February 8, 2019

HUD Awards Additional $200 Million to Support Homeless Assistance

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Community Developments

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  • HUD has awarded $202 million in fiscal year 2018 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program grants to support thousands of homeless assistance programs nationwide, including nearly $50 million to projects dedicated to assisting survivors of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Last month, HUD awarded another $2 billion in CoC grants to renew funding to thousands of local homeless assistance programs. Continuum of Care grant funding supports a broad array of interventions designed to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness, particularly those living in places not meant for habitation, located in sheltering programs, or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. (HUD, February 8)
     
  • To help stabilize communities and keep families in their neighborhoods, northern California’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has committed $10 million to launch the Bay Area Preservation Pilot (BAPP). Administered through Enterprise Community Loan Fund and the Low Income Investment Fund, BAPP will address a specific financing gap in the affordable housing market by offering 10-year term loans for the acquisition of affordable, market-rate rental properties. Once a property is acquired using a BAPP loan, developers will have up to 10 years to stabilize the property, making sure residents are not displaced. Beyond the 10-year period, developers will be expected to secure Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and/or other existing sources of affordable housing financing at the local, state, and federal level to ensure long-term affordability. For more information on BAPP, contact Jonathan Clarke at Enterprise Community Loan Fund or Melissa Garcia at the Low Income Investment Fund. 
     
  • Representatives Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Sean Duffy (R-WI) have reintroduced legislation that aims to promote greater mobility for recipients of housing choice vouchers. This bill, which has passed the House last July but failed to come up for a floor vote in the Senate, would authorize HUD to run a demonstration program for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher recipients to help them move to lower-poverty areas, which would expand their access to opportunity. (PoliticoPro, February 8)
     
  • The Urban Institute has released an interactive study examining the connection between racial segregation and investment patterns in Baltimore. The analysis shows that investment across the city is uneven and fragmented by race, income and geography. While poverty is widespread across the city -- with the exception of some of the northern, predominantly white neighborhoods -- investment is highly concentrated. Neighborhoods that are less than 50 percent African American receive nearly four times the investment of neighborhoods that are over 85 percent African American, and low-poverty neighborhoods receive one-and-a-half times the investment of high-poverty neighborhoods. (Urban Institute, February 2019)
     
  • The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) has released a research brief titled “Healthy Home Remodeling: Consumer Trends and Contractor Preparedness.” The brief finds that an increasing number of households are worried about the links between health and environmental exposures in their homes. According to a 2018 survey by the JCHS and the Farnsworth Group, 30 percent of all households stated concerns about some aspect of their home endangering their health, a three-percentage-point increase from 2014. The survey shows that indoor air quality was the leading source of concern, driven mainly by worries over moisture, mold and dust. Households headed by younger people —especially those 25 to 34—were most likely to express specific concerns about their home posing a health risk. (JCHS, February 6) 

Upcoming Hearing

  • On Thursday, February 14, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing on the nomination of Mark Calabria to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Committee will also consider the nomination of Bimal Patel to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and Todd Harper and Rodney Hood to be members of the National Credit Union Administration Board in the same hearing. This hearing will be held at 10 a.m. ET in the Dirksen Senate Office Building 538.

In Case You Missed It

  • In a new blog post, Enterprise’s Vice President of Policy Development and Research Andrew Jakabovics summarizes and responds to Senator Mike Crapo’s (R-ID) recent outline for housing finance reform. The proposal would convert Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs) into private guarantors of mortgage-backed securities that would then be sold through a platform operated by Ginnie Mae. The new Ginnie Mae–backed securities would carry an explicit full-faith and credit guarantee from the federal government that would be paid for by the GSEs, and by any other guarantors who enter the market later. The outline also proposes to eliminate any affordable housing goals and duty to serve obligations, replacing them with a new “Market Access Fund.” Jakabovics argues that eliminating the explicit commitment to affordable housing is a step in the wrong direction and that the housing finance system should be designed from the start to serve eligible borrowers of modest and mid-priced homes in the normal course of business and without special programs. Learn more about the reform outline as well as Enterprise’s initial reaction to the proposal on our blog.

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