Checking-In continuing preparations for our Legislative Week of Action this week!
As many of you know this week we are hosting a virtual legislative week of action. We want to take the first part of this call to discuss our appropriations asks, review our policy agenda and provide some additional resources to help everyone that is participating this week.
Our advocacy this week is aimed at the House, they are working on the FY24 budget first and we’ve been told they are eyeing having the budget out as early as Easter, while others are stating early May of this year.
Since we are focusing on the House, we want to encourage people to contact their representatives in the House. To see representatives by County check out this link. We are also going to include a document that has all their contact information readily available here.
In addition to making sure you all engage with your representatives, we want to make sure that House leadership, particularly the representatives that impact appropriations – this is why we want to also focus our engagement efforts on reaching out to
- Dean Arp
- Jason Saine
- Speaker Tim Moore
You can see a full list of House leadership here.
We are asking everyone to call, write letters, and email their representatives to advocate for affordable housing. We want to really push the following asks:
UPDATE — Allocate $70 million to the Housing Trust Fund
The NC Housing Trust Fund was created by the General Assembly in 1987 and is administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) and is the state’s most flexible resource for our growing and complex affordable housing need. Funds go towards leveraging private funding to create a number of housing solutions through homeownership, rental, supportive housing, new construction, housing rehabilitation and emergency repairs
- Allocate $30 million to the WHLP fund AND
- Make WHLP recurring
The WHLP is a non-recurring appropriation that was created in 2014 by the General Assembly. It encourages the development of more deeply affordable housing in North Carolina’s lowest-income counties by providing critical funds to tax credit projects through low interest loans. At the rate at which our affordable housing crisis continues to rise, we need to invest accordingly and strengthen the resources that we know work and that our communities continue to need and rely on.
Allocate remaining ARP funds to affordable housing
American Rescue Plan funding represents a once in a generation opportunity to address ongoing challenges across our nation and our state. Housing is a prime example of one of those challenges. With the flexibility provided by SLFRF dollars, investment in housing can span across addressing high-priority housing needs, cost-effective interventions and investing into existing expertise and capacity (Brookings Metro). We need our general assembly to see the importance of this unique opportunity, and allocate any remaining SFLRF/ARP funds to support affordable housing across North Carolina.
Review our 2023 Policy Priorities
- Advocate for reliable, dedicated and coordinated public resources that meet the scale of the housing need.
- Support housing policies and resources that keep families in their homes and allow communities to thrive.
- Promote equitable access to housing and opportunity that reckons with our long history of racist housing policies and practices
- Ensure that local policies facilitate an adequate supply of quality housing accessible across a community’s income spectrum.
All of our asks align with our 2023 policy priorities, especially our our first policy priority – Advocate for reliable, dedicated, and coordinated public resources that meet the scale of the housing.
Tips to Remember
- Your voice matters you don’t have to be an expert to advocate for housing
- Convey the importance of housing and of investing in housing
- Be clear and concise
- Be compelling
- Be honest
When reaching out- state your name and the name of your organization, state why you are calling and the information you’d like to share.
Once you do that – we’d love to hear from you about how it went by next Monday, 3/20.
- President Biden Releases FY24 Budget Request
The proposal calls for “modest funding increases to HUD programs using the regular appropriations process and major investments in housing through mandatory spending. Check out NLIHC’s updated budget chart for more details.The President’s budget proposal kicks off the FY24 appropriations cycle but will not gain the bipartisan support needed to be enacted in the current Congress. While lawmakers are far from finalizing anything, Republicans are proposing drastic (up to 43%) budget cuts to housing programs, including cutting the Housing Choice Voucher program, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling to avoid a government shutdown.We agree with NLIHC that it is unacceptable to balance the budget by cutting funds to programs for the lowest income folks and we will continue to advocate against these cuts.
- Junk Fees Letter from HUD Sec. Marcia Fudge
Sec. Fudge released a letter calling on state and local leaders and housing providers to put an end to duplicative, excessive, and undisclosed fees for renters. She called for:
- An end to extraneous application administrative and processing fees;
- An end to duplicative application payments for multiple properties managed by the same company or on the same application platform; and
- Transparency to prospective renters about the bottom line move-in and monthly costs, including any recurring fees and their purpose.
- FHA publishes 40-Year Loan Modification Loss Mitigation Option
The final rule will allow mortgagees to increase the maximum term of a loan modification from 360 to 480 months for FHA-insured mortgages after a default episode. FHA will also simultaneously publish Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2023-06, Establishment of the 40-Year Loan Modification Loss Mitigation Option establishing the standalone 40-year loan modification policy. Specifically, the final rule will permit mortgagees to provide a 40-year loan modification to borrowers. The provisions of the final rule will expand FHA’s loss mitigation options to include a standalone 40-year loan modification. The 40-year loan modification can assist borrowers in avoiding foreclosure by spreading the outstanding mortgage
State & Local Community Updates
- Quite a few housing-related bills were filed last week and this session related to housing, community development, land use, and other key areas we are watching closely. Check out our new NCHC NCGA Bill Tracker. If you have any feedback on it, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach out to Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org and Anna at email@example.com.
- Greensboro approved plans last week on how to spend $6.6M in HOME-ARP funds. The City will be investing:
- $2.5M into supportive services;
- $2.3M into affordable rental housing; and
- $1.5M into tenant-based rental assistance
Reports & Resources
- Rental Markets One Year After Our America’s Rental Housing Report | Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
- Bipartisan Housing Bills in the 118th Congress | National Low Income Housing Coalition – On the Home Front
- [virtual] Improving America’s Housing 2023 | Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 3/23, 12:30 p.m.
- [in-person] Housing Affordability in the Cape Fear | Cape Fear Housing Coalition, 3/23, 8 a.m., UNCW Warwick Center
- Our Executive Director, Samuel Gunter, will kick off the program at 8:30 speaking about housing-related funding and legislation at state and federal levels. Shane Phillips, author of The Affordable City will deliver the keynote address.
In the News
- Rental rush creates High Country housing troubles | The Appalachian
- Why Poverty Persists in America | The New York Times