February 22, 2018

Community Developments: Section 4 Sign-On Letter, SNAP’s Antipoverty Effects

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  • As previously reported in Community Developments, the President’s FY 2019 budget request proposes eliminating HUD’s Section 4 Capacity Building and Affordable Housing program, which is the only federal program exclusively focused on increasing the effectiveness of local community development organizations. Enterprise is co-sponsoring a nationwide sign-on letter urging Congress to provide at least $40 million for the Section 4 program in fiscal year (FY) 2019. The letter notes that the program has been funded at $35 million since FY 2012, but the demand for affordable housing and small business investments in low-income communities continues to grow. A modest $5 million increase in Section 4 funds will help local nonprofit organizations address the growing needs of the communities they serve. Sign your organization onto the letter by February 27.
  • Given the Administration’s proposal to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and reduce its spending by 27 percent over the next decade, the Urban Institute highlights the program’s antipoverty effects. Urban’s analysis shows that the program, which provides food assistance to more than one in eight Americans, removed 8.4 million people from poverty in 2015, reducing the poverty rate from 15.4 percent to 12.8 percent. The analysis also explains that the program substantially reduces poverty across demographic groups, including children (down 28 percent), individuals in nonmetropolitan areas (24 percent), individuals in working families (21 percent), and non-Hispanic black individuals (21 percent). (Urban Institute, February 21) 
  • A $3 million grant from the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America's Families will support Enterprise in exploring innovative, integrated approaches that can increase economic mobility. Key components of this two-year effort will include: assessing existing programs and identifying priority needs; creating an economic mobility network for sharing knowledge and demonstrating new strategies for increasing opportunity; and using technology to accelerate impact.  Enterprise President and CEO Terri Ludwig notes that “this visionary grant from the Terwilliger Foundation will enable us to understand the best ways to promote economic mobility through an integrated approach that includes stable housing, innovative services, access to quality jobs, and opportunities to build income and assets.” 
  • According to an analysis by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales dropped by 3.2 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.38 million, the lowest rate since September 2017. The analysis suggests that the decline was driven by drops in single-family home sales in the West and Midwest. The analysis also shows that the median seasonally adjusted price of existing homes sold in January rose by 1.8 percent month-over-month to $255,500, the largest month-over-month increase since February 2015. (Zillow, February 21) 

In Case You Missed It 

  • LOCUS, a national coalition of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, equitable, walkable development in America’s metropolitan areas, is accepting nominations for its 2018 Leadership Awards. Applicants can submit nominations for developer/investor of the year award that honors a company or individual who has shown exceptional leadership in smart growth development; company of the year award that recognizes companies that have a clear history of public leadership in supporting projects that transform communities and create lasting value for the citizens who live there; and the Richard Baron Affordable Housing Award that honors an outstanding developer who has been building attainable housing while ensuring equitable outcomes. The deadline to submit nominations is tomorrow, and winners will be announced on March 5

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.