CDT Executive Says Housing Market Approaching Normalcy

John Divers, the chief operating officer and chief financial officer at The Community Development Trust, joined REIT.com for a video interview during REITWise 2015: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference held in Phoenix.

CDT is marking its 15th anniversary this year. Divers said both the company and the affordable housing industry have undergone “dramatic changes” during that time period. Divers noted that the company has raised roughly $200 million in equity capital since its first offering in 1999. The firm has also made debt and equity transactions totaling close to $1 billion during that span, according to Divers.

Regarding the housing market, Divers pointed out that the financial crisis of the late 2000s had effects that are still reverberating in the industry. However, government actions are helping to resurrect the lower-income housing markets. Overall, the housing situation is getting “back to normal,” he said.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program has provided a boost to the industry, Divers said. CDT is a longtime supporter of RAD and recently announced plans to give a $100 million commitment to transactions under the RAD program.

Since the inception of RAD in 2012, CDT has provided approximately $20 million in commitments to support a number of communities benefitting from the RAD program. RAD’s goal is to assist public housing agencies and private owners in obtaining private debt and equity to address capital needs.

Turning to performance, CDT had a record earnings year in 2014.

“This was primarily driven by very strong results in both our debt and equity portfolios,” Divers said. “Our vacancy rates are at all-time lows.”