Opportunity Zone Hearing on February 14 at 10am

The Treasury department has announced that on February 14 at 10am a public hearing will be held on proposed regulations concerning investing in qualified opportunity funds (QOF). February 14 is the new date for the Opportunity Zone public hearing that was originally scheduled for January 10 but was canceled due to the lapse in Federal appropriations.

The public hearing will focus on the proposed regulations that provide guidance under new section 1400Z-2 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) relating to gains that may be deferred as a result of a taxpayer’s investment in a qualified opportunity fund (QOF).

The hearing is open to the public and will be held in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. At this time, it does not appear that there will be a telephone or web-based broadcast of the hearing. NAHRO will attend the hearing and provide a summary of the hearing to our members.

Additional information on the February 14 Opportunity Zone public hearing can be found in the pre-publication Federal Register notice.

 

This Tuesday!! NAHRO e-Briefing – RAD: Program Updates and PHA Experiences

RAD: Program Updates and PHA Experiences
A NAHRO Professional Development e-Briefing
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
1:30 – 3:00 pm EST

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The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) continues to be a critically important tool for housing authorities looking to pursue innovation while renovating and preserving their local affordable housing stock. As we begin 2018, join the NAHRO Policy Team for an in-depth review of the current status of RAD. Participants will also hear from PHAs that have gone through the RAD conversion process. These RAD agencies will discuss why RAD worked for them, explain how they chose between Project Based Vouchers (PBV) or Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), and share lessons learned and best practices. Whether your agency is a RAD veteran or exploring whether RAD is a viable option for the future, don’t miss this opportunity to have your questions addressed by industry experts during this interactive online training.

Only $95 for NAHRO members!

Registration closes Monday, February 12 at 11:59 ET pm. 

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Reminder: Whether you’re watching alone or with an audience of 100, only one registration per connected device is required, making NAHRO Professional Development’s e-Briefings an outstanding value! Can’t attend the session at the scheduled time? Register anyway, and we will email you a link to the archived recording as soon as it’s ready to be stream.

Why New Market Tax Credits Matter: Three Success Stories

New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) help localities build stronger neighborhoods by investing in housing, schools, and other vital projects that are targeted at helping low-income communities. Between 2003 and 2015, $42 billion in direct NMTC authority has generated almost $80 billion in capital for local businesses and revitalization projects. NMTC investment has resulted in the creation or retention of over 750,000 jobs, and the financing of over 178 million square feet (sq. ft.) of commercial real estate and almost 14,000 affordable housing units. NMTCs are a proven and effective tool for generating private-sector investments in communities in need. This is one in a series of articles that show how public housing authorities (PHAs) and community development agencies have successfully used federal tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to build and/or preserve public housing and affordable housing and to increase the sustainability of communities.  Continue reading

What to Know About the CDBG Disaster Recovery Program

Last month, President Trump signed H.R. 601 into law, providing $15.25 billion in disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Of the amount, $7.4 billion goes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help meet immediate needs, and $450 million to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-relief loans. The remaining $7.4 billion goes to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program for disaster relief and long-term recovery. This blog will explain what the CDBG-DR program is and how funds will be allocated and administered to disaster impacted communities.

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HUD Provides $179 Million to States for Disaster Recovery

Earlier this week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced an additional $178.5 million to help hard-hit areas in several states recover from severe flooding that occurred in 2015 and 2016. State grant recipients include Florida, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. This new allocation will be provided through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program, where HUD has previously provided nearly $947 million in these areas for recovery efforts. The CDBG-DR grants will support a wide range of activities, including housing redevelopment, business assistance and infrastructure repair.

Below is the full list of grantees for this announcement and their allocations to date:

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NAHRO Submits Regulatory Reform Comments to HUD

On June 14, NAHRO submitted its comment letter to HUD’s request for comment on Reducing Regulatory Burden; Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda Under Executive Order 13777.

NAHRO identified many regulations that would make good candidates for streamlining. Each of the regulations met at least one of the following reasons for streamlining:

(a) The regulation results “in the elimination of jobs, or inhibits job creation”;

(b) The regulation is “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective”;

(c) The regulation imposes “costs that exceed benefits”; or

(d) The regulation creates a “serious inconsistency or otherwise interferes with regulatory reform initiatives and policies.”

