Free Fair Housing Training

GNOHA will be hosting a free Fair Housing training led by SLLS on Thursday, June 23rd, from 10am-12pm at NDF (1429 S. Rampart St.). All GNOHA members are invited to attend.

To attend, GNOHA members must RSVP via email to breddeman@gnoha.org.

 

 

Around the State in Housing

Substantial Amendment

to the

State of Louisiana 

2015-2019 Consolidated Plan and 2016 Action Plan

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) with $3 million in federal funding under the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). 2016 is the first year that funding has been made available under this program, and now is a critical time to demonstrate Louisiana and other states’ ability to effectively use trust fund dollars. To accept funding allocated under the National Housing Trust Fund the state is required to submit a  substantial amendment to its adopted Consolidated Plan. By way of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the LHC proposed   amendment which consists in the state’s National Trust Fund Allocation Plan.

Summary

The National Housing Trust Fund Provides funding to states for the development of housing affordable to households at or below 30% of adjusted median income (AMI).

 

2016 Budget

 

Administration $300,000.00
Homeownership Development $0.00
Multifamily Housing Construction $2,700,000.00
Rental Operating Assistance $0.00
Total $3,000,000.00

 

Distribution of Funds

The LHC will make NHTF dollars available through an open and competitive Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) process. A NOFA will be issued at least once during the program year. Additional NOFAs will be issued as needed to address unused or returned funds. The NOFA will detail requirements  and priorities in effect and to be considered in grading and ranking the applications. The LHC will fund Administrative activities and Multifamily activities during the 2016 program year. Operating Assistance and Homeownership Development activities are listed as eligible and may have funds transferred from the Multifamily line items if LHC determines that it is necessary to do so to meet the goals of the program.

 

Efforts to Minimize Displacement

If applicants for development assistance indicate that the project will involve the acquisition and rehabilitation or rehabilitation alone of an existing occupied building or buildings the applicant will be required to submit plans and adequate budget for accomplishing the relocation consistent with the Uniform Relocation Act.

 

A complete draft of the Louisiana Housing Corporation National Housing Trust Fund 2016 Allocation Plan is available on the LHC website at:  http://www.lhc.la.gov/assets/Programs/PublicNotices/LouisianaNationalHousingTrustFundAllocationPlan–PublicReviewCopy.pdf.    Comments may be sent in at any time but to be considered for consideration they must be received no later than July 21, 2016.

 

Background on the NHTF

The NHTF was established under Title I of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Section 1131 (Public Law 110-289) and provides funding to states to produce affordable housing for households at or below 30 percent of Adjusted Median Income. The LHC has been designated as the State Designated Entity (SDE) for purposes of administering the NHTF Program, and Louisiana’s initial allocation is $3 million. Total funding nationwide for the first year of NHTF has been set at $174 million and comes from an assessment on loans made by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Emergency Solutions Grant Program 2016

Emergency Solutions Grant Program 2016 Application Package Now Online

The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program 2016 application package is now available online. Applications for funding to be awarded under the 2016 State ESG Program must be submitted to the Louisiana Housing Corporation no later than August 19, 2016

 

Resources

Tax Credit Policies

Last week, Enterprise released its latest report on efforts to balance cost control with building quality and resident opportunity in affordable housing, Giving Due Credit: Balancing Priorities in State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Allocation Policies. The report identifies leading approaches for advancing cost effectiveness while still developing and preserving affordable housing that is well-located, durable, sustainable, and connected to good schools, jobs, transit and health care. See the report’s coverage in NHC’s Open House Blog.

