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Policy Update 4-5-23

NCHC Updates

Bringing It Home Conference is less than a month away: On May 2-3, we’re offering 18 live, interactive workshops designed to help you strengthen your services and advocacy for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Topics include increasing your organization’s capacity, fair housing protections, amplifying the voices of lived expertise, and evidence-based policy making on homelessness and evictions. Our speakers include both local and national experts who will share their successes and provide practical examples for how you can help end homelessness in NC. View the full agenda now and register today! Space is limited, and registration closes April 28. 

Save the Date for the 2023 Housing Works Conference: It’s time to mark your calendars for the 2023 NC Affordable Housing Conference on October 23–24 at the Raleigh Convention Center! This year’s conference promises exciting new breakout sessions, renowned speakers and a chance to network with affordable housing professionals from all across the state. Stay tuned as we provide more information in the coming months! Registration will open July 24.

Federal Updates

Debt ceiling negotiations continue to stall with a budget. House Republicans continue to lack the votes needed to pass a budget, which is further delaying debt ceiling negotiations. President Biden has indicated that he will meet with Republicans to discuss spending once they release a budget. 

HUD funding for HBCUs supports diversity in the field of housing research. Last week, HUD announced funding awards for HBCUs that have Centers of Excellence conducting housing and community development research. The funding is part of HUD’s ongoing effort to diversify housing research. North Carolina A&T University was awarded $2.5 million to establish a center with research that will focus on the production of affordable housing, homeownership, renewable energy, sustainable communities, and post-disaster recovery.

State Legislative Updates

NC House releases budget. Lawmakers in the NC House released a budget proposal on Wednesday evening. Among the highlights for housing advocates, the budget:

  • Maintains the funding levels of the Housing Trust Fund ($7.66m/year) and the HOME match ($3m/year); 
  • Funds the Workforce Housing Loan Program at $35m in non-recurring funds each year;
  • Allocates $130m to the Housing Reserve Fund for an unspecified purpose; and 
  • Does NOT include the language harmful to the operations of the NC Housing Finance Agency. Thank you again to the organizations that supported the letter we put together addressing the importance of NCHFA’s enabling statute. If you are still interested in being a signatory, there is still work to do as the budget will move to the Senate.  

This N&O article further details other top line priorities included in the House’s budget proposal. Click here for a side-by-side comparison with Governor Cooper’s proposal. 

Bill Tracker. Check out our Bill Tracker, which is updated with the latest housing-related bills. Housing bills filed since the March 22 policy update are listed below:

  • H537 filed 3/29 Workforce Housing Act
    Requires local governments by-right permit multifamily housing in areas zoned for business; allows the state to sell/lease land at below market value for development where at least 50% of units are affordable to 80% AMI households; creates NCHFA revolving loan fund for qualifying first-time and veteran homebuyers; appropriates $35M in recurring funds to Workforce Housing Loan Program.
  • H551 filed 4/3 Landlord-Tenant and HOA Change
    Bans source of income nondiscrimination policies at the local level; regulates service/support animals; allows landlords to charge tenants in eviction cases for landlord’s attorney’s fees, up to a limit, and for attorney fees associated with an appeal.
  • H474 filed 3/23 Facilitate Small Housing
    Requires local gov’ts to permit construction of small housing (800 sq ft. or less) on lots zoned residential or mixed-use. Exceptions for local historic districts and private covenants between landowners.
  • S420 filed 3/29 Homebuyer Fairness & Protection Act
    Prohibits sellers from requiring due diligence fees exceeding 1% of purchase price. Appropriates $10M to the NC Housing Coalition to support homebuyer education services
  • S422 filed 3/29 Homes for Heroes
    Appropriates $200M from General Fund to NCHFA Homeownership  Assistance Fund  to create a program to assist  public servants who are first-time homebuyers with down-payments & closing costs.
  • S423 filed 3/29 Homeowner Solar Expansion Act
    Asserts that deeds cannot ban the placement of solar panels on one’s property. Allows homeowners to conduct 3rd Party sales of renewable energy.
  • S424 filed 3/29 Restore the American Dream
    Appropriates $30M to Housing Trust Fund (HTF) for FY23-24 and creates dedicated revenue stream for HTF
  • S438 filed 3/30 NCORR Administrative Modifications
    Establishes CDBG-DR procurement procedures; shields homeowners from increase in property tax liability resulting from rehab funded through CDBG-DR and Hurricanes Florence & Matthew & Tropical Storm Fred recovery; increases NCORR informal bid threshold for construction and home repair.
  • S439 filed 3/30 Foreclosure Trustee Auctions
    Allows foreclosure sales to occur in public locations within the county other than the courthouse; expands time available for foreclosure sale to commence; establishes procedure for remote bidding.

