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Policy Update 3-22-23

NCHC Updates

NCGA Corner – Bills we’re watching
Quite a few housing-related bills have been filed this session related to housing, community development, land use, and other key areas. Particular bills we’re monitoring include:

  • SB 317,  Addressing the Workforce Housing Crisis, would allow single-family developments to bypass local zoning regulations if:
    • The development is at least 10 acres; and 
    • The development reserves 20% of the units as “workforce housing.” 

The bill defines “workforce housing” as 10% of the units being affordable at 80% of AMI and the other 10% being affordable at 100% of AMI. The only requirement is that the owner occupant live in the home for a majority of one calendar year. There is no enforcement mechanism, penalty for non-compliance, or long-term affordability component for the “workforce housing” units. 

Check out our new NCHC NCGA Bill Tracker. If you have any feedback on it, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach out to Anna at

Legislative Week of Action 2023.
Our virtual legislative week of action was a great success! Thanks to the many of you who called, wrote, or met with legislators. 

Thanks to Claire Williamson from the NC Justice Center who joined us on this week’s Housing Call to talk about the rate cases with Duke Energy.
Duke Energy Progress (DEP) virtual hearing is scheduled for Thursday, April 20, 2023 6:00 p.m.

To register, please complete the electronic Remote Public Witness Registration form located on the Commission’s website at If assistance is needed, please contact 919-733-0837.

Only the first 20 individuals registered by 5:00pm on Thursday, April 13, 2023, will be allowed to testify at the April 20, 2023, remote public witness hearing. This hearing will be canceled if no one registers to testify by 5:00pm on April 13, 2023.

To provide written comments, DEP customers can either mail written statements to the North Carolina Utilities Commission, 4325 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4300 (they should reference Docket No. E-2, Sub 1300 in those statements), or email the Commission a statement about the rate case via the Commission’s website at (this portal will prompt them to include that docket number). Those statements will be accessible via Docket No. E-2, Sub 1300CS,, about two to three business days after they are received.

Federal Updates

President Biden Releases FY24 Budget Request
The proposal calls for “modest funding increases to HUD programs using the regular appropriations process and major investments in housing through mandatory spending. Check out NLIHC’s updated budget chart for more details. 

The President’s budget proposal kicks off the FY24 appropriations cycle but will not gain the bipartisan support needed to be enacted in the current Congress. While lawmakers are far from finalizing anything, Republicans are proposing drastic (up to 43%) budget cuts to housing programs, including cutting the Housing Choice Voucher program, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling to avoid a government shutdown. We agree with NLIHC that it is unacceptable to balance the budget by cutting funds to programs for the lowest income folks, and we will continue to advocate against these cuts. 

Now that the President’s FY24 Budget Request has been released, Senate Appropriations subcommittees are beginning to schedule hearings on the fiscal 2024 budget request. These hearings are expected to occur over the next few months.

The Senate Finance Committee holds hearing on affordable housing.
Senators and witnesses discussed the effectiveness of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and opportunities for its expansion and reform. In his remarks, Chairman Ron Wyden from Oregon cited the impact of rising rents on a handful of cities, including Charlotte, NC. He noted that in the last five years, Charlotte experienced an average $558 increase in rents, or 46 percent.

Junk Fees Letter from HUD Sec. Marcia Fudge
Sec. Fudge released a letter calling on state and local leaders and housing providers to put an end to duplicative, excessive, and undisclosed fees for renters. She called for:

  • An end to extraneous application administrative and processing fees;
  • An end to duplicative application payments for multiple properties managed by the same company or on the same application platform; and
  • Transparency to prospective renters about the bottom line move-in and monthly costs, including any recurring fees and their purpose. 

FHA publishes 40-Year Loan Modification Loss Mitigation Option
The final rule will allow mortgagees to increase the maximum term of a loan modification from 360 to 480 months for FHA-insured mortgages after a default episode. FHA will also simultaneously publish Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2023-06, Establishment of the 40-Year Loan Modification Loss Mitigation Option establishing the standalone 40-year loan modification policy. Specifically, the final rule will permit mortgagees to provide a 40-year loan modification to borrowers. The provisions of the final rule will expand FHA’s loss mitigation options to include a standalone 40-year loan modification. The 40-year loan modification can assist borrowers in avoiding foreclosure by spreading the outstanding mortgage. 

State Updates

Governor Cooper releases FY 2023-2025  budget proposal. The total recommended investment in housing is $160 million, which is the highest amount recommended of any budget proposal in more than a decade. For details, check out the Coalition’s blog post.

