723 million



HIGHLIGHTS Through Dec. 31, 2013

6  May

– Jennifer Brunson, co-owner and REALTOR®, Idaho Rocky Mountain Real Estate

Our investment in homeownership. IHFA issued 6,695 home loans, 73% of which were to first-time homeowners.


Finally Home! Homebuyer Education graduates


People helped through IHFA’s Housing Hotline

$72.8 million Economic development financing, including nonprofit facility and multifamily housing bonds and small business loans.

7,000+ Families Helped with rental housing

2,584 Idahoans helped by free housing counseling


Success Rate Four out of five Idaho homeowners who receive free housing counseling through IHFA have a positive outcome.

IHFA News: New Developments

Housing Developments Statewide Groundbreakings Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) administers Low- Several developments have recently broken ground and are underway Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), throughout the state. These developments will provide 258 affordable housing units. Watch for more details in coming issues of Cornerstones. which provide a dollar-for-dollar federal tax liability reduction to the Affordable Development Location Developer Units development’s equity investors and Riverstone West III Coeur d’Alene Whitewater Creek, Inc. 30 HOME program funds. Both funding sources support the construction or Riverstone Place Coeur d’Alene Whitewater Creek, Inc. 113 rehabilitation of affordable housing Quail Creek Townhomes Ketchum ARCH Community Housing Trust, Inc. 26 to expand rental options for lowerValencia Senior Apts. Fruitland Northwest Integrity Housing Co. 42 income residents. Here’s a look at The Grove at Riverside Rexburg Community Development, Inc. 47 developments utilizing these funds that were recently completed or are Bandon River, Idaho Falls – Tomlinson & Associates currently under construction in Idaho. The recently completed Bandon River senior community was developed by Northwest Integrity Housing Co. and Thomas Development Co. It is part of the Snake River Landing development in Idaho Falls. This mixed-use development includes retail, offices, restaurants, housing, and the yet-to-be constructed Idaho Falls Event Center. Proximity to these amenities, in addition to miles of trails and acres of green space, is attractive to the 62-and-older population Bandon River was designed for. “Idaho Falls has a significant need for affordable senior housing,” said Thomas C. Mannschreck, president of Northwest Integrity Housing Co. “Leasing activity has been brisk, and we anticipate these apartment homes will fill up quickly.” Bandon River is designed to meet the USGBC LEED for Homes platinum level certification and is comprised of 48 units of affordable senior housing. Apartment features include: spacious closets; central air conditioning; abundant windows; energy star appliances, including dishwasher, disposal, refrigerator, and self-cleaning oven; custom cabinets; cable TV ready; multiple telephone lines; and private patios. Residents will have access to a community room with fireplace and kitchen for activities and entertaining, a business center, fitness center, craft room, recycling center, library, and garages are available for rent. Thomas Development Co. is the development consultant. The Boise-based company founded in 1990 has developed 53 affordable housing communities containing 2,550 units. Bandon River will be managed by Tomlinson & Associates with an onsite resident manager. IHFA allocated $552,593 in annual Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for this development, which will provide $5,139,115 in equity for the development. n

Cornerstones 7

IHFA News: Programs and Services

Programs and Services Updates More Than $233,000 Invested to Support Safe, Stable Housing in Idaho “Our thanks go out to the numerous donors who contributed The Home Partnership as well as the campaign sponsors. Without them, many critical Foundation’s annual resources for homeless individuals and families would not be Avenues for Hope Housing available,” said Gerald M. Hunter, Home Partnership Foundation Challenge helped provide president. “We are grateful for the generous community support a $233,469 funding boost and for the important work of the nonprofit organizations that to 31 organizations that deliver essential services to Idaho’s homeless.” provide essential housing services throughout Idaho. Find out more about the campaign and view results at More than 980 individual donors contributed $121,469 through, or learn more about the Home Partnership the grassroots, online-only effort from Dec. 10 to Dec. 31, 2013. Foundation at Please contact The Home Partnership Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization Deanna Ward, development director of the Home Partnership created by Idaho Housing and Finance Association, along Foundation at 208-331-4756 or email if you are with campaign sponsors awarded an additional $112,000 in interested in getting involved in the 2014 campaign. challenge grants and match funds. The 2013 campaign received The Avenues for Hope campaign has invested over generous support from AmericanWest Bank, Bank of Idaho, $380,000 since it was created in 2011 to help strengthen Barclays Capital, Citizens Community Bank, Idaho Housing and Finance Association, KeyBank Foundation, Mountain West Bank, services to prevent homelessness and enhance access to The Bank of Commerce, and Wells Fargo. safe, stable housing. n

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Deanna Ward, left, director of the Home Partnership Foundation, celebrated in Pocatello with Avenues for Hope recipients Sarah Leeds of the Family Services Alliance of Southeast Idaho, BJ Stensland of Aid for Friends, and Mark Dahlquist of Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services (now NeighborWorks® Pocatello).

