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Policy Update 11-3-21

Federal Updates

Final Framework Announced for Build Back Better
After ongoing negotiations with Congressional leaders and Democrats over priorities for Build Back Better, President Biden announced a final framework last week with a topline number of $1.75 trillion. 

The framework includes $150 billion for affordable housing, which is significantly less than the $327 billion initially proposed. It’s still the single largest federal investment in affordable homes in the country’s history.

Housing investments include:

  • $25 billion in rental assistance 
  • $65 billion to preserve public housing infrastructure
  • $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) targeted to serve extremely low-income households.

Funds are also allocated to down payment assistance for first-generation homebuyers to purchase their first homes. The plan is projected to build, preserve, and improve more than 1 million affordable rental and single-family homes

There is no specific mention of LIHTC in the released materials and it does not appear to be included at this time. The Coalition and other housing organizations continue to push for it’s inclusion in the final bill.

Although the framework has been announced, negotiations are still ongoing and advocates should continue contacting their members of Congress to ensure the bill is passed.

US Department of Justice Launches Initiative to Combat Redlining
The Justice Department announced a new effort to investigate and prosecute redlining with the goal of making mortgage credit and homeownership accessible to all Americans. In conjunction with the new initiative, federal agenices also announced resolution of a complaint against Trustmark Bank for lending discrimination by redlining predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Memphis, Tennessee. 

North Carolina Updates

Governor Cooper and NCGA Leaders Near Budget Deal
A budget deal between the governor and NC legislators could be reached any day now. The latest counteroffer from Republican leaders to Governor Cooper includes increased raises for teachers and other state employees. Medicaid expansion appears to be a key area of continued negotiations. Governor Cooper has said there is agreement on the “vast majority” of the budget and House Speaker Tim Moore believes a compromise budget could be passed soon. If a deal is not reached this week, Speaker Moore is ready to move ahead with the legislature passing a budget that will be sent to Governor Cooper to either sign or veto.

NC HOPE Program Ranks Second in Number of Households Served
In its first year, the HOPE Program has paid out more than $461 million to landlords and utility companies on behalf of 135,213 families struggling to pay rent or keep the lights on during the pandemic. NC’s HOPE Program is ranked second in the nation for number of households served and North Carolina ranks sixth for spending of federal Emergency Rental Assistance money (i.e. speed in distributing funds to those needing assistance).

NCORR will Fund 1,000 New Affordable Homes for Hurricane Recovery
The NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) committed funding for more than 1,000 new, affordable housing units in regions impacted by hurricanes Matthew and Florence. According to the agency, “Building resilience in eastern North Carolina is a critical goal for ReBuild NC programs, and includes increasing the availability of affordable housing through the construction of new housing outside of vulnerable floodplains.”

Notice of Funds Available Issued for Supportive Housing Development Program (SHDP)
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) announced the availability of funds for it’s Supportive Housing Development Program (SHDP) under the 2022 funding cycle. Interested applicants must submit a program description and site visit request form by Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. Full applications are due Friday, March 4, 2022.

Local Updates

Greensboro Plans $30m Housing Preservation Loan Fund
Greensboro leaders and local agencies are partnering to expand affordable housing options, including through the establishment of a housing preservation fund. The fund will be a loan pool and is targeted to be about $30 million.

Raleigh Seeks Real Estate Firm to Build Affordable Housing in Transit Corridors
The City of Raleigh plans to use $12 million from the recently passed housing bond to buy land or existing buildings for affordable housing in transit corridors. The city will hire a real estate brokerage firm to help find suitable sites.

Greensboro Plans to Convert Motel into Permanent Housing
Greensboro city leaders are partnering with service providers to convert the Regency Inn and Suites into permanent apartments for people experiencing chronic homelessness. 

Developer buys land near NoDa in Charlotte for Affordable Housing Project
9.9 acres at Sugar Creek Road and North Tryon Street will be home to 188 affordable units set aside for residents earning between 30% and 80% of the area median income.

New Hanover County OKs Use Of $1.9M For Affordable Housing Project
County officials allocated nearly $1.9 million in gap financing to help a 278-unit affordable housing apartment project come to fruition in the city of Wilmington.

Wake County Nonprofits and Homeowners Pitch Property Tax Program to Elected Leaders
The nonprofits are proposing a local property tax relief program to enable long-time homeowners to remain in their homes amid rapidly rising property values.

Reports, Resources and Events

Housing Solutions Lab — Virtual panel: Advancing Equity in Local Housing Planning: Learning from the Past to Promote a More Equitable Future Tuesday, 11/9 @ 12:00 pm

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University — Webinar: Covid, Race, and Housing Insecurity Friday, 11/19 from 12:15 – 1:15 pm

PAHRC and NLIHC — 2021 Picture Of Preservation Report

The Urban Institute — Racially Unequal School Boundaries Amplify Educational Inequity 

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University — Designing A Nationwide Downpayment Assistance Program: Lessons From Five International Case Studies 

Vox — Congress isn’t going to save the housing market

Planetizen — How to Make Universal Vouchers Actually Work

CNBC — Billions in aid still available to struggling renters

The Hill — Oped: Affordable housing is critical infrastructure — its funding doesn’t show it

DCist — Is Affordable Housing Good For Public Health? A New Study Says It Could Be

The Atlantic — The Simplest Fix to America’s Rent Problem

Shelterforce — Can New Construction Methods Lower the Cost of Housing?

Reuters — U.S. existing home sales surge to 8-month high in September

Wired — The ‘Broadband Gap’ Is Now a Housing Problem

Raleigh N&O — What’s in Biden’s compromise spending plan, and how will it affect North Carolina? 

Raleigh N&O — More than half in NC worry they can’t make housing payments, new poll finds

Raleigh N&O — Should NC let landlords apply for pandemic rent aid? It depends on who you ask

Independent Weekly — The Triangle Housing Shortage Has Escalated Since the Onset of the Pandemic

MY40 — Henderson Co. nonprofit proposes affordable housing fund to build units more quickly

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