November 30, 2018

Update on the Legislative Outlook in the Lame Duck Session

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  • Today House Republicans postponed a vote on the year-end tax bill that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady introduced earlier this week. The large tax package, which included a provision to clarify veterans’ preference under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and multifamily Housing Bond statutes, lacked the votes to advance given concerns over various aspects of the proposal and a large number of representatives absent for today’s vote. (The Hill, November 30) Lawmakers are also facing a partial government shutdown next Friday if Congress and the president are unable to reach an agreement on government spending, specifically agreeing on funding for border security. (Politico, November 29) Stay tuned to our blog and newsletters for updates on the outlook for finalizing fiscal year (FY) 2019 spending bills and averting a government shutdown. 
  • In an op-ed, Enterprise’s Vice President and Southeast Market Leader Meaghan Shannon-Vlkovic, Rural Neighborhoods’ Steven Kirk and the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Rachel Cleetus emphasize the importance of investing more in preparing vulnerable Florida communities for disasters and for smarter rebuilding efforts informed by the best available science. The authors call for adopting stronger building codes that would help mitigate the impact of flooding events and for investing more in building resilience before disasters strike, pointing out that the recent passage of the bipartisan Disaster Recovery and Reform Act that expands dedicated funding for pre-disaster hazard mitigation program is a promising start. They also note that “with climate and extreme weather risks growing, local, state and federal policymakers must act now to better protect all Florida communities, especially those most exposed and with the fewest resources.” (South Dade News Leader, November 29) |
  • Enterprise and California Housing Partnership have released a report that looks at the climate and community benefits delivered by the cap-and-trade-funded Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program. California created the AHSC program in 2014 to invest in location-efficient affordable homes and transportation infrastructure to improve economic well-being and physical health for underserved Californians while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report finds that through three first three funding rounds, the program has awarded $701 million to 77 location-efficient developments across the state that combine affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. It also notes that AHSC investments will eliminate more than 1.6 million metric tons of C02 emissions over the course of awarded developments’ operating lives. Read the report on our website
  • Yesterday Congress reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program through December 7 to prevent the program from lapsing today, November 30. The program could be renewed through the appropriations bill or continuing resolution that must be passed by December 7 to avoid a potential government shutdown, or via a standalone six-month bill that passed the Senate yesterday. (PoliticoPro, November 29) 
  • An article in Next City points out that San Francisco is considering eliminating parking minimums citywide. Jane Kim, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, has introduced legislation that would eliminate those requirements, which date to the 1950s and require one car space per residential unit. According to the article, the cost of building a parking space in San Francisco -- $38,000 for one below-ground space -- is the highest on the U.S. mainland. (Next City, November 30) 

Upcoming Webinars 

  • On Monday, December 3, the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) will host a webinar on the federal funding outlook for affordable housing and community development programs in fiscal years 2019 and 2020. This webinar, which will feature Doug Rice of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Linda Couch of LeadingAge and Joey Lindstrom of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, will discuss how stakeholders can effectively advocate for increased federal investments in proven affordable housing and community development programs. Register here for the webinar.
  • On Wednesday, December 5, Freddie Mac Multifamily will host a conference call to discuss three recently released reports included in its Spotlight on Underserved Markets series: Mixed-Income Housing in Areas of Concentrated Poverty, Affordable Housing in High Opportunity Areas, and Opportunity Incentives in LIHTC Qualified Allocation Plans. This call, at 1 p.m. ET, will discuss trends, opportunities and challenges that face future multifamily development in areas of current and potential opportunity, and the discussion will be followed by an interactive Q&A session. 
  • On Thursday, December 6, Enterprise will hold a webinar to discuss ways to include creative placemaking in development timelines and budgets. This webinar, which will break down the budgets of creative placemaking projects to explore how arts and culture were paid for and phased, will feature Mark Matel, program director of the Rose Fellowship at Enterprise, and Annie Ledbury, architect and creative placemaking manager at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation. Register here for the webinar

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