Yesterday, Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1661), a comprehensive bill that would strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC or Housing Credit). This bill serves as the companion legislation to S. 548, which was introduced earlier this month by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Rep. Hatch is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Similar to the Senate bill, H.R. 1661 seeks to improve LIHTC through provisions that would streamline and modernize the program, as well as increase financial feasibility for projects and encourage development in underserved areas. The legislation would also support the development of rental units that use the Housing Credit in conjunction with multifamily Housing Bonds, which currently provide important financing to about 40 percent of all Housing Credit apartments.
The House bill has bipartisan support and there are 16 other original co-sponsors, 13 of which are Ways and Means Committee members. Unlike S. 548, the House bill would not phase-in a 50 percent increase to the Housing Credit cap. However, H.R. 1661 takes significant steps to strengthen LIHTC and NAHRO joins the ACTION Campaign (a coalition of over 2,000 national, state and local affordable housing stakeholders) in endorsing this critical legislation, while encouraging Congress to include a cap increase in any final tax legislation.
More information on H.R. 1661 by the ACTION Campaign can found here:
Yesterday, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (S. 548), a comprehensive bill that would strengthen and expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). This legislation is very similar to the version of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 3237) introduced by the same Senators last year, but with minor modifications.
Earlier this week, Senator Cantwell released a new report that chronicles the nationwide shortage of affordable housing. In her press release, Senator Cantwell said, “[w]e are facing pressures from all sides: demand for rental housing has increased by 21 percent, but we are building units at the lowest rate since the 1970s. If we do not act to increase the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit-our best way to build new affordable homes-by 2025 over 15 million Americans could be spending half of their income on rent. This is unacceptable.”
S. 548 seeks to take steps towards addressing the affordable housing deficit by increasing the overall Housing Credit authority by 50 percent. The legislation also includes other provisions that would streamline and modernize the Housing Credit, increase financial feasibility for projects, and encourage development in underserved areas. The legislation would also support the development of rental units that use the Housing Credit in conjunction with multifamily Housing Bonds, which currently provide important financing to about 40 percent of all Housing Credit apartments.
S. 548 has bipartisan support on the Hill and there are currently eleven other original co-sponsors to the bill: Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Todd Young (R-IN), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Brian Schatz (D-HI). Also recently, over 2,000 organizations across the country, including NAHRO, signed on to the ACTION Campaign’s letter to Congress in support of S. 548.
More information on the bill by the ACTION Campaign can found here:
New HUD Secretary Ben Carson is scheduled to address HUD staff about the future of the department today, at 1 pm EST via Facebook Live. Tune in now: https://www.facebook.com/HUD.
Last week, HUD published a Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) notice (CPD-17-02) that announces renewal application requirements and procedural guidance for eligible grantees with expiring HOPWA Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) competitive grants.
Eligible renewal applicants are grantees with grants set to expire between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018. These grantees must demonstrate that the remaining balance on the current HOPWA PSH grant would be insufficient to fund activities beyond May 31, 2018. The notice lists 33 grantees that are eligible for renewal in FY 2017.
HUD expects to renew all eligible expiring HOPWA PSH competitive grants initially funded by appropriated funds from FY 2010 or earlier. If it turns out that appropriations for FY 2017 do not provide adequate funding for the renewals needed, HUD will contact all applicants.
The deadline to submit an application is March 31, 2017.
Yesterday, HUD published long-awaited guidance (Notice CPD-17-01) establishing the additional requirements for the development and implementation of a “centralized or coordinated assessment system” (i.e., “coordinated entry” or “coordinated entry process”) for recipients and subrecipients of the Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) programs.
The coordinated entry processes are intended to help communities prioritize people who are most in need of homeless assistance and help grantees and stakeholders strategically allocate their resources by providing information about local service needs and gaps. Each CoC must establish or update its coordinated entry process in accordance with the 2012 CoC interim final rule and this notice by January 23, 2018.
Once the coordinated entry process is established, updated and/or operationalized by CoC program recipients and subrecipients, HUD will expect the coordinated entry process to be used for all ESG programs and projects within the CoC’s geographic area. However, HUD does not require victim service providers under ESG to use the CoC’s coordinated entry process.
Additional analysis of this HUD guidance will be provided to members in a forthcoming edition of the NAHRO Monitor.
Today, HUD’s Office of Pubic and Indian Housing (PIH) published a notice (PIH 2017-02 (HA)) titled, “Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitioner Verification Procedures.” This notice explains the procedures that public housing agencies (PHAs) must follow when an applicant or resident/tenant requests admission or continued residency as a result of being a VAWA self-petitioner, defined as those who claim to be victims of “battery or extreme cruelty” (i.e., domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking). This notice applies to HUD’s public housing, housing choice voucher assistance (including project-based vouchers), and Section 8 Mod Rehab programs.
Yesterday, HUD announced $1.95 billion in FY 2016 Continuum of Care (CoC) grants to provide support to over 7,600 local homeless housing and service programs across the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. View a complete list of the state and local homeless projects awarded here.
This year, HUD continued to strongly urge CoCs to compete for funding by making challenging decisions that involved shifting funds from existing projects to new projects considered to be more effective, such as investments in permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing.
