March 6, 2018

Community Developments: NFIP Reform and Reauthorization, AHDLI Convening in Seattle

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  • In an op-ed in The Hill, 100 Resilient Cities President Michael Berkowitz urges Congress to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help cities build resilience proactively. Berkowitz explains that reauthorizing the program alone won’t unlock its full potential for communities at risk, encouraging lawmakers to consider enacting needed reforms. Berkowitz recommends: giving FEMA explicit direction and authority to offer means-tested assistance to low-income homeowners; revisiting the Flood Insurance Rate Maps that drive rate-setting and local land-use regulations; ensuring that a floodplain mapping program is fully funded; and expanding flood insurance purchase requirements for federally-backed mortgages to address increasing flood losses outside of mapped, special flood hazard areas. (The Hill, March 5) 
  • The Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute (AHDLI) is accepting applications from developers who are committed to bringing innovation to their design process. The 2018 convening will take place in Seattle from July 16 to 18. The AHDLI curriculum includes a three-day convening of seven development teams, a diverse group of designers, city officials and policy makers. Attendees engage in interactive design charrettes using their own development projects and learn innovative approaches to design, construction, policy and finance challenges. Apply for the 2018 AHDLI by March 16.  
  • The San Diego City Council is considering dozens of housing code changes proposed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer with the goal of increasing the supply of housing and lowering development costs. The proposed changes build on California's 1978 Affordable Housing Density Program that offers developers density bonus in return for providing affordable housing but offer further incentives to create affordable homes. These changes include offering a 100 percent density bonus for micro-unit proposals that do not exceed the permitted building footprint and updates to the Land Development Code that would streamline the project review process and increase production. (KPBS, March 6)
  • Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s administration is exploring expansion of Boston’s inclusionary development policy, which requires developers to set aside units at below-market rents. According to Tim Davis, housing policy manager at the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), review of the policy will take place over the next year with the goal of adopting changes that would increase the level of affordability requested of developers. According to BPDA, the inclusionary housing policy has generated nearly 1,200 affordable units in buildings permitted between 2014 and 2016. (The Boston Globe, March 6)
  • Today, CoreLogic released its Home Price Index (HPI) data for January 2018, which show that home prices are up both year-over-year and month-over-month by 6.6 and 0.5 percent, respectively. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.8 percent between January 2018 and January 2019. According to the index, the state of Washington showed the largest HPI gain of all states with a 12.1 percent year-over-year increase. (CoreLogic, March 6)

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.

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