Tag Archive for: worst case housing needs

HAC News: August 17, 2017

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 17, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 17

Worst case housing needs increased, HUD reports • List of tribes for Cobell land buy-back program reduced • HUD suspends Small Area FMR rule requirement • Funds offered for Fair Housing and Family Self-Sufficiency programs • USDA RD offers to extend conditional commitments for preservation debt deferrals • Farias and Rackleff confirmed for HUD posts • Fair housing data guide published for local advocates and planners, webinar scheduled • Rural Voices looks at creative placemaking

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 17, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 17

Worst case housing needs increased, HUD reports. In the U.S. in 2015 there were 8.3 million households with “worst case housing needs”: very low-income renter households who did not receive government housing assistance and who paid more than one-half of their income for rent, lived in severely inadequate conditions, or both. Based on 2015 American Housing Survey data, Worst Case Housing Needs: 2017 Report to Congress states that worst case needs dropped from a record high 8.48 million in 2011 to 7.72 million in 2013, then rose again in 2015. Nationwide, only 62 affordable units are available per 100 very low-income renters, and only 38 per 100 extremely low-income renters. Reasons for the increase, the report says, include “a notable shift from homeownership to renting, … a modest level of household formation and a widening gap in rental assistance relative to need.”

List of tribes for Cobell land buy-back program reduced. The Interior Department announced on July 31 that it will offer its Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations to 20 tribes, rather than the 70 previously eligible. The program was established as a result of the settlement in the Cobell lawsuit, which charged the federal government with mismanagement of Native American funds. It pays Native Americans for their interests in parcels of land and returns the land to tribal ownership. Interior “may revise the schedule or add locations [tribes] as capacity and resources allow”; from an original pool of $1.9 billion, $540 million remains. Interested landowners must submit documentation by November 27 to be eligible. For more information, contact Interior’s Trust Beneficiary Call Center, 888-678-6836.

HUD suspends Small Area FMR rule requirement. A regulation finalized in November required PHAs in 24 metro areas to use SAFMRs for the Housing Choice Voucher program. SAFMRs are based on zip codes rather than entire metro areas and are intended to increase access to high opportunity places (see HAC News, 11/21/16). An August 11 letter from HUD informs PHA directors in 23 of the 24 metro areas that they will not be obligated to use SAFMRs until October 1, 2019, rather than the original October 1, 2017 implementation date. (Because of a legal settlement, the requirement remains in place in the Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas Metro Division.) Other provisions of the November rule remain in effect, and PHAs may still choose to use SAFMRs voluntarily.

Funds offered for Fair Housing and Family Self-Sufficiency programs. Under the Fair Housing Initiative Program, fair housing organizations can request funding for three different types of activities: Fair Housing Organization, Education and Outreach, and Private Enforcement. The deadline is September 18. For more information, contact Myron Newry, HUD, 202-402-7095. Family Self-Sufficiency awards are available only for PHAs and tribes/TDHEs currently administering FSS programs. The deadline is September 15. For more information, contact Tremayne Youmans, HUD.

USDA RD offers to extend conditional commitments for preservation debt deferrals. Some owners of Section 514 and 515 properties have received RD commitments (with conditions) to defer debt on their loans, using the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization program. An Unnumbered Letter (June 8, 2017) explains that if RD does not have sufficient MPR funds available to honor these commitments, property owners may request extensions, as well as temporary suspensions of monthly debt service payments, for up to 24 months. For more information, contact an RD state office.

Farias and Rackleff confirmed for HUD posts. On August 3, the Senate confirmed Anna Maria Farias as HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and Neal Rackleff as Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development (see HAC News, 6/22/17 and 8/3/17). Pamela Hughes Patenaude has not yet been confirmed as HUD Deputy Secretary, although the Banking Committee recommended approval in June (see HAC News, 6/22/17).

