Santa Barbara

Organizational Training & Consulting

Training Modules in Property and Asset Management

Birute Skurdenis, Asset Manager, is responsible for providing training and developing resources to strengthen the capacity for ownership and management of nonprofit affordable housing. She has over 18 years experience in managing affordable housing and has worked with many nonprofit housing groups. Her training experience includes property and Asset Management training for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Tax Credit Compliance training for the Nonprofit Housing Associations of Northern and Southern California and management consultation and training to individual nonprofit organizations.

Our modules are described below. Some of these training modules are part of the introductory and intermediate series of classes sponsored by Merritt and Bay Area LISC. Other training module presentations are available under contract through Merritt.

For more information on training, please email Birute Skurdenis or Maria Duarte.

Affordable Housing Management

A series of classes on Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced topics in the management of affordable housing are offered annually in conjunction with the Bay Area Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The low-cost classes are presented with Introductory classes in January, Intermediate classes in April and Advanced Classes in September. For registration information go to

Affordable Housing Management Overview

A two-day overview class for property and asset managers and others who need to understand property management. The sessions offer a review of best practices in property and asset management and sample formats for analyzing and building policies and procedures from the day the property is conceived through its long term successful operation.

Board of Directors and Asset Management

Introducing asset management concerns to members of the Board of Directors of nonprofit housing development groups. This module can be adjusted to the needs of multiple or single property Boards, including Resident-representative Boards. For single properties focus is on the property value, comparisons to market rents, finances including reserves, and an introduction to regulatory requirements governing the property for which the Board, the sponsor and property management are responsible. For multiple-property Boards, focus is on selecting new properties, regulatory compliance issues, reserves planning and overseeing management.

Board of Directors - “Conducting Board Business”

Geared towards affordable housing Boards of Directors with participation of residents who may not be familiar with the structure of Boards of Directors, the responsibilities of individual members and how to conduct Board business. Most management-oriented training can be adapted for Board use.

Budget Preparation

A practical class on how to prepare project-based budgets and/or analyze and use available data to construct first year budgets. One of the Introductory and Intermediate Affordable Housing Management topics.

Budgets, Understanding the Numbers

This class focuses on planning first year budgets, understanding the property characteristics that cause variations and the impact of the first year of rent up and operation.

Fair Housing and Resident Selection

A review of federal and state Fair Housing regulations with emphasis on protection for families, the disabled and reasonable accommodation. How to prepare your organization for the fair selection of residents and how to modify resident selection to reach targeted populations. This training is appropriate for both property managers and Boards of Directors. One of the Introductory and Intermediate Affordable Housing Management topics.

Income Certification

Regulatory Compliance depends on understanding and applying the regulations on certifying the incomes of applicants and residents. Introduction and Intermediate issues in using the HUD Occupancy Handbook, calculating incomes and assets, applying rules specific to different funding programs and due diligence in obtaining all required information. One of the Introductory and Intermediate Affordable Housing Management topics.

Maintenance Management

Introductory and Intermediate classes for managers and an intensive two-day class (offered through the National LISC ODI Office) for those who want to go into more depth on the organization of maintenance. Topics include the various categories of maintenance and their importance to a well-managed property, inspection procedures, capital planning and reserves, and managing the workforce including contractors.

Managing the Manager

How to oversee property management operations whether they are in house or contracted out to a third party. Focuses on using the Management Contract and Management Plan to assess the strengths and weaknesses of property management and work to improve property management operations and communication with the owner.

Reading Financial Reports

Introductory and Intermediate reviews of the material contained in monthly financial reports and annual financial statements. Focus on understanding the components of a financial report including Balance Sheets and Budget Comparison reports and analyzing and using the information provided. One of the Introductory and Intermediate Affordable Housing Management topics.

Rent Up

Introductory and Intermediate presentation on the marketing and rent up process for a new property. The focus is on understanding the regulatory requirements, marketing to reach the targeted population, scheduling tasks meet occupancy deadlines while complying with regulations and the interview and resident selection process for multiple move-ins.

Self-Management of Affordable Housing

This class allows nonprofit organizations to analyze how well they are prepared to take over management of properties they own. Topics include understanding the impact of taking property management in house, finances and start up and assessing current management.

Supervision in Affordable Housing Management

This training covers topics of interest to those in a supervisory position over site managers. This is an advanced training covering the development process, pro formas, understanding and monitoring regulatory compliance, budgeting and monitoring and making budget corrections mid-year and issues in organizing work and supervising site managers.

Tax Credit Compliance

Introductory and Advanced training in the application of Low Income Housing Tax Credit rules and regulations to property management. Topics include: the structure of the tax credit program, income certification requirements, rules unique to the tax credit program (e.g. Next Available Unit Rule, Students Status Verification.) Advanced topics include acquisition/rehab, mixed funding programs, Placed in Service dates, monitoring and correcting files and training site staff. One of the Intermediate Affordable Housing Management topics.