Two Measures to End Partial Shutdown Failed in Senate, Enterprise’s Health Begins with Home Initiative
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- Earlier today the Senate rejected two measures to end the partial government shutdown, as both bills fell short of the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster. The Senate voted 50-47 on a White House-backed spending measure that would have provided $5.7 billion for the proposed border wall and a three-year extension for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status programs. The chamber also voted 52-44 on a House-passed spending bill that would have reopened the closed federal departments through February 8. The Hill reports that the failure of both measures in the Senate could restart budget negotiations between Congressional leaders and the President, though today’s votes provided no clear path to a solution. (The Hill, January 24) The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) is circulating a national sign-on letter calling on Congress and the Administration to end the government shutdown and ensure affordable housing and community development programs receive robust funding. Enterprise is a member of the CHCDF and urges organizations and local government officials to sign onto this letter.
- Enterprise today launched Health Begins with Home, a $250 million, five-year national initiative to harness the power of affordable homes to create healthier families and stronger communities. Working with a broad group of partners and guided by data-driven insights, Health Begins with Home will promote health as a top priority in the development and preservation of affordable homes, particularly by creating cross-sector partnerships among health systems, health insurers, housing developers, policymakers, public health associations, community development organizations, social impact investors and foundations. The initiative will conduct research, award grants to housing and community development programs, provide technical assistance, and connect capital from healthcare organizations and others to support development and preservation of healthy, well-designed homes that are affordable. Health Begins with Homes’ work will include investments from the two funds Enterprise announced jointly with Kaiser Permanente last week.
- The Opportunity Starts at Home multi-sector affordable housing campaign has released its national policy agenda, Within Reach, which calls on lawmakers to adopt more robust and equitable federal housing policies. The campaign is comprised of leading national organizations from the housing, education, health, civil rights, anti-hunger, anti-poverty, and faith-based sectors. The document identifies essential long-term policy strategies for Congress to act on, including expanding rental assistance to bridge the growing gap between rent and income and increasing investments in housing production to create significantly more affordable housing. The report also identifies short-term priorities, such as creating 500,000 “Opportunity Vouchers” designed for families with young children to expand their access to high-opportunity, lower-poverty neighborhoods.
- The Portland City Council has voted unanimously to require hotel developers to create affordable housing or pay a fee to the city’s housing trust fund. Under the new rules, hotel developers will be required to build one housing unit affordable to households earning up to 80 percent of the area median income for every 28 hotel units they produce, or pay a $3,806 per unit fee to the city’s trust fund. Between 2013 and 2016, the city witnessed a 14.6 percent growth in hotel room development. The new rules will only affect projects approved after September 26. (Press Herald, January 23)
- The Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance and Neighborhood Fundamentals have released a new publication, Building Northern Virginia’s Future: Policies to Create a More Affordable, Equitable Housing Supply. The report discusses the factors that have inhibited the growth of equitable housing in the inner-Northern Virginia region, including the local land use and regulatory framework. It offers recommendations to policymakers for improving affordability while advancing social equity, including proactively preserving and expanding housing options for the region’s low-income and historically marginalized households and diversifying the housing stock to accommodate household and job growth.
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- Earlier this week Enterprise, NeighborWorks America and the Puerto Rico Community Foundation launched the Puerto Rico Nonprofit Capacity Building Network, which will provide training, networking opportunities and funding for nonprofits across Puerto Rico to increase their ability to meet crucial community needs in areas such as housing, climate resilience, education and health, especially as the island recovers from Hurricanes Irma and María. At a full-day event in San Juan, “Together, We’re Better: How Nonprofits are Helping Rebuild from Hurricanes Irma and María,” leaders from the three organizations explained that the network will focus on identifying local needs, both of nonprofits and the communities they serve; improve coordination among nonprofits, government and business; and develop and implement a detailed action plan. One of its first initiatives will provide training on using federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to support recovery and rebuilding, enabling nonprofits not only to understand better how to access those funds, but also to learn from each other, develop collaborations and prepare for future needs.