The Department of Housing and Urban Development is making a strong play to clear its wait list for HUD Lean 232 financing approval and underwriting, a task which has long plagued the senior housing industry in light of a months-long backlog of applications. Finally, it’s starting to look a lot better for those waiting in line.
The department said Tuesday it was working “diligently” to respond to the demand of applications awaiting underwriting review in the queue, and is working toward being able to process purchase and refinance loan applications upon submission by the lender.
“We are making significant headway in eliminating the queue for 223(f)’s and 223(a)(7)’s with a projected elimination sometime in mid-2012,” HUD’s Office of Healthcare Programs wrote in an email to lenders on Tuesday. “In collaboration with industry partners, we are developing new procedures that will enable us to continue to process applications that have been waiting in the queue as expeditiously as possible.”
Senior housing lenders are noticing the improvement as well.
“We have indeed seen great progress made by HUD on clearing out the queue,” said Nick Gesue, senior vice president for Lancaster Pollard. “Both the HUD employee Underwriters and the Contractor Underwriters have been extremely efficient in their process, and it is clear that they have reached a point where they are able to handle a large volume.”
The company alone saw 15 of its loans to go committee over the course of the last three to four weeks, Gesue said, as the queue has dropped more than 30 projects since January 1.
Overall, the queue has seen a substantial decrease in recent weeks, from nearly 260 in mid-November 2011 to 168 as of January 13, according to weekly HUD data.
Effective January 18, HUD said, all newly submitted applications must be complete and ready to underwrite upon submission by the lender.
A large backlog of senior care project applications has built up in the last several months, and the extended processing timeframe has kept lenders waiting and prompted some to seek senior housing financing elsewhere.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker