Construction Specialist

Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Education: 4 year College
Experience: 5 Years

Posted on March 12, 2019


National Affordable Housing Trust

Position Description

Position Title:  Construction Specialist                                Department:  Underwriting

Reports To:  Director of Underwriting                                 FLSA Status:  Exempt


National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT) is a non-profit low income housing tax credit syndicator dedicated to financing the creation and preservation of sustainable communities through quality housing for seniors, families, persons with disabilities and others in need.

Summary of Position 

The Construction Specialist will perform vital functions for both the Underwriting and Closing Department and the Asset Management Department.

They will collect and review the construction related due diligence for the deals in the active underwriting and closing pipeline with the goal of identifying and mitigating construction risk, engage and coordinate the review of all construction due diligence by an approved third party, and participate in the underwriting presentation to the investment and lending committees.  They will also monitor the actions of the General Partners of assigned projects to ensure they fulfill the obligations under the partnership agreement, maintaining the projects, preserving the tax credits, and the value of the project.  To accomplish this they will monitor the construction and lease-up, conducting site visits, monitoring to ensure compliance within LIHTC guidelines, and measuring project financial performance.

Primary Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities of the Construction Specialist include but are not limited to the following:

Underwriting & Closing – Primary point of contact for all construction related matters for developers, general partners, investor partners, third party vendors and other project stakeholders. Responsibilities include:

  • Responsible for the collection and review of all construction due diligence (architectural drawings, scope of work, project manuals, etc.).
  • Coordinating the engagement and management of third party vendors to complete plan and cost reviews, seismic reviews, and environmental reviews.
  • Responsible for completing the construction portion of the investment analysis.
  • Participate in the underwriting presentation to the Investment and Lending Committee(s).
  • Participating in site visits with clients, third party vendors, and investors as required.
  • Represent NAHT as both the syndicator and the investor in project related discussions and negotiations.
  • Recommend and advocate for solutions to issues, build consensus, drive processes where appropriate to resolve issues.

Asset Management – Independently manage a portfolio of equity investments related to LIHTC real estate projects under construction, rehabilitation and/or in transition. Responsibilities include:

  • Participating in draw meetings and other project meetings as needed
  • Receiving, reviewing and acting upon all construction progress reports and regularly updated development budget information, as well as all documentation provided by any third party professionals engaged to oversee construction
  • Approving all post-closing equity draw requests prior to funding; reviewing and approving change orders and modifications to the project
  • Reporting construction progress against budgeted costs and schedule
  • Collecting and reviewing construction draw packages. Coordinating and reviewing equity installment requests in accordance with partnership agreements; recommending approvals and coordinating approval process, ensuring prompt and accurate funding’s.  Promptly identify and address any non-compliance issues related to funding requirements
  • Addressing issues related to construction project, sponsorship and/or parties related to construction such as the GC, inspection firms, etc.
  • Assign quarterly Risk Ratings including recommending Watchlist status based on established criteria
  • Actively updating Starta to insure all project related information is current and accurate, resulting in timely and accurate construction reporting for internal and external distribution
  • Conduct site visits during construction.
  • Managing and collaborating closely with key internal and external stakeholders, to result in highest level of prompt and professional service
  • With director of Fund Management, lead efforts to improve, standardize and implement construction processes to increase efficiency, reduce or mitigate risk, reduce costs and/or improve levels of service. Play a lead role in the continued development of standard policies and procedures for construction administration
  • Ensure that NAHT and third parties (including partners, investors, vendors) are fulfilling their responsibilities under partnership, syndication and loan documents
  • Relationship Management – Represents both NAHT as syndicator and the investor in project related discussions and negotiations. Recommend and advocate for solutions to issues, build consensus, drive processes where appropriate to resolve issues.
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Experience and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in architecture, engineering, construction management, real estate or related field.
  • 5+ years of experience in construction, real estate underwriting, multi-family real estate and/or development; experience in the affordable housing industry is a plus.
  • Strong knowledge of building construction process from initial design to certificate of occupancy, materials and methods, including new construction, rehabilitation and historic preservation.
  • Strong organizational and workload management skills. Able to work independently on multiple projects and manage multiple, sometimes conflicting, deadlines.
  • Strong effective communicator, both written and verbally. Proactive in coordinating the flow of information among internal and external parties where appropriate.  Consensus builder.
  • Demonstrated commitment to customer service; strong client management skills.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and in particular Word and Excel.

Physical and Environmental Demands

Work will be conducted in an office environment.  The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Employees must be able to perform typical movements required in an office position such as sitting, standing, climbing stairs, stooping, bending and reaching
  • Employee must have the ability to lift up 20 pounds with ease
  • Employee must have the ability to provide regular and dependable in-office attendance to support office interpersonal communication, face to face relationships and the collaborative nature of the position
  • Employees must also periodically deal with interruptions due to activity in the work area
  • 30-75% travel may be required for this position
  • Must be able to undertake overnight travel periodically (averaging 1-2 times per month)

This description is intended to describe the type and level of work that will be performed by a person assigned to this job.  It is not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities of a person so classified.