Celebrating 30 Years in New England!
The New England Affordable Housing Management Association, NEAHMA, was established in 1989 as a 501 (c)(3) after filing Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s Office in Massachusetts. The original name of NEAHMA was the New England Association of HUD Management Agents, which was consistent with the name branding of existing Associations of HUD Management Agents (AHMAs) across the nation.
NEAHMA would have two additional name changes reflecting the inclusion of additional agency partners; the New England Assisted Housing Management Association and finally, the New England Affordable Housing Management Association. In the mid-1990’s, NEAHMA refiled to become a 501 (c)(6) non-profit when the association became active in NAHMA’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill to protect project-based section 8 funding.
The National Federation of AHMAs, a consortium of independent AHMAs across the country, and the National Advisory Council (NAC), a consortium of affordable housing owners, which had been operating on parallel tracks for years, merged in 1990 to form the National Association of HUD Management Agents, NAHMA. Shortly thereafter, the NAHMA changed its name to the National Assisted Housing Management Association, and several years later, had a final name change to the National Affordable Housing Management Association.
The impetus for forming NEAHMA in 1989, was the direct result of the merging of these two national organizations, and the fact that there was no AHMA in New England to participate in the soon to be established national organization, NAHMA.
In late 1988, a meeting of affordable housing management companies was organized by William Kargman, President of First Realty Management, and member of the NAC. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the AHMA network and upcoming formation of NAHMA to New England management agents, and to ask for company representatives to create a New England AHMA.
In early 1989, management companies including; Beech Management, Boston Financial Group, Boston Land, Corcoran Management, CMJ, First Realty Management, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, Marshall Properties, Peabody Properties, The Simon Companies, State Street, Vosmus Associates and Winn Management each volunteered company representatives that played a key leadership role in the start-up of NEAHMA.
Additionally, staff from the four New England HUD offices, MassHousing, Rhode Island Housing and Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, attended monthly NEAHMA organizational meetings with management agents throughout 1989.
Together, this group of affordable housing professionals created NEAHMA’s mission statement, developed association documents, framed Board member and standing committee responsibilities, defined membership categories and criteria, planned state and annual conference events, formed an interim Board of Directors, and issued the association’s first quarterly publication, NEAHMA Insites.
NEAHMA’s mission statement was two-part; to facilitate communication between management agents and their agency partners and to provide training and education to its membership. A collegial and collaborative working relationship with NEAHMA’s agency partners, based on mutual respect and cooperative problem solving was established, and is the basis on which NEAHMA operates today.
In March-June of 1989, NEAHMA state meetings with agency staff participation were held to introduce NEAHMA to management agents in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, including a spring conference in Boston, which included HUD staff from Washington, DC as well as senior HUD staff from New England. NEAHMA’s first Annual Conference and Trade Show was rolled out that fall at the Sheraton Tara in Braintree, MA.
Also in 1989, NEAHMA’s interim president attended the northern New England tri-state meeting of three existing affordable housing managing agent organizations; MREMA, GSMA and VHMA, to introduce NEAHMA as a partner, and establish an on-going working relationship. The value added that NEAHMA brought to the table for MREMA, GSMA and VHMA, was its relationship with HUD Washington, NAHMA and the Boston HUD regional office.
NEAHMA quickly established itself as a leader in providing quality affordable housing training for management, maintenance and resident services staff throughout the region. NEAHMA also participated in NAHMA’s designation courses, offering certification classes in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Over the years, NEAHMA has developed its own courses on various industry topics, offered in a variety of training formats to serve the needs of its members.
During its formation, NEAHMA became an active participant in the AHMA Drug-Free poster calendar contest, which was originally established by the Federation of AHMAs, to support HUD’s drug-free housing initiative. A new event called NEAHMA Kid’s Day was created to champion this effort.
A special award program to recognize NEAHMA’s regional poster winners was also created and held annually at NEAHMA’s Annual Conference and Trade Show. Following the passing of one of the founding chairpersons of NEAHMA Kid’s Day event, Carol Davidson, an award dedicated in her name, (a laptop computer) was given to the winner of the NEAHMA poster selected as the t-shirt worn by youth attending NEAHMA Kid’s Day.
As NEAHMA’s membership grew, the position of full-time Executive Director was created and office space was secured in Braintree, MA. Over time, additional staff was hired on a full and part-time basis, to support the growing number of educational programs and services offered to members. New committees and initiatives followed, offering greater value to member companies and vendors.
NEAHMA has been an active member of NAHMA, with many New England management companies holding Executive Memberships in NAHMA and serving in leadership positions on NAHMA committees. NEAHMA members have also been active during NAHMA’s visits to Capitol Hill to promote affordable housing and legislation to protect this valuable resource.
Several years following the formation of the NAHMA Educational Scholarship Foundation, NEAHMA became heavily involved in promoting educational scholarships for residents living in AHMA-member communities and fundraising to support educational scholarship awards. NEAHMA currently (2018) leads all AHMAs in fundraising for the Foundation, and has among the largest number of scholarship award recipients within the AHMA network.
NEAHMA’s solid reputation is built on decades of hard work, dedication, trust, caring and the generosity of many board members, management companies, NAHMA staff, vendor members, trainers and agency staff. It is a unique blend of professionals whose primary purpose is to provide quality housing to people in need.