March 12, 2018

Community Developments: Fair Housing in Houston and NYC

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

  • Last week HUD and the city of Houston announced a joint fair housing agreement designed to expand housing choice and mobility for lower income residents, including those experiencing homelessness and victims of Hurricane Harvey. The agreement requires the city of Houston to: set objective policies that would guide the recommendation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) applications to the City Council; encourage more landlord participation in its Voucher Mobility Pilot program; help victims of Hurricane Harvey who became homeless by providing $2 million in disaster assistance to the Houston Housing Authority; and seek comprehensive technical assistance from HUD to meet its obligations under the Fair Housing Act. (HUD, March 9) Enterprise will be supporting Houston’s efforts to further fair housing through its recovery and rebuilding effort in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
     
  • As previously highlighted in Community Developments, earlier this year HUD suspended for at least two years the requirement that jurisdictions submit the Assessment of Fair Housing, a planning process that is designed to help localities examine their local landscape and set fair housing priorities and goals. Last week New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced that it will proceed with its own comprehensive fair housing plan, which is titled “Where We Live NYC.” According to HPD, the fair housing planning process, which will include extensive community participation and data and policy analyses, will culminate with the release of a public report with measurable goals and strategies for fostering inclusive communities. (HPD, March 9) 
     
  • Enterprise encourages housing advocates to reach out to their Representatives and urge them to sign Dear Colleague letters that support robust funding for the following housing and community development programs:
    • Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Jim Costa (D-CA) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter urging the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies to request adequate funding for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing programs, including the Mutual Self-Help Program, Section 502 Direct Loans homeownership loans, rental assistance, new multi-family construction and preservation, and farmworker housing. The deadline for House offices to sign on is COB today. House offices can sign on by contacting Ryan McCormack in Rep. Duffy’s office at Ryan.McCormack@mail.house.gov or Ben Goldeen in Rep. Costa’s office at Ben.Goldeen@mail.house.gov
    • 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 today. 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.
    • 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 tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13. House offices can sign on using this link.
    • 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 also COB tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13. House offices can sign on by contacting Caitlin Hodgkins in Rep. McGovern’s office at Caitlin.Hodgkins@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 this Thursday, March 15. 
  • According to NextCity, the Utah legislature is considering a series of proposed bills that aim to address the state’s housing affordability challenges. These proposed measures include bills that would establish a statewide Commission on Housing Affordability and require cities to create and publicize plans to meet moderate-income housing development goals, as well as a third bill that would dedicate $100 million in bond proceeds to affordable housing construction. (NextCity, March 9) 

Upcoming Webinar

  • On Tuesday, March 20, Enterprise Community Partners is hosting a webinar on “Navigating Federal Transportation Policy to Promote eTOD,” which will feature Ahmad Abu-Khalaf of Enterprise, 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. For more information: please contact Ahmad Abu-Khalaf at aabukhalaf@enterprisecommunity.org. 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.