Governor Cooper’s proposed budget prioritizes affordable housing at historic levels but leaves some current needs unaddressed
Governor Cooper released his proposed budget for FY 2022-23 last week, which includes his office’s request for funding for affordable housing. The Governor’s proposed budget for 2022-23 funds affordable housing at historic levels ($189M) and includes a specific recommendation section that addresses affordable housing in North Carolina.
Proposed affordable housing funding allocations include:
Down Payment Assistance
$50M: The budget request addresses barriers to homeownership by proposing down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers at or below 100% of area median income (AMI). This proposed allocation would provide assistance to an estimated 3,300-6,250 home-buyers.
- Eligible first-time homebuyers, military veterans, and buyers in certain targeted Census tracts receive standard assistance of $8,000
- Educators, law enforcement, firefighters and EMS personnel who qualify for standard assistance receive $15,000
Affordable Housing Creation and Preservation
$27.7M: NC Housing Trust Fund. The state’s most flexible affordable housing resource funds creative housing solutions through the leveraging of private funds. Funds have aided the creation of senior communities and domestic violence shelters and supported urgent repairs of dangerous housing conditions.
$40M: Workforce Housing Loan Program (WHLP). WHLP encourages the development of more deeply-affordable housing in North Carolina’s lowest-income counties by providing tax credit projects with a 30-year deferred payment loan at 0% interest.
Low- and Moderate-Income Area Water Infrastructure
$20M: Low-and-Moderate Income Area Water Infrastructure. Funds provide water and sewer infrastructure in communities with less than 200,000 where the majority of residents are low- or median-income.
Energy and Water Utility Assistance
$25M: Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) State Supplement. LIEAP provides one-time vendor payments to help eligible households with energy bill costs.
$10M: Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) State Supplement. LIHWAP provides drinking water and wastewater utility assistance to eligible households earning 150% of the Federal Poverty Level or less.
$12.3M: Transitions to Community Living. Funding provides additional housing and tenancy supports and wraparound mental health services for eligible adults with mental illness transitioning from institutions to community care.
$4.2M: Key Rental Assistance. This partnership between NCDHHS and NCHFA provides supportive housing programs for individuals who are low income and/or living with a disability.
While the Governor’s proposed budget revisions for affordable housing are a step in the right direction, they are not enough to meet current affordable housing needs, particularly for WHLP.
- WHLP funding is designated in the proposed budget revisions as nonrecurring, meaning that its availability is not assured for future years and it is not included in the budget if there is an impasse.
- The proposed WHLP allocation would meet the need for the current cycle, but it would not cover the additional $50-60 million needed to activate State and Local Federal Recovery Funds if a Federal LIHTC fix does not pass.
The legislative short session is scheduled to begin this week.With a Republican-led House and Senate, the budget will likely undergo significant revisions before it is finalized.
To read the full budget recommendation, click here.