June 12, 2018

Community Developments: Enterprise White Paper on Proven Strategies for Boosting the Supply of Affordable Housing and Reducing Costs

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Community Developments

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  • Given the tremendous ongoing demand for affordable housing, increasing the supply of affordable homes through new construction and preserving existing homes that are affordably priced are critical. Today the Enterprise Policy Development & Research team released a new white paper, Proven Local Strategies for Expanding the Supply of Affordable Homes and Addressing Cost Challenges, which highlights proven local strategies for boosting the supply of affordable housing and reducing costs. It draws on the successes of some of the country’s most expensive areas to offer options to communities working to address the scarcity of affordable homes and the rising cost of development, focusing on four key strategies: leveraging existing assets, creating public funding opportunities, utilizing land use controls and improving the approval process. This white paper, which builds on recent Enterprise research on Bending the Cost Curve: Solutions to Expand the Supply of Affordable Rentals and Public Benefit from Publicly Owned Parcels: Effective Practices in Affordable Housing Development, was informed by the High-Cost Cities Housing Forum’s 2018 convening, which focused on strategies for containing the cost of housing development. Learn more about the white paper in Enterprise’s blog post
  • An analysis by CoreLogic shows that 4.3 percent of home mortgages in March were delinquent by 30 days or more, down from 4.4 percent from a year earlier and the lowest since March 2007. Between March 2017 and March 2018, the national foreclosure inventory rate – the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – declined slightly to 0.6 percent. The analysis also shows that Mississippi had the highest rate of mortgages in some stage of delinquency, at 7.7 percent, and Colorado had the lowest, 1.8 percent. (CoreLogic, June 12)
  • An article in Next City notes that more jurisdictions are focusing on helping their residents build wealth at an early age. The article looks at San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College program, which provides every kindergartener enrolled in San Francisco public schools with a savings account, an initial deposit of $50, and a range of bonuses and other financial incentives to encourage families to save for their children’s higher education. The article highlights research from Washington University in St. Louis, which found that 55 percent of young people without savings accounts did not attend a four-year college by the time they were ages 19 to 22, noting that those with an account were seven times more likely to go to college than those without. (Next City, June 12)

In Case You Missed It

  • In an op-ed in The Hill, Enterprise Community Partners CEO Terri Ludwig urges Congress to continue its commitment to affordable housing and invest more in housing in fiscal year 2019. Terri explains that an affordable home is an essential foundation to economic mobility and accessing 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 for unsafe or overcrowded conditions. Proven 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 any structure being rebuilt in a flood hazard area using CDBG-DR funds 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 H.R. 4557 and the Committee markup, see Enterprise’s blog post.

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.