Fair housing data guide published for local advocates and planners, webinar scheduled. Using Data to Assess Fair Housing and Improve Access to Opportunity is intended to help community organizations and local governments use data from the Census Bureau and other secondary sources. The guide provides urban examples. It will be featured in a webinar on August 24 by the guide’s publisher – the Urban Institute – and others.

Rural Voices looks at creative placemaking. Rural Placemaking: Making the Most of Creativity in Your Community is the summer issue of HAC’s quarterly magazine. Articles from around the country show how, through creative placemaking, the economic, educational, and social impact of the arts can complement affordable housing efforts.

Need capital for your affordable housing project?
HAC’s loan funds provide low interest rate loans to support single- and multifamily affordable housing projects for low-income rural residents throughout the U.S. and territories. Capital is available for all types of affordable and mixed-income housing projects, including preservation, farmworker, senior, and veteran housing. HAC loan funds can be used for pre-development, site acquisition, site development, and construction/rehabilitation. Contact HAC’s loan fund staff at hacloanfund@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.
Please note: HAC is not able to offer loans to individuals or families. Borrowers must be nonprofit or for-profit organizations or government entities (including tribes).

HAC offers September training on single-family development and 502 packaging

Rural Affordable Single-Family Housing Development: A Primer
September 19-20, Atlanta
This two-day training course will provide an in-depth look at the various approaches to developing single-family housing. The registration fee is $100.

Section 502 Packaging Training for Nonprofit Housing Developers
September 19-21, Atlanta
This three-day advanced course will teach participants to assist potential borrowers and deliver successful Section 502 loan packages. This course is intended for those experienced in using Section 502 and/or other affordable housing mortgage products. The registration fee is $750.

For more information, contact Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824.

HAC News: March 4, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

March 4, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 5

• First hearing for FY16 housing funding held • USDA offers rural vouchers • Section 502 guarantee rule changes offered • RD sets national square footage for modest housing • Supportive Services for Veteran Families regulations completed • HUD issues guidance on service to LGBT and transgender individuals • State CDBG program guide updated • HUD compares Housing Trust Fund and HOME • Section 8 guidance covers Davis-Bacon’s applicability to existing housing • Study shows how energy efficiency in rental housing helps affordability • “How Housing Matters” website launched • Interactive map shows racial/ethnic diversity by age for counties

HAC News Formats. pdf

March 4, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 5

FIRST HEARING FOR FY16 HOUSING FUNDING HELD. On February 25, HUD Secretary Julián Castro testified before the House Appropriations Committee’s Transportation-HUD Subcommittee about the Administration’s FY16 budget request (see HAC News, 2/4/15). Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) asked how much of HUD’s funding goes to rural places and how HUD can serve rural America. Castro responded with the proportions of CDBG and HOME dollars used in rural areas. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) asked about HUD activities in the colonias. Castro described the budget request to increase the CDBG setaside for colonias to 15% from the current 10%. The subcommittee will hold another hearing on HUD funding for housing and one for community development. The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee has scheduled a March 18 hearing on USDA Rural Development, including the rural housing programs.

USDA OFFERS RURAL VOUCHERS. Section 542vouchers are for tenants of RD-financed Section 515 properties where the RD loan has been prepaid or foreclosed on after September 30, 2005. A notice will be published in the March 9 Federal Register. Contact an RD office or Stephanie B.M. White, RD, 202-720-1615.

SECTION 502 GUARANTEE RULE CHANGES OFFERED. USDA RD proposes to amend its regulations for the single-family guaranteed loan program on the subjects of lender indemnification, principal reduction, refinancing, and qualified mortgage requirements. Comments are due May 4. Contact Lilian Lipton, USDA, 202-260-8012.

RD SETS NATIONAL SQUARE FOOTAGE FOR MODEST HOUSING. In recent years, regional guidelines have been used for square footage, which is one factor in determining what homes are “modest” and eligible for the Section 502 direct and 504 programs. An Unnumbered Letter dated March 3, 2015 sets a nationwide guideline at 1,800 square feet. State Directors can approve exceptions. Contact Chris Ketner, RD, 202-690-1530.

