June 26, 2018

Community Developments: HUD Approves a $5 Billion Texas Disaster Recovery Plan

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Community Developments

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  • Yesterday HUD Secretary Ben Carson approved a $5 billion plan to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey. Funded through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant—Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, this plan includes: $1.1 billion to help homeowners with rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts; $250 million to fund rehabilitation, reconstruction and new construction of affordable multi-family rental properties; $413 million to support infrastructure repairs and enhancements; and $137 million to aid local, regional and state planning studies on disaster mitigation in the impacted areas to promote sound long-term recovery. The plan also provides $1.1 billion each to the city of Houston and Harris County, allowing these jurisdictions to address their unmet recovery needs. Earlier this year HUD allocated a separate $4.726 billion of CDBG-DR funding to Texas for unmet need and mitigation purposes, and HUD says that it will shortly issue requirements governing those funds. (HUD, June 25) 
  • The Enterprise Opportunity Zone Mapping Tool has been updated to include final designations in all states and the District of Columbia. The Opportunity360 team created the mapping tool to help stakeholders determine which tracts have been designated as Opportunity Zones and what other federal programs and designations are in effect in those areas. In addition, users can filter tracts using the Opportunity360 Outcome Indices to see how people living in these tracts are faring across our five outcome dimensions, as well explore eligible tracts that were not designated as Opportunity Zones. Visit our Opportunity Zones webpage for information and updates on the tax incentive.
  • According to the Commerce Department, U.S. new home sales in May rose 6.7 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 689,000. Sales in the South drove this growth, as new home sales there rose 17.9 percent, the largest gain since the end of 2014. However, sales in the Northeast and West declined and purchases were flat in the Midwest. At the current sales pace, there was a 5.2-month supply of new homes on the market at the end of May, below the 5.6-month level seen earlier this year. (The Wall Street Journal, June 25)
  • Earlier this week Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the Building Neighborhoods and Affordable Homes program, which will help eligible residents buy homes built on formerly vacant city-owned lots that had been sold to developers for $1. The city intends to invest $5 million in this effort to encourage the construction of about 100 affordable homes in six South and West Side neighborhoods. These homes will be affordable to households earning up to 140 percent of the area median income, meaning a family of three making less than $106,000 a year will be eligible. (NBC Chicago, June 25) Read our report on “Public Benefit from Publicly Owned Parcels: Effective Practices in Affordable Housing Development”.

Upcoming Event

  • As part of Enterprise’s 9th annual Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute (AHDLI), on Tuesday, July 17, a keynote presentation on “Putting Design to Work” will discuss how design can and should help achieve equity and promote social, health and economic outcomes. This presentation, which will be held at 6 p.m. at the Seattle Art Museum, will feature Steven Lewis, urban design director for the city of Detroit's central region. Earlier this year AHDLI won the American Institute of Architects’ Collaborative Achievement Award, which recognizes the excellence that results when architects work with those from outside the profession to improve the spaces where people live and work. Register here for the event

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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