Let’s Talk About Rent

At a time when longtime homeowners are generally experiencing the benefits of growing equity and reduced mortgage payments from historically low rates, renters are struggling, according to an analysis by The Associated Press (AP). “They’re basically taking advantage of the changing economics of homeownership in ways that renters can’t,” said Enterprise’s Andrew Jakabovics. Renters accounted for all of the eight million-plus net households the U.S. added in the past decade, which has increased demand and driven up rents. Half of all renters are now considered cost-burdened (paying more than 30 percent of income on rent), compared with just 24 percent in 1960. (AP | ABC News, June 20) (ECP)

Make Room Campaign

Earlier this month, the Make Room campaign highlighted the story of Denver, Colorado’s Patty Leidy. In the spring, Leidy’s rent increased from $800 to $1,400, forcing her to move in with her 85-year-old mother. Leidy, 55, earns $1,500 per month before taxes and could not find an apartment that she could afford. She is grateful to live with her mother, but is now searching for a higher-paying job so she can have a home of her own again. Since 2010, rents in Denver have risen by 47 percent while wages are up only six percent. Learn more about Leidy and others like her who can’t afford the rent on the Make Room website. (ECP)

Fighting the Good Fight

We must take a note from the Louisiana Housing Corporations for taking the lead and setting the example of fighting the good fight for affordable housing and  hardworking Louisianans who deserve an affordable, decent and safe place to live.  Please see the letter below from LHA member and Chairman of LHC Board of Directors Lloyd “Buddy” Spillers and Interim Executive Director, Edeselle Keith Cunningham, Jr.  Let’s commit to supporting them and the great work ahead for LHC.

 

May 13, 2016

Dear LHC Board of Directors, Staff, and Stakeholders:

It is with distinct honor and pleasure that we are able to report to you that the HB 409 Amendment, which would have removed $4M from the LHC to be deposited in the State General Fund, was removed from the bill.

Both myself and Keith Cunningham, as well as many of you, and also our affordable housing community stakeholders, were instrumental in achieving this endeavor.

Over the past couple of days, we’ve spent many hours tirelessly but effectively advocating in the halls of the Capitol for this positive result.

So again, let me take a moment to THANK each and every one of you for all of your splendid efforts and networking achievements in helping us get the Amendment removed.

I’d be remiss if I did not mention Representative Cedric Glover and Representative Sam Jones for taking the lead in championing the cause of affordable housing in Louisiana. We consider them to be true Friends of Affordable Housing.

We still have a lot of work left to do, but this is definitely a SUCCESSFUL MILESTONE that we ALL should be very proud of – a true example of TEAMWORK!!

Please also take a moment to thank your respective legislators and tell them we are here to serve as partners to expand affordable housing in Louisiana.

Enjoy your weekend, and I’ll be in touch next week with everyone.  And, to coin Keith’s new LHC motto “…LET’S PUSH FORWARD!”

Sincerely,

 

Lloyd S. “Buddy” Spillers                                        Edselle Keith Cunningham, Jr.

Chairman, LHC Board of Directors                        LHC Interim Executive Director

 

 

xc:  Representative Cedric Glover

Representative Sam Jones

Official letter can be downloaded here.

Let’s Talk About Rent

The Rising Cost of Rental Housing in the U.S. Study

Laurie Goodman from the Urban Institute writes about the importance of and rising demand for rental housing in the U.S. Between now and 2030, there will be an unprecedented surge in demand for rental housing, which will disproportionately impact housing affordability and availability among low-income, minority households and communities. These are the households that have the least access to mortgage credit, effectively locking them out of homeownership. In the coming weeks, Urban’s Housing Finance Policy Center will publish essays that focus on multifamily issues and on access and affordability. As previously reported in Community Developments, the Urban Institute has released the first of these essays, authored by Ethan Handelman and Shekar Narasimhan. (Urban Institute, May 10)

 

Rental Rates in the South

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has released a new paper showing that median rents rose 23.4 percent in the South between Q4 2012 and Q4 2015. As a result of rising rent prices, an increasing number of households are cost-burdened and severely cost-burdened – spending more than 30 percent and 50 percent of income on rent, respectively. The percentage of severely cost-burdened households with incomes below $35,000 reached 80 percent in 2014 in eight cities in the Southeast: Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, Orlando and Tampa. (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, May 10)

The New Deal at LHC

Louisiana Housing Corporation Board Elects New Chairman and Appoints New Interim Executive Director

Baton Rouge, LA – The board of directors of the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) held a special meeting April 27 to elect Lloyd “Buddy” Spillers as its new chairman of the board and appoint E. Keith Cunningham, Jr. as Interim Executive Director and General Counsel.

