Washington, DC Office
Efrem Levy is a Member of Reno & Cavanaugh whose practice focuses on affordable housing development and operation. Efrem is sought after for his finance-structuring ability and has spoken at numerous conferences on development finance and asset management. Efrem has a particular focus on: LIHTC mixed-finance transactions; all aspects of public housing redevelopment; utilizing project-based vouchers for development purposes; the purchase of buildings that are assisted with Section 8 project-based rental assistance; and NMTC transactions with an overlay of federal assistance. He has also brought this finance structuring ability to clients redeveloping distressed public housing under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.
Selected Recent Transactions
- Closed a New Markets Tax Credit transaction consisting of office spaces and a bank on a HOPE VI site.
- Closed a transaction in Chicago consisting of 311 condominium units, including 100 public housing rental/condominium units.
- Closed a transaction in St. Louis involving tax-exempt bond proceeds, project-based Section 8 (for which we received a waiver), an elderly designation for a portion of the units, an affiliated entity for which we obtained Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) status in order to utilize HOME CHDO funds, HOPE VI funds, and Affordable Housing Trust Funds.
- Represented a housing authority in the re-financing of a closed phase in which the equity investor was replaced with a substitute equity investor, and the existing general partner of the owner entity was replaced with an affiliate of the housing authority.
- Conducted a comprehensive review of a housing authority’s property management activities, including review of its mixed-finance management documents.
- Negotiated a commercial lease for a large non-profit organization in Philadelphia.
- Closed a transaction involving a housing authority affiliate serving as developer and general partner, utilizing LIHTCs, public housing capital funds, project-based vouchers, and private debt.
- Represented a developer in Lake Charles and East Baton Rouge, Louisiana on all aspects of multiple LIHTC transactions, utilizing public housing capital funds, Section 901 Emergency Grant Funds, project-based vouchers, Capital Fund Financing Program assistance, Operating Fund Financing Program assistance and private debt.
- Represented a developer on a series of public housing redevelopment/rehabilitation LIHTC transactions in Florida and assisted with related public housing mixed-finance, disposition and environmental clearance approvals.
- Closed the first three New Markets Tax Credit financings with public housing mixed-finance approvals.
- Closed a New Markets Tax Credit financing involving eight separate American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) grants and ITC exchange funds, installing solar panels on multiple public housing sites.
- Closed a transaction involving tax-exempt bond proceeds, project-based Section 8 (for which we received a waiver), an elderly designation for a portion of the units, an affiliated entity for which we obtained CHDO status in order to utilize HOME CHDO funds, HOPE VI funds, and Affordable Housing Trust Funds.
- Represented the developer affiliate of a housing authority in the re-syndication of a closed phase in which the equity investor was replaced with a substitute equity investor and the existing general partner of the owner entity was replaced with an affiliate of the housing authority.
- Represented a developer on a series of purchases of buildings with section 8 project-based rental assistance, including obtaining approvals related to the assignment of the existing contacts and the renewal of the contracts (including Option 4, Option 2 and Option 1a and 1b renewals).
Major Prior Work Experience
Efrem formerly worked as a Program Director at Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, a non-profit community development corporation in the South Bronx. In that capacity, he supervised city, state and federal grants that dealt with a variety of housing and educational issues. Prior to that time, Efrem was a Teach For America Corps Member, through which he worked as an elementary school teacher in Washington, DC. During law school and business school, Efrem worked as a project consultant at the Center For Applied Research, where he assisted non-profits and a government entity in the development of strategic plans and in the restructuring of organizational governance.
- Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, New York, NY 1995-1998, Program Director
- Teach for America, Washington, DC 1993-1995, Teacher
- Moderator, Drafting and Negotiating a Financeable Ground Lease, ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, Washington, DC, May 2018.
- Moderator, Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Strategies for 2018, National Housing & Rehabilitation Association Annual Meeting, Palm Beach, FL, February 2018.
- Speaker, Recent HUD Industry Issues, Trends, RAD Nuances and Creative Structures, ABA Boot Camp, February 2018.
- Speaker, ABA Form on Affordable Housing & Community Development Law Conference, Washington, DC, May 21-23, 2014.
- Speaker, CLPHA Fall Meeting, Reno & Cavanaugh Sessions: a Meeting Discussing Legal Issues. Washington, DC, Nov. 2011.
- Moderator, NAHRO 2011 National Conference and Exhibition, “Public Housing Redevelopment in St. Louis: A Local Perspective.” Moderated a presentation and interactive bus tour. St. Louis, MO, October 2011.
- Speaker, "Combining Credits with Each Other and Other Subsidy Programs." ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law Midyear Conference. October 2011.
- Speaker, Guam Affordable Housing Symposium, Seminar on Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Mixed-Financing. Tamuning, Guam, June 3, 2011.
- Speaker, Guam Affordable Housing Symposium, “Incentives for Affordable Housing Development.” Tamuning, Guam, June 2, 2011.
- Speaker, ABA 20th Annual Conference on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, “Public Housing/Section 8 Hot Topics: A Changing Focus on Public Housing Development.” Washington, DC, May 2011.
- Panelist, “The Development Landscape for PHAs.” CLPHA conference, March 2011.
- Instructor, “Beyond the Basics: Mixed-Finance Development for Public Housing Authorities.” Seminar, NAHRO, Washington, DC, March 2011.
- Speaker, Current Status of Project-Based Voucher Program, American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, May 2007
- Speaker, Recent Trends in Managing Project-Based and Vouchered Developments, Spring 2007 Conference, April 2007
- Speaker, Project-Based Vouchering: Getting the Most Out of HUD's Final Rule, Housing and Development Law Institute, Spring 2006 conference, May 2006
- Co-author, Making the System Work in the Baltimore Criminal Justice System: An Evaluation of Early Disposition Court, funded by the Abell Foundation, March 2002
- Co-author, “Making the System Work in the Baltimore Criminal Justice System: An Evaluation of Early Disposition Court,” funded by the Abell Foundation, March 2002.
Awards, Community Activities And Professional Activities
- Wesleyan University Needler Award for Excellence in Religious Studies
- University of Pennsylvania Law School Order of the Coif, summa cum laude, Peter McCall Prize
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
Wharton School of Business, M.B.A. in Real Estate
University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., summa cum laude
Wesleyan University, B.A. in Comparative Religion
- District of Columbia Bar
- New York Bar