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Policy Update 10-5-22

Federal Updates

President Biden Signs Continuing Resolution to Keep Government Open
President Biden signed the stopgap funding legislation in order to avert a government shutdown before 9/30/2022 at midnight. The Senate approved the measure after Sen. Joe Manchin withdrew his permitting reform package. This will extend existing funding levels (including HUD’s) until December 16 and, among many things, includes $12 million in aid to Ukraine, $1 billion in heating assistance for low-income families, $20 million for the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi,  $1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program,  and more than $112 million for federal court security. It also includes a five year reauthorization of the user fee programs for the FDA  and allows FEMA to spend billions of dollars through the Disaster Relief fund at a higher rate. After Friday’s vote, members of Congress headed home to campaign ahead of midterm elections and will not return to Washington until after the election. 

HUD Announces 19,000 New Housing Choice Vouchers
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge announced more than 19,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers – the most expansive allocation of flexible rent assistance in 20 years. NC will receive an additional 551 vouchers across the state. The top 5 largest allocations of new vouchers will go to: Charlotte (49 vouchers), Raleigh (26), Durham (22), Greensboro (21), and Winston-Salem (21). 

HUD Announces Section 202 Funding
HUD announced up to $175 million in grant funding available through the agency’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program. HUD will award grants to nonprofits in the form of capital advances and project rental assistance contracts and will support the development of deeply affordable housing for very low-income seniors.  

Lawmakers Call on HUD, FEMA to Create Joint Housing Disaster Assistance Program
On Friday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced the Housing Survivors of Major Disasters Act, a companion bill to a piece of legislation that Rep. Adriano Espaillat introduced in the House. Key pieces of the bill are that it would 1) expand the use of FEMA assistance and 2) require HUD and FEMA to implement a joint disaster housing assistance program within 60 days of a disaster. 

FHA and Fannie Mae Announce Positive Rent Payment Reporting Systems
Beginning October 30, applicants for FHA-insured mortgages can include positive rental payment history in their credit assessment. The change is expected to increase first-time homebuyers’ access to FHA mortgages.  

Similarly, last week Fannie Mae launched its Multifamily Positive Rent Payment Reporting pilot program. Landlords of Fannie Mae multifamily properties can report rent payment history to the 3 major credit bureaus. The program is designed to help renters establish and build credit. If a renter misses a payment, they will be automatically unenrolled from the program to preserve their credit score. 

White House Hosts Leaders for “Communities in Action: Building a Better NC” Series
The White House hosted nearly 50 state and local elected officials, Tribal leaders, and community leaders from across NC for the second gathering in the “Communities in Action: Building a Better North Carolina” series. Officials discussed how the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS and Science Act will benefit North Carolinians. 

State Updates

NCHFA Announces 2022 LIHTC Awards
On October 5, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) announced the 2022 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) awards. NCHFA received 81 full applications for 4% and 9% credits and awarded credits to 51 projects. These credits are expected to leverage almost $1 billion to produce 4,429 affordable housing units in 29 counties across the state. Read more on our blog.

NC’s U.S. Senate Race Remains Extremely Close
The U.S. Senate race between Rep. Ted Budd and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley continues to tighten. The two candidates will participate in a debate aired on Spectrum News this Friday, October 7.

ReBuild NC Federal Audit Raises Concerns
A recent audit indicates that the HUD Inspector General found no “reasonable assurance” that ReBuildNC properly spent $2.5 million in Hurricane Matthew relief funds. The audit covers 2018, when the Department of Commerce and the Division of Emergency Management was responsible for the program, and 2019, when ReBuild NC was created and took over the program. Commerce/Emergency Management was responsible for two of the invoices in question and ReBuild NC was responsible for one. Further, the audit indicated that ReBuild NC’s contracting practices were flawed. NCORR director Laura Hogshead responded to the Inspector General, explaining that the agency has strengthened contracting practices and will work diligently to provide support for the payments in question. 

