Last Call! We are accepting nominations for our 2023 NC Housing Coalition Awards. Each year at the NC Affordable Housing Conference breakfast, we recognize organizations and individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to advocate for affordable housing. Traditionally we give out people-focused awards, but this year we want to feature work people and organizations are doing around the state that is focused on growing the housing movement in North Carolina. If you or someone you know has excelled in one of the following areas:
- Digital mobilization
- Advocacy events
- Public education effort
- Grassroots mobilization
- Cross sector partnerships
Please submit a nomination using the link in the call notes! The deadline for nominations is this Friday, August 25.
This year is the 50th year of the American Housing Survey – a tool a lot of use quite often. HUD is collecting feedback until September 20, 2023 to ensure that AHS data are as powerful and useful as possible for policymakers, researchers, industry leaders and the public. They are pulling out two key aspects of the AHS: oversamples and topic modules. Send your feedback to email@example.com.
The 2023 version of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA 2023) was introduced three months ago and is consistently breaking records. The bill has 28 cosponsors in the Senate, evenly divided, which is more Senate Republican cosponsors on the bill than there were in the previous Congress, and 159 cosponsors in the House, also evenly split. There is still a lot of opportunity for advocacy!
AHCIA needs support from Local Government Leaders as well! ACTION is partnering with the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and Mayors & CEOs for U.S Housing Investment on a letter from local government to the leaders in Congress underscoring the importance of the legislation and their support of the AHCIA.
- Reach out to your local government leaders to sign on in support of the AHCIA of 2023 – the deadline for signatures is September 7, 2023.
- There are several factsheets available for North Carolina and the impact of the Low-income Housing Tax Credit in our state
- In a similar letter in 2021 from U.S mayors – there were only two signatures from North Carolina. Let’s do better!
- If you or your local government leaders have questions they can email ACTION at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Take Action on Twitter
- Calling all #mayors, #countyexecutives, and #countyboardchairs: Join the @HousingACTION, @mayorsandceos, @leagueofcities and @NACoTweets in signing this letter to Congress on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit https://forms.gle/rngEo6aYoUcoAJS99 #affordablehousing
- Take Action on Linkedin
- The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2023, S. 1557 and H.R. 3238, was introduced on May 11. The ACTION Campaign is asking mayors, county executives, and county board chairs from around the country to sign on to a letter to Congress calling for the expansion and strengthening of the #HousingCredit. ACTION is being joined by partners at the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment. Read more about the letter and how local government leaders can sign onto the letter on the ACTION blog. https://rentalhousingaction.org/2023/08/17/call-to-action-2023-sign-on-letter-for-local-government-leaders #AffordableHousing #LIHTC
Senators Urge Biden Administration to Include Affordable Housing and Homeless Assistance Funding in Supplemental Spending Request. A group of 14 Democratic senators led by Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) sent a letter to President Biden urging his administration to include critically needed homeless assistance funding as part of its supplemental appropriations request. The letter emphasizes the urgent need for robust funding for both affordable housing and homeless assistance programs especially since pandemic-era homeless prevention programs are ending or have ended, and other state and local homeless assistance resources are depleted. Requests in the letter include:
- $5 billion in new Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV)
- $580 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program
- $1 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund
Last week the National Low Income Housing Coalition announced that it joined the National Housing Law Project (NHLP) in submitting a letter in support of Rural Housing Decoupling. In order to support low-income rural residents’ access to rural housing provided by the USDA, NLIHC and NHLP submitted a letter that supports the authority that USDA has to decouple Section 521 rental assistance from the Section 514 and 515 mortgages that are set to expire. Decoupling these programs would allow for project-based rental assistance to continue for multifamily housing (MFH) tenants, and also encourage new third-party investment and recapitalization of the aging MFH portfolio. This would be a critical tool for keeping housing affordable for the low-income and very-low income renters living in those homes.
- The USDA held several listening sessions about this topic, the details can be found here.
- The letter submitted by NHLP and NLIHC can be found here.
State Legislative Updates
No new updates around the budget, again we are looking at a September timeline for votes as officials continue to negotiate and work through differences. The items that seem to be holding the budget up seem to circle around issues like Medicaid expansion, casinos, project spending, and other infrastructure areas. We also expect there to be a flurry of legislation that people try to pass towards the end of session/along with the budget, but how that will impact housing we are still unsure.
Last week however, there were several veto overrides, and one in particular could have a layered effect on housing and affordability. The bill is H.B.488 / S378 / SL2023-108: Code Council Reorg. And Var.Code Amend. This legislation is a great example of a bill that has mixed reviews, and one that could have both positive and negative effects on our communities across the state.
With the passing of this legislation, North Carolina has become the first state to change its Residential 1-2 Family Code to the 1-4 Family Code. Here is an overview of what that could mean for housing affordability.