“The Legislature and the Administration, in their wisdom, saw that there was a change needed in the direction of the corporation and appointed a new board,” said Spillers. “I’m honored to be selected as the first chair and am pleased with the representation of these board members. I’ve had professional dealings with the LHC for the past 20 years, and there is a trust deficit overlooking the organization. The key to repairing and increasing the public’s trust in the corporation is to provide complete transparency.

The LHC board is now truly representative of the public we serve, and it’s an honor to be working alongside my fellow board members. I want to assure Louisiana residents that they are our customers, and in my position as a board member, we will see to it that the LHC is run like a business. Customer satisfaction is going to be a top priority, and I’m confident that we will be able to make it happen.”

“We are ready to work with the new board and refocus our efforts to the mission of this corporation – providing affordable housing to those who need it the most in our state,” said Cunningham. “I’m honored with the trust the board has placed in me and will work to ensure that the LHC makes decisions that are mission-driven. We will strive to improve customer service as we do everything we can to provide safe and sanitary housing to the most vulnerable citizens of our state. We take our mission very seriously, and we will work tirelessly with Chairman Spillers and the rest of the board to expand affordable housing opportunities across Louisiana.”

Louisiana Receives Federal Funding from the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently designated the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) as a recipient of $3 million in federal funding under the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). 2016 is the first year that funding has been made available under this program, and now is a critical time to demonstrate Louisiana and other states’ ability to effectively use trust fund dollars.

LHC is soliciting input on what the public considers the best means of distributing these funds; how recipients should be selected and what qualifications they should have; distribution preferences based on geographic diversity; and how within the federal guidelines these funds should be used.

 

Examples of eligible areas of costs are those associated with the construction of affordable housing such as:

 

(a)          Development hard costs

(b)          Demolition associated with the construction

(c)           Utility Connections

(d)          Acquisition costs

(e)          Related soft costs

(f)           Operating cost assistance and operating cost assistance reserves

 

This list is not meant to be all inclusive and is intended to provide a framework. Comments may be sent in at any time, but to be considered for the upcoming National Housing Trust Fund Allocation Plan must be received no later than June 8, 2016 

or can be discussed at a public hearing scheduled for June 9. Please submit your comments to HOME@lhc.la.gov.

 

Background on the NHTF

The NHTF was established under Title I of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Section 1131 (Public Law 110-289) and provides funding to states to produce affordable housing for households at or below 30 percent of Adjusted Median Income.

 

The LHC has been designated as the State Designated Entity (SDE) for purposes of administering the NHTF Program, and Louisiana’s initial allocation is $3 million. Total funding nationwide for the first year of the NHTF has been set at $174 million and comes from an assessment on loans made by Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

Housing Trust Fund Interim Rule

 

 

 

RESOURCES

STATE AND LOCAL POLICY

New Orleans Studying Ways to Increase Affordable Housing

The New Orleans City Planning Commission will conduct a 120-day study on ways to increase affordable housing in its city, which faces rising rents and increasing demand. Read more about affordable housing in New Orleans.

