June 25, 2018

Community Developments: Research Reports on Housing Affordability

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Community Developments

A daily roundup of news impacting housing and communities. Not receiving the Community Developments daily email yet? Sign up here. ​​​​​​

  • As previously highlighted in Community Developments, recently released research reports have re-emphasized the national shortage of affordable housing, as well as strategies to address this challenge have been released. The Enterprise Policy Development & Research team’s new white paper, Proven Local Strategies for Expanding the Supply of Affordable Homes and Addressing Cost Challenges, draws on the successes of some of the country’s most expensive cities to offer options for communities working to address the scarcity of affordable homes and the rising cost of development. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has released the State of the Nation’s Housing 2018, which shows that 20.8 million renter households were cost-burdened in 2016, paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing, and nearly 11 million of those households were severely cost-burdened, paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing. Finally, the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) has issued Out of Reach 2018, which documents the gap between wages and the cost of rental housing across the country. 
  • According to Next City, last week the Philadelphia City Council narrowly passed a bill that would levy a one percent tax on most new construction and major renovation projects to generate funds for affordable housing efforts. The council also passed a companion bill that would “split the city’s housing trust fund in two, with a new ‘sub-fund’ to be filled with the proceeds of the impact tax and used for down payment assistance and other programs for homeowners earning up to 120 percent of area median income, or around $105,000 for a family of four.” (Next City, June 25) 
  • An article in the San Francisco Chronicle notes that the city is expected to receive $29 million from California’s cap-and-trade emissions reduction program. The Strategic Growth Council, which administers funds collected through the state’s cap-and-trade program, is recommending that a 157-unit development receive $15 million and an 82-unit project get $14 million. The article points out that the typical affordable housing project’s funding gap — the amount that is not covered by bonds, state funds or tax credits — increased from $235,000 to $342,000 per unit between 2014 and 2018, increasing the importance of this kind of funding. (The San Francisco Chronicle, June 24)

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

Upcoming Hearing

  • On Wednesday, June 27, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will hold a hearing entitled “Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” The hearing, which will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building, will be a one-panel session with HUD Secretary Ben Carson as the sole witness. 

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.