The release of this audit comes on the heels of  the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations, Subcommittee on Hurricane Response and Recovery hearing to discuss why, despite ReBuild NC having received $780 million in funds to provide disaster relief, countless families from the communities hardest hit by both Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018), are still waiting for relief. (If you missed our recent piece, “Revisiting Recovery and the Pursuit of Disaster Relief” you can check it out here.)

LGC Approves Housing-related Loans
The North Carolina Local Government Commission approved a number of housing-related loans at their September 22 meeting. The LGC sits within the State Treasurer’s office and is responsible for overseeing debt and borrowing for local governments and public authorities across the state. This funding is in addition to over $418 M in housing-related loans approved by the LGC during FY22. 

  • City of Durham ($2.25 million)
  • Greensboro Housing Authority ($17 million)
  • Inlivian in Mecklenburg County ($35.4 million)
  • Raleigh Housing Authority ($12 million)
  • Wake County Housing Authority ($125 million)

Local Updates

Durham Residents Voice Concern about Fayette Place Redevelopment
A number of residents of Durham’s historically Black Hayti community voiced concerns at a community meeting about the redevelopment of the Durham Housing Authority’s former Fayetteville Street Projects. The redevelopment plans to include retail, apartments, and permanently affordable townhomes. Longtime residents and residents at risk of displacement would be given the opportunity to purchase townhomes before other buyers are considered. However, many residents are concerned that mandated permanent affordability would limit generational wealth building opportunities for potential townhome buyers. Despite community pushback, the developers hope to apply for a mix of 4% and 9% LIHTC credits and, if successful, would like to begin construction in 2024.

New Hanover County Provides First Installment of Affordable Housing Funding
New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved $3 million in funding for two affordable housing developments. These funds are part of a 5-year, $15 million commitment to affordable housing that the County made back in February, which replaced discussions of a $50 million bond. The County received six applications and selected two: 1) Eastern Carolina Community Development will receive a $1.5 million loan to develop Covenant Senior Housing (68 units of affordable housing). 2) Terrier Development will receive a $1.5 million loan to develop Estrella Landing (84 units of affordable housing). 

Greenville Housing Authority Receives $2M Grant
The Housing Authority of the City of Greenville received a $2M earmark Federal grant to build an affordable housing development for youth and young adults transitioning out of the foster care system. Retiring Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) championed funding for the ARISE project, which will feature 20 apartments with wraparound supports. Community Project Funding, formerly referred to as earmarks, were revamped and restored in the House last year after a more than 10-year ban following controversy. As WUNC reported earlier this year, NC lawmakers requested a relatively small amount of federal earmarked funds in the FY22 budget, accounting for just 2.4% of all earmarked funds. 

Asheville OKs Condition Use for LIHTC Project in South Asheville
Asheville City Council unanimously approved conditional zoning and a $1.5M loan for the funding for the construction of a LIHTC project for seniors in South Asheville. To help address the need for affordable senior housing in Asheville, 51 existing units at Laurel Wood senior multifamily development will be remodeled and 54 additional units will be constructed on-site. 100% of the apartments will remain affordable for at least 30 years to residents earning between 40-80% AMI. Twelve units will accept Housing Choice Vouchers. The development is owned and managed by Volunteers of America. Construction is set to begin later this fall and is expected to be complete by spring 2024. 

Chapel Hill Reviews Plans for Affordable Housing, Releases Annual Affordable Housing Report
Chapel Hill’s Town Council met on Wednesday and reviewed 2 plans for housing. Council opened a legislative hearing for a conditional rezoning of 710 North Estes Drive, where Lock7 Development has plans to build 95 townhomes and condos. The developer has committed to build 12 affordable units on-site and payment-in-lieu for 0.5 units.  Council also reviewed a concept plan for Lullwater Park, a proposed development of 489 apartments and townhomes in northern Chapel Hill. The developer has committed to renting 36 of the units to people earning up to 60% of the Area Median Income and accepting Section 8 and local housing vouchers.