The regulations listed are non-exhaustive. NAHRO’s comment letter is a start of a conversation between the Department and NAHRO. Given the limited time to compile this list, NAHRO expects to identify additional avenues for further regulatory streamlining, which we will share with the HUD.

NAHRO’s comment letter is organized into three sections: Public Housing and Section 8 recommendations; Community Planning and Development; and recommendations on cross-cutting programs and initiatives. Within each major section are topic headers with NAHRO’s recommendation on each topic.

HUD Publishes FY 2017 CPD Formula Allocations

Today, HUD released the FY 2017 allocations for the Department’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) formula grant programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) , Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Housing Trust Fund (HTF).

For FY 2017, states and local communities across the nation will receive approximately $3.0 billion in CDBG, $958 million in HOME, $320 million in HOPWA, $270 million in ESG, and $219 million in HTF funding. These amounts reflect approved grant reductions and reallocated funds for the CDBG and HOME programs.

The CPD allocations can be found online here.

White House to Nominate HUD Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretary for CPD

On April 28, the White House announced President Trump’s intention to nominate Pamela Hughes Patenaude of New Hampshire to be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Ms. Patenaude is currently the President of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for America’s Families. Previously, she served as Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission. Ms. Patenaude earned her B.S. from Saint Anselm College and her Master of Science Community Economic Development degree from Southern New Hampshire University. Her awards include: HousingWire 2013 Woman of Influence and the Saint Anselm College Alumni Award of Merit 2006.

According to the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for America’s Families leadership page, from 2001 – 2007, Ms. Patenaude served as assistant deputy secretary for field policy and management at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and as HUD’s assistant secretary for community, planning and development where she administered more than $8 billion in housing and community development funds and managed $17 billion in disaster recovery funds for the Gulf Coast rebuilding efforts.

The Deputy Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development is charged with the Department’s mission to promote safe and affordable housing across the nation and manages HUD’s day-to-day operations.

Additionally on April 21, the White House announced President Trump’s intention to nominate Neal J. Rackleff of Texas as Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development (CPD) in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Rackleff is currently a partner at Lock Lord, a nationally recognized law firm, where he focuses on community and economic development, affordable housing and inner-city revitalization.

According to the White House press release, Mr. Rackleff previously served as Director of the City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department. During his Houston tenure, the Department financed production of 7,800 high-quality affordable multifamily housing units (with another 2,700 in progress) and assisted 1,700 single-family homeowners with reconstruction of hurricane damaged homes, financial assistance to low-income homebuyers and emergency home repairs to ameliorate health and safety issues. Additionally, during this period, Houston became the first major city to effectively end homelessness of veterans while chronic homelessness declined more than 70%. Key revitalization projects led by Mr. Rackleff include developing a grocery store in a food desert and the historic preservation and conversion of a blighted office building into the new JW Marriott Houston Downtown hotel. Mr. Rackleff graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University and received his law degree from the University of Southern California.

HUD’s Office of CPD oversees vital housing and community development programs that benefit low- and moderate-income individuals and families, including the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

NAHRO congratulates both Ms. Patenaude and Mr. Rackleff on their upcoming nominations and look forward to working very closely with them to create attainable and sustainable housing and communities for vulnerable families and individuals.

HOME Impact Story in Vancouver, Washington

During National Community Development Week, NAHRO celebrates the hard work of communities across the country by sharing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) impact stories, highlighting the importance of these federal affordable housing and community development programs at the local level.