POLICY MAKING ON THE HILL

Appropriations Bills Moving to Floor Votes in the Senate

The Senate began floor votes on its spending bills last week, and this week will turn to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill. Read more about the Senate THUD bill, proposed amendments and next steps for advancing spending bills in the House. (ECP, 5/15)

Dear Colleague Letter Urges Inclusion of New Markets Tax Credit in Tax Reform 

Representatives Steve Stivers (R-Ohio-15), Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.-15) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio-10) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter urging House Ways and Means Chairman Brady to include the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) in any comprehensive reform of the tax code. Read more about this effort to support the NMTC. (ECP, 5/15)

House Ways and Means Committee Holds Member Day Hearing on Tax Legislation

On June 12, the House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee held a Member Day Hearing on Tax Legislation, during which close to four dozen members provided testimony on a wide range of tax issues, including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and NMTC. Read more about the hearing and how to provide comments. (ECP, 5/15)

RESOURCE(S)

Housing and Community Development Groups Provide Joint Comments on AFFH State Tool

Enterprise, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) and the National Housing Trust (NHT) have submitted a joint letter to HUD on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Assessment Tool for states. Read more about the AFFH Assessment Tool and see our comments. (ECP, 5/15)

RESEARCH AND REPORTS

The Washington Post Examines America’s Uneven Housing Recovery

Over the past few weeks, The Washington Post published a series of articles called “The Divided American Dream,” which closely examined America’s housing recovery. The analysis found that the recovery has been deeply uneven, creating winners and losers along lines of race, income and geography. Read more about the housing recovery around the U.S. (ECP, 5/15)

Resources

HOME MATTERS – Work to do in April!!

Social Media Content, Content, Content!

Using Home Matters Tenets to Promote Awareness and Conversations
Every month we will be providing our supporting organizations with a series of social media posts that will bring awareness to your work and highlight the Home Matters narrative. We have created images for each of our brand tenets: Health, Education, Public Safety, Success and the Economy, that your organization can post, along with provided copy and links. You will notice that every month we will feature corresponding awareness days that relate to our movement’s tenets. These include global hashtags so our movement and your work can get involved in the conversation. Every month we will send you a new set of posts so stay tuned!
Get started now – download the tenet images here and see below for April’s schedule. Any questions, contact Taylor Wilson.

Home Matters for Success
Post for Fair Housing Month 4/6

Facebook:
April is Fair Housing Month, honoring the anniversary of when the Fair Housing Act was passed, eliminating discrimination in housing, and creating equal opportunity for every community. We’re proud to be among so many organizations of the Home Matters movement working to ensure fair and better housing for every American. Check out Home Matters’ blog to learn why more work still needs to be done. http://ow.ly/ZYTyq #FairHousing #HomeMatters

Twitter:
April is #FairHousing month & anniversary of Fair Housing Act. Check out @HomeMattersUSA blog on equality in housing http://ow.ly/ZYTyq
Home Matters for Public Safety
Post for Child Abuse Prevention Month 4/13

Facebook:
In honor of Child Abuse #PreventionMonth, check out the many ways you and your community can get involved, ensuring every child grows up in a safe and nurturing place to call Home. http://ow.ly/ZYTM1 #HomeMatters

Twitter:
For Child Abuse #PreventionMonth, see how you & your community can ensure every child grows up in a safe Home. http://ow.ly/ZYTM1
Home Is Where It All Starts
Post for Earth Day 4/22

Facebook:
Today on #EarthDay, we celebrate the planet that makes Home possible. Get outside today and celebrate Mother Nature! http://ow.ly/ZYTQz #MotherNatureMatters #HomeMatters

Twitter:
Today, we celebrate the planet that makes Home possible. Get outside for #EarthDay http://ow.ly/ZYTQz #MotherNatureMatters #HomeMatters

$174 Million in Allocations for the NHTF

HUD announced that $174 million in allocations for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) would be available soon. In The Atlantic CityLab, Kriston Capps writes that the new affordable housing production program uniquely targets worst-case housing for extremely low-income and very low-income households. While this funding is critical to address the ongoing affordable housing crisis, $174 million split between 50 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories will not be nearly enough to solve it entirely. According to HUD’s latest count, there were 7.7 million households paying more than half their income in rent and living in substandard or unsafe housing in 2013. (HUD, April 4 & The Atlantic CityLab, April 4)