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RULE §10.404Reserve Accounts

(a) Replacement Reserve Account (§2306.186). The Department will require Development Owners to provide regular maintenance to keep housing sanitary, safe and decent by establishing and maintaining a reserve for replacement account for the Development in accordance with Tex. Gov't Code, §2306.186. The reserve account must be established, in accordance with paragraphs (3) - (6) of this subsection, and maintained through annual or more frequent regularly scheduled deposits, for each Unit in a Development of 25 or more rental Units regardless of the amount of rent charged for the Unit. If the Department is processing a request for loan modification or other request under this subchapter and the Development does not have an existing replacement reserve account or sufficient funds in the reserve to meet future capital expenditure needs of the Development as determined by a history of uncorrected UPCS violations, ongoing issues related to keeping housing sanitary, safe, and decent, an account balance below the annual reserve deposit amount as specified in this section, or as indicated by the number or cost of repairs included in a third party Physical Needs Assessment (PNA), the Development Owner will be required to establish and maintain a replacement reserve account or review whether the amount of regular deposits to the replacement reserve account can be increased, regardless of the number of Units at the Development. The Department shall, through cooperation of its divisions responsible for asset management and compliance, ensure compliance with this section. The duties of the Development Owner under this section cease on the date of a change in ownership of the Development; however, the subsequent Development Owner of the Development is subject to the requirements of this section and any additional or revised requirements the Department may impose after reviewing a Development's compliance history, a PNA submitted by the Owner, or the amount of reserves that will be transferred at the time of any property sale.

  (1) The LURA requires the Development Owner to begin making annual deposits to the replacement reserve account on the later of the:

    (A) Date that occupancy of the Development stabilizes as defined by the First Lien Lender or, in the absence of a First Lien Lender other than the Department, the date the Property is at least 90% occupied; or

    (B) The date when the permanent loan is executed and funded.

  (2) The Development Owner shall continue making deposits into the replacement reserve account until the earliest of the:

    (A) Date on which the owner suffers a total casualty loss with respect to the Development or the date on which the Development becomes functionally obsolete, if the Development cannot be or is not restored;

    (B) Date on which the Development is demolished;

    (C) Date on which the Development ceases to be used as a multifamily rental property; or

    (D) End of the Affordability Period specified by the LURA, or if an Affordability Period is not specified and the Department is the First Lien Lender, then when the Department's loan has been fully repaid or as otherwise agreed by the Owner and Department.

  (3) If the Department is the First Lien Lender with respect to the Development or if the establishment of a Reserve Account for repairs has not been required by the First Lien Lender or Bank Trustee, each Development Owner receiving Department assistance for multifamily rental housing shall deposit annually into a separate, Development-specific Reserve Account through the date described in paragraph (2) of this subsection as follows:

    (A) For New Construction and Reconstruction Developments, not less than $250 per Unit. Withdrawals from such account will be restricted for up to five years following the date of award except in cases in which written approval from the Department is obtained relating to casualty loss, natural disaster, reasonable accommodations, or demonstrated financial hardship (but not for the construction standards required by the NOFA or program regulations); or

    (B) For Adaptive Reuse and Rehabilitation Developments, the greater of the amount per Unit per year either established by the information presented in a Scope and Cost Review in conformance with Chapter 11, Subchapter D of this title (relating to Underwriting and Loan Policy) or $300 per Unit per year.

  (4) For all Developments, a PNA must be conducted at intervals that are consistent with requirements of the First Lien Lender, other than the Department. If the Department is the First Lien Lender, or the First Lien Lender does not require a Third Party PNA, a PNA must be conducted at least once during each five-year period beginning with the 11th year after the awarding of any financial assistance from the Department. PNAs conducted by the Owner at any time or for any reason other than as required by the Department in the year beginning with the 11th year of award must be submitted to the Department for review within 30 days of receipt by the Owner.

  (5) Where there is a First Lien Lender other than the Department or a Bank Trustee as a result of a bond trust indenture or tax credit syndication, the Development Owner shall comply with the lesser of the replacement reserve requirements of the First Lien Lender or the requirements in paragraph (3) of this subsection. In addition, the Department should be listed as a party to receive notice under any replacement reserve agreement entered into by the Development Owner. The Development Owner shall submit on an annual basis, within the Department's required Development Owner's Financial Certification packet, requested information regarding:

    (A) The reserve for replacement requirements under the first lien loan agreement (if applicable) referencing where those requirements are contained within the loan documents;

    (B) Compliance with the first lien lender requirements outlined in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;

    (C) If the Owner is not in compliance with the lender requirements, the Development Owner's plan of action to bring the Development in compliance with all established reserve for replacement requirements; and

    (D) Whether a PNA has been ordered and the Owner's plans for any subsequent capital expenditures, renovations, repairs, or improvements.

  (6) Where there is no First Lien Lender but the allocation of funds by the Department and Tex. Gov't Code, §2306.186 requires that the Department oversee a Reserve Account, the Development Owner shall provide at their sole expense an escrow agent acceptable to the Department to act as Bank Trustee as necessary under this section. The Department shall retain the right to replace the escrow agent with another Bank Trustee or act as escrow agent at a cost plus fee payable by the Development Owner due to breach of the escrow agent's responsibilities or otherwise with 30 days prior notice of all parties to the escrow agreement.