Project name Isabella Court I IMG_3578_Isabella
Location Vancouver, WA
District WA-03
Project Year 2015
Project Description Spearheaded by REACH, one of the largest and most successful Community Development Corporations in Oregon, Isabella Court offers affordable, senior living in Vancouver, Washington. Isabella includes 46 one-bedroom and 3 two-bedroom apartments and is built to the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard (ESDS), with its focus on energy efficiency and promotion of sustainable living. The Isabella offers vibrant living in the Fourth Plain Corridor, with nearby restaurants, shopping, movie theater, and parks.
Use of HOME Funds New construction and development costs for multifamily rental housing.
Target Population Apartments are reserved for households 62 years of age and over earning 60% or less of the area median income.
HOME Funds $2,518,734 were provided by the Washington State Department of Commerce, the City of Vancouver and Clark County Community Services.
Other Funds 10 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers valued at $331,200; LIHTC; Tax-exempt bonds; State Housing Trust Fund. Total project cost: $12,476,777.
Project Impact The investment of these HOME funds and other leveraged dollars brought one of the first rent-restricted senior developments to the City of Vancouver in almost ten years and supplied the area economy with construction jobs with a living wage. The affordable housing provided much needed apartments to a City with one of the highest percentage rent increases in the nation between 2015 and 2016. Other impacts of this project include municipal economic development, job skills training, apprenticeship and neighborhood revitalization for one of the poorest Census Tracts in Clark County.
Contact Ben Sturz – bsturtz@reachcdc.org www.reachcdc.org

National Community Development Week 2017 — April 17-22: Celebrating the Important Work of CDBG and HOME

NAHRO, along with fellow members of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Coalition, will be celebrating National Community Development Week, April 17-22, 2017. Over the course of this week, communities across the country will celebrate the work of the CDBG Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program.

The CDBG program provides grants to over 1,200 state and local governments and funds activities such as housing rehabilitation, business assistance, senior services, and infrastructure – to name a few. These activities are primarily targeted to low-income persons and households. Every $1.00 of CDBG leverages another $3.65 in other funding; bringing additional resources to communities that support jobs, businesses and, most importantly, the people who live in these communities.

HOME provides grants to over 600 State and local governments to create safe, decent and affordable housing, both rental and homeowner. HOME is a vital federal housing program that allows communities to leverage $4.20 of public and private dollars for every HOME dollar invested.

CDBG and HOME have been proposed for elimination in the President’s FY 2018 HUD budget and National Community Development Week provides the opportunity for Congressional Members and the community to see first-hand the results of these programs by touring projects, meeting with state and local staff and interacting directly with beneficiaries served by the programs.

NAHRO is urging members a to participate in National Community Development Week by supporting local project tours, issuing proclamations, engaging and educating Congressional Members on the programs, and reaching out to the media to promote the impact of CDBG and HOME. Here’s what you can can do:

Learn

Advocate

  • Contact and engage with your members of Congress to schedule meetings and plan a site visit of a local projects to show how these programs have helped your community. Remember –  Congress is in recess through April 23 and lawmakers will be back in their districts
  • Send letters to your legislators using NAHRO’s pre-drafted Advocacy Action Center letter telling Congress to take action today to finalize FY 2017 spending and pass a full-year Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill.
  • Join over 2,000 local, state and national organizations and sign on to the CDBG support letter seeking $3.3 billion for CDBG in FY 2018. This letter will be sent to Appropriations Committee leaders in May.

Spread the Word

  • Share your impact story by writing and submitting a Letter to the Editor or op-ed to your local newspaper. Make sure to mention your members of Congress so it gets picked up in their daily clips.
  • Join @NAHROnational on Twitter and elevate awareness of the need for – and the impact of – CDBG and HOME through tweets. Make sure to use the following hashtags: #CDBG #CDBGImpact #Fight4CDBG #HOME #HOMEImpact, and to tag your House and Senate representatives.
  • Follow and share the NAHRO Blog where we will post success stories of CDBG and HOME submitted by NAHRO members throughout week.

Connect with NAHRO

  • If your impact story was published in your local newspaper or you meet with your member of Congress, let us know! Please email Jenny Hsu at jhsu@nahro.org with a description of your advocacy efforts so that we can highlight your efforts with Congress once they are back in session.

CDBG Coalition Members: NAHRO, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, National Community Development Association, Council of State Community Development Agencies, National Association for County Community and Economic Development, National Association of Development Organizations, American Planning Association, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Habitat for Humanity International, Feeding America, YWCA USA, Enterprise Community Partners, Rebuilding Together, National Recreation and Park Association, National Association of Regional Councils, National Urban League, International Economic Development Council, Heartland Alliance, The Trust for Public Land, and National Development Council