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NC Housing Coalition Wins Major HUD Grant for Housing Counseling
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $576,379 to the North Carolina Housing Coalition (the Coalition). This grant will increase the Coalition’s ability to support agencies that provide housing counseling assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals across North Carolina.
“Housing counselors provide a number of services that help consumers make financially sound economic decisions,” said Stacie Darden, the Coalition’s Housing Programs Manager. “As a HUD intermediary, the Coalition will use this funding to provide technical assistance and monitoring services to 20 North Carolina-based agencies that supply homeownership and rental counseling, foreclosure prevention guidance, and homelessness assistance.”
Informed consumers are both less likely to be victimized by predatory financial practices, and more likely to make better financial choices, in part due to direct, face-to-face interactions between housing counselors and their clients. Counselors also help individuals who have financial difficulties and who may need professional advice to protect their hard-earned investments. These services are extremely important to expanding access to quality, affordable housing.
Widespread access to fair housing, a long-term, primary goal for the Coalition, is particularly relevant in North Carolina, as people of color and immigrants are significantly less likely to have access to safe, quality housing. Since its inception, the Coalition has been committed to challenging injustice, and we appreciate this grant from HUD to continue this important work.
Wells Fargo awards $20,000 in housing counseling support to NCHC
Wells Fargo has announced a $20,000 grant to the North Carolina Housing Coalition (the Coalition for support of The Association of Housing Counselors (TAHC). TAHC, a program of the Coalition, is a statewide initiative that provides funding, training, networking and certification services to housing counselors across North Carolina.
“Asset building is key to economic and financial stability and housing counselors play a very important role in this process,” said Wells Fargo Community Development Director Joanna Leclair. “The North Carolina Housing Coalition, through TAHC, provides essential homeownership, foreclosure prevention, and credit counseling services, and Wells Fargo is dedicated to ensuring that these services are accessible to all North Carolinians.”
The Coalition is the only organization in North Carolina working exclusively on issues of affordable housing—from homelessness to entry-level homeownership. As the housing landscape shifts back from foreclosure prevention to pre-purchase counseling and financial capability, strengthening and expanding TAHC is a critical element of the Coalition’s work. To date, the Coalition has helped 155 counselors secure or renew their required certifications, almost all of them affiliated with community development corporations, governmental agencies, or mortgage lenders.
The Coalition is grateful for Wells Fargo’s support and its recognition of housing as the first rung on the ladder of opportunity. Thanks to investment by financial institutions like Wells Fargo, we can continue to expand housing counseling services to low- and moderate-income households throughout the state.
Leading for Results LGFCU Fellows
This course will change you—professionally and personally. Are you ready?
- Do you want to make a greater impact in your organization?
- Are you ready to be a stronger and more effective leader?
- Do you enjoy inspiring others to higher performance toward a shared vision?
If you answered yes to all three, then Leading for Results might be for you. This intensive two-week program is designed to develop leadership skills for local government professionals. Participants graduate from this program with a deeper understanding of their individual leadership strengths, skills for improving their organizations, and a renewed passion for public service.
A group of 25 individuals will be selected as Local Government Federal Credit Union Fellows for each of the two cohorts.
Why a “cohort”? You will not just attend a course. You will become part of a cohort of dedicated professionals—a group of people who will inspire you to be a better leader, in class and in the future.
Who should apply? Qualified candidates include local government department heads, supervisors, heads of special projects, fairly new managers of small jurisdictions, or assistant managers of larger jurisdictions.
Tuition: With the generous support of Local Government Federal Credit Union, individuals selected as LGFCU Fellows will attend this program tuition free. Participants’ organizations pay for hotel and travel expenses to attend the classes held in Chapel Hill.
For more information and to apply, click here.
North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund Receives $224 Million
RALEIGH - North Carolina homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages because of job loss, reduction in income or other temporary hardships can still get help through the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund thanks to an additional $224 million in funding. The funds were awarded last week to the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, which administers the program, from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund®.
Launched in December 2010, the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped nearly 22,000 North Carolina homeowners who have experienced certain financial hardships keep their homes while they look for work or complete job training. The program was expanded in 2013 to assist returning veterans who are transitioning to civilian jobs. The Fund also now provides assistance for homeowners who have secured employment after a financial hardship but are earning less and unable to pay their mortgage as a result.
