October 31, 2018
California’s Propositions 1 & 2 Would Help Address Its Affordability and Homelessness Challenges
A daily roundup of news impacting housing and communities. Not receiving the Community Developments daily email yet? Sign up here.
- The Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Chronicle have endorsed California’s Proposition 1 and Proposition 2, two important ballot measures that aim to address the state’s affordability and homelessness challenges. Proposition 1 would authorize a $4 billion bond issuance for affordable housing, including $1.5 billion for the Multifamily Housing Program, which supports rental housing for low-income Californians, and $1 billion to help veterans purchase farms and homes. The measure is expected to create 137,000 jobs and generate $23.4 billion in economic activity in California. Proposition 2 would authorize an additional $2 billion, which would be repaid using existing funds generated from the Mental Health Services Act, for supportive housing services for people living with chronic mental illness who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Enterprise urges California voters, whether they intend to vote via mail-in ballot, at early voting sites or in the voting booth on Election Day, to vote yes on Propositions 1 and 2 to help the state address its biggest affordability challenges.
- The Enterprise Policy Development & Research team has updated its interactive report on trends in housing tenure – that is, whether people own or rent -- using data released today as part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s third quarter 2018 Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS). The interactive graphics in the report, which break down tenure trends by age, race/ethnicity and income, reveal stark disparities in the share of homeowners among these subsets of households, as well as changes in rates that are narrowing some tenure gaps and expanding others. While homeownership among Hispanic, Asian and non-Hispanic Whites households has increased to 47.1, 55.7 and 72.8 percent, respectively, over the past two years, rates for non-Hispanic Blacks have been nearly flat, which widened their tenure gap with non-Hispanic White households to 31 percentage points – a record for this 25-year series. The report points out that while households with incomes above the national median have a homeownership rate above 78 percent, the homeownership rate among below median-income households rose to over 50 percent for the first time since 2013. Enterprise acknowledges that addressing these issues will require action at the local, state and federal levels, as local and regional zoning reforms can reduce barriers to building more affordable rental housing and national-level initiatives to increase access to homeownership will help more households achieve this dream. Learn more about the report in our blog post.
- An article in NextCity notes that the recently released IRS proposed regulations and accompanying revenue ruling on the Opportunity Zones tax incentive have provided important clarity on a number of questions on investment timing and thresholds. An Enterprise blog post on some key elements of those proposed rules points out that investors generally have 180 days to invest in an Opportunity Fund after realizing a capital gain. However, Opportunity Funds engaged in building or rehabilitating a property can keep working capital in the fund for a 31-month period. The blog also explains that Opportunity Funds must invest 90 percent of their funds in qualifying assets, such as qualified stock, partnerships or business, and Qualified Opportunity Zone Businesses must have 70 percent of tangible property owned or leased within the Opportunity Zone. Learn more about the proposed guidelines in our blog post. Stay tuned to our blog and Opportunity Zones webpage for additional information.
- On Thursday, November 15, Enterprise will hold a webinar to discuss the newly released Opportunity360 – Listen: The Community Engagement Toolkit, an online tool that brings together more than 40 resources to enable effective community engagement. This webinar will feature a panel of experts and practitioners from across the country who specialize in community development. Register here for the webinar.
In Case You Missed it
- Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Jose Serrano (D-NY) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter asking their House colleagues to join them in requesting that the “New Markets Tax Credit be permanently extended, along the lines of the bipartisan, New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act (HR 1098), in any tax legislation that comes before the House during the lame duck session.” The letter, which is addressed to Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX), is intended for members who are not on the Ways and Means Committee. The deadline to sign onto the letter is Friday, November 9.