Last week, the Town also released its Affordable Housing Annual Report for the 2022 Fiscal Year. Community partners received $2.5 million from the Town for affordable housing projects and 492 Chapel HIll households received financial assistance from the countywide Emergency Housing Assistance program. The report also notes that the Town will need an additional $7.5 million over the next 4 years to cover affordable housing projects in the development pipeline. 

New Hanover Co. and Wilmington Partner on Street Outreach
The New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners and Wilmington City Council both unanimously approved a street outreach pilot project partnership.Through the “Getting Home Street Outreach Program,” New Hanover County will create 5 new social work positions that will work with the Wilmington Police Department to connect people experiencing homelessness with services. The program is expected to begin October 1, with plans for social work staff to be hired by November 1. 

Year-Over Eviction Numbers Triple in Durham
August 2022 data from the NC Courts indicates that eviction filings in Durham have tripled since last year. DataWorks NC, a nonprofit based in Durham, reports that 75% of Durham County’s most recent evictions took place in neighborhoods where the majority of residents are people of color. The article reports that Cumberland and Wake Counties have experienced an increase in evictions as well, but at a lower rate. 

Haywood County Announces Affordable Housing Spending Plans
Recently, Haywood County announced spending plans for a recent $1.1 M grant from Dogwood Health Trust, which was leveraged by $1M in ARPA funds from the County. The Town of Maggie Valley will also be contributing $112,000. Funds will be used for 3 projects: 1) Haywood Pathways will build 5 units of transitional housing 2) The roads at Bethel Village, a community owned by Mountain Projects, will be paved. Paving will open the community up to  be eligible for USDA single family loans for workforce housing. 3) A revolving loan fund will be created to help nonprofit partners in the community expand their capacity to provide affordable housing. 

Upcoming Events

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies will host a webinar on 10/6 at 11AM ET Housing & Health Equity For Older Adults: Findings From The Covid-19 Recapp Report.

NLIHC will host a National Call-In Day on Oct. 12 to urge members of congress to make significant investments in affordable housing and community development programs in the FY23 budget. 

Recent Reports & Resources

Enterprise: Home for Good: Strategies to Prevent Eviction and Promote Housing Stability

NLIHC: Study Finds Renters are Highly Underrepresented at All Levels of Government

NCSHA: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Implications for Affordable Housing 

NC Budget & Tax Center: Missing the Mark for North Carolina: 2022-23 State Budget Fails to Address the Many Effects of Inflation 

National Park Service & Rutgers University: Annual Report on the Economic Impact of the Historic Tax Credit for Fiscal Year 2021 

Federal Housing Finance Agency: 2021 Low-Income Housing and Community Development Activities of the Federal Home Loan Banks 

Pediatrics – Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics: Eviction and Household Health and Hardships in Families with Very Young Children 

In the News


The New York Times

The Wall Street Journal


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:  What if doctors could write prescriptions for adequate housing? More than anything else, it might improve a person’s overall health 

Ms. magazine:  Affordable housing as a human right:  Activist Diane Yentel on the U.S. housing crisis, racial justice and democracy 


PBS: California Gov. Newsome signs laws to boost housing production 

North Carolina

Grist: Higher Ground: America’s oldest Black town is trapped between rebuilding and retreating 

The News & Observer: [Opinion] NC renters got help during the pandemic. They still need it. 

The Local Reporter: A living legend’s legacy to affordable housing 

Carolina Public Press:  In Charlotte’s housing market, the only sure thing may be unpredictability 

Asheville Citizen-Times:  Buncombe County might grow 80,000 by 2045. Is dense development a good idea? 

ABC 11:  As short-term rentals increase, what’s the effect on affordable housing?

Yahoo Finance: Cavco Industries opens manufacturing facility in the Tarheel State: Cavco Industries of North Carolina 

Recommended read

Policy Update 9-21-22

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