  (7) Penalties and Non-Compliance. If the Development Owner fails to comply with the replacement reserve account requirements stated in this paragraph, and request for extension or waiver of these requirements is not approved by the Department, then a penalty of up to $200 per dwelling Unit in the Development and/or characterization of the Development as being in default with this requirement, may be imposed. Causes include:

    (A) A Reserve Account, as described in this section, has not been established for the Development;

    (B) The Department is not a party to the escrow agreement for the Reserve Account, if required;

    (C) Money in the Reserve Account:

      (i) is used for expenses other than necessary repairs, including property taxes or insurance; or

      (ii) falls below mandatory annual, monthly, or Department approved deposit levels;

    (D) Development Owner fails to make any required deposits;

    (E) Development Owner fails to obtain a Third-Party PNA as required under this section or submit a copy of a PNA to the Department within 30 days of receipt; or

    (F) Development Owner fails to make necessary repairs in accordance with the Third Party PNA or §10.621 of this chapter (relating to Property Condition Standards).

  (8) Department-Initiated Repairs. The Department or its agent may make repairs to the Development within 30 calendar days of written notice from the Department if the Development Owner fails to complete necessary repairs indicated in the submitted PNA or identified by Department physical inspection. Repairs may be deemed necessary if the Development Owner fails to comply with federal, state, and/or local health, safety, or building code requirements. Payment for necessary repairs must be made directly by the Development Owner or through a replacement Reserve Account established for the Development under this section. The Department or its agent will be allowed to produce a Request for Bids to hire a contractor to complete and oversee necessary repairs. In the event the circumstances identified in subparagraphs (A) or (B) of this paragraph occur, funds withdrawn must be replaced from Cash Flow after payment of Operating Expenses but before return to Development Owner or deferred Developer Fee until the mandatory deposit level is replenished. The Department reserves the right to re-evaluate payments to the reserve, increase such payments or require a lump sum deposit to the reserve, or require the Owner to enter into a separate Reserve Agreement if necessary to protect the long term feasibility of the Development. On a case-by-case basis, the Department may determine that the money in the Reserve Account may be used for expenses other than necessary repairs, including property taxes or insurance, if:

    (A) Development income before payment of return to Development Owner or deferred Developer Fee is insufficient to meet operating expense and debt service requirements; or

    (B) Development income after payment of operating expenses, but before payment of return to Development Owner or deferred developer fee is insufficient to fund the mandatory deposit levels.

  (9) Exceptions to Replacement Reserve Account. This section does not apply to a Development for which the Development Owner is required to maintain a Reserve Account under any other provision of federal or state law.

  (10) In the event of paragraph (7) or (8) of this subsection occurring, the Department reserves the right to require by separate Reserve Agreement a revised annual deposit amount and/or require Department concurrence for withdrawals from the Reserve Account to bring the Development back into compliance. Establishment of a new Bank Trustee or transfer of reserve funds to a new, separate and distinct account may be required if necessary to meet the requirements of such Agreement. The Agreement will be executed by the Department, Development Owner, and financial institution representative.

(b) Lease-up Reserve Account. A lease-up reserve funds start-up expenses in excess of the revenue produced by the Development prior to stabilization. The Department will consider a reasonable lease-up reserve account based on the documented requirements from a third-party lender, third-party syndicator, or the Department. During the underwriting at the point of the Cost Certification review, the lease-up reserve may be counted as a use of funds only to the extent that it represents operating shortfalls net of escrows for property taxes and property insurance. Funds from the lease-up reserve used to satisfy the funding requirements for other reserve accounts may not be included as a use of funds for the lease-up reserve. Funds from the lease-up reserve distributed or distributable as cash flow to the Development Owner will be considered and restricted as developer fee.

(c) Operating Reserve Account. At various stages during the application, award process, and during the operating life of a Development, the Department will conduct a financial analysis of the Development's total development costs and operating budgets, including the estimated operating reserve account deposit required. For example, this analysis typically occurs at application and cost certification review. The Department will consider a reasonable operating reserve account deposit in this analysis based on the needs of the Development and requirements of third-party lenders or investors. The amount used in the analysis will be the amount described in the project cost schedule or balance sheet, if it is within the range of two to six months of stabilized operating expenses plus debt service. The Department may consider a greater amount proposed or required by the Department, any superior lien lender, or syndicator, if the detail for such greater amount is reasonable and well documented. Reasonable operating reserves in this chapter do not include capitalized asset management fees, guaranty reserves, or other similar costs. In no instance will operating reserves exceed 12 months of stabilized operating expenses plus debt service (exclusive of transferred replacement reserves for USDA or HUD financed rehabilitation transactions). Operating reserves are generally for the term of the permanent loan. In no instance will operating reserves released within five years be included as a cost.

(d) Special Reserve Account. If the funding program requires or allows for the establishment and maintenance of a Special Reserve Account for the purpose of assisting residents at the Development with expenses associated with their tenancy, this will be established in accordance with a written agreement with the Development Owner.


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