July 11, 2018

Community Developments: HUD Approves the U.S. Virgin Islands’ $243 Million Disaster Recovery Plan 

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Community Developments

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  • Yesterday HUD Secretary Ben Carson approved a $243 million disaster recovery plan to help the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Funded through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant—Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, this plan includes: $32 million for the redevelopment and creation of new affordable housing, including subsidized and mixed-income rental units; $33 million for economic revitalization; $15 million for supportive housing and sheltering programs; $10 million for homeowner rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts; and $5 million for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of rental housing. Earlier this year, HUD allocated an additional $1.621 billion of CDBG-DR funding to the U.S. Virgin Islands for unmet need, infrastructure and mitigation purposes, and HUD says that it will shortly issue requirements governing those funds. (HUD, July 11) As previously reported in Community Developments, last month HUD approved a $616 million plan to help Florida recover from Hurricane Irma and a $5 billion plan to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey.
  • An article in Huffington Post looks at initiatives that explore using 3D home printing as a strategy that could ultimately transform residential construction by using a quicker, cheaper and less environmentally costly process. These initiatives include a 3D-printed concrete model home, which was developed in Texas by the American company Icon earlier this year, that could be printed in 24 hours for less than $4,000. Enterprise Community Partner’s Vice President for Public Policy Marion McFadden explains that modern technologies that make home construction faster and cheaper can certainly help in countries like the U.S., suggesting that the real issue is convincing governments to put any money at all into building 3D-printed homes. McFadden also notes that “we have older housing lost to obsolescence and are seeing declining investment from government in creating supportive housing. We have a systemic problem and either wages need to be higher or government needs to help more by providing more funding.” (HuffPost, July 11)
  • An article in City Limits explains that working with landlords of small- and medium-sized residential properties is vital for meeting the Housing New York plan’s goal of creating or preserving 300,000 housing units by 2026. The article notes that the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Enterprise Community Partners have launched the Landlord Ambassadors program, which is a two-year pilot that trains community-based nonprofits to help landlords in vulnerable neighborhoods preserve the affordability of their units. Enterprise Community Partners Vice President and New York Market Leader Judi Kende emphasizes the importance of bringing in managerial skills when landlords need the assistance of property management companies in helping them preserve their affordable units. (City Limits, July 10) 
  • An analysis by CoreLogic shows that 4.2 percent of home mortgages in April were delinquent by 30 days or more, down from 4.8 percent a year earlier and the lowest for any month since March 2007. Between April 2017 and April 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 that Mississippi had the highest rate of mortgages in some stage of delinquency, at 7.7 percent, and Colorado had the lowest, at 1.8 percent. The delinquency rate in Florida increased by 1.2 percentage points from a year earlier due to effects from the hurricanes in late summer 2017, while Texas witnessed a small decrease of 0.1 percentage points in the overall delinquency rate, the first year-over-year decrease since Hurricane Harvey. (CoreLogic, July 10) 

Upcoming Events

  • Tomorrow, Enterprise Community Partners will host a webinar on “Creative Placemaking: More than Murals” to discuss lessons from delivering the Enterprise Climate and Cultural Resilience grant program over the past year. This webinar will feature Nella Young, senior program director at Enterprise, and Meghan Venable-Thomas, cultural resilience fellow at Enterprise, and will be moderated by Mia Scharphie, founder of Creative Agency. Register here for the webinar.
  • Also tomorrow, the Up for Growth Coalition will hold “A Briefing on the Nation’s Housing Shortage and Affordability Crisis”. The panel, which will take place at 12 p.m. in Room 2043 of the Rayburn House Office Building, will feature U.S. Representatives Denny Heck (D-Washington) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), as well as a number of housing policymakers, including Enterprise’s Senior Director for Congressional Relations Liz Osborn, President & CEO of Make Room USA Ali Solis, and  Executive Director of the Up for Growth National Coalition Mike Kingsella. Register here for the event.

In Case You Missed It 

  • Yesterday, Enterprise CEO Terri Ludwig joined leaders from the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and other organizations to debut a new resource guide, “Tribal Leaders Handbook on Homeownership.” This handbook aims to increase homeownership opportunities for Native American communities by helping tribes understand the importance of homeownership in their communities, as well as demystifying complex systems and identifying the players involved in the mortgage lending process. Learn more about the release of the new handbook.

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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