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Policy Update 10-20-21

North Carolina Updates

Congressman David Price Retiring at the End of 2022
After more than 30 years representing North Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District, U.S. Representative David Price announced that he will not seek re-election after his current term expires. A long-time champion for housing, he has served as a member of the House Appropriations Committee and as chairman of its subcommittee for transportation, housing and urban development.

Governor Cooper and NCGA Leadership Negotiating Over State Budget
Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican leaders of the General Assembly are currently negotiating priorities in the state budget. Legislative leaders received a budget counter-offer from Governor Cooper and now NC House and Senate leaders are deliberating over what to include in a budget counter proposal back to the governor. Lawmakers hope to work out an agreement in the coming days and weeks. A public budget draft has yet to be released and the Coalition will continue to monitor for updates as they unfold.

For additional background on the process, the Raleigh News & Observer published a primer covering what you need to know about the status of the NC state budget in 2021 vs. 2019.

NC’s Energy Bill Signed Into Law
Governor Cooper signed HB 951, the state’s new energy bill into law last week. The revised bill is an improvement over previous versions, but advocates remain concerned that it doesn’t do enough to protect low-income households from unaffordable increases in utility costs.

Federal Updates

Congressional Democrats Negotiating over Build Back Better
Democrats are working to reach agreement over cuts to Build Back Better that will drastically reduce the topline number of the infrastructure and recovery plan. 

Advocates are continuing to urge lawmakers not to cut the housing provisions. In Congress, Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee called on President Biden and congressional leaders to protect housing investments in the final package, stating that “a comprehensive approach to infrastructure includes a robust investment in our nation’s affordable housing stock.” 

Democratic lawmakers are hoping to reach a compromise and hold a vote using the budget reconciliation process by October 31.

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Programs Begin Using Second Round of Funds
According to NLIHC, 501 programs have been set up by state and local grantees to administer emergency rental assistance funds appropriated through the Consolidated Appropriations Act (ERA1) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ERA2). Of the 501 programs, 56 are now administering ERA2 funds. Some programs have begun using ERA1 and ERA2 funds concurrently to reach a larger number of households or to extend the duration of assistance to 18 months. 

Under the U.S. Treasury’s new guidance, ERA programs are at risk of fund recapture if they did not reach a 30% expenditure ratio by September 30.

Federal Debt Ceiling Deadline Extended
The House and Senate voted to pass a short-term increase in the debt ceiling, which temporarily extends the government’s borrowing authority into December. The move averted an unprecedented federal default, but Congress will have to come back to the issue to reach a resolution by the new deadline of December 3.

HUD Releases New Rule to Reduce Public Housing Evictions
Under the new rule, tenants in HUD-subsidized public housing cannot be evicted for nonpayment without providing them 30 days’ notice, as well as information about available federal emergency rental assistance. According to a HUD official, the rule change was due to significant concern about a looming wave of evictions as cases begin to work their way through courts.

Biden-Harris Administration Release Roadmap for Climate Resiliency
The roadmap is a six-pillar plan for building a climate-resilient U.S. economy. Highlights include efforts to enhance federal lending standards to better address climate-induced financial risks, while ensuring the safety and security of communities most impacted by climate change. The plan also details an effort by FEMA to update its National Flood Insurance Program standards to help communities align construction and land use practices with the latest data on flood risk.

Local Updates

Housing Activists Camp Out to Protest Eviction Crisis
Community groups and activists held “sleep-ins” across North Carolina to draw attention to the ongoing need for rental assistance, which is heighted now that the federal eviction moratorium has expired. In the Triangle, rallies were held at Nash Square in Raleigh and the Durham County Courthouse following two days of rallies and overnight sleep-ins in Fayetteville highlighting the connection between evictions and homelessness.

Reports, Resources and Events

UNC School of Governmentfree six-day course covering the Basics of the American Rescue Plan Act Wednesday, 10/13-10/28 + weekly American Rescue Plan (ARP) office hours 

National Land Bank Network — Virtual Summit Wednesday, 11/3 from 11:45 am – 4:30 pm.

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University — Webinar: Zoning and Equity Thursday, 10/21 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for HousingSurvey for housing practitioners, policymakers, and researchers

NC State Board of ElectionsVoter information for municipal elections across North Carolina 

NY TimesAs Rents Rise, So Do Pressures on People at Risk of Eviction

Pittsburgh Post Gazette  — Public Housing Plagued by Disrepair, Failed Inspections

Black EnterpriseHousing Shortage And Surging Rents Take A Toll On Black Households

CityLabCan Biden Deliver on His Promise to Expand Housing Vouchers?

Wall Street JournalMass Evictions Didn’t Result After U.S. Ban Ended, Despite Fears

Business InsiderThe burgeoning tech scene in Raleigh, North Carolina, is fueling a sizzling housing market

WRALNew housing developments spur growth in Nash County

HUDWorst Case Housing Needs 2021 Report To Congress 

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Enterprise Community PartnersThis year marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA)

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University:

Recommended read

Housing Works 2021

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