HAC News Formats. pdf
April 13, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 8
April is National Fair Housing Month • Congress on recess, faces spending decisions • Housing will be in infrastructure proposal, Carson tells NLIHC group • Grants available for Lead and Healthy Homes Technical Studies • OMB issues second memo about cutting regulations • Funding cuts estimated for states, counties, and cities • Guidance issued for Section 523 self-help grants extensions, final evaluations, and applications • HUD offers technical assistance to CoCs seeking to end veteran homelessness • RD addresses documentation on credit availability for Community Facilities programs • Rural impact report illustrates nonprofits’ successes • Online USDA rural housing data described, updated • Housing Trust Fund state plans described and allocations revised • Report recommends ways to reduce racial/ethnic divide in homeownership • Web tool shows how green infrastructure protects against climate threats • Rural placemaking grantees announced
HAC News Formats. pdf
April 13, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 8
April is National Fair Housing Month. The National Fair Housing Alliance has posted a list of events around the country. People who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file a complaint with HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, 800-669-9777.
Congress on recess, faces spending decisions. When members of Congress return to work on April 24, they will have only a few days to agree on spending levels for the remainder of FY17 before the current Continuing Resolution expires on April 28. (See HAC News, 3/30/17.)
Housing will be in infrastructure proposal, Carson tells NLIHC group. The National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that in an address to its 2017 Housing Policy Forum, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said there is “a significant inclusion of housing” in the Administration’s forthcoming infrastructure bill. NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel noted that a one-time spending boost could not replace annual appropriations.
Grants available for Lead and Healthy Homes Technical Studies. Applications are due May 16 for these HUD programs, which fund technical studies to improve detection and control of key housing-related health and safety hazards, including lead-based paint hazards; to develop new methods to detect and control these hazards; and to improve knowledge of these hazards. For more information, contact Peter Ashley, HUD.
OMB issues second memo about cutting regulations. In memos dated April 5 and February 2, the Office of Management and Budget explains how federal agencies are expected to implement Executive Order 13771, which requires repealing two regulations for each new one and capping regulatory costs. (See HAC News, 2/2/17.)
Funding cuts estimated for states, counties, and cities. An interactive online tool calculates how the Trump Administration’s proposed FY18 budget cuts to major HUD programs (see HAC News, 3/16/17) would affect each state and county, as well as major cities. It compares the cuts to FY16 funding levels.
Guidance issued for Section 523 self-help grants extensions, final evaluations, and applications. Administrative Notice 4828 (March 27, 2017) provides guidance on RD processing of applications for self-help technical assistance grants. AN 4827 (March 29, 2017) offers information for RD evaluations of performance under Section 523 self-help grants and consideration of extensions or other revisions. For more information, contact a USDA RD state office.
HUD offers technical assistance to CoCs seeking to end veteran homelessness. Continuums of Care new to HUD’s Vets@Home effort can submit TA requests through the HUD Exchange to access technical assistance and additional resources.
RD addresses documentation on credit availability for Community Facilities programs. An Unnumbered Letter dated March 9, 2017 explains how to show that other financing is not available or feasible when a CF loan, grant, or guarantee is sought. For more information, contact a USDA RD state office.
Rural impact report illustrates nonprofits’ successes. The National Rural Housing Coalition surveyed local nonprofits about their activity in seven categories in FY16, including homeownership, rental housing, and clean water and sewer. Among the 104 responding organizations, 84 assisted 3,139 families in rural communities with rehabilitating, constructing, or purchasing their homes. There were 24,104 families on the waiting lists of 26 organizations. The report and presentations of some of its case studies are available online.
Online USDA rural housing data described, updated. “New Public Data Available on USDA Rural Housing Service’s Single-Family and Multifamily Programs,” an article in HUD’s Cityscape journal, discusses what data is available, its challenges and limitations, and its possible uses. Separately, USDA RD has updated its maturing mortgage data for Section 515 and 514/516 properties.
Housing Trust Fund state plans described and allocations revised. In Housing the Lowest Income People: An Analysis of National Housing Trust Fund Draft Allocation Plans, the National Low Income Housing Coalition reviews draft plans from each state indicating how they may use HTF funds when received. For more information, contact Ed Gramlich, NLIHC. HUD has also corrected errors in its initial allocation of FY16 funds among states and territories.
Report recommends ways to reduce racial/ethnic divide in homeownership. A Downpayment on the Divide: Steps to Ease Racial Inequality in Homeownership, published by CFED, reports that white families (71.9%) are much more likely to own a home than Black (41.3%) and Latino (47%) families. While 34% of white wealth is generated through homeownership, about 56% of Black and Latino wealth is. (There was not enough data to include other races in the study.) Helping to close these gaps would significantly help reduce wealth disparities, CFED says. Its suggestions include reforming the mortgage interest deduction, supporting the CFPB, enforcing the Fair Housing Act, and others.
Web tool shows how green infrastructure protects against climate threats. Naturally Resilient Communities is an interactive tool featuring 30 case studies of places that rely on nature-based solutions such as wetlands and floodplains to protect themselves against flooding. It was developed by the Nature Conservancy in partnership with the American Planning Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Association of Counties, and Association of State Floodplain Managers. To search the collection, users select scale, cost, region, and whether a community is urban, suburban, or rural.
Rural placemaking grantees announced. HAC and buildingcommunityWORKSHOP have selected two organizations for a Rural Placemaking Program. The smART Kinston City Project Foundation will partner artists with local stakeholders to address racial tensions and economic inequity in Kinston, NC. The Woodlands Development Group will work with an arts nonprofit to develop public art and wayfinding installations in Thomas, WV.