Hessel Aluise & O’Leary, P.C.
Karen W. Kramer, Principal

Karen W. Kramer


Karen W. Kramer represents for-profit and nonprofit developers, owners and lenders throughout the nation in connection with a range of multifamily affordable housing programs and transactions. She routinely represents buyers and sellers in structuring transactions and obtaining required federal regulatory approvals to transfer subsidized and use-restricted properties. She has advised for-profit and nonprofit developers across the country in structuring and closing complicated transactions involving multiple subsidy and funding sources including FHA insured financing, Mark-to-Market restructurings, LIHPRHA restrictions, and Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversions. She regularly advises on the HUD aspects of low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) transactions and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financings.  

Karen has represented lenders and borrowers in FHA insured closings and has represented borrowers on 202 prepayments, obtaining HUD TPA approval, and on Section 8 renewals and rent increases.  She also routinely provides advice on all aspects of the project based and tenant based Section 8 programs, including enhanced vouchers and project based vouchers.   She has worked with clients on a range of issues related to the structuring of the sale and acquisition of Mark-to-Market properties as well as compliance with ongoing Mark-to-Market requirements.  She also has experience with the Uniform Relocation Act (URA).

Prior to joining the firm in 2002, Karen practiced law for seven years with the Washington, DC law firm Covington & Burling.  At Covington, her broad commercial real estate practice included counseling clients in acquisitions and dispositions of commercial office, multifamily, and farm properties as well as financings, construction, leasing, and zoning matters.  Her first years of practice also included experience with all facets of civil litigation, including fair housing.

Bar Admissions
District of Columbia
Pennsylvania (Inactive)

JD, The George Washington University Law School, 1995, with highest honors
    The George Washington Law Review
    Order of the Coif
AB, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International
    Affairs, 1990

Representative Matters

Karen's areas of practice include all of the following and the areas listed to the right:

  • Purchase and sale of Mark-to-Market properties and structuring transactions involving payoffs, debt assumption, or assignment and forgiveness of Mark-to-Market debt to a qualified nonprofit. 
  • For-profit and nonprofit owner and developer representation on 236 decouplings including rent increases, RAD conversions, coordination with low income housing tax credits, HOME, CDBG, and new FHA insured financings.
  • Section 8 Contract renewal options and structuring transactions consistent with Section 8 requirements.
  • Use of tenant based Section 8 vouchers and transactions involving enhanced Section 8 vouchers and Project Based Voucher contracts.
  • Purchase and sale of projects with FHA insured loan closings, use restrictions, and project based rental subsidy.
  • FHA insured loan closings.
  • Combining LIHPRHA projects and advising on distribution issues.
Information at a Glance

Karen W. Kramer
Hessel Aluise & O’Leary, P.C.
1730 Rhode Island Avenue NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC  20036
202.466.5300 x 205



Practice Areas
Multifamily and Elderly Housing Development
Preservation and Restructuring
Ownership and Management Issues
Housing Policy and Legislation
Underwriting and Structuring Issues and Loan Closing
Troubled Properties

Hessel Aluise & O’Leary, P.C., 1730 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: 202-466-5300 Facsimile: 202-466-5508