SUPPORTIVE SERVICES FOR VETERAN FAMILIES REGULATIONS COMPLETED. The VA issued final regulations for the program, which makes grants to entities that provide supportive services to very low-income veterans and families who are at risk for becoming homeless or who have recently become homeless. Contact John Kuhn, 877-737-0111 (toll-free).

HUD ISSUES GUIDANCE ON SERVICE TO LGBT AND TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS. Notice H 2015-01 reminds stakeholders that regulations prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identify, or marital status apply to housing financed or insured by HUD. To ask questions about this notice, contact the FHA Resource Center, 800-CALLFHA (800-225-5342). Notice CPD-15-02 addresses appropriate placement for transgender persons in single-sex emergency shelters and other facilities, telling providers they should generally place individuals in shelters serving the gender with which they identify. Submit questions on this notice online.

STATE CDBG PROGRAM GUIDE UPDATED. Guide to National Objectives and Eligible Activities for State CDBG Programs, published by HUD, describes and provides examples of eligible activities and details the process for selecting activities that properly address a national objective.

HUD COMPARES HOUSING TRUST FUND AND HOME. A brief table highlights the key differences in the programs.

SECTION 8 GUIDANCE COVERS DAVIS-BACON’S APPLICABILITY TO EXISTING HOUSING. In the March 9 Federal Register HUD will publish information supplementing its rules on applying the Davis-Bacon Act’s wage requirements to existing housing involved in the Section 8 project-based voucher program. Contact Becky Primeaux, HUD, 202-708-2815.

STUDY SHOWS HOW ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN RENTAL HOUSING HELPS AFFORDABILITY. A report on research conducted for Housing Virginia by Virginia Tech’s Center for Housing Research states that residents of energy-efficient Low Income Housing Tax Credit developments, both urban and rural, saved an average of $54 a month on electricity bills, and those apartments outperformed new standard construction by over 40% with respect to energy consumption.

“HOW HOUSING MATTERS” WEBSITE LAUNCHED. The site, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and created by the Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing, is intended to be “the go-to place for the most rigorous research and practical information on how housing can contribute to better educational opportunities and outcomes for children; stronger economic foundations for families and communities; healthier people and neighborhoods.”

INTERACTIVE MAP SHOWS RACIAL/ETHNIC DIVERSITY BY AGE FOR COUNTIES. A Brookings Institution online map illustrates the racial composition of different age groups for each county and metropolitan area. Brookings notes that youth are considerably more diverse than elders. Detailed data are also provided.

HUD Releases Worst Case Housing Report Summary

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development released the executive summary to their 2015 Worse Case Housing Needs Report to Congress. The report found that the unmet need for decent, safe, and affordable rental housing continues to outpace the ability of federal, state, and local governments to supply housing assistance. Although worst case housing needs have decreased since 2013, the shortage of affordable rental housing is still problematic. In 2015, 6 of 10 extremely low-income renters and 3 of 10 very low-income renters still did not have access to affordable and available housing units.

HAC News: February 18, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

February 18, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 4

• February is National African American History Month • USDA offers Household Water Well System grants • HUD-VASH vouchers will expand to Native American communities • Regulators request input on CRA and other banking rules • HUD announces Annual Adjustment Factors • USDA RD revamps website • Worst case housing needs drop • Changes in housing and other policies could reduce child poverty by 60% nationwide • HUD reports on ways housing matters to children • Affordable housing can improve educational outcomes • Sequestration and its impacts described • Economic recovery is bypassing millions of Americans, CFED reports • Regulatory costs may drive small bank mergers

HAC News Formats. pdf

February 18, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 4

FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH. President Obama’s proclamation is online.

