Case Study: Mt. Carmel Gardens

SPM assumed management of Mt. Carmel Gardens (previously self-managed) in May 2013.  Mt. Carmel is a 207-unit, 17 story high-rise built in 1971 and located in Jacksonville, Florida. The property is designated as a senior community with a mix of both Section 236/8 units. While originally designated an elderly (over 62) community, SPM discovered that the prior management had not adhered to the HUD age requirements which had resulted in a number of residents under the age of 62. The prior management company had not adequately trained the existing staff to fully understand the rules and regulations associated with the operation and tenant eligibility for a LIHTC property.  SPM reviewed each file and remedied each situation individually and provided additional staff training.   Another significant challenge was improving HUD’s Management Occupancy Review (MOR) rating for the community which SPM successfully accomplished. Prior to SPM, the MOR score was an “Unsatisfactory.” Through a combination of hard work and re-education of the staff, the MOR score significantly improved in a little over a year to an “Above Average” score.

During the first ninety days of management, SPM successfully addressed a number of major issues. The 80-ton chiller, which provided air conditioning for the entire building, was struck by lightning, leaving the residents without air conditioning. As a major expense, HUD approval was required for replacement. SPM successfully expedited a process that would normally take 12 weeks from approval to installation, to four weeks.  During the new chiller installation, residents were provided with fans and a cool zone in the community room.  Over the next six months SPM was also faced with a major gas leak, pump room floods, boiler replacement and a booster pump failure. Each occurrence was handled with expert professionalism and with the understanding that our first duty was to our residents. The occupancy was also very poor (79%) and that has been positively impacted by SPM with average 99% occupancy rate.  

Ultimately, the property was sold to another non-profit which was able to layer in LIHTC, HOME, SHIP, City and ELI funding to rehab the community. SPM was instrumental in serving as the liaison between the contractor and the developer. The new owners retained SPM services signing a new management agreement extending our tenure.

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