John Divers, chief financial officer with Community Development Trust, joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWise 2013: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference in La Quinta, Calif.
Community Development Trust is a private REIT headquartered in New York that focuses on providing capital to create and sustain affordable housing units in low-income neighborhoods. By investing in those properties, Divers said CDT helps stabilize and improve the physical infrastructure of the surrounding communities.
In 2012 the company committed to finance 1,000 housing units. Divers discussed his expectations for 2013.
“2012 was a very strong year for us, and we’re hoping for the same or better in 2013, especially on the equity side, where we have acquired four properties. Normally, we’ve done one to two over the recent years, especially since the financial crisis, but closing four properties was a very strong equity year,” he said.
Divers said one of the deals that the company was most proud of was its first deal with a nonprofit partner organization.
“We teamed up with LINC Housing in California and acquired a property in Fresno, Calif., with seniors and large families,” he said. “The good news is with our equity and refinancing the property, we’ll be able to bring a major rehab to the property, provide a new community center and LINC Housing will provide a lot of social services to the residents of the property.”
CDT does both equity and debt investments. Divers discussed the differences in the current market climate for both.
“On the equity side, we expect another strong year for our acquisition program. On the debt side, we’re actually changing our focus towards acquiring portfolios from banks and from community development financial institutions and providing them with liquidity so they can do more deals in their local marketplaces. Then, we purchase those mortgages through our model,” Divers said.
Additionally, he said both the company’s debt and equity portfolios are performing “very strongly,” with occupancy at 96 percent. He said he expects that to continue in the multifamily space throughout 2013.