“This additional funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury is a testament to just how successful this program has been in the state,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency. “So far, we have helped nearly 22,000 North Carolina homeowners keep their homes, and with this additional funding, we expect to help thousands more and to continue our special outreach to returning veterans.
“The impact of this program on the state’s economy has also been profound, saving $3.9 billion in property value to date. By reducing the number of foreclosures, the effort will continue to help stabilize property values in communities across the state.”
The Fund makes mortgage payments for North Carolinians who have lost jobs through no fault of their own while they seek employment or complete job training in a new field. Others who have gotten behind on their mortgage payments because of divorce, illness or other temporary hardship may qualify for help while they seek jobs to get back on their feet.
The mortgage payment assistance is provided as a zero-interest, deferred loan of up to $36,000, or 36 months of mortgage-related payments. Homeowners will resume making their own mortgage payments at the end of the loan period.
The Fund also can assist homeowners who are re-employed after a qualified hardship but earning less than before and unable to afford their mortgages by reducing their principal balance with a no-interest deferred loan. The mortgage loan is then recast to make the payments more affordable.
If the owner continues to live in the home for 10 years, the loan will be considered forgiven and no repayment will be due.
“Although the unemployment rate has improved and now stands at 5.5%, the number of North Carolinians who have found new employment but are underemployed and still unable to afford their mortgages is higher than anyone wants to see,” Kucab said. “The North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund can help these individuals recover from a financial crisis that is out of their control.”
To be eligible, homeowners must have a good mortgage payment history prior to the qualifying job loss or financial hardship event, be able to resume their mortgage payments once the assistance ends and meet other program guidelines.
This assistance is available statewide through participating HUD-approved counseling agencies. For more information about their eligibility, homeowners should call a participating agency or the information line, 1-888-623-8631, or go to www.NCForeclosurePrevention.gov.
The Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund® was authorized under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. It is available to states which have experienced high unemployment or a steep decline in property values. North Carolina was selected because of the large percentage of the population living in counties with high unemployment rates in 2009.
The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting public agency, has financed 242,000 homes and apartments since its creation in 1973.The North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped nearly 22,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure.
2016 Housing Credit Full Applications
The list of submitted full applications for the 2016 Housing Credit cycle can now be found at the following link: 2016 Housing Credit Full Applications
An Investment In Opportunity - Tackling the Housing Crisis at All Government Levels
With An Investment In Opportunity, we launched a long-term platform that lays out the federal, state and local policy changes necessary to address America’s growing rental housing crisis and create communities of opportunity across the U.S.
The platform offers a bold new vision for housing policy, with discrete policy recommendations built around four strategies for reform:
Ensure broad access to high-opportunity neighborhoods.
Promote comprehensive public and private investments in low-income neighborhoods.
Recalibrate our priorities in housing policy to target scarce subsidy dollars where they’re needed most.
Improve the overall financial stability of low-income households.
EZ Retrofit - A FREE, Simple Way to Save Energy and Water!
Washington, D.C. Monday, February 1, 2016. Almost two years after the initial launch, SAHF is pleased to announce the release of EZ Retrofit 3.0!
EZ Retrofit is a free, do-it-yourself, excel-based audit tool that addresses cost and complexity concerns typically associated with traditional third party audits. It was developed by SAHF in collaboration with ICF International and Bright Power, Inc.
Rebecca Schaaf, the Senior Vice President of Energy at SAHF stated that "Opportunities exist for nearly every building to save energy and water, but it's not always worth it to pay for an audit. EZ Retrofit gives owners a detailed analysis specific to their building to help them select upgrades and start saving."
EZ Retrofit provides owners and managers with an easy way to identify cost-effective energy and water efficiency upgrades specific to their building. It enables owners to customize a retrofit scope for their individual property. After running EZ Retrofit, owners can integrate changes that can:
- Reduce energy and water consumption and costs
- Increase property efficiency
- Reduce maintenance and extend equipment life
- Improve indoor air quality and tenant comfort
- Attract and retain tenants
A costs analysis of 32 multifamily was conducted by SAHF using the EZ Retrofit tool. The median projected energy and water cost savings from SAHF's analysis were $338/unit/year. This is generally comparable with other recent studies of national multifamily programs, including an analysis of 179 multifamily properties which participated in HUD’s Green Retrofit Program (GRP). Results from HUD analysis indicated actual first year savings of $308/unit/year from energy and water upgrades*.
