May 11, 2017

Community Developments: Kautter Nomination, NYC Landlord Ambassadors Program

A daily roundup of news impacting housing and communities. Not receiving the Community Developments daily email yet? Sign up here. 

  • President Trump has nominated David Kautter to serve as the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for tax policy, according to a White House announcement. Most recently, Kautter was a partner-in-charge of the Washington National Tax practice for the audit, tax and consulting firm RSM US LLP. Kautter is expected to play a leading role in the administration’s efforts on tax reform. His nomination requires Senate approval. (Politico Pro, May 10)
  • Yesterday, Enterprise Community Partners and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) launched the Landlord Ambassadors program by selecting community-based nonprofits that will help owners of small and mid-sized multifamily buildings connect with HPD affordable housing programs. Through their efforts, Landlord Ambassadors will expand HPD’s affordable housing preservation pipeline and equip landlords to manage their properties more effectively. Learn more about the Enterprise and HPD Landlord Ambassadors program in our blog post.
  • This week, the Louisiana State Senate passed legislation that would ban local governments from implementing affordable housing mandates under inclusionary zoning policies. If passed by the Louisiana State House, the proposed legislation could stop New Orleans from creating an inclusionary zoning ordinance that would require setting aside 12 percent of units in multifamily developments to be rented or sold below market rate. Advocates of inclusionary zoning argue that the policy is an essential tool to create more workforce housing units in the core neighborhoods of New Orleans with access to public transportation and neighborhood services. However, critics of inclusionary zoning argue that the policy fails to create widespread change in other cities and could discourage residential development. ( | The Times-Picayune, May 9)
  • During a visit to Rhode Island last week, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin stated that he shares the goal set by the Obama Administration of ending homelessness among veterans, but it will likely take longer than his predecessor predicted. According to Secretary Shulkin, reducing the number of homeless veterans nationwide from roughly 40,000 to 10,000 or 15,000 is an achievable goal for the Trump Administration. In addition, Shulkin stated that he is committed to maintaining the HUD-VASH voucher program for housing veterans and continuing strategies that are working, such as the Housing First policy that stably houses veterans who are chronically homeless or suffer from mental illness or substance abuse, allowing them to successfully connect with supportive services. (The Associated Press |The New York Times, May 11)
  • According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, builders across the country are shifting their focus towards building starter homes to meet the rising millennial demand for homeownership. According to Zelman & Associates, 31 percent of the spec homes, which are typically designed and built based on speculation of what a buyer would look for, built by major builders in the first quarter of 2017 were smaller than 2,250 square feet, up 8 percent from the first quarter of 2015. In addition, the share of first-time homebuyers increased from 32 percent to 35 percent between 2015 and 2016. (The Wall Street Journal, May 11)

Upcoming Webinars

  • On Tuesday, June 6, Enterprise will release new research on effective practices in using publicly-owned parcels for affordable housing and other community benefits. That same day, Enterprise will host a Live Online Event to discuss the research and findings. Register now to attend the webinar.
  • The National Low Income Housing Coalition is hosting a webinar on Friday, May 19 on how to effectively communicate with policymakers and the public about the impact of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts on families and communities. Register today for the webinar.

  For the latest housing and community development news and notes, follow the Enterprise policy team on Twitter: @E_Housing Policy and subscribe to the Capitol Express Newsletter. The Enterprise Public Policy team works to safeguard, expand and improve programs that end housing insecurity. Learn more about our public policy efforts.