Community Developments: Protecting Funding for Housing and Community Development Programs
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- Earlier this week the White House released the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request, which calls for slashing funding for HUD 14 percent from current funding levels to $41.2 billion. It proposes to eliminate funding for Section 4 Capacity Building for Affordable Housing and Community Development (Section 4), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and the Public Housing Capital Fund. The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), a coalition of more than 70 national organizations including Enterprise Community Partners, is circulating a sign-on letter asking Members of Congress to ensure that affordable housing and community development programs receive the highest allocation of discretionary funds possible. The deadline to sign the letter is March 16.
- An article in NextCity notes that the Opportunity Zones Program has the potential to become a vital community investment vehicle for distressed communities. According to the article, there is nearly $2.3 trillion in unrealized capital gains that could be invested in rural and low-income urban communities across the nation through “Opportunity Funds,” the vehicle that will enable investments in Opportunity Zones. The article also points out that the new tax incentive is distinct from similar previous programs, such the empowerment program that took effect under President Clinton, as it has the potential to be much larger in geographic scope, as well as to provide capital to a range of uses including housing. Enterprise Community Loan Fund's Rachel Reilly Carrol notes that “there’s room to create products with the potential to unlock new capital for the broader community development ecosystem.” (Next City, February 13)
- Fannie Mae has reported a net loss of $6.5 billion and comprehensive loss of $6.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017. Its 2017 earnings report notes that “the primary driver of changes in the company’s net income for full year 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2017 was a $9.9 billion provision for federal income taxes in the fourth quarter resulting from the re-measurement of the company's deferred tax assets due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Tax Act).” The report also explains that Fannie Mae plans to request $3.7 billion from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to eliminate this deficit. Although Fannie Mae will draw funds from the Treasury, FHFA has directed the government-sponsored enterprise to proceed with the transfer of allocated funds for 2017, including $84 million to Treasury’s Capital Magnet Fund and $155 million to HUD’s Housing Trust Fund. These funds provide vital capital sources for affordable housing across the nation. (HousingWire, February 14)
- Yesterday HUD, in partnership with the Council on Foundations, announced a call for nominations for the 2018 HUD Secretary's Awards for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships. These awards recognize excellence in cross-sector partnerships that have led to measurable benefits in housing and community development, including increased economic development, health, education, workforce development, disaster resilience and/or housing access for low- and moderate-income families. Nominated projects and activities must have been completed between February 2017 and February 2018 or, if ongoing, in effect since at least February 2017. Nominations must be submitted by 11:59 pm PT on March 9, 2018.
- The ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing is accepting applications for its 2018 Housing Awards. Applicants can submit or nominate developments for the Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Awards, which recognize exemplary developments that meet affordable and workforce housing needs and help create mixed-income communities of opportunity. Applicants can also submit or nominate policies for the Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Awards, which honor innovative state and local policy initiatives that support the creation and preservation of affordable and workforce housing. The deadline to submit or nominate developments and policies is March 5.
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