Greystone and The Hallmark Companies, Inc. Recognized as One of Tennessee’s Best

Work done by Greystone Affordable Housing Initiatives and the Hallmark Companies, Inc. on a complex bond deal that led to the renovation of nearly 800 rental units was the catalyst for a Tennessee’s Best Award the companies received Oct. 13 during the 2016 Governor’s Housing Conference in Nashville.

Greystone/Hallmark earned the Tennessee’s Best award from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency in the Best in Innovation – Finance category. The Best in Innovation award is given for both rural and urban efforts and recognizes programs that feature originality in an effort to address the affordable housing needs of a community.

Greystone Affordable Housing Initiatives President Tanya Eastwood said the award reflected the unique nature of the financial transaction.

“We are incredibly honored to accept this award with The Hallmark Companies, Inc. for the herculean effort in the preservation of 793 homes across rural Tennessee. While Greystone has orchestrated financial and physical preservation of over 8,200 units of affordable housing across the U.S., this particular transaction required creativity, perseverance, and quick movement for a process that can be anything but quick. Our process is innovative in that we are piecing together funding sources that are either highly complex or just lesser known, or both, and our expertise lies in shepherding rural affordable housing owners through the process of saving their aging properties.”

The Hallmark Companies, Inc. President Pete Petersen echoed Eastwood’s sentiments.

“I would like to thank Tennessee Housing and Development Agency (THDA) for recognizing our portfolio preservation project,” Petersen said.  From the very first round of meetings, THDA was an integral part of this process and an incredibly valuable agency partner throughout this entire project.  This award celebrates the culmination of the rehabilitation of 20 affordable housing communities totaling 793 apartment homes across the state of Tennessee. ”

THDA Director Ralph M. Perrey praised the deal for improving the quality of life for hundreds of families and individuals across Tennessee.

“With this transaction, Greystone and Hallmark were able to guarantee access to safe, decent, affordable housing for hundreds of Tennesseeans for decades to come,” Perrey said.

Greystone Affordable Housing Initiatives, a company that provides transaction-management consulting services, guided a complex financial transaction involving multiple entities at the state and federal levels. The multi-faceted deal helped rehabilitate nearly 800 affordable housing units owned by the Hallmark Companies in Tennessee and secured a 30-year extension of controlled rents.

The single bond issue, which was coupled with a $28 million allocation in the aggregate from THDA to an amenable local issuing entity, included 20 multi-family USDA properties in rural areas of 16 Tennessee counties.

Greystone’s help in shepherding the deal was needed because there were no viable resources within USDA Rural Development for adequate preservation. Owners of the developments in question, which had an average occupancy rate over 96 percent, were ready to sell the properties since they were nearing the end of their restricted use agreements. As a result of the bond issue, all 20 properties were rehabilitated and modernized, with ownership transferred.

Greystone/Hallmark was one of six 2016 Tennessee’s Best awards winners from throughout the state announced at the 2016 Governor’s Housing Conference

The 2016 Conference was held Oct. 12-13 at the Music City Center in Nashville with a goal to encourage sharing of best practices.

Tennessee’s Best awards are considered among several categories: Best in Innovation, Program; Best in Innovation, Finance; Remarkable Achievement, Rural; Remarkable Achievement, Urban; Excellence in Partnership and Housing Plus. Awards are not made in every category every year. A full list of winners, as well as award summaries, can be found at

The Tennessee’s Best awards honor outstanding individuals and organizations whose contributions on behalf of affordable housing, whether producing, designing, developing, financing or promoting housing policy, inspires others to serve Tennesseans’ housing needs.

Together, we can change lives.