USDA OFFERS HOUSEHOLD WATER WELL SYSTEM GRANTS. Nonprofits can apply by April 13 for grants to establish lending programs enabling homeowners to borrow up to $11,000 to construct or repair household water wells for existing homes. Contact Joyce M. Taylor, RUS, 202-720-9589.

HUD-VASH VOUCHERS WILL EXPAND TO NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES. HUD has announced it will dedicate $4 million to make vouchers for about 650 homeless veterans available in Native communities for the first time. Comments on program design are due February 25 to tribalhudvashcomments@hud.gov. Contact HUD’s Office of Native American Programs.

REGULATORS REQUEST INPUT ON CRA AND OTHER BANKING RULES. Comments are due May 14. The Federal Reserve, FDIC, and Comptroller of the Currency pose questions about ways to reduce regulatory burden, particularly on community banks and small lenders.

HUD ANNOUNCES ANNUAL ADJUSTMENT FACTORS. The FY15 AAFs will be used to adjust Section 8 rents on contract anniversaries. Contact Becky Primeaux, HUD, 202-708-1380.

USDA RD REVAMPS WEBSITE. The new site, https://www.rd.usda.gov, moves regulations, handbooks, and other guidance documents to https://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/regulations-guidelines.

WORST CASE HOUSING NEEDS DROP. From 2011 to 2013 the number of worst case needs – very low-income renter households who do not receive government housing assistance and who pay more than one-half of their income for rent, live in severely inadequate conditions, or both – fell from 8.5 million to 7.7 million. Increases in renter incomes and limited increases in rents are probably responsible, according to the executive summary of HUD’s annual worst case needs report. In 2013 there were still 1.6 very low-income households with worst case needs for every very low-income household that received rental assistance, HUD says. The full report will be released this spring.

CHANGES IN HOUSING AND OTHER POLICIES COULD REDUCE CHILD POVERTY BY 60% NATIONWIDE. Child poverty in nonmetro places could be cut by 68.2%, according to Reducing Child Poverty in the U.S., prepared by the Urban Institute for the Children’s Defense Fund. The report examines the poverty reduction impact of nine policies, ranging from expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to increasing SNAP benefits. Expanding the availability of housing vouchers would reduce child poverty by 21.3% in metro areas and 16.4% in nonmetro places. The report, a summary of recommendations, and a blog post are available online.

HUD REPORTS ON WAYS HOUSING MATTERS TO CHILDREN. An issue of HUD’s Evidence Matters newsletter focuses on how housing matters for children’s physical and emotional health, achievement in school, and economic opportunity. A HAC Rural Research Note summarizes some of the research’s implications for rural children.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING CAN IMPROVE EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES. An updated literature review by the National Housing Conference’s Center for Housing Policy presents key findings from research showing that stable, affordable housing may foster educational success by supporting family financial stability, reducing mobility, providing safe, nurturing living environments, and providing a platform for community development.

SEQUESTRATION AND ITS IMPACTS DESCRIBED. The government spending reductions required by the 2011 Budget Control Act are now achieved through spending caps, not across-the-board cuts as in FY13. A new paper by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities describes the mechanisms established in the law, how policymakers subsequently modified them, and the resulting effects on non-defense appropriations. It notes that under the BCA “in inflation-adjusted terms, the 2016 cap would be 17 percent below the 2010 level.”

ECONOMIC RECOVERY IS BYPASSING MILLIONS OF AMERICANS, CFED REPORTS. Excluded from the Financial Mainstream presents the main findings from CFED’s 2015 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard, which evaluates 135 different policy and outcome measures in five categories including housing. Infographics and interactive maps are also available online.

REGULATORY COSTS MAY DRIVE SMALL BANK MERGERS. The State and Fate of Community Banking, a Harvard Kennedy School working paper, reports that community banks play a major role in rural areas and in agriculture, small business, and residential mortgage lending. Since 2010 the total share of bank assets held by community banks, especially small ones, has fallen significantly, and the report concludes the increased costs of regulation under the Dodd-Frank Act are a likely cause.