- Using the commercial building code increases building costs substantially compared to using residential building code. Especially with three and four unit structures. With this shift, construction costs of these types of housing, often a part of the middle housing spectrum, would decrease costs.
Although this aspect could mean positive things for affordable housing – we cannot ignore the other components of this bill that also create concern.
- The bill delays the ongoing updating of North Carolina’s 10+ year old building code – the out of date nature of our code has already cost the state’s access to federal mitigation dollars.This includes more than $1.2 billion in U.S Department of Energy funding available to support energy code updates, and future mitigation and recovery dollars.
- With extreme weather conditions and natural disaster frequency expected to increase and continue, this could cost additional suffering, costs, and longer recovery times.
- Creates a committee that could hinder the existing Building Code Council’s ability to make decisions and make the process for change more arduous.
See the letter from the Builder’s Performance Association to Governor Cooper in July that includes several state and federal partners signatures and their concerns about the bill by clicking here.
Local Community Updates
Councilman Hugh Holston named CEO of Greensboro Housing Coalition last week on August 15. Holston has served on the board of directors for the Greensboro Housing Coalition since 2017, was elected to the Greensboro city-council in July 2022 and plans to remain in the position as he takes on this new role for the Greensboro Housing Coalition.
Charlotte wants housing to replace vacant school. Jewish cemetery is wary of city’s plans. The city has released an RFP to build affordable and workforce housing on the site adjacent to the cemetery property, submissions are due August 31, 2023.
Two major financial institutions invest in affordable housing in NC:
- Ally Financial Inc. commits nearly $1 billion in giving and capital deployment to housing initiatives | Mecklenburg Times More than $4 million in grants and investments will be deployed in Ally’s hometowns of Detroit and Charlotte to support affordable housing initiatives.
- In Charlotte, to help increase access to affordable housing the Ally Charitable Foundation made a $3 million equity investment in the Housing Impact Fund II to acquire existing affordable housing properties in Mecklenburg County, N.C.,
- An additional $1 million was invested into the Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund II, which is managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). This fund focuses on lessening the growing affordability gap by investing in housing developments that serve residents earning a range of incomes.
- In a broader $2.2 million grant deployment across Detroit and Charlotte, Ally will be deploying $240,000 to nine local Charlotte organizations.
- Truist announces $17 million investment for affordable housing in Charlotte. Last week Truist announced that it will invest $17 million to create more affordable housing and also expand employment opportunities for the underserved.
- $15 million will go towards renovating older apartment complexes and transforming them into affordable housing.
- $2 million will provide job training.
Raleigh using rent profits to fix up affordable housing. Last week the Raleigh City Council approved allocating more than $300,000 to improve the city-owned affordable housing facility on Brentwood Road that they purchased in 2021, and is now a part of a long term hotel. Formerly a hotel, now called Studios at 2800, hosts 116 studio units. The city plans to convert a part of the rooms into permanent supportive housing for people with disabilities or exiting homelessness.
Commissioner Calabria Contributes to National Recommendations on Housing Affordability | Wake County Government Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria and other members of the National Association of Counties released a final report highlighting best housing practices and identifying 25 different policy recommendations to enhance housing affordability. To view the report, click here.
Economic development report for county released | Sandhills Sentinel Moore County Economic Development Partnership released a report on economic development, workforce and community development activities. The report mentions recent efforts to develop affordable workforce housing in Moore County including earmarked funding for a regional housing needs assessment spearheaded by the realtors associations and connecting the Sandhills Habitat for Humanity with a grant to extend infrastructure to a 100 acre site in Aberdeen that they purchased.
Fayetteville hotel to be converted into apartments for the homeless. Here is where and how | Fayetteville Observer | Fayetteville Observer. The Night Inn is going to be converted into 137 apartments by an organization called Step Up.
- NLIHC Tenant Talk Volume 14, Issue 2: Taking Pride into Our Work | NLIHC
- Comparison of the Costs of Manufactured and Site-Built Housing | Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard
- How Can Ginnie Mae Help Ensure Independent Mortgage Banks Can Weather the Next Recession? | Urban Institute
- [In Person] Housing Map Info Session | Cape Fear Housing Coalition and Cape Fear Collective, 8/23 at 4-6pm at the Harrelson Center, free and open to the public.
- [Webinar] Investing in Opportunity: Rental Assistance and Neighborhoods of Choice | Bipartisan Policy Center 8/24, 1-2 p.m.
- [In Person] Welcome Reception for Hugh, Holston new CEO of Greensboro Housing Coalition | Greensboro Housing Coalition 8/24, 11:00am-1:00pm
In the News
How We Stop Discriminating Against Housing Vouchers [podcast] | Next City
Gen Z Can’t Afford the Rent | The New York Times