May 10, 2018

Community Developments: New Analysis on Housing Credit Properties Performance 

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  • CohnReznick has released their annual affordable housing analysis and online performance tool, which tracks the latest performance trends of properties financed with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). The analysis shows that Housing Credit properties are operating better than in any period during the program’s history, noting that the 2016 surveyed portfolio, on a median basis, has a 97.0 percent occupancy rate and an annual net cash flow of $688 per-unit – that is, funds available after paying for expenses, mandatory debt service and required replacement reserve contributions. It also explains that the national need for affordable housing supports high rates of occupancy for Housing Credit properties as well strong operating performance. Finally, the analysis notes that the Housing Credit industry has made significant strides in improving the quality of underwriting and asset management practices. (CohnReznick, May 8) 
     
  • New York City’s Public Design Commission has published a new report, Designing New York: Quality Affordable Housing, that aims to promote high quality affordable housing. The new report, which was developed in partnership with the Fine Arts Federation of New York and the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, offers design guiding principles from site planning to façade and massing, as well provides local case studies that show how these strategies have been incorporated into successful developments with high design quality. The report also serves as guidance for developers bidding for affordable developments, especially on city-owned parcels, and helps the public understand the city’s broader housing affordability and quality goals. (Curbed NY, May 9) As previously highlighted in Community Developments, in an op-ed, Katie Swenson, vice president of design and sustainability at Enterprise Community Partners, noted that the housing field needs innovative designs and open minds to address the national shortage of affordable homes, explaining that good design and lower construction costs are not at odds and that the industry should be able to do both. Swenson emphasizes that designers can help unwind the current systems and create a balance between good design and affordability. (CityLimits, May 9)
     
  • Yesterday California became the first state to require all new homes to have solar power. Under the new requirement, which will go into effect in 2020, developers must make individual homes available with solar panels or build a shared solar-power system that can serve a group of homes, and rooftop solar panels can either be owned by homeowners outright and included in the home price or leased on a monthly basis. Some stakeholders argue that the new requirement will add thousands of dollars to the development cost of a new home – it is expected to add $8000 – 12,000 to the cost of a new home; however, states officials and clean-energy advocates point out that the extra cost to homebuyers will be more than made up in lower energy bills. (The New York Times, May 9) 

Upcoming Webinar

  • On Wednesday, May 30, Enterprise will host a 2-part webinar on Opportunity Zones: Part 1 - State and Local Policies to Prevent Displacement (1-2 p.m. ET), which will discuss anti-displacement policies that help ensure existing residents and businesses can benefit from, and participate in, the growth and economic development that occurs in a community; Part 2 - State and Local Policies to Attract Investment (2-3 p.m. ET), which will discuss policies that can be pursued at the state and local level to attract investments to specific communities or projects through the creative use of incentives. Register here for the webinar

In Case You Missed It

  • Enterprise is accepting applications for two small grant opportunities for affordable housing developers and organizations interested in furthering sustainable practices in their current projects. Pre-development Grants of $5,000 each are available to 10 affordable housing development organizations committed, through one current project, to improving pre-development and engagement practices with residents and stakeholders. Excellence in Active Design Grants are $15,000 each and available for five affordable housing development organizations who are employing creative design strategies to encourage physical activity within one of their projects. The submission deadline for the two funding opportunities is Friday, May 18.

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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