Community Developments: Implications of AFH Suspension, Modular Construction in NYC
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- A new blog post by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) examines the implications of HUD's decision to suspend for at least two years the requirement that jurisdictions submit the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). The blog notes that HUD’s suspension notice calls for jurisdictions to return to conducting Analysis of Impediments (AI) to fair housing choice, a process that both the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and HUD itself deemed to be highly flawed. The post also highlights that unlike an AFH, there is no standardized form or specific content required for an AI and jurisdictions are not required to submit their AIs to HUD for review and approval. The blog post urges jurisdictions to carefully weigh the risk that the delay could be reversed before 2020, as well as their duty to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing as they determine how to conduct their new AIs. (JCHS, March 2)
- The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is seeking partners to build low-income and senior housing using modular construction, a technique in which prefabricated modular units are rapidly assembled on site. Yesterday HPD released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking general industry input into urban multifamily modular construction, as well as a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for modular affordable housing construction on private sites or public sites where modular construction could be utilized. The city’s goal is to support the use of innovative modular design and technology that lowers costs and waste, while increasing the speed of construction of affordable housing. (HPD, March 1)
- Yesterday the Senate passed a motion to send legislation that would revise and eliminate key parts of The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to the floor for a vote. The bill (S. 2155), which is sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), would ease regulations on smaller financial institutions and relieve them from federal stress tests and stricter oversight. The bill has nearly 20 co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle. (Bloomberg Politics, March 1)
- An article in CityLab highlights a new analysis by the University of Bristol, U.K., and the Nature Conservancy, which shows that FEMA’s maps only account for one-third of the total population that is exposed to serious flooding. FEMA estimates that 13 million Americans live in a 100-year flood plain, but the analysis puts that number at 41 million. A 100-year flood describes an extreme flooding event that has a one-percent chance of occurring in any year. The analysis also estimates that the share of Americans who live in a 100-year flood plain will increase by 2.5 percent to 15.8 percent between 2018 and 2050. (CityLab, March 2)
In Case You Missed It
- Last month 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.
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