Congress is back from recess this week and there are a number of priority issues pulling focus in the Senate. However, a spokesperson for Senator Schumer said that reconciliation discussions are “still ongoing” and while some funding amounts have been floated, “no numbers are set yet”. The package under discussion is significantly scaled down from last year’s Build Back Better Act, and sources say it will focus on corporate taxes, lowering drug prices, deficit reduction and clean energy.
The status of housing investments in a potential reconciliation package is unknown at this point. Housing advocates should continue to raise this issue with their elected officials to ensure housing stays top of mind during negotiations. To take action, join the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) national call-in day and twitter storm TODAY (Tuesday) to urge lawmakers to include targeted affordable housing investments in any reconciliation package.
At the General Assembly, the NC Affordable Housing Act (HB 1114) was introduced in the House. The bill would:
Fund the NC Housing Trust Fund at $100M;
Establish a $25M Manufactured Home Park Acquisition Fund to provide grants for nonprofits to purchase manufactured home parks for the purpose of affordable housing;
Bans source of income discrimination, making it unlawful to deny tenant applications based on the way they intend to pay; and
Creates a dedicated revenue stream for the NC Housing Trust Fund by increasing the real estate transfer tax and allocating a portion of the proceeds to the Trust Fund
Additional details are available on the Coalition’s blog. Although the bill is unlikely to advance in the NC General Assembly, it provides an opportunity to talk about unmet needs and how sufficient resources could help to address the housing crisis across the state.
NCHFA is hosting pop up events this week in Greensboro, Asheboro, and Salisbury to provide information on the NC Homeowner Assistance Fund. Interested individuals can learn more about the program and receive in-person support for filling out applications. More information is available on NCHFA’s website: https://nchaf.gov/events/
In Charlotte, West Side Community Land Trust purchased 4.5 acres on West Boulevard off of Tyvola Road last week. The land will be used for 120 apartments available to seniors 55 and older with incomes between 30-80% of the area median income. Rents will range from $474 to $1,500 a month: West Charlotte land trust secures land for 120 affordable senior apartments | WFAE 90.7
In Rocky Mount, a groundbreaking is scheduled on Thursday for Five Points Crossing, a four-story, 50-unit apartment building. The apartments will be affordable to households earning up to 60% of the area median income: Groundbreaking set for new downtown housing development | Rocky Mount Telegram
Southern Comfort Inn, an extended stay motel in Charlotte is scheduled to close at the end of the month. The motel provides low-price rents to the residents and city leaders believe about 150-200 people are currently being served by the motel. The city, area nonprofits and churches are working with residents to find housing solutions before displacement occurs: Charlotte extended-stay motel closing at the end of June | WCNC Charlotte
Researchers at NC State have found that homelessness impacts 15% of the university’s students. To help with this housing need, NC State launched a program called Host, where community members can provide a temporary place for students to stay while they work on long-term plans for stable housing of their own: With rising rent costs, homelessness impacts 15% of NC State students | WRAL