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Policy Update 11-17-22

Election Updates

  1. Federal
    • Democrats will maintain control of the Senate. Republicans seem favored to maintain control of the House, with a handful of races still uncalled. 
    •  Novogradac and Affordable Housing Finance both offer detailed analyses of the election results and what they mean for affordable housing.
  2. State & Local
    • Ted Budd wins North Carolina’s US Senate seat over Cheri Beasley;
    • Republicans gained a supermajority in the State Senate and seem to be only one vote shy of a supermajority in the State House. Practically, this means the Republican controlled NCGA will be only one vote shy in one chamber to override a Democratic Governor’s veto;
    • Republicans take control of the NC Supreme Court; and
    • Local housing bond measures across the state all successfully passed: 
      1. The City of Charlotte passed a $50m affordable housing bond with 74% of the vote;
      2. The City of Fayetteville passed a $12m housing opportunity bond with 59% of the vote; and
      3. Buncombe County passed a $40m housing bond with 62% of the vote.

This continues North Carolina cities and counties’ trend of approving every housing bond that is set before them. A report released Friday by Moody’s Analytics underlied the bipartisan support of housing measures across the nation. Congratulations to those of you who worked on these campaigns!  

Federal Updates

Congress heads into lame duck session; affordable housing legislation still a possibility.
The House and Senate reconvened on Monday. Between now and the end of the year, Congress will be focused on keeping the government funded after the continuing resolution expires December 16. The main points of focus during this lame duck session will be the national debt, aid to Ukraine, Recession relief, and Medicare cuts.

Legislation to increase affordable housing production could possibly be passed through an FY2023 Omnibus spending bill. Congress may opt to pass another continuing resolution instead and revisit the final budget after the New Year, given the likely change in party leadership in the House.

The U.S Interagency Council on Homelessness urges communities to stop criminalizing homelessness.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelesssness released a report urging communities to stop criminalizing homelessness. 48 states have laws that criminalize homelessness or poverty in some way. There’s been a 50% rise nationally in “camping bans” in the last 15 years. However, these types of laws are not effective and criminalization is more likely to exacerbate homelessness. A better approach is to treat homelessness as a housing and health crisis instead of a problem for the criminal justice system.

State & Local Community Updates

Madison County establishes Affordable Replacement Housing Program
The Community Housing Coalition is launching a new program in Madison County to provide affordable replacement houses for qualifying program participants whose homes are beyond repair. A pilot phase for the Affordable Replacement Housing Program was completed at the end of 2020. Four more houses are expected to be built through this program by the end of 2024, with plans to expand that number in the future.

New Asheville ordinance expands opportunities for manufactured housing
Asheville City Council unanimously approved changes to the manufactured home ordinance. Previously, manufactured housing could not be replaced on a site that had previously  had manufactured housing if the site was left vacant for more than 180 days. The new ordinance removes this time limit, which is expected to preserve naturally-occurring affordability in the state’s most expensive rental market

EV car-sharing pilot slated for 5 Charlotte affordable housing communities
Charlotte is one of 10 cities that has been chosen for an electric vehicle car-sharing pilot. The US Dept. of Energy is expected to roll out the Affordable Mobility Platform pilot program next July and provide 10 EVs available to residents and staff in 5 of Charlotte’s affordable housing communities. A focus will be made on selecting dense communities that aren’t well served by public transportation. 

Funding expands affordable housing initiatives across NC

Habitat Cabarrus receives $80K grant
Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County (Habitat Cabarrus) is one of more than 230 Habitat for Humanity affiliates organizations awarded a grant from Wells Fargo as part of its nationwide initiative to help low-to-moderate income families construct and improve homes across the country. Habitat Cabarrus will receive $80,000 and use the funding to build four new homes in Kannapolis and Concord.

Concert raises over $1M for Triangle area housing organizations Band Together and United Way of the Greater Triangle held a concert that helped raise more than $1 million for affordable housing. The Mighty Giveback show raised $1,008,723, with proceeds going to 11 Triangle nonprofits, including: 

  • CASA
  • Community Empowerment Fund
  • EMPOWERment, Inc.
  • Families Together
  • Habitat for Humanity (Durham, Orange and Wake affiliates)
  • Hope Renovations 
  • Housing for New Hope
  • InterAct
  • Passage Home

Durham allocates $22M bond financing for affordable housing
Durham City Council approved $22m in bond financing for the proposed Cedar Trace Apartments community at Carr Rd. near I-885. Developers plan to build 180 affordable units. The project is the recipient of a 2022 4% LIHTC bond award.

Greenville approves $2M to address homlessness, increase supply of affordable rental housing Greenville City Council recently approved a $2M plan to acquire/develop non-congregate shelters, develop affordable rental housing, and provide tenant based rental assistance. Funding is from the ARPA Home Investment Partnership grant. 

ReBuildNC awards 3 Eastern NC communities with a combined $22M for affordable housing
RebuildNC awarded Greenville, Morehead City, and Wilmington with a combined $22.3m from the Affordable Housing Development Fund. This particular fund is supported by HUD Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery funding for Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. This is the second of three rounds of funds awarded. This round focused on providing gap financing for shovel-ready 4% LIHTC projects located in areas outside of the 100-year floodplain, but within counties designated as impacted and distressed by Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. A third round of funding for other types of housing projects is expected in 2023


Reports & Resources

NLIHC released a fact sheet and updated database highlighting how states have allocated Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to invest in affordable housing and homelessness prevention and services.

HUD announced that preliminary 2022 Point-in-Time Count data shows an 11% decline in veteran homelessness since 2020–the biggest decline in 5 years.  

Tenant-Based Housing Voucher Programs Improve Health Outcomes | Journal of Public Health Management and Practice

U.S. Eviction Policy is Harming Children: The Case for Sustainable Eviction Prevention to Promote Health Equity | Bill of Health 

How to Make Broadband a Priority in Affordable Rental Housing Development | The Pew Charitable Trusts

New Federal Data Shows the Home Appraisal Gap Is Getting Worse | Bloomberg CityLab

In the News

The Fed crashed the housing market. Builders and banks want help | POLITICO

It’s harder to buy a house. This city fought back by outbidding corporate landlords | NPR

Evictions are piling up across the U.S. as Covid-era protections end and rents climb | NBC

Asset margins for new model to “turn rent into wealth” | Forbes

The housing market is worse than you think | The New York Times

Older, White, and Wealthy Home Buyers Are Pushing Others Out of the Market | The New York Times

Atlanta City Council proposes making publicly subsidized landlords accept housing vouchers | Atlanta Civic Circle

Low-income apartment project finances explained |

Asheville Housing Authority ushers in new affordable housing development | Tribune Papers

WAMY Community Action accepting applications for Essential Single Family Rehabilitation, Urgent Repair programs |

Greater Matthews Habitat presents Groundbreaking Partnership Award to Mint Hill |

New affordable housing community coming to the University City area | WCNC

Higher rent price connected to rise of corporate landlords | Charlotte Observer

How a solution to homelessness in Charlotte is similar to an idea from Houston | WCNC

Link between lack of affordable housing and home insecurity evident in Orange County, activists say | The Daily Tar Heel

How will the latest interest rate increase affect the Triangle housing market? | News & Observer

Officials working to improve affordable workforce housing in Beaufort Co. | WNCT

After intense public scrutiny about hurricane disaster response, Ivan Duncan, a top official at ReBuild NC, is resigning | NC PolicyWatch

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