For this competition, local CoCs reallocated a combined $103 million in renewal funding from lower performing projects in order to apply for new housing projects. Together with funding for permanent housing “bonus” projects, HUD is awarding at total of $139 million for new projects.
Additional information on HUD’s FY 2016 CoC awards will be included in the forthcoming edition of the NAHRO Monitor (members only)
ICYMI: NAHRO members have long been on the front lines of preventing and ending homelessness. A recent NAHRO white paper demonstrates how public housing authority (PHA) are collaborating with communities and perusing new directions and opportunities for ending homelessness. Case studies include: ending veteran homelessness in Houston, Texas; implementing medical respite to save lives and reduce costs in Fargo, North Dakota.; and using a model for working with the chronically homeless in encampment settings by the City of West Sacramento, Yolo County, California.
Tomorrow, HUD will publish a final rule that requires the installation of broadband infrastructure at the time of new construction or substantial rehabilitation for multifamily rental housing that is funded or supported by HUD. Since the installation of broadband infrastructure may not be feasible for all new construction or substantial rehabilitation, the rule allows limited exceptions to the installation requirements.
The following programs will be covered by this final rule:
- Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant program;
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, including the CDBG Disaster Recovery program;
- Continuum of Care program;
- HOME Investment Partnerships program;
- Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS program;
- Housing Trust Fund program;
- Project-Based Voucher program;
- Public Housing Capital Fund program;
- Section 8 project-based housing assistance payments programs, including, but not limited to, the Section 8 New Construction, Substantial Rehabilitation, Loan Management Set Aside, and Property Disposition programs; and
- Section 202 and Section 811 Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities programs.
The rule will not apply to multifamily rental housing that only has a mortgage insured by HUD’s Federal Housing Administration or with a loan guaranteed under a HUD loan guarantee program.
The final rule does not change any of the substantive requirements that were in the proposed rule (members only), but adds clarifications on the threshold for substantial rehabilitation and on the point in the planning process for new construction or substantial rehabilitation at which a project must be to not be subject to the rule’s requirements. This final rule will become effective 30 days after the rule’s publication in the Federal Register.
This new rule supports the Obama Administration’s efforts to narrow the Digital Divide in the low-income communities served by HUD. Earlier this month, HUD also issued a final rule that will “modernize” the consolidated planning process for Community Planning and Development (CPD) formula grantees by adding the concepts of broadband access and vulnerability to natural hazard risks to the Consolidated Plan’s housing market analysis.
Today, the HUD Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) published a final rule that will “modernize” the consolidated planning process (24 CFR 91) for CPD formula grantees. The rule adds the concepts of broadband access and vulnerability to natural hazard risks to the Consolidated Plan’s existing housing market analysis. According to HUD, this rule seeks to “promote a balanced planning process that more fully considers the housing, environment, and economic needs of communities.”
Under the new rule, States and local governments must analyze the broadband needs (i.e., broadband wiring and connection to broadband service in the household unit, or the need for additional broadband Internet service providers to increase competition) of housing occupied by low- and moderate-income (LMI) households, including housing in rural areas. The rule also requires States and local governments to assess the vulnerability of housing units occupied by LMI households to increased natural hazard risks, particularly risks associated with climate change.
HUD does not expect the new regulations to result in significant additional expenses and administrative burden to jurisdictions since the requirements are similar to existing planning requirements, and the data necessary is readily available on the internet. HUD plans to input data for both broadband and resilience assessment requirements within the Consolidated Plan pre-populated data tables for use by jurisdictions, though jurisdictions can opt to use other data of their choice. HUD will provide grantees with this data early in Fiscal Year 2018.
Compliance with the requirements of the final rule will apply to Consolidated Plans submitted on or after January 1, 2018. Additional coverage of this final rule will available in the forthcoming edition the NAHRO Monitor (members only).
As NAHRO previously reported, HUD recently finalized a rule that will provide expanded housing protections for survivors of violence and fully codifies the provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 into HUD regulations.
HUD has made available the relevant forms necessary under the new rule:
- Notice of Occupancy Rights under VAWA (HUD-5380) that certain housing providers must give to tenants and applicants to ensure they are aware of their rights under VAWA and these implementing regulations;
- New Certification form (HUD-5382) for documenting incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that must be used by housing providers;
- Model emergency transfer plan (HUD-5381) that may be used by housing providers to develop their own emergency transfer plans; and
- Model emergency transfer request form (HUD-5383) that housing providers could provide to tenants requesting an emergency transfer under these regulations.
HUD is currently translating these forms into 8 main language.
The final rule become effective on December 16, 2016 and housing providers must now include the Notice of Occupancy Rights and the new certification form with future denials or admissions of assistance notices and future eviction or termination of assistance notices.
Additionally, housing providers have until December 16, 2017 to provide existing tenants with the Notice of Occupancy Rights and the new certification form (via the annual recertification or lease renewal process, or through other means). Compliance with the final rule’s emergency transfer provisions is required no later than June 14, 2017.
Read more about HUD’s implementation of VAWA 2013 in the October 31, 2016 edition of the NAHRO Monitor (members only).