Aberdeen: Small Town Faces Big Change IHFA has long supported the Idaho Rural Partnership and its flagship program, the Idaho Community Review (ICR). Since 2000, this unique process has attracted professionals from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to work face-to-face with leadership and residents of rural Idaho communities. Seen as an efficient model of cooperation, it is being studied and emulated for its effectiveness, impact, and longevity on a shoestring budget using volunteers and in-kind donations. The most recent review took place in Aberdeen, a farm town of 1,900 founded by German-speaking Mennonite families in 1905. As large-scale agriculture replaced

8  May

family farms, local businesses lost trade to larger regional vendors and traditional employers were replaced by much larger processing and manufacturing interests. Aberdeen lost one of those major employers—and several hundred jobs— when Simplot announced closure of its Aberdeen plant. That triggered a review application. The ICR planning team worked closely with Aberdeen’s civic leaders and others to plan the review’s focus, schedules… even food. The Visiting Team members and their employers cover travel and lodging costs, and the city’s Home Team feeds the guests and provides meeting

and work space. This keeps costs to a minimum for an in-kind value estimated at $50,000 per review that can be used as soft match for future grant applications. Beyond focus areas selected by leadership, ICR members conduct listening sessions with first responders, business owners, high school students, Hispanic residents, and seniors. These sessions offer a sense of community interests, goals, and

New Down Payment Assistance Program Available

Idaho Housing and Finance president Gerald M. Hunter, far right, and Deanna Ward, director of the Home Partnership Foundation, second from left, thanked representatives from Wells Fargo, one of the Avenues for Hope sponsors. Representing Wells Fargo were Todd Cooper, far left, Jane Pavek, Don Melendez, and Molly Lenty.

Donations and Grants Awarded RECIPIENT ORGANIZATION






Corpus Christi House Inc. - STEP UP Education Center



Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.



Sojourners’ Alliance



Advocates Against Family Violence, Inc.



Organization Assisting the Homeless Student



Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services, Inc.



Family Services Alliance of SE Idaho



Family Promise of North Idaho



Lemhi County Crisis Intervention/The Mahoney House



Family Care Center Inc./Idaho Falls Rescue Mission



The Jesse Tree of Idaho



Family Promise of the Palouse



To view full campaign results, visit the leaderboard at

concerns and complement the work of other ICR members on infrastructure, economic development, and downtown revitalization. After the review, Aberdeen will receive a written report detailing observations and recommendations along with a resource and agency contact list. Beyond the value to communities, the process helps participating organizations fulfill their own missions and goals. For IHFA, this includes support for housing and economic development as well as promoting awareness of fair housing. Look for more news on the ICR, or visit n

Idaho Housing Named Best Places to Work IHFA was recently named one of the “Best Places to Work” in Idaho for the fifth year in a row. The program is co-sponsored by the Idaho Business Review, POPULUS, and Price Associates. IHFA ranked as one of the top 10 in the large-company category out of the 80 companies that competed. The honored companies were recognized for their strong workplace environments that demonstrate best practices in employee attraction and retention. Top honors were determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys. n

Idaho Housing’s new Down Payment Assistance program can help you purchase a home — whether you’re a first-time buyer, recovering from the recession, or simply do not want to deplete your savings. Through this program you’ll be able to use up to 5% of the sales price toward the down payment and closing costs. FHA/VA/ RD and HFA Preferred Lo MI loan products are available. You don’t have to empty your savings to buy a house. Idaho Housing can help you buy a home with a low down payment. Your monthly payment may be less than what you pay in rent. Visit today to check your eligibility and receive a referral to one of our qualified top lending partners. Follow the “Home Loan” link on the main webpage or call toll free 866.432.4066. n

Spring Advertising Campaign Launches Idaho Housing and Finance Association will market its Home Loan program through a targeted consumer campaign that starts at the end of April and will run through the end of June. The campaign includes a TV commercial airing in the Treasure Valley, online ads, and a social media contest. The campaign will inform homebuyers that homeownership is possible and more affordable with low down payments, closing cost assistance, and low rates. As a result of the campaign, Idaho Housing’s participating lending partners may see an increase in referral business. To learn more about Idaho Housing’s Home Loan program and our five steps to getting an affordable home loan visit, or call toll free 866.432.4066. Check out our YouTube channel to watch our latest commercial, IDhousing. n

