Community Developments: Enterprise CEO Terri Ludwig Urges Congress to Invest More in Housing; House Committee Passes Landmark CDBG-DR Legislation
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- In an op-ed in The Hill, Enterprise Community Partners CEO Terri Ludwig urges Congress to continue its commitment to affordable housing in the budget omnibus and invest more in housing in fiscal year 2019. Terri explains that an affordable home is an essential foundation to economic mobility and to having opportunity. Unfortunately, 18 million households are currently housing insecure, meaning that they pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing—and that they often do so in unsafe or overcrowded conditions. Proven and effective federal housing programs like the Section 4 Capacity Building Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program efficiently deliver consistent results while multiplying the reach of tax dollars by leveraging outside capital. Ultimately, increased investments in affordable housing allow struggling families and individuals to live in well-designed, affordable homes that also enable them to save for other necessities such as health care and education. (The Hill, June 8)
- Last week the House Committee on Financial Services passed “Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2018” (H.R. 4557), which would permanently authorize the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program and includes provisions that would strengthen oversight and administration of a program that has become a crucial tool for helping communities rebuild after disasters. The Committee passed the landmark legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support. Enterprise strongly supports the bill and urges all stakeholders to reach out to their representatives and ask them to support full passage in the House. The bill includes numerous recommendations that Enterprise Vice President for Public Policy Marion McFadden made in her testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations last month, including creating a set-aside for capacity building and technical assistance in all future CDBG-DR appropriations and requiring all buildings in flood hazard areas to be elevated at least two feet above the base flood elevation. See Enterprise’s blog post on the hearing to learn more about our recommendations. Enterprise applauds the bipartisan leadership of Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO-2), who is sponsoring the bill, Representative Al Green (D-TX-9), Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX-5) and Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA-42). For more information on the bill and the Committee markup, see Enterprise’s blog post.
- Today the City of New York and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) reached an agreement with the federal government that requires the city to invest over $2 billion more than what has already been promised to the agency over the next ten years—$1 billion within the first four years and then $200 million annually for the remaining six years—to make much needed repairs in tens of thousands of public housing units.. The city has struggled to keep pace with capital repairs for deteriorating conditions following years of federal disinvestment. (The New York Times, June 11) NYCHA needs an estimated $25 billion for repairs. (The Wall Street Journal, June 10).
- The city council of Philadelphia is considering a proposal that would impose a 1 percent tax on construction to raise an estimated $22 million annually for affordable housing. The construction tax would apply to most residential, commercial and industrial projects, and would be calculated based on costs listed on building permits. The 17-member council will vote on the proposal this week. (The Wall Street Journal, June 11)
- A new report and pair of interactive maps from the UNC Center for Community Capital (CCC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. explore the intersecting roles of housing and location in linking low- and moderate-income families to opportunity in two neighborhoods in San Francisco and New Orleans. Over an 18-month investigation, researchers used both a data-driven index of place-based opportunity and community-level research to identify quantitative indicators of well-being, barriers to opportunity and universal elements of opportunity for each neighborhood. The maps highlight shared factors and differences between the two neighborhoods to explain their disparate access to opportunity. (Next City, June 6)
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