MBA NewsLink Q&A with Daron Tubian of Barings, Chair of the 2024 Affordable Rental Housing Advisory Council

Daron Tubian was named Chair of the 2024 Affordable Rental Housing Advisory Council at CREF24 in San Diego. Tubian previously co-chaired the Council in 2023.

The Council provides important recommendations, feedback, and ideas on where MBA should focus its time and resources to be impactful in advancing affordable multifamily housing and preserving the nation’s affordable housing stock. Victor Calanog of Manulife Investment Management serves as Vice-Chair of the 2024 Council, which is staffed and managed by MBA’s Katelynn Harris Walker, Associate Director of Affordable Housing Initiatives.

MBA NewsLink: Reflecting on the Affordable Rental Housing Advisory Council’s accomplishments, what notable achievements do you attribute to the Council’s efforts under your leadership, and how do you plan to build upon them in 2024?

Daron Tubian: The housing crisis in our country is real and impacts many communities coast to coast.  The massive efforts undertaken by federal, state and local governments to tackle this crisis are substantial.  Different markets pose different challenges and sometimes may require solutions more tailored to their needs.  As Co-Chair in 2023, Sarah Garland of CBRE and I worked to identify policies and programs that the Council should focus on to complement these broad efforts, including:

Increasing the supply of housing in America through policies, programs, and practices,

Expanding MBA’s leadership in linking affordable rental housing to renter counseling and education,

Growing the ranks of minority professionals in multifamily housing lending and development, and

Streamlining definitions for affordable multifamily housing.

MBA NewsLink: Considering the recent establishment of the Chair and Vice-Chair structure and the addition of several new members to the Affordable Rental Housing Advisory Council, how do you plan to integrate and leverage this refreshed leadership structure to foster a more dynamic, active, and engaging participation within the Council’s initiatives and decision-making processes?

Daron Tubian: It’s an honor for me to become this Council’s first Chair as it allows me to build on the important work the Council has done over the last five years but it also presents me with the opportunity to work more vigorously with other council members and industry leaders on actionable items important to housing. 

Creative thinking coupled with strategic decisions will be key navigating tools for how I envision advancing our objectives for the Council.

MBA NewsLink: How do you envision leveraging the Council’s strategic approach and partnerships to address evolving challenges within the affordable multifamily housing industry and advance workforce and middle-income housing in 2024?

Daron Tubian: What’s evident is that addressing the need for middle-income housing is growing year after year and the issue has become part of the overall affordable housing strategy that many lenders, investors and developers have undertaken.  There is pending legislation to create a middle-income housing tax credits (MIHTC) program to mirror the LIHTC, underscoring the recognition that without federal support, it will be extremely challenging in many markets across the U.S. to build and finance middle-income and workforce housing.  Hence one of the key focus areas for the Council this year is supporting all public and private efforts that is targeted towards helping this cause. 

I think it’s critical that policy makers and industry leaders take an “all-hands on deck” approach to help promote programs along with some financial engineering that will fuel the production of more units in this specific sector or AMI bandwidth.     

MBA NewsLink: Looking ahead, how do you plan to further expand the Council’s reach and effectiveness, and fuel its impact in future years?

Daron Tubian: What’s important about the change from a co-chair to a Chair and Vice-Chair structure is the added responsibility that comes with doing what you can to lead the Council to reach your objectives for that year with the support of the MBA and other council members but also to position it for continued growth and impact for your successor and future leaders. 

The MBA plays a pivotal role in so many ways when it comes to housing and it’s important that future leaders of this Council recognize the value of their partnership with MBA and leverage its strength and reach in every possible way.    

MBA NewsLink: Do think 2024 poses more opportunities or challenges for the production of more affordable and workforce housing units?

Daron Tubian: Two months into 2024, pipeline activity is robust and indications thus far are that rates should be more manageable to navigate around than last year.  Though an election year does pose certain uncertainties as we approach the latter half of the year, I think developers are optimistic about the certainty of getting their transactions over the finish line. 

So, ultimately, I think the opportunities to have more momentum behind transaction volume and thus more production outweigh the challenges, assuming we are not confronted with any unforeseen events later in the year.   

Daron Tubian is a member of Barings’ Real Estate Team, a global real estate platform with extensive capabilities across both debt and equity strategies.  Daron is a Managing Director and Head of Affordable Housing Investments, overseeing business strategy, origination, underwriting, and asset management for all affordable and workforce housing debt and equity investments.  Daron is also chair of Barings’ Affordable Housing Investments (AHI) Investment Committee.  Daron has been in the industry since 2000 and has extensive experience in private placements, construction and permanent lending, structured subordinate lending, tax credit equity investments and loan securitizations.

Learn more about MBA’s Affordable Housing Initiative, CONVERGENCE, here. Stay up to date on all things affordable multifamily housing by joining the Affordable Rental Housing online community group.