Cornerstones 9

IHFA News: Programs and Services

IHFA’s Community Involvement Statewide Idaho Housing and Finance Association’s commitment to Idaho communities is an integral part of the way we do business. Because of this, we get involved in numerous community and business events each year. Many of these events help educate our industry partners so they can better assist their clients with our programs. The programs we educate them about include our affordable home loans, — a free rental and listing locator service; free housing counseling; Finally Home!® Homebuyer Education; and business development programs. Being involved with the chamber of commerce in each area of the state is key to us staying engaged with local issues. Part of our chamber involvement is participating in chamber business day events. With the support of the vendors at these events, the community is invited to attend for free and gains access to numerous businesses at one location. The businesses in turn get to network with their clients and potential new customers as well as other businesses. Most recently, we attended events hosted by the Idaho Falls, Mini-Cassia, Coeur d’ Alene, and Twin Falls area chambers. n

We participated in 14 events statewide, reaching more than 5,000 consumers and business partners, including: Housing Industry Partners Women’s Council of REALTORS® Breakfast – Nampa Caldwell Board of REALTORS® Lunch – Caldwell Idaho Mortgage Lenders Association Lunch - Boise Women’s Council of REALTORS® Breakfast – Boise Kootenai/Spokane Real Estate Forum – Spokane IHFA staff member visits with lending partner during Coeur d’Alene Chamber event.

Ada County Association of REALTORS® Circle of Excellence Awards – Boise

Community Involvement IHFA staff members attend the Annual Smart Women, Smart Money Conference.

Dump Hunger Food Drive - Statewide

Business Partners Pocatello Chamber of Commerce’s Trade Show – Pocatello Developer’s Forum – Boise

General Public Smart Women, Smart Money Conference – Boise Chamber After Hours Business Fair – Coeur d’Alene Mayor’s Business Day – Idaho Falls Women’s Seminar and Expo – Burley Twin Falls Chamber Business Day – Twin Falls Look for IHFA in your community at various events as listed on page 11.

10  May

Please join us for a special keynote presentation


Save the date: Aug. 21, 2014, Sun Valley

Economist and futurist Lowell Catlett, Ph.D. Catlett will address the current state of the economy and focus on Magic Valley’s economic future including business, housing, and agriculture. Catlett is internationally known for his upbeat and thought-provoking presentations and is a TED Talks presenter. His unique perspective of emerging technologies prepares us to anticipate coming changes, and to deal winning hands when the deck is being continually reshuffled. Catlett is a consultant to Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. government as well as the dean and chief administrative officer at New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Thursday, June 5, noon to 1:30 p.m. Canyon Crest Event Center, Twin Falls REGISTER TODAY AT WWW.IDAHOHOUSING.COM/KEYNOTE

To learn more call 208.331.4743.

Idaho Forum to Explore the Future of Housing The Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission will host a public forum to explore critical housing industry issues. Topics include the future of housing finance reform, innovation in rural housing, community lending practices and the role of small banks. The forum, held in partnership with Idaho Housing and Finance Association, will feature U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and other key housing practitioners and policy experts. Registration is free and open to the public at

Calendar of Events May

14 Affordable Housing Conference, Bethesda, Md., 301.520.1587

18-21 National Apartment Association conference, Denver, 703.518.6141

15 Fair Housing Accessibility Training, Boise, 312.913.1717, Ext. 228

15-16 National Association of Professional Mortgage Women Golden Celebration, Seattle, 1.800.827.3034 19-20 National Housing and Rehabilitation Association developers forum, Marina del Rey, Calif., 202.939.1750

26 Memorial Day, IHFA offices closed


4 WCR Idaho Falls lunch, 208.201.2034

5 IHFA’s keynote luncheon, Twin Falls, 208.331.4743

14 National Housing Conference, Center for Housing Policy, Washington D.C., 202.466-2121

24 -27 National Council of State Housing Agencies Housing Credit Connect, Chicago, 202.354.7710


18 National Affordable Housing Management Association public policy issues forum, Denver, 703.683.8630

18-20 Association of Idaho Cities conference, Boise, 208.344.8594

4 Independence Day, IHFA offices closed

11-15 National Association of Counties conference and exposition, New Orleans, 202.942.4292

16 Idaho Real Estate Commission joint commission/council meeting, Boise, 208.334.3285


17 National Council of State Housing Agencies educational and development workshop, Coeur d’Alene 208.765.4000

21 Bipartisan Policy Center forum, Sun Valley, housing/events

16-17 National Council of Housing Market Analyst, Washington D.C., 202.939.1753

19 Idaho Real Estate Commission meeting, Boise, 208.334.3285

27-29 Kansas Housing Conference, Wichita, Kan., 785.217.2001

Classes are specifically designed for first-time homebuyers and are taught throughout the state by regional training partners. Contact the location nearest you for class schedules or go to and follow the homebuyer education links.

