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Policy Update 3-9-22

Federal Updates

Budget Bill Released, LIHTC Fix Not Included
Appropriators released the $1.5 trillion budget bill text overnight on Tuesday and are still aiming for a vote in the House on Wednesday. 

Housing advocates were expecting to see a fix for recent Treasury guidance that limited the use of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for LIHTC. However, language addressing the issue does not appear to be included in the bill. Stay tuned for additional updates and advocacy on this.

Regarding housing appropriations, the Department of Housing and Urban Development  (HUD) received an increase of $4 billion in the budget. While this is the largest increase for HUD in years, it is less than what the White House, House, and Senate proposed for FY22. Notably, funding is included for 25,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) received $4.84 billion – an increase of $1.37 billion over FY21 and the HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) received $1.5 billion, which is an increase of $150 million compared to last year. 

The deadline for Congress to pass the FY22 budget is quickly approaching this Friday, March 11. The package was released too late to guarantee passage by Friday, so a fourth continuing resolution (CR) may be in the works. This CR is expected to be extremely short-term, only extending the timeline by four days through March 15. 

In addition to tying the twelve annual spending bills together into one massive omnibus, lawmakers are including additional COVID-19 relief and assistance for Ukraine. Both are included in the spending package. 

President Biden Called for Housing Investments During State of the Union
During last week’s State of the Union address, President Biden called for increased affordable housing investments, stating, “so many families are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to keep up with the rising cost of food, gas, housing, and so much more. My plan includes more affordable housing.”

State Updates

New District Maps Approved for NC
The NCGA submitted redrawn district maps for approval by the trial court that ruled in North Carolina’s redistricting lawsuit. The judges approved the redrawn NC House and Senate district maps, but replaced the congressional district map with one that was crafted by independent redistricting experts. Republican legislators appealed the decision to replace the congressional map to the state Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, but both bodies upheld the trial court’s decision. North Carolina’s candidate filing period ended on March 4 and the primary election is scheduled to proceed under the new maps on May 17.

Local Updates

Lease 2 Home Program Launched in Wake
Wake County is launching the Lease 2 Home program, which will increase the number of affordable rental homes available by providing financial incentives to landlords. The County plans to invest $1.1 million to kick off the program.

Public Input Sought on Ferry Road Project
Buncombe County leaders are seeking resident input about the future of the Ferry Road project. The county’s goal is to use 137 acres for affordable housing and recreation. Staff have posted a survey to collect input from the public.

Love Chatham Emergency Housing Initiative Planned for Spring
Love Chatham is gearing up to launch an emergency housing initiative offering temporary shelter to those experiencing homelessness in Chatham County. The initiative would temporarily house people in participating churches and other facilities on a rotating basis.

Zoning Change Allows Tiny Homes in Gaston
In Gaston County, zoning regulations have previously prevented tiny homes from being built. A recent zoning change will create the opportunity to establish tiny home communities.

Increased Affordable Housing Planned for the Triad
During a council session focused on affordable housing, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines set a goal to develop 750 affordable housing units each year for the next several years. 

Triad cities push for increase in affordable housing production | FOX8 WGHP

$15 Million Committed to Affordable Housing by New Hanover
New Hanover County Commissioners met with Wilmington City Council members to discuss a plan for affordable housing. Officials committed to investing $15 million over 5 years, which falls short of the $50 million bond measure that had been previously floated by local leaders and housing experts.


NLIHC – Virtual Event: Housing Policy Forum: Achieving Housing Justice March 22-23

National Housing Conference  – Virtual and In-Person Event: Solutions for Housing Communications Wednesday, 3/30

Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies – Virtual Events: 

Associated Press – Treasury: Most COVID rental aid went to low-income residents

Brookings Institute – Dysfunctional policies have broken America’s housing supply chain

Pew Charitable Trust – Here’s One Way States Are Boosting Affordable Housing

CityLab – Federal Legislation Could Tackle the Racial Gap in Home Appraisals

Planetizen – How Cities Are Resisting State Efforts To Increase Density

CBS 17 – See the counties where your generation can afford the median home

ABC 13 – Lack of affordable housing plays big part in growing homeless population, experts say 

Raleigh N&O – New congressional map causes campaign changes. Where are NC candidates running?

CBS17 – Durham resident survey sheds light on growing need for affordable housing

Charlotte Observer – Investors are squeezing out middle-class homebuyers in Charlotte

HCPress – W.A.M.Y. (Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey Counties) Community Action is Accepting Applications for Urgent Home Repair Program

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