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Housing Call: June 27, 2023

Reminder for Housing Call Listeners!

Next Tuesday is July 4 our offices will be closed and there will not be a Housing Call, but we look forward to checking in with you the following week on July 11th!

Focus: State of the Nation’s Housing Report 2023

Last week, Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies released its annual State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report uses a variety of national housing and demographic datasets to distill current trends and challenges in the rental and owner-occupied housing markets across the United States. Today we’ll highlight a few broad national trends and dive deeper into 3 places in the report that mention NC-specific data.

National Trends:

  • The for-sale and rental markets have cooled down.
  • Multifamily construction did well last year but is expected to slow this year.
  • Affordability continues to drop and the number of cost burdened households continues to rise.
  • First-time homebuyers are struggling to enter the market with high interest rates.
  • We continue to lose naturally occurring affordable housing at a steep pace.This is why we advocate for important legislation like the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA), try to celebrate when local communities invest in development AND preservation, and advocate for coordinated and robust resources for affordable housing.

While the report largely focuses on national and regional trends, North Carolina was highlighted a couple of times throughout in the context of a growing population, increased housing demand, and the resulting increased rents and home prices.

  • The South experienced the largest domestic net migration in 2022.
    • TX: 230,961
    • FL: 318,85h
    • NC: 99,796
  • Year over year home prices rose the most in the South. Of the 100 metro areas included in the Freddie Mac House Price Index, Greensboro-High Point, NC experienced the second highest year-over increase in home prices (8.8%).
  • The number of units with low rents (defined as rents below $600) dropped by 86K in NC – more than in any other state. This is attributed to increasing population growth and demand for housing. 

For more info, check out a blog from the Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Federal Updates

Last week, Representative Maxine Waters of California introduced a package of 3 bills that focus on narrowing the country’s racial wealth gap. The Housing Crisis Response Act of 2023, The Ending Homelessness Act of 2023, and The Downpayment Toward Equality Act of 2023. The bills seek a few different things:

  • $100 billion in direct assistance to first-time, first-generation home buyers.
  • More than $150 billion in fair and affordable housing investments.
  • An expansion of the housing voucher program (Section 8) into a federal entitlement that is accessible to every American family that qualifies.
  • Under one of the bills, HUD would allocate $10 billion to create affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness and permanently authorize the U.S Interagency Council on Homelessness which currently has a sunset date of October 2028.

Read More here:

HUD awards more than $14.4 million in housing counseling grants. Over 180 housing counseling received notices that they would be recipients of these funds. The awards will support the housing counseling services provided by the grantees to homebuyers, homeowners, and renters, and will continue to support partnerships between HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).

HUD launches Office of Manufactured Housing Programs last week. The new office will report to Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner Julia Gordon. The office will focus on accelerating manufactured housing creation in order to help address the nation’s inventory issues. This office used to be organized under the Office of Housing’s Office of Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs, so this new structure is intended to explicitly make clear the role that manufactured housing can play in addressing our country’s housing needs and the importance of expanding efforts to this supply of affordable home-ownership. 

State Updates

NCORR releases RFA for Housing Stabilization Services through a partnership with the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness for their Back@Home North Carolina-Balance of State program (Back@Home-BoS) in the 79 county North Carolina Balance of State Continuum of Care (CoC). This partnership was born from an award from HUD of approximately $22 million to serve North Carolina households with severe needs experiencing homelessness. NCORR is acting as the oversight agency for the grant funds while the program itself will be staffed by NCCEH. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until July 21, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. EST. 

A budget isn’t likely to come out this week before July 4 recess, therefore it likely won’t be out for another week or more. Conversations seem to be stalled around budget tax cuts and other reserves, no definitive word on other areas. This is a great time to continue (if you already have been) or start contacting your elected officials in the Senate and House about Housing Appropriation.

We will be taking advantage of this week and the recess to update and reorganize our bill tracker to stay tuned, we’ll make sure to announce any changes.

Local Updates

Watauga County Commissioners allocate funds for affordable housing efforts at June 20 meeting | Local News | The funds were approved quickly, they came from the EDC reserve and had the support of the EDC board. The funds will go to support the Watauga Community Home Trust which is working to create its first permanently affordable home using the housing trust model.

Boone Town Council Awards Funding To Watauga Community Housing Trust for this same project on June 19, 2023. They awarded $10,000 to the first permanently affordable home for WCHT.

More rental assistance coming to Cabarrus County as a result of input from housing advocates. Evictions are steadily increasing in this area, and access to emergency resources has been difficult on a number of fronts. Monday, the Cabarrus County Commissioners voted to nearly double the program’s funding to $160,000, double the renter’s assistance amount to up to $1,000, and put the application online.

Huntersville leaders approve NASCAR driver Joey Logano’s mixed-use development project. The project is a part of a plan to bring more businesses and living space to Huntersville. The rezoning proposal for the Treenail Development, a 70-acre mixed-use center was approved. The project calls for 747 multi-family dwelling units on 19 lots in the area, and over 400,000 square feet of commercial space.

EMPOWERment, Inc. is embarking on developing its own apartment building for low-income community members on a plot of land at 107 Johnson Street, a property that was donated to the organization within the historically Black community of Pine-Knolls. The project is almost ready to break ground. Chapel Hill Nonprofit Aims to Set New Affordable Housing Blueprint with PEACH Apartments –

Chapel Hill has new zoning it hopes will meet town’s housing need. The Chapel Hill Town Council approved a zoning change last week to try and provide more options for living in Chapel Hill.The change in residential zoning will allow Chapel Hill property owners to add small cottages, and duplexes to single-family neighborhood lots, and it also increases the allowed size of accessory apartments to 1,000 square feet among other changes.Town staff is continuing to work on ways to make these additional housing options more affordable and working with different partners to do so.

Durham leaders to vote on acquiring Carver Creek apartments, maintaining them as affordable housing | WUNC. The apartments are one of many nationwide and across North Carolina that are losing their rent restrictions and protective covenants and at risk of being converted to market rate. The vote to acquire Carver Creek apartments is part of a proposal that Durham County and the City of Durham each provide $3 million towards the acquisition, and then allow for day-to-day operations to be transitioned to Housing for New Hope.

Raleigh’s first community land trust the Raleigh Area Land Trust (RALT) announced their first sale to an income-eligible homebuyer, James Watson, a 62 year old Veteran taking part in a housing milestone in Raleigh. The city of Raleigh partnered with RALT by providing a 0% interest deferred payment loan for $130,000 which went towards the purchase and remodel of Watson’s home and the neighboring house.

Reports & Resources

State of the Nation’s Housing 2023 | Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

America Has a Housing Shortage. Zoning Changes Near Transit Could Help.| Urban Institute


In the News  

Eviction filings are 50% higher than they were pre-pandemic in some cities as rents rise | AP News

Slowing single-family rental price growth is approaching pre-pandemic levels | HousingWire

Rent prices have outpaced income growth in 46 of the 50 most-populous U.S. metros since 2009 | Yahoo Finance

Climate change is causing people to move. They usually stay local, study finds | NPR

Is housing about to get more affordable after paused Fed rate hikes? | The Hill

North Carolina legislature moves to block new rules for building efficiency | Energy News Network/ Can affordable housing be energy efficient? These developers say yes| Energy News US

Recommended read

Housing Call: June 20, 2023

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