Rent Control Bill Interview. Check out the Charlotte Observer’s recent interview with NC Sen. Lisa Grafstein regarding SB 225, a statewide bill she is sponsoring that proposes to strike down the ban on local rent control. While unlikely to pass during this session, Sen. Grafstein hopes the bill starts conversations around giving local governments more control to find creative affordable housing solutions that work for their communities.  

State & Local Updates

Evictions in NC rose by over 70% last year. NC civil court data indicates that last year, evictions rose by at least 70%. Many rental assistance programs that began during the height of the pandemic wound down last year as funding ran dry. This data indicates the need for a permanent statewide coordinated rental assistance program.  

Habitat Charlotte hosts coffee and conversation. Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte recently hosted a community conversation to discuss affordable housing in the Statesville, Mooresville, and Lake Norman communities. Habitat Charlotte CEO Laura Belcher emphasized the organization’s efforts to address the community’s need by preserving existing homes through their repairs program and building higher density new housing like townhomes.

LIHTC community opens. The Redhill Pointe LIHTC development opened in Greensboro last week, adding 84 new affordable units ranging from 1-3 bedrooms. Demand is so high that just 10 weeks after developers broke ground, they had received over 1000 inquiries from prospective tenants. 

Durham SCAD: Simplifying Codes for more Affordable Development (SCAD) is a private text amendment in Durham that was initiated by Raleigh developer Jim Anthony and Durham Habitat. Durham Habitat recently asked for their name to be removed from the SCAD application after they received criticism for supporting the text amendment. SCAD would loosen development regulations, purportedly to ease the pathway for developers to build more affordable housing. 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. 

Neighbors sue Raleigh over Missing MIddle policies. In Raleigh, homeowners in the wealthy Hayes Barton neighborhood filed a lawsuit against the City over their Missing Middle housing policies. The City approved the policies in 2021 and 2022 to promote housing density through the creation of townhomes, ADUs, and duplexes. Recently, Hayes Barton residents vocally opposed the demolition of a historic house where developers plan to construct 17 market-rate townhomes. Housing advocates are concerned the lawsuit could signal the beginning of efforts to repeal Missing Middle policies.  

Leading into New Communities (LINC) acquires 4 additional units of permanent supportive housing in Wilmington. The City of Wilmington supplied a $460K loan financed through the city’s Rental Incentive Loan Program and CDBG funds. LINC plans to use these units to help address the significant need for rental housing for recently incarcerated individuals

Reports & Resources 


In the News

Affordable housing is getting harder to build in Charlotte. What’s the solution? | UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Watauga Housing Forum leads to a year of momentum, change |

ReBuild NC defends Rescue Construction, while fining company for delays in hurricane recovery | NC Newsline

DeSantis signs affordable housing bill. It includes some restrictions on local rules | Miami Herald

Evanston City Council votes in favor of expanding its reparations program to repair housing discrimination | CNN

Most former McPherson Square residents don’t have housing | DCist

Idaho legislature passes bipartisan bill to require reasonable rental fees | NLIHC

Affordable housing an issue not just for low income families; teachers, public safety officers also struggling | WECT

How do people released from prison find housing? | The New York Times

Private opulence, public squalor: How the U.S. helps the rich and hurts the poor | NPR

We were told there’d be a wave of home sales once baby boomers turned 65. That isn’t happening | The Boston Globe

‘We’ve become a renting nation’: Landlords benefit from high house prices, but millions of renters find themselves trapped | Marketwatch

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes” : The coming threat of dramatic budget cuts and the impact on affordable housing | Opportunity Starts at Home

Recommended read

NC House Releases Budget Proposal

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