January 2, 2019

Partial Government Shutdown Enters 12th Day 

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  • As the partial government shutdown enters its 12th day, Congressional leaders of both parties are scheduled to attend a White House briefing on border security this afternoon, since disagreement over funding the President’s proposed border wall has created the budget impasse. House Democrats plan to vote later this week on a spending package that would fund six of the closed federal departments and agencies – including the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and Treasury – through September 30 and the Department of Homeland Security through February 8. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated that Senate Republicans won’t pass the House bill without the support of the President. Stay tuned to our newsletters and blog for updates on budget and appropriations.
     
  • A report by the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) looks at a major housing challenge that could raise rents for low-income rural households. The report notes 30,000 affordable rentals financed by the USDA’s Section 515 Rural Rental Housing program – which offers mortgages to provide affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income families, elderly persons and persons with disabilities – could leave the program by 2040 if property owners do not renew their participation. The study explains that Section 515, which has financed more than 533,000 affordable units in nearly 28,000 different multifamily developments, does not have enough funding to incentivize property owners to keep their units affordable to lower-income tenants as their current Section 515 mortgages mature. (Huffington Post, December 27)
     
  • An article in The New York Times looks at how the homelessness challenge facing Native Americans in Minneapolis’ urban areas has inspired an unlikely alliance. The Red Lake Nation has offered to help build affordable housing on land it had bought two years to house Native Americans living in a homeless encampment near downtown Minneapolis. According to the story, this proposal marks a “potential turning point in the sometimes distant relationship between Native Americans who live in urban areas and those who choose to remain on reservations.” The tribe plans to build a complex with 110 units of affordable housing and social services, with the goal of providing much-needed housing and generating new revenue streams that can be reinvested. (NYT, December 23) 
     
  • The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s ad hoc committee on black people experiencing homelessness has released a report pointing out that “racism has contributed to, and remains intertwined with, homelessness [in the County]. Ending homelessness will require a collective commitment to dismantling racism and addressing racial disparities.” The 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count found that black residents compose 40 percent of the homeless population, though black individuals make up just nine percent of county residents. The report includes recommendations for advancing equity and eliminating racial disparities impacting black individuals experiencing homelessness across the county. (The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, December 21)
     
  • CoreLogic has released its Home Price Index (HPI) data for November 2018, which show that home prices are up both year-over-year and month-over-month by 5.1 and 0.4 percent, respectively. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.8 percent between November 2018 and November 2019. According to the index, states with the highest year-over-year increases in November were Nevada (11.1 percent) and Idaho (11) and Utah (8.8). (CoreLogic, January 2)

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