January 16, 2019

Government Shutdown Carries Into Fifth Week, Impacts on Multifamily Housing Industry

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  • Multi-Housing News published an article yesterday, noting that as the partial government shutdown carries into its fifth week with no end in sight, its effects are being felt throughout the multifamily housing industry. HUD has sent letters to Section 8 property owners and other landlords that receive rental assistance asking them to use their reserves, where available, to cover any shortfalls. The letters explain that HUD will make payments under Section 8, rent supplement, Section 236 and project rental assistance contracts on an as-needed basis, but only if HUD has available budget authority from prior year appropriations or recaptures. In the article, Enterprise Community Partners President Laurel Blatchford notes “the shutdown is putting at risk the 5 million households and 9.78 million individuals―almost 10 million people―living in HUD-assisted housing, including low-income, elderly, disabled, and veteran families.” Blatchford also stated that “USDA direct loan and grant programs will not issue any additional funds for the extent of the government shutdown...We have heard from some of our partners they are unable to service loans, leaving homebuyers, homeowners, and renters out in the cold.” Enterprise joins with affordable housing stakeholders and partners across the country in calling on Congress and the Administration to end the government shutdown and pass full-year spending bills that provide strong funding for affordable housing and community development. (MHN, January 15)
  • Enterprise and Kaiser Permanente, a national leader in health care innovation, have announced two ventures that elevate homes as essential to health and well-being. Kaiser Permanente has invested $15 million in the Enterprise-managed Housing for Health Fund, which will preserve affordable homes in the Bay Area, and will match up to $35 million in additional funds raised by Enterprise. This equity fund has already made an initial $5.2 million commitment to help a local nonprofit acquire and preserve the affordability of a 41-unit apartment complex in a gentrifying neighborhood in East Oakland. The second collaboration is a $100 million national loan fund, comprised of a $50 million loan from Kaiser Permanente to the Enterprise Community Loan Fund and $50 million in capital from Loan Fund. Over the next decade, the fund will create and preserve 3,250 affordable homes in Kaiser Permanente’s nationwide service areas. Both of Kaiser Permanente’s investments are part of its $200 million Thriving Communities Fund. Enterprise VP and Northern California Market Leader Rich Gross notes that Kaiser Permanente is “on the forefront of health organizations recognizing the connection between health and affordable housing.”  (Fast Company, January 15)
  • The Urban Institute has released a whitepaper that looks at “How Chicago and Cook County Can Leverage Opportunity Zones for Community Benefit.” Using metropolitan Chicago as a case study, the paper identifies steps policymakers can take to attract investments that yield the maximum benefit for communities, particularly low- and moderate-income residents. The researchers suggest that to harness the power of Opportunity Zones to spur new investment in areas of need, local officials, impact investors and philanthropic leaders need to: understand the different type of census tracts that were designated as Opportunity Zones, identify strategies that can best serve these different groupings, and leverage available policy levers to compel private action in line with community interests. (Urban Institute, January 2019) 

In Case You Missed It

  • Yesterday the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) hosted a national call that discussed the effects of the partial government shutdown on affordable housing and community development programs. The panel encouraged listeners to contact their members of Congress to urge them to reopen the federal government and pass full-year spending bills. CHCDF has sent a letter to congressional leadership and issued a press release outlining the effects of the shutdown on affordable housing and community development, including its impacts on specific HUD and USDA programs. 

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