Budget Deal Reached
Washington, D.C. has been in the thick of budget negotiations today with the Senate having reached agreement around a comprehensive budget deal that includes raising the caps on domestic and military spending, disaster recovery, and increasing the debt limit. There was hope this morning that Cantwell-Hatch LIHTC expansion would be part of the agreement. The Senate had agreed to it, but it ultimately was taken out of the tax extenders package at the request of House Republican leadership. Thank you to those of you who reached out this morning to the HR1661 co-sponsors. We will update you as we learn more both about the budget compromise and the path forward for the passage of Cantwell-Hatch.
National Housing Trust Fund Sign On Letter – Deadline Today
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is circulating a sign-on letter urging Congress to expand the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to at least $3.5 billion annually in any comprehensive housing finance reform legislation, as part of a broad commitment to access and affordability in the housing market. The letter notes that the HTF, a federal housing resource that funds efforts to build and preserve housing affordable to people with the lowest incomes, is currently funded by a small assessment on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s annual book of business, but far greater resources are needed to meet the need.
HUD Plans to Increase Rents and Impose Work Requirements
An internal HUD draft bill has confirmed that Secretary Carson is planning to propose increasing rent burdens for all people in all HUD-subsidized homes. HUD will also propose allowing minimum work requirements of up to 32 hours a week for some subsidized housing residents. The proposed rent increases target the very poorest people, including seniors and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes and already at significant risk of homelessness. To read more, visit NLIHC.
CFPB Ruled Constitutional
In a reversal of its previous decision, the full Court of the Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is constitutionally structured. The new rule reverses the court’s October 2016 decision that declared the CFPB’s leadership structure unconstitutional due to unilateral directorial power and vacated a $100 million fine levied by the CFPB against mortgage lender PHH Corp. for allegedly illegally referring consumers to mortgage insurers in exchange for referral fees.
HUD Announces Review of Manufactured Housing Rules
HUD has announced a top-to-bottom review of its manufactured housing rules as part of a broader effort to identify regulations that “may be ineffective, overly burdensome, or excessively costly given the critical need for affordable housing.” According to HUD, over the next 30 days, it will accept comments to assess the compliance costs of manufactured housing regulatory actions and whether those costs are justified against the backdrop of the nation’s shortage of affordable housing.
Novogradac Launches Opportunity Zone Resource Center
Novogradac & Company LLP announced the launch of a resource center with information about Opportunity Zones, a community development tool created by tax reform legislation H.R. 1 for low-income communities. The site, www.opportunityzoneresourcecenter.com , contains news, legislation, advocacy, research and other information on Opportunity Zones, as well as links to blog posts and additional information.
Infrastructure Plan to be Released Next Week
The White House may release an infrastructure proposal next week. The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding has released a statement urging the President and Congress to expand federal investments in communities and affordable rental homes that help connect low-income families to opportunity and promote economic mobility. To read more on the importance of housing and infrastructure, visit Enterprise’s blog.
Pisgah Legal hosts Lunch and Learn on Housing Crisis
Join Pisgah Legal’s Housing and Community Economic Development teams for a lunch session to learn more about the housing crisis and landlord/tenant law. We will share ways that Pisgah Legal staff and volunteers are affecting change and impacting lives, and how you can plug in!
February 27th, 2018 | 12 – 1:30 pm
Tuton Hall, Trinity Episcopal Church
Suggested Donation: $10/person
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Lunch from Green Opportunities will be provided. Space is limited, please RSVP to Nora Frank by February 20th.
Wake County New Housing Priorities
On February 5th, Wake County Commissioners voted to give higher priority in rental assistance program to renters earning at or below 40 percent of the area median income; for homeless individuals and their families; and people who may have lost their homes because of a government action, loss of housing assistance or a natural disaster. To solidify this new priority, the commission signed off on spending up to $88,000 to assist in the building of a new women’s homeless shelter and an $84,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity for six affordable homes in Wake Forest. Great news for Wake County!
Triangle J Summit
On February 6th, GoTriangle, Gateway Planning, and Triangle J Council of Governments held a “Connecting to Opportunity Summit” focused on the Durham-Orange Light Rail line that will connect Chapel Hill and Durham is moving forward toward construction. This event discussed strategies for investment in transit and station area neighborhoods to promote economic growth, increased access to opportunity, affordability, and equity.
Wake up Wake County Event
WakeUP Wake County’s will host their annual community forum March 7th called Future: Growing Smart with Housing and Transit. The keynote speaker, Chris Zimmerman, Smart Growth America’s Vice President for Economic Development, will address how embracing the planning needed in a rapidly growing county can help build a healthy, equitable, and sustainable community. The event is free and open to the public. It will begin at 7pm on March 7, at WakeMed Hospital’s Andrews Conference Center and you can register for the event here.
Charlotte City Council Housing Priorities
Coming out of their recent council retreat, the City of Charlotte will begin prioritizing investment in apartment complexes from the 1960s and ’70s and use deed restrictions to keep rents affordable. Mayor Vi Lyles said she wants the city to move quickly, and said she would consider it a success if Charlotte helped “preserve” four or five complexes during her two-year term, especially those near good schools. When the city subsidizes new construction, it often spends $25,000 per unit. An older complex could be renovated for about $8,000 per unit in city assistance. In exchange for the subsidy, the city could use a deed restriction to keep rents affordable for 30 years. Investing $8,000 per unit in a 250-unit complex would cost $2 million dollars.
Greensboro Housing Coalition Summit
The Greensboro Housing Coalition, City of Greensboro, HUD, Community Foundation of Greater, along with other organizations will hold their annual housing summit on March 28th to educate, inspire, and challenge each other to substantially increase housing options (policy changes and increased resources for repairing and building different kinds of apartments and houses), to support people accessing and maintaining housing (such as tenant education and rental assistance), and to promote collaboration among leadership. To register for this event click here.