Regional Training Partner Locations: Benewah, Kootenai, and Shoshone Counties: Coeur d’Alene Association of REALTORS ®, 208.667.0664 Bonner and Boundary Counties: Bonner Community Housing Agency, 208.263.5720 Boise: Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc., 208.258.6225, or visit Idaho Falls: Greater Idaho Falls Association of REALTORS ®, 208.523.1477 Nampa: Nampa Association of REALTORS ®, 208.467.9534 (English and Spanish available.) Pocatello: Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services, 208.232.9468 Twin Falls: College of Southern Idaho, 208.732.6442, or visit Finally Home! Online: Finally Home! Homebuyer Education course is offered online in English and Spanish. $50 at

Cornerstones 11

PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Boise, ID Permit No. 479

Cornerstones is published triannually by IHFA for stakeholders, policy makers, and affordable housing partners. IHFA is a housing and finance business organization dedicated to providing and promoting affordable housing solutions throughout Idaho. Please direct questions and comments to the IHFA Marketing and Communications Department.

P.O. Box 7899 Boise, ID 83707-1899

Marketing and Communications Department Katrina Thompson, Marketing and Communications Manager Leslie Perkins, Marketing and Communications Officer Jason Lantz, Media Relations Officer Terri Eberlein, Communications Specialist

Executive Management Gerald M. Hunter, President and Executive Director

Changes needed? Please make corrections and return to IHFA at the above address.

Board of Commissioners David Wilson, Chairman Steven Keen, Vice Chairman Ralph Cottle, Secretary/Treasurer Jack Beebe Darlene Bramon Mark Dunham John Insinger

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Visit our website at:

IHFA Facts: n IHFA has invested

Please check Idaho Housing and Finance Association’s website at to view past issues. To order additional copies or subscribe, please contact IHFA’s Marketing and Communications Department at 208.331.4884 or e-mail

more than $7.3 billion for 88,978 home loans for Idahoans.

n Since the program’s inception, IHFA

has awarded $61.6 million in LowIncome Housing Tax Credits, which has generated more than $483 million in equity toward the construction or rehabilitation of 11,253 rental units in 252 developments.

n IHFA provides service for

30,851 Idaho home loans (single-family).

IHFA Numbers to Know

You don’t have to empty your savings to buy a house. Idaho Housing can help you buy a home with a low down payment. And your monthly payment may be less than what you pay in rent. See how much house you can afford at

Existing Home Loans 208.331.4888 Toll-Free in Idaho 1.800.526.7145 Lenders and Mortgage Brokers 208.331.4883 Toll-Free in Idaho 1.800.219.2285 Idaho Housing Mortgages (New Home Loans) 208.424.7066 Toll-Free in Idaho 1.866.432.4066 Website: Administration 208.331.4889 Bond or Investor Information 208.331.4885 Grant Programs 208.331.4881 Toll-Free in Idaho 1.877.447.2687 Hearing and Speech Impaired Toll-Free in Idaho 1.800.545-1833 Ext. 400 Homebuyer Education and Housing Counseling 208.331.4876 Toll-Free in Idaho 1.877.888.3135 Website: Home Partnership Foundation 208.424.7010 Website: The Housing Company 208.331.4890 Toll-Free in Idaho 1.800.361.5181 Hearing and Speech Impaired 1.800.545.1833 Ext. 628 Website: Housing Information & Referral Center Toll-Free in Idaho 1.877.438.4472 Website: Human Resources Toll-Free in Idaho 1.888.900.3713 Multifamily Development 208.331.4880 Rental Assistance 208.331.4886 Toll-Free in Idaho 1.800.219.2286 Coeur d’Alene 208.762.5113 or 1.866.621.2994 Idaho Falls 208.522.6002 or 1.866.684.3756 Lewiston 208.743.0251 or 1.866.566.1727 Twin Falls 208.734.8531 or 1.866.234.3435 Housing Authority Numbers for Southwest Idaho Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority 208.345.4907 Southwest Idaho Cooperative Housing Authority 208.585.9325 (Adams, Boise, Canyon, Blaine, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley, & Washington Counties)

Cornerstones May 2014  
Cornerstones May 2014  

Idaho Housing and Finance Association's Cornerstones magazine