Since the release of EZ Retrofit, property owners and auditors have applied it to more than 4500 affordable housing units across the U.S. Owners of multifamily buildings who apply recommendations produced by EZ Retrofit, stand to reap substantial cost savings.
"EZ Retrofit not only provides valuable recommendations, but also offers fast results at no cost, with little disruption to the property." stated Dennis Hidalgo, Energy & Sustainability Manager, Volunteers of America. He added, "Plus, it’s a great tool for comparing cost and energy savings quoted by contractors. We’ve already identified other properties where EZ Retrofit will be helpful in identifying opportunities for savings.”
*Reference: “Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Retrofits,” SAHF/ Bright Power, 2014: http://www.sahfnet.org/multifamilyretrofitreport_2_1287596736.pdf
Impact of Green Affordable Housing Report Available
This report is the culmination of a study which began in the Summer of 2014 to analyze and evaluate the cost-benefit (triple bottom line – environment, economy and equity) of green building certification programs on affordable housing development in the Southeast. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the Southeast is the most impoverished region in the nation, will lead the nation in both housing starts and net change in population growth over the next 20 years, indicating that the need and opportunities to further sustainability practices within the affordable housing sector are immense.
Our project goals are to: evaluate and support green affordable housing policy and planning, share data, enhance the understanding of costs and benefits, influence appropriations and budgeting decisions, increase the adoption of green building certification programs and preserve affordable housing. We believe that the study and report add significant data and weight to the argument that green building provides substantive benefits to the development and operations of affordable housing.
Some highlights from the report include:
- Green developments in this study save nearly $5,000 per year
on owner-paid utility costs when compared to non-green developments.
- Green developments spend 12% less on energy (common areas)
per square foot than non-green developments. Residents of green developments
use 14% less energy per square foot.
- Green developments are nearly 5% less expensive on total
construction costs per square foot and more than 13% less expensive on soft
construction costs than the non-green developments.
The final report and executive summary are attached and available for download at the following links:
Survey on Impediments to Fair Housing in NC
NC Housing Finance Agency is working with other state partners to begin our five-year strategic plan for the use of federal housing funds that is part of the Consolidated Planning Process. As part of that effort, we are interested in getting a better understanding of the kinds of impediments to fair housing choice that exist in the state. We are working with the Department of Commerce to conduct a survey to help solicit feedback from our partners, advocacy groups, residents, and other stakeholders on this issue. If you have a moment, please consider taking the time to offer your thoughts. The survey can be found here:
FHLBank Atlanta AHP Income Limits Calculator and Expanded Methodology Released
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLBank Atlanta) is excited to introduce a new household income methodology that could increase the number of customers eligible for our multifamily and homeownership products. The new methodology allows for increases in household income limits for over 91 percent of the 599 counties in our district.
Due to this expansion in income limits, we have also launched an AHP Income Limits Calculator to assist you in easily determining your household eligibility.
What Does this Mean for North Carolina?
The new income methodology expands the portfolio of eligible customers in 89 percent of counties in North Carolina. For example, in Wilkes County, N.C., the new methodology results in a $5,650 increase in eligibility for a four-person household, which is a 13 percent increase compared to last year’s methodology.
How Does It Work?
- The new income methodology selects the most advantageous of four calculation methodologies to determine FHLBank Atlanta AHP Income Eligibility
- The easy-to-use calculator automatically provides the highest income limit based on household size
- The calculator also provides the AHP maximum rent limits for efficiency and 1-4 bedroom units for each income level (80%, 65%, and 50%)
We encourage you to take advantage of the AHP Income Limits Calculator, available on FHLBank Atlanta’s website, and discover the expanded opportunities to enhance housing affordability in the communities you serve.
For additional information on the calculator, or for more information on our suite of multifamily and homeownership grant products, visit our website at www.fhlbatl.com or contact:
Rental Production Manager
Ownership Production Manager
Get NCCPR’s New Citizen's Guide to the NC Legislature App!
Created by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research, this 2015-2016 Citizen’s Guide to the N.C. Legislature mobile app edition contains contact and biographical information for all members of the N.C. General Assembly in individual legislator profiles. The app is generously sponsored by EMC2 and available for free download on iOS devices.
Download from the App store here! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/citizens-guide-to-n.c.-legislature/id963...