Senate bill 53 will move forward without Governor Cooper’s signature. The bill strips people who maintain their primary residence in a hotel/motel/RV park  from tenant protections under NC’s landlord/tenant laws for the first 90 days of their lease. The bill passed the legislature with bipartisan support and, without a veto, the bill will become law even without the governor’s signature.

NC Senate votes to expand Medicaid. The bill passed quickly with no debate and no amendments.The bill now returns to the North Carolina House for an up-or-down “concurrence” vote. The expansion bill is tied to funding in the state budget, which means the bill won’t take effect unless the budget becomes law.

Local Updates

Habitat for Humanity of Durham withdraws support from proposal to change Durham zoning ordinances. The proposal, called “Simplifying Codes for more Affordable Development” or “SCAD,” was originally initiated by Durham Habitat and Raleigh developer Jim Anthony. The proposal has drawn criticism, with local leaders and community members concerned that it would relax regulatory compliances in a way that worsens gentrification and displacement.

Onslow County development awarded Workforce Housing Loan Program funding. Springfield Park Apartments was awarded funding from the state for 80 affordable apartment homes to serve working families and Hurricane Florence survivors. The $239,400 loan is an appropriation from the Workforce Housing Loan Program and will enable the completion of the project by directly funding construction and lowering rents.

Concord nonprofit acquires church, plans for affordable housing. WeBuild Concord, an affordable housing nonprofit launched by the city of Concord, bought a historic church with plans to develop it into 15 affordable housing and workspace units. The different apartment units will range from a studio to three bedrooms.

Concord considers allowing tiny homes. City leaders are considering a proposed ordinance that would allow tiny homes to be built within city limits. City officials said they have received an increasing number of inquiries from developers about smaller homes on smaller lots in areas that currently have single-family homes. 

Mountain Housing Opportunities receives $1M grant. The nonprofit affordable housing development organization received a $1 million grant from Dogwood Health Trust to help build sixty-eight affordable homes in the Leicester community of Buncombe County. The new subdivision, called Pentland Hills, will feature two- to three-bedroom single-family homes and duplexes.

Buncombe County considers county-owned sites for affordable housing. County leaders are considering the use of three county-owned sites for future affordable housing, which all totaled could bring at least 430 new units to the county. The county is partnering with the Development Finance Initiative at the UNC School of Government, which presented potential projects that the county could undertake to create affordable housing.

Greensboro approved plans last week on how to spend $6.6M in HOME-ARP funds. The City will be investing:

  • $2.5M into supportive services;
  • $2.3M into affordable rental housing; and 
  • $1.5M into tenant-based rental assistance

Reports & Resources

What Policymakers Need to Know about Racism in the Property Tax System | Housing Matters

The Gap 2023: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes | NLIHC

Rental Markets One Year After Our America’s Rental Housing Report | Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University 

Bipartisan Housing Bills in the 118th Congress | National Low Income Housing Coalition – On the Home Front 


  • [virtual] Improving America’s Housing 2023 | Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 3/23, 12:30 p.m. 
  • [in-person] Housing Affordability in the Cape Fear | Cape Fear Housing Coalition, 3/23, 8 a.m., UNCW Warwick Center 
    • Our executive director, Samuel Gunter, will kick off the program at 8:30 speaking about housing-related funding and legislation at state and federal levels. Shane Phillips, author of The Affordable City will deliver the keynote address. 

In the News

Rental rush creates High Country housing troubles | The Appalachian

Why Poverty Persists in America | The New York Times

Homelessness Worsens in Older Populations as Housing Costs Take Toll | Wall Street Journal

State Lawmakers Take On Local Regulations That Inflate Housing Costs | Forbes

Biden wants to reduce homelessness by helping former foster kids pay for rent | USA Today

‘I’ve got five babies in the car’: Inside the fight to get on affordable housing waitlists | USA Today

Only two large US cities are affordable for new home buyers | The Hill

Corporations looking to gobble up homes may have to contend with this NC bill | Winston-Salem Journal

Beth McKee-Huger: Greensboro and other NC cities need help from the state to tackle affordable housing problem | Greensboro News & Record

Rental rush creates High Country housing troubles | The Appalachian

Housing crisis deepens as rental prices surge in Carteret County | Carteret County News-Times

Recommended read

The shortage of affordable housing has worsened for renters with extremely low incomes; NC’s supply is insufficient

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