Hurricane Florence Tax Relief Act
On October 2nd, Representative George Holding introduced the Hurricane Florence Tax Relief Act (H.R. 6854), which provides several personal tax relief actions for those impacted by the storm.
U.S. Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded North Carolina an $18.5 million grant to hire residents of the areas impacted by Hurricane Florence to work on recovery efforts. This grant aims to provide temporary jobs in response to significant job losses following the storm. Residents can apply at NCWorks Career Centers or online at https://www.ncworks.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx.
NCGA Special Session
On October 2nd, the North Carolina General Assembly unanimously passed two bills providing aid and relief to communities impacted by Hurricane Florence. The School Calendar & Pay bill allows several public school districts struggling with nearly four weeks of missed class time to write off up to 20 days, or a matching number of classroom hours. School boards can also choose to make up the time at their discretion.
The Hurricane Florence Emergency Response Act establishes a Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Fund that will be the account for all things hurricane relief. The Act transfers $56.5 million into the fund in what’s being labeled as a “down payment” for more aid from state and federal governments. Lawmakers will take the next two weeks to further assess the damages and work with the governor on a bigger relief package and will return to Raleigh to continue the special session on Oct. 15.
Back@Home North Carolina
On October 2nd, Governor Roy Cooper announced the start of Back@Home North Carolina, a $12 million initiative to help families still in Hurricane Florence disaster shelters or staying in unsafe or unstable arrangements quickly transition to safe and sustainable longer-term housing. Back@Home is for individuals and families who are not eligible for Individual Assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or who may be receiving limited FEMA assistance and still need help securing housing or other supportive services.
Services include help in finding housing, rent and utility assistance, move-in supplies, and, if needed, help accessing other resources like job training and placement and child care. The program will be administered by the NC Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with other state agencies, including the NC Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Public Safety and NC Emergency Management, as well as other nonprofits: North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness, Socialserve, American Red Cross, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, Eastpointe, First Fruit Ministries, Southeast Family Violence Center, Trillium Health Resources, and Volunteers of America.
Wake County’s State of the County
On Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m., the Wake County Board of Commissioners will hold their 2018 State of the County presentation to discuss various topics related to county residents. The event will be held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St., Downtown Raleigh, and residents can RSVP here.
Charlotte Considers Selling Or Donating Land For Affordable Housing
On Sept. 22nd, Charlotte City Housing Director Pamela Wideman told city council members they have several options when considering selling or donating land for affordable housing including:
- Selling one-quarter acre at Parkwood Avenue and the Plaza to a developer, in exchange for one affordable unit among the five to be built.
- Selling one-third of an acre on Matheson Avenue for a project of three single-family homes that would include one affordable unit.
- Selling 1.4 acres on Spencer Street for 59 townhomes, 10 percent of which must be affordable.
The city also has asked developers to submit proposals for developing affordable units on city-owned land. These strategies come after the city council adopted a new “housing framework” to push its affordable housing goals and one of the tactics is to use city land. These land sales in the city’s pipeline could come up for votes as soon as Oct. 8.
UNC Charlotte Regional Housing Research Project
The UNC Charlotte’s Childress Klein Center for Real Estate has launched a five-year research project with a goal of becoming the region’s “cornerstone data source for housing policy analysis.” Key components of the report will include focusing on local housing affordability across all income levels, current housing inventory, and a comparison of the entire regional housing market with other metro areas and peer markets.
The research will also highlight comparison cities’ best practices and programs and how those could be utilized in the Charlotte region. The study is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2019 during the center’s “State of Housing in Charlotte Summit,” where deeper insight into key findings will be provided in addition to discussion from national and major keynote speakers on the topic.