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Housing Call: July 26, 2022

Federal updates

  • The House is planning to adjourn for August recess at the end of the week and the Senate is scheduled to leave next Friday. There is speculation that the Senate may make an attempt to pass a reconciliation package focused on lowering drug prices before they leave town. If that happens, the House may return to take it up in their chamber as well. However, there is very little time to advance a package like this. Adding to the timing challenge, Senator Joe Manchin tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning, which means he won’t be able to attend votes this week and Democrats need all 50 Senators to pass a reconciliation bill. If the package does advance, it will be narrow, focusing on healthcare only. Other priorities on the Democratic agenda are not likely to make it into the bill, including investments in affordable housing and other measures like the LIFELINE
  • The House passed six of 12 budget bills for FY23, including the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development budget, which would substantially increase federal investments in housing. Although the House is moving forward on its version of next year’s spending packages, top appropriators have not reached an agreement yet on funding totals for next year, so a continuing resolution will likely still be needed in October.
  • Affordable housing experts, advocates, and stakeholders testified at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the impact of tax incentives on affordable housing last week. Topics included the housing supply shortage, increased costs to build new or rehabilitating old homes, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), and rising rent and home prices.


State updates

  • The NC General Assembly is set to return for a brief work session this week for administrative meetings, but lawmakers won’t be voting on anything. The quick meetings signal that no agreement has been reached yet on legislation that would expand Medicaid: NC legislature won’t hold votes at Raleigh return next week | WRAL
  • The City of Charlotte is considering zoning changes to its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) that would allow duplexes and triplexes to be built in areas currently zoned as single family neighborhoods. Quadruplexes would also be allowed on arterial streets in these zoning districts, if there is an affordable housing unit. The city held a public hearing on the second draft of the UDO last week, where there was both support and opposition to the plan. A draft is scheduled to be released on August 15: Neighbors react to potential changes to single family zoning regulations | Spectrum News 1
  • Greensboro voters will see five bonds on their ballots this November, including $35 million for affordable housing. The majority of candidates running for Greensboro City Council say the housing bond is the most important: Where do Greensboro council, mayoral candidates stand on $135M in bond issues? | News & Record
  • As federal pandemic relief money runs out, evictions across central North Carolina are beginning to increase. Housing advocates say relief money is a key element in preventing evictions and there is concern that evictions will soon return to pre-pandemic rates: ‘It’s really tough’: Evictions begin to creep back up in parts of central North Carolina | ABC 11
  • Buncombe County Commissioners approved more than $18 million in American Rescue Plan funding last week. The funds were distributed across 24 projects by local organizations and nonprofits, including Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and a domestic violence shelter: More than $18 million in ARPA money approved for 24 Buncombe County projects | MY40


Reports, events, resources


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Housing Call: July 19, 2022

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