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Housing Matters Policy Update: 1-26-18

Samuel Gunter, Director of Policy and Advocacy

Federal Update

Shutdown Impact

After 3 days of a government shutdown, a fourth continuing resolution (CR) was approved through February 8. The CR gives lawmakers and the White House more time to negotiate an agreement on lifting mandatory caps on discretionary spending, DACA, and disaster relief funds. Read a summary of how a government shutdown would have impacted operations at HUD, USDA, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and would affect disaster relief efforts.

Opportunity Zone Created in Tax Reform

H.R. 1, the tax reform bill that was signed into law on December 22, created a new community development tool that provides tax incentives for investor capital that funds businesses in underserved communities. For a quick analysis of the newly created Opportunity Zones you can read both Novogradac’s and Enterprise’s analyses. Governor’s must submit proposals to Treasury by March 21 to designate certain census tracts as Opportunity Zones. Enterprise created a mapping tool to determine which census tracts are eligible.

NCSHAs Recommendations for LIHTC Administration

The NCSHA issued the Task Force on Recommended Practices in Housing Credit Administration’s (Task Force) final report, which significantly strengthens many of the organization’s previous Housing Credit recommended practices and adds 13 important new practices. These recommended practices represent near consensus among allocators on low-income housing tax credit policy. To read Novogradac’s analysis of the report, click here.

HUD COC Awards $2 BILLION

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded a record $2 billion to support more than 7,300 local homeless assistance programs across the nation, including 157 awards worth more than $25.5 million in North Carolina. To view a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding, click here.

Federal Court Reinstates Small Area Fair Market Rents

A December 23 court ruling has reinstated Small Area Fair Market Rents. For a detailed discussion of the background of the policy decision and the impact of the court’s ruling, click here.

“Dear Colleague” letter on AFFH delay

Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter asking HUD Secretary Ben Carson to provide more information on the agency’s recent decision to effectively suspend its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH). We urge all representatives to sign on by the January 29 noon deadline. Members should contact Danielle.Fulfs@mail.house.gov (Jayapal) or Abby.Schanfield@mail.house.gov (Ellison).

State Update

LIHTC Preliminary Applications Released

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency has released a list of all 166 preliminary LIHTC applications for the 2018 Housing Credit Cycle. This year’s applications cover 54 North Carolina counties.

The Olmstead Decision: Compliance and Action in North Carolina

The 1999 Olmstead v. LC decision marked one the most important civil rights cases for people with disabilities in the United States. The United States Department of Justice began investigating North Carolina’s compliance in 2010, specifically focused on mental health services. A formal letter of findings stating that North Carolina failed to provide adequate services and stood in violation of the ADA was issued in July 2011. An August 2012 settlement was issued in which North Carolina agreed to expand community-based services and supportive housing over the next eight years, to establish a pre-admission screening process to prevent people from unnecessarily entering institutions and to create an institutional discharge planning process to ease transitions into community-based settings. Read more about the Olmstead decision and North Carolina’s compliance on the UNC School of Government’s Community and Economic Development blog.

Reports

Urban Institute: The Case for More, Not Less: Shortfalls in Federal Housing Assistance and Gaps in Evidence for Proposed Policy Changes

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Housing Voucher Policy Designed to Expand Opportunity Targets Areas That Need It

Preservation of Affordable Housing: Promoting Economic Mobility in Multifamily Housing

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