June 29, 2018

Community Developments: HUD Approves a $616 Million Plan to Support Recovery and Rebuilding Efforts in Florida

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Community Developments

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  • Yesterday HUD Secretary Ben Carson approved a $616 million plan to help Florida recover from Hurricane Irma. Funded through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant—Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, this plan includes: $273 million to help rehabilitate housing occupied by low- and moderate-income families; $100 million to facilitate the creation of affordable workforce rental housing; $75 million to help local communities reduce risk through the voluntary purchase of residential properties in high flood-risk areas; and $20 million to provide funding for the acquisition of land for affordable housing development. Earlier this year HUD allocated a separate $791 million of CDBG-DR funding to Florida for unmet need, infrastructure and mitigation purposes, and HUD says that it will shortly issue requirements governing those funds. (HUD, June 28)
     
  • The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) has approved $257 million in the third round of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) awards. The AHSC program provides infrastructure grants and affordable housing loans for developments and programs that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. The third round of the AHSC awards will result in 1,950 new affordable homes, including 599 units for extremely low-income households and 388 supportive housing units; urban greening; new public transit services; and active transportation infrastructure, resulting in a total reduction of about 475,000 metric tons of GHGs. Enterprise is a statewide technical assistance provider for the program and worked with 14 of the 19 successful applications.  Learn more about these awards in Enterprise’s blog post.
     
  • An article in POLITICO PRO notes that yesterday the Senate passed its farm bill (S. 3042 (115)), which includes a provision that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program for six months before it expires in the middle of hurricane season. However, the article points out that “with time running out before the program's July 31 expiration date, and the enactment of the farm bill not a sure bet by then, senators are already looking at other vehicles to attach a short-term extension.” (POLITICOPRO, June 28) 

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In Case You Missed It

  • In a blog post, Enterprise’s Vice President for Policy Development Andrew Jakabovics, looks at the Administration’s recent proposal to make major changes to the nation’s housing finance system under the umbrella of reform. Jakabovics explains that the proposal, which was nestled within the Administration’s sweeping proposal to reorganize the Federal Government, calls for ending the conservatorship (and charters) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively, the Government Sponsored Enterprises or GSEs), creating a paid-for guarantee of catastrophic risk on mortgage-backed securities, and establishing other fully private guarantors. Using previous Enterprise policy recommendations for housing finance reform as a guide, Jakabovics evaluates the new proposal pointing out that it is largely in line with the mainstream, bipartisan consensus that there is an appropriate role for a paid-for government backstop that would limit investor losses on mortgage-backed securities without guaranteeing the entities issuing them. However, the proposal is entirely silent on the future of rental housing finance and the GSEs’ multifamily business lines, and it makes a critical mistake in assuming that affordable housing objectives and traditional underwriting are mutually exclusive and therefore would shift primary responsibility for serving low- and moderate-income borrowers to HUD and FHA. Enterprise will continue to remain engaged on this critical issue and work towards a future system that is structured to protect taxpayers while broadly serving the needs of homeowners and renters. Learn more about the proposal in 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.