April 3, 2018

Community Developments: Proposed Steps to Address the Loss of Affordable Housing Production

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

  • A blog post by Novogradac & Company proposes two steps that would address the loss of affordable housing production and preservation resulting from the reduction in the corporate income tax rate. The blog explains that the recent boosts to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) in the 2018 omnibus spending bill – a 12.5 percent increase in annual Housing Credit allocations for the next four years and a provision that allows for income-averaging – will not entirely address the reduced pricing for Housing Credits and therefore lower production of affordable homes. The post points out that Congress could increase the amount of allocable Housing Credits each year, and that a 16 percent expansion of Housing Credit allocations is needed to sustain current production levels. It also emphasizes the importance of updating the annual Housing Credit percentage formula to ensure that affordable housing developments that were financially feasible under a top corporate rate of 35 percent remain so under a rate of 21 percent. (Novogradac & Company, April 2) 
     
  • Today the U.S Department of Treasury released a memorandum urging bank regulators to expand the pool of borrowers and products for which lenders can claim credit under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The document suggests that banks should receive CRA credit for the loans they issue to low- and moderate-income communities outside of the areas in which their branches are physically located. It also calls for clearer, less subjective measures of a bank's performance under CRA. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is expected to release an advanced notice of proposed CRA updates sometime this month, but it is unclear whether the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will sign onto the notice. (POLITICO Pro, April 3) 
     
  • Senators are currently circulating “Dear Colleague” letters that aim to build support for affordable housing and community development programs in fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations. Enterprise encourages advocates to reach out to their Senators and call on them to sign onto the following letters:
    • Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is sponsoring a “Dear Colleague” letter urging the Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee to provide $40 million for the Section 4 Capacity Building for Affordable Housing and Community Development Program in FY 2019. The deadline for Senate offices to sign on is COB Tuesday, April 10.
    • Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Chris Coons (D-DE) are co-sponsoring a “Dear Colleague” letter urging the Senate Appropriations THUD Subcommittee to provide $3.5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program in FY 2019. The deadline for Senate offices to sign on is COB Friday, April 13.
  • Yesterday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and ordered appointing an independent monitor to oversee and expedite repairs to the agency’s deteriorating buildings. The appointed monitor will manage how NYCHA spends the $250 million the state appropriated to the agency in fiscal year 2018 and the $350 million the state has pledged in previous years but has not released to the agency. The announcement comes roughly two weeks after HUD announced that NYCHA will no longer be able to draw federal funds without HUD’s approval, placing the agency on a “zero threshold.” (The New York Times, April 2) As previously reported in Community Developments, NYCHA’s developments need an estimated $25 billion of repairs, including replacing aging boilers systems and addressing lead contamination. 
     
  • CoreLogic has released its Home Price Index (HPI) data for February 2018, which show that home prices are up both year-over-year and month-over-month by 6.7 and 1 percent, respectively. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.7 percent between February 2018 and February 2019. According to the index, the state of Washington showed the largest HPI gain of all states with a 12.5 percent year-over-year increase. (CoreLogic, April 3)
     
  • A new study by Health Affairs suggests that delivering meals to vulnerable sick individuals could cut back on costly emergency room visits and hospitalizations. The study shows that low-income seniors and disabled younger people who received home-delivered meals — particularly meals designed by a dietitian for that individual’s medical needs — had fewer emergency visits and lower medical spending than a similar group of people who did not receive meal deliveries. It also points out that individuals who received a medically tailored diet had medical costs $220 lower per month than the comparison group, demonstrating the potential for meal delivery programs to reduce spending both by the healthcare system and by vulnerable patients. (The Washington Post, April 2)

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