The House is currently working on its proposed budget for the fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. Last month the Senate passed their version turning the work over to the House. The Senate budget proposal contained multiple potentially harmful policy provisions related to housing programs, including the allocation process for North Carolina’s share of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), the Homeowner Assistance Fund ($273 million from ARP), and the operations of the NC Housing Finance Agency. In terms of funding, the Senate budget includes $40 million for the Workforce Housing Loan Program (WHLP) while leaving other housing programs at their current funding levels.
For housing issues, the House budget proposal is expected to differ from the Senate’s in positive ways. On the policy front, we are hearing that the House will be stripping the aforementioned policy provisions. Additionally, the biggest change that the House is considering is to allocate $200 million of ARP funds to provide gap financing to LIHTC developments facing significant budget shortfalls due to dramatic cost increases resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
While this is great news for those affordable housing developments at-risk, this provision is tentative at this moment. It is vital that House members hear from affordable housing stakeholders about the importance of this gap financing. In particular, Speaker Tim Moore and House Appropriations chairs need to hear from constituents.
Please contact the following members and staff via phone or email:
|Speaker Tim Moore (Cleveland)||919-733-3451||Tim.Moore@ncleg.gov|
|Dean Arp (Union)||919-715-3007||Dean.Arp@ncleg.gov|
|William Brisson (Bladen/Sampson)||919-733-5772||William.Brisson@ncleg.gov|
|Dana Bungardner (Gaston)||919-733-5809||Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.gov|
|Jeffrey Elmore (Alexander, Wilkes)||919-733-5935||Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.gov|
|John Faircloth (Guilford)||919-733-5877||John.Faircloth@ncleg.gov|
|Kyle Hall (Rockingham, Stokes, Surry)||919-733-5609||Kyle.Hall@ncleg.gov|
|Donny Lambeth (Forsyth)||919-733-5747||Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.gov|
|Jason Saine (Lincoln)||919-733-5782||Jason.Saine@ncleg.gov|
|Larry Strickland (Harnett, Johnston)||919-733-5849||Larry.Strickland@ncleg.gov|
It is vital that House members recognize the importance of providing sustaining investment in affordable housing, particularly ensuring that the construction of affordable housing units is able to continue as our communities recover from the pandemic.
Here are some ideas of points to raise when speaking with members:
- Gap financing will go to projects awarded housing credits in 2019 & 2020. These are “shovel-ready” developments facing budget gaps due to unprecedented global events beyond anyone’s control.
- Without gap financing these housing units may be indefinitely stalled or stopped altogether only deepening the state’s shortage of housing supply.
- The state has access to historic levels of federal funds to utilize for recovery efforts. When considering what recovery efforts to fund, the state should be prioritizing activities such as affordable housing construction that has multiple layers of public benefits.
- Affordable housing construction is an important economic driver for the local economy, providing job opportunities and increased spending on local goods and services.
- Housing developers: If you have a LIHTC project at risk, tell members about those projects – the need would be served in their communities. And also provide specific details about how and what has caused your specific project’s costs to increase due to the pandemic.
You can take action now by sending a customizable letter to your representatives: