March 8, 2018

Community Developments: Action Needed to Expand and Strengthen Housing Credit in Omnibus

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

  • Congress is currently negotiating an omnibus spending bill for passage before March 23 when the current continuing resolution expires. This bill will likely include a tax component, and may be the last potential vehicle to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act for quite some time. The ACTION Campaign urges all Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) stakeholders to reach out to co-sponsors on the House (H.R. 1661) and Senate (S. 548) versions of the bill and urge them to share their support for including the Housing Credit legislation in the upcoming omnibus with House and Senate leadership. For more information, including advocacy resources and key members to target, see the ACTION Campaign’s website.
     
  • As previously reported in Community Developments, President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request calls for eliminating a range of housing and community development programs, including HOME Investment Partnerships, Section 4 Capacity Building for Affordable Housing and Community Development, the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) programs, and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Enterprise encourages housing advocates to reach out to their Representatives and urge them to sign Dear Colleague letters that support robust funding for these programs:
    • Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) is sponsoring a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter urging the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee to fund the HOME Program at $1.2 billion in FY 2019. The deadline for Representatives to sign on is COB Tuesday, March 13. House offices can sign on using this link.
    • Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) and Rep. John Faso (R-NY) are co-sponsoring a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter urging the House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee to fund the Section 4 Program at $40 million in FY 2019. The deadline for House offices to sign on is COB Tuesday, March 13. House offices can sign on by contacting Matthew Colvin in Rep. Esty’s office at matthew.colvin@mail.house.gov or Remy Fortin in Rep. Faso's office at Remy.Fortin@mail.house.gov.
    • Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Don Young (R-AK) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter urging the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee to provide at least $248 million for the CDFI Fund programs in FY 2019 appropriations. The deadline for House offices to sign the letter is Thursday, March 15.  
    • Representatives Robert Brady (D-PA), Lou Barletta (R-PA), James McGovern (D-MA), Peter King (R-NY), Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY) are circulating a 'Dear Colleague' letter urging the House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee to provide at least $3.3 billion for the CDBG program in FY 2019 appropriations. The deadline for House offices to sign the letter is COB Tuesday, March 13. House offices can sign on by contacting Caitlin Hodgkins in Rep. McGovern’s office at Caitlib.Hodgkins@mail.house.gov
  • The city of Los Angeles is considering legislation that would expedite the approval of permanent supportive housing. Under the proposed rules, permanent supportive housing developments would qualify for a streamlined review process and benefit from looser restrictions on height, density and parking requirements. After clearing the city council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee earlier this week, the ordinance will now move to the full city council for final approval. (Curbed, March 7)
     
  • Last week Seattle's Progressive Revenue Task Force released its final recommendations for an Employee Hours Tax (EHT) that would fund affordable housing construction and homeless services. The proposal, which would tax employers based on their revenue and number of employees, is expected to generate an estimated $75 million annually. The Housing Development Consortium, a Seattle-based nonprofit, estimates the city will need more than 20,000 new units of affordable to households earning up to 30 percent of the area median income in the next decade, and the task force projects that meeting the estimated need will cost $340 million a year for 10 years. (Next City, March 8)

Upcoming Webinar 

  • On Tuesday, March 20, Enterprise is hosting a webinar on “Navigating Federal Transportation Policy to Promote eTOD,” which will feature Ahmad Abu-Khalaf of Enterprise Community Partners, Christopher Coes of Smart Growth America, and Jenna Hornstock of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. This webinar will discuss our new report, “Promoting Opportunity through Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD): Navigating Federal Transportation Policy,” which will be released on March 14. It will also provide stakeholders involved in achieving eTOD guidance on understanding and benefitting from federal transportation policies and programs, focusing on key influence points: prioritization and planning, using federal funding for creating eTOD and the importance of advocacy, and utilizing publicly owned parcels for affordability with a particular focus on Los Angeles County. This upcoming webinar can be particularly helpful for housing practitioners, who may be less familiar with these resources and how to access them. Register here 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.