At Rockport, the true testament of our success is in the relationships we form, with many of our clients partnering with us on a multitude of projects over the span of more than two decades.
Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly
I am writing this letter to you to express my appreciation for the excellent services we have enjoyed from the Rockport Mortgage team. We feel privileged to be benefiting from your sound expertise and advice in refinancing JCHE’s older nonprofit portfolio of Section 236 and Section 202 properties. Without your involvement, experience and knowledge of these HUD programs our work clearly would have been significantly more complicated, if not impossible.
The refinancing of Leventhal House could not have been more complicated. Our situation consisted of an older Section 236 development with significant capital replacement needs, a flex sub grant, an IRP Decoupling, sale to a for-profit affiliate for the purpose of generating tax credits, and existing HUD policy that often appears to be inconsistently defined and implemented. Your knowledge of what is really happening within HUD, and your patience with nonprofit clients like us, who have so much at stake in these transactions, has clearly helped us understand our choices and the responsible actions to take. JCHE is fortunate to be able to take advantage of your technical mastery of the affordable housing field, and your creative approach to problem solving on our behalf.
So, I again thank you and the Rockport Mortgage team for giving us such great support when we need it most. We look forward to having you at our celebration when the Leventhal House refinancing is complete, and to continuing your services with our other properties, as well.
Very Truly Yours,
Allan B. Isbitz, Vice President and CFO
The Carabetta Companies
As Founder, Treasurer and CEO of Carabetta Enterprises Inc. (CEI), I would like to take this opportunity to highly recommend the Rockport Mortgage Corporation (RMC) and their extremely capable staff members. As a General / Limited Partner in many limited partnerships, I’ve been involved with FHA programs since the early 1960’s. CEI has developed, constructed, and managed over 14,000 apartments and condominium units, including affordable housing for low and moderate-income families, elderly, and market rate apartments. We currently have ownership in and manage approximately 9,000 units, of which over 40 developments are affiliated with HUD. I have worked with Rockport Mortgage Corporation for the past ten years in financing over 20 of my HUD-assisted and market-rate properties including the acquisition/financing of over 2500 units of military housing.
RMC’s solid understanding of HUD’s older-assisted inventory, FHA’s current loan and preservation programs, and ability to effectively work with HUD staff clearly sets them apart from other FHA lenders. RMC has helped us analyze and structure the best refinancing strategy on each of my HUD-assisted properties based on the array of FHA loan programs and preservation programs in effect at the time. Once a plan is established, RMC not only provides us with new financing, but also works with asset management on all aspects of implementation.
RMC has worked with us on refinancing our most difficult properties that were originally financed/subsidized under Section 236, Section 221(d)(3), Section 221(d)(4), and Section 8 and were encumbered with extensive affordability requirements, use agreements, prepayment restrictions, etc. In every case, RMC was able to effectively negotiate with HUD and structure and implement transactions that accomplished my objectives. The Connecticut HUD Office works very well with RMC, so loan applications are always processed on a timely basis.
I never hesitate to recommend RMC to any owner I meet. I have had a great working relationship with them and they continually produce superior results for me and my projects.
Very Truly Yours,
Joseph F. Carabetta, Treasurer
The John Stewart Company
Santa Cruz, CA
You have asked for an assessment of the project refinances that you have accomplished for the John Stewart Company and I am very pleased to be able to do so. Our firm manages over 23,000 units throughout California, both as owners and as fee managers. The bulk of those units have affordability components or restrictions and many were older programs whose usefulness as affordable housing was dependent on revising the use and regulatory agreements in addition to refinancing.
Since 1998, you have successfully completed the recapitalization and/or refinancing of 11 projects totaling 1173 units. The refinancing ranged from $4.8M to $13M. None was anything less than considerably complex, each in its own unique way.
More specifically, these complicated transactions were successfully completed because of your knowledge of programmatic regulations specific to each project, your skill at interpreting those regulations, your ability to work with HUD and/or other funding agencies to address needs that were not covered in the various regulations, your unlimited assistance to our staff insofar as interpreting documents, and your ability to articulate and explain the myriad financing guidelines.
You and your associates at Rockport Mortgage more than once accomplished what seemed impossible or insurmountable. I would be happy to discuss any of the above with your clients should they wish to contact me.
Mari Tustin, Senior Vice President
Tremont Ventures, LLC
I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Rockport Mortgage Corporation based on my extensive experience with this firm and on on-going appreciation for their unique knowledge base and extraordinary diligence. I began working with RMC in 1996 after having worked with Dan Lyons and Linda Pellegrino for many years in their individual capacities at HUD in the Boston Regional Office. To date, RMC has acted as my lender/advisor for a total of seven transactions containing 1,133 units, with loan proceeds of approximately $71M. I own and/or manage 6,500 units, most of which are HUD-assisted/insured.
My first experience with RMC was on a particularly challenging transaction – it involved the acquisition and substantial rehabilitation of a Section 236/Section 8 in Fall River, MA using Volume Cap Bonds and 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits enhanced by the Section 221(d)(4) program. This transaction required a very significant rent increase and Section 8 Enhanced Vouchers. At the time, very few Section 236 IRP Decoupling transactions had closed and policy surrounding Decoupling transactions was evolving on a daily basis. Though we hired a prominent law firm to work with RMC’s knowledge of the program, their understanding of the complex technical requirements (on both the production and asset management sides of HUD) and their ability to effectively work with HUD staff was the key factor to our successful completion of the transaction.
Since the closing of that transaction in 2003, RMC has completed every FHA transaction that I have initiated with the same level of thorough professionalism and success as with that first project, Bay Village. I regularly call on them for on-going policy guidance and advice and will most certainly continue to use them as my FHA lender of choice in the future. Their underwriting staff are extremely diligent and attentive, and actively engage the owner in dialogue regarding due diligence that impacts the loan sizing.
RMC is not only equipped with the technical expertise to effectively underwrite and submit loan applications but also has a unique understanding of the original HUD insurance/subsidy programs. The institutional memory and experience of this team is an essential element in a process which relies upon the strength of HUD precedent as a platform for arriving at creative and collaborative transaction strategies which serve to emphasize the mutual interests and needs of both the property owner and HUD. While I have worked with a number of reasonably capable mortgage bankers over the years, Rockport is unmatched in blending the best technical skills with diplomacy, insight and intelligence. I am very pleased to refer them to other owner/developer associates whenever I have the opportunity to do so.
Robert M. Kargman, Principal