Around the State
General Assembly Update – New Housing Bills Filed
The Short Session continues this week with numerous bills being filed before the Tuesday afternoon deadline. Included among those are two House bills providing resources to keep people stably housed and to bolster the continued development of affordable housing. Here is some brief information on both bills.
House Bill 1200: Foreclosure Prevention Grants/Rental & Utility Assistance (Szoka)
Rep. John Szoka filed a bill to direct $200 million in federal coronavirus relief funds towards assistance for both homeowners and renters. Funds will be split evenly with $100 million for foreclosure prevention and $100 million for rental and utility payment assistance. The foreclosure funds include up to six months of mortgage payments on behalf of homeowners and $10 million for housing counselors and legal services. The rental/utility assistance will provide up to six months of rental or utility payments.
House Bill 1208: Funding for Workforce Housing Loan Program (Lambeth)
Rep. Donny Lambeth filed a bill to provide $20 million in non-recurring funds to the Workforce Housing Loan Program (WHLP) for the 2020 housing credit funding cycle. As a non-recurring budget item and because North Carolina does not have an enacted budget, WHLP currently does not have funding for the 2020 cycle.
For more details on these bills and how you can help ensure they are enacted, please visit today’s blog (5/27/2020).
The Short Session is expected to continue until late June/early July. The framework bills (H1185-H1187) for a budget proposal from the House were also filed yesterday. Details for those appropriation bills have not yet been included. As details emerge, the Coalition will provide updates as they relate to housing resources.
Update on Raleigh Affordable Housing Bond
Last Tuesday (May 19th), the City of Raleigh’s Affordable Housing Bond Advisory Committee gave their final recommendations to the City Council on the structure of the bond measure that is proposed to appear on the November ballot. The Committee met for several months and conducted a survey to gather feedback and input from stakeholders in order to devise their recommendations.
The committee made the following recommendations:
- Bond measure should target $80 million for affordable housing
- Allocations should target the following areas:
- 20% for Transit-Oriented Site Acquisition
- 35% for Public-Private Partnerships
- 30% for LIHTC Gap Financing
- 7.5% for Owner-Occupied Home Rehab
- 7.5% for Down Payment Assistance
On the federal level, national advocates continue to push Congress for added housing related resources and provisions to address impacts from the coronavirus crisis. The HEROES Act which passed the House in early May, continues to be stalled and has not been taken up by the Senate for action. The HEROES Act includes $200 billion in additional funds for housing needs. Details of the housing provisions can be found here.
Despite the formal inaction in the Senate, national advocates have noticed shifting perspectives from key moderate Republican Senators, such as Sen. Susan Collins (ME), who has indicated that “there may be need” for additional relief efforts from Congress. Advocates are hopeful that negotiations could be started at some point on the next relief package.
National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), webinar series: “Covid-19’s Impact on Housing Credit Development and Compliance,” May 26 and 28 and June 2 and 4.
Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies – “The Continuing Decline of Low Cost Rentals”
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – “Protections for Renters During the Coronavirus Pandemic”
National Council of State Housing Agencies & Novogradac – “Analyzing the Impact of Lowering the 50% Test for 4% Tax-Exempt Bond-Financed Properties”