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Housing Matters Policy Update: 1-31-19

Samuel Gunter, Executive Director

Federal Update

Government Shutdown Ends with Temporary Funding Agreement

The partial government shutdown ended over the weekend when Congress and the White House agreed to fund the government through February 15. Congress’s immediate focus will be reaching a full-year funding agreement to avoid lapsing into another shutdown. Congressional activity related to other policy areas, including potential tax extenders legislation, has been effectively on hold since the shutdown standoff began but the government reopening may present an opening for negotiations to begin again.

Congressional Champions Preparing to Reintroduce Housing Credit Legislation

NCHC’s national partners have been working closely with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) on the reintroduction of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act in both chambers. This work includes identifying new lead Republican sponsors to take the place of former Chairman Orrin Hatch who retired, and former Congressman Carlos Curbelo who lost his reelection campaign.

HUD Announces renewal of Supportive Housing and Services Grants

Earlier this week HUD awarded $2 billion to renew existing grants to 5,800 permanent supportive housing and supportive services providers. Awarded through HUD’s Continuum of Care program, those grants will provide critically needed support to local programs serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness. View a complete list of the North Carolina awards.

Opportunity Starts At Home Announces Policy Agenda

The Opportunity Starts at Home multi-sector affordable homes campaign hosted a congressional briefing on January 24 with over 110 Capitol Hill staffers and advocates to unveil the release of its national policy agenda, “Within Reach.”  The agenda identifies short- and long-term policy strategies essential for Congress to act on to address the affordable housing crisis in America.

Survey of Mayors Shows Housing A Critical Issue

According to Boston University’s 2018 Menino Survey of Mayors, which is based on interviews with a representative sample of 110 mayors from 37 states, municipal leaders believe that insufficient living-wage jobs (32 percent) and high housing costs (27 percent) are the top two obstacles to achieving social mobility for residents. While mayors generally want to increase the supply of housing in their cities, the survey shows that most are only aiming for relatively modest increases over the next decade — half of the mayors want a maximum increase of only 10 percent.

 

State Update

House Announces Committee Chairs

On Friday, January 25, Speaker Moore announced the remaining committee assignments for the House. In addition to the key leadership identified in our last Policy Update, we now know the make-up of the House Committee on Appropriations, General Government. Chairs and Vice-Chairs include:

 

Local Update

Charlotte Considering Non-Profit to Run Housing Money

On Monday, the Charlotte City Council heard a proposal from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to act as the fund manager overseeing the $50 million bond approved by voters in November and any other private sector contribution. Currently, the private sector has committed to $21 million out of a $50 million goal. Under the proposal, developers would bring projects to LISC, who would then vet them and offer the city a recommendation on which projects receive funding.

 

Reports

Opportunity Starts at Home: Within Reach: Ambitious Federal Solutions to Meet the Housing Needs of the Most Vulnerable People

NYU Furman Center: Supply Skepticism: Housing Supply and Affordability

NLIHC: Opportunities to End Homelessness and Housing Poverty in the 116th Congress

Recommended read

Housing Matters Policy Update: 1-15-19

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