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Housing Matters Policy Update: 5-17-17

Federal Update

Trump Tax Plan

At the end of April, the Trump administration released a one-page proposal outlining the principles for tax reform that would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. You can read the analysis from Enterprise, NLIHC and the ACTION Campaign.

FHFA Director Watt Testifies before Senate Banking Committee, Addresses HTF

The Banking Committee held a hearing on Thursday, May 11 on “The Status of the Housing Finance System after Nine Years of Conservatorship” with Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt as the sole witness. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) asked Mr. Watt about how the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF), which is currently funded through a modest fee on the GSEs’ book of new business each year, will be capitalized going forward. Mr. Watt said he decided to lift the suspension on the GSEs’ obligation to fund the HTF based on statutory mandate. To read more, click here.

State Update

2017 Housing Credit Full Applications Released

Manufactured Housing bill doesn’t make crossover

The Manufactured Home Purchase Agreement Changes bill (S522/H685) that the Housing Coalition defeated last legislative session was refiled. However, it did not make the crossover deadline, which means the bills should not be able to be considered for the rest of the legislative session. We will continue to monitor the process to ensure that the language is not amended to other legislation.

NC Senate Budget Cuts Funding for Affordable Housing

Habitat for Humanity of NC Legislative Day

Habitat Wake homeowner John Youkhanna and volunteer Don Berryann preparing for Habitat for Humanity of NC’s third legislative day

Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina hosted its third annual Legislative Day on May 3 at the General Assembly on Jones Street. Sixty-two attendees from 26 Habitat affiliates across the state came to the Legislature to make their collective case for strengthening the NC Housing Trust Fund; for ensuring the $3M HOME match of federal funds; and for redirecting rural CDBG funds for use in building affordable housing. Affiliate leaders, homeowners, board members and volunteers completed 110 individual visits with lawmakers.

At the same time, the group held its annual Fastest Hammer on the Mall contest. This year, the House took home the honor, with Representative Andy Dulin, a Republican from Mecklenburg County, hammering three nails into a stud in 2.15 seconds.  

Homelessness Conference

Last week, more than 300 people attended the Bringing it Home: Ending Homelessness in North Carolina conference at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. This was the first conference on homelessness in the state in 10 years. The North Carolina Housing Coalition collaborated with the Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness to bring it all together. A variety of topics were covered from veteran homelessness to rapid re-housing. Governor Roy Cooper opened the conference by calling for more affordable housing to help end homelessness.

Local Update

Charlotte Housing Budget

The City of Charlotte has set a goal to reach 5,000 affordable housing units within the next three years. Charlotte leaders recently discussed key points of a $2.4 billion city budget proposal including $6 million to help reach that goal. Neighbors and affordable housing advocates are concerned that this commitment may not be enough to truly meet that goal. The funding slated for affordable housing will be voted on by the City Council at the end of June and we at the coalition encourage our member to advocate for an increase for this upcoming budget.

Durham Fayette Place Update

The Durham Housing Authority is taking steps to reacquire 20 acres of land for future affordable housing development. Once the property is acquired, surrounding neighborhoods and other members of the community will be involved in the process to determine what will happen to the property. At a recent Durham Congregations, Associations & Neighborhoods meeting, five of the six City Council members present agreed to support repurchasing the project. City Manager Tom Bonfield said the issue will likely come before the City Council at the end of May or June.


Enterprise Community Partners: Recent research examines how Americans think about inequality and economic mobility. An essay published in The Wall Street Journal argues that Americans are more concerned about fairness than about equal outcomes. When researchers separate concerns about equality and fairness, they find that people reject unfairly equal distributions in favor of distributions that are fair but unequal. According to the authors, paying more attention to this distinction can help to sharpen the political discourse and focus policy solutions on unequal opportunities that create inequality. (The Wall Street Journal, April 28) The New York Times Upshot highlights research showing that Americans tend to remember the obstacles they had to overcome rather than the advantages they were given. As a result, people can forget that certain advantages play a role in their successes. According to the authors, policy discussions around poverty and inequality could be more productive if solutions centered on creating similar advantages for low-income children. (The New York Times Upshot, April 28)

NYU Furman Center: The Effects of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit


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