You will also find analysis and insights like:
• Highlights and Trends for Legislators’ Demographics and Occupations
• Bills that generated statewide attention during the past legislative session and how each legislator voted on the significant legislation
• Legislative effectiveness, attendance, and voting participation rankings
• District maps and committee assignments
You're invited to join the Housing Communications Hub
The Housing Communications HUB is a free online community from the National Housing Conference that connects you to an incredible resource: colleagues from across the country who share your challenges, uncertainties and successes in communicating about affordable housing. It's a place where you can ask advice, share your experiences and build relationships.
Whether you work at the local, state or national level, as long as you're interested in communicating effectively about affordable housing, the HUB is for you. The HUB allows you to download resources that will help you plan and execute your communications work, as well as to share your own successful communications products. It also provides discussion forums that allow for dialogue and exchange about housing communications issues with others who are doing this work across the United States. Visit the HUB and join free today!
Are you considering a smoke-free policy but are still not convinced? It all comes down to improving your bottom line.
The sooner you go smoke-free, the sooner you can save money in decreased fire, maintenance, and turnover costs. Adopting a smoke-free policy can also boost your marketing value.
Scott Alderman of Landura Management Associates in Winston-Salem explains why:
“First, there are lower turnover and HVAC ductwork cleaning costs with smoke-free policies. Two, they keep the property cleaner. You’d think there’d be more cigarette butts everywhere, but that’s not the case – our tenants use the receptacles we put out there. Third, the biggest savings has been with fires. Before we were smoke-free, we had two fires within the span of 10 days, which cost us $1.3 million.”
By adopting a smoke-free policy, you can improve your bottom line.
To learn more about how smoke-free policies can save you money:
Visit the NC Division of Public Health’s Smoke-Free Housing Website at: http://www.smokefreehousingnc.com/property-managers/smoke-free-policies-why-do-it-#.VAngFZrD-9I
New Resource: Communicate about Housing More Effectively with the Latest Research, Poll Data and More
The Center for Housing Policy releases a new literature review today by Janet Viveiros and former Center researcher Rebecca Cohen covering research into public opinions on housing affordability issues and how to best communicate around them. The new paper, Building Support for Affordable Homeownership and Rental Choices: A Summary of Research Findings on Public Opinion and Messaging on Affordable Housing, offers housing advocates and practitioners the latest polling data and concepts on how to effectively communicate about housing affordability issues with the public and policymakers. It is the latest report in the Center's Insights from Housing Policy Research series.
The paper includes a summary of findings that advocates and practitioners can apply directly to their work. A section on Public Opinion Research adds to our understanding of how respondents feel about affordable housing and the people who live in it. A second area on Language and Messaging research describes how respondents react to specific terms and ideas.
Foreclosure Prevention Effort Expanded to Recent Veterans, Furloughed Workers
The North Carolina Finance Agency announces the expansion of the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund to help veterans recently separated from service and military or civilian workers who are currently furloughed or facing an impending furlough.
The state-designed foreclosure prevention program makes mortgage payments for qualified unemployed workers as well as homeowners who have suffered certain other hardships, such as divorce, illness or death of a co-signor, while they look for work or complete job training. The Fund has already helped nearly 14,000 workers who have lost their jobs save their homes, and funding is available to assist another 7,000.
Please direct questions concerning the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency or the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund to: Connie Helmlinger, 919-877-5607 or email@example.com; or Margaret Matrone, 919-877-5606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CFED Announces Asset-Building Integration Learning Cluster
Do you provide affordable housing options to low- and moderate-income families? Do you often ask yourself how you can help your clients follow a monthly budget so they don’t fall behind on their utility bills?
Are you helping unemployed individuals build the skills they need to find and succeed in their next job? Do you ask yourself how you can help these clients open safe, affordable bank accounts so they don’t lose a big portion of their next paycheck to expensive check cashers?
Do you provide critical services to families in times of crisis? Do you wonder what you can do to help these families build an emergency savings account so they are more prepared for future financial crises?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should think about joining this Intensive Learning Cluster! In partnership with the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, CFED’s newest Learning Cluster is an 18-month collaboration between CFED and organizations providing services in the housing, workforce development and emergency assistance (critical needs) sectors. Participating in the Learning Cluster can help you incorporate asset-building strategies—such as getting your clients banked, helping people manage their credit or providing access to free tax preparation assistance—into your existing services.
Organizations who are selected to participate in the Learning Cluster will receive an $8,000 stipend, a full scholarship for CFED’s 2014 Assets Learning Conference in Washington, DC, the opportunity to learn and problem-solve with other members of the Learning Cluster through virtual and in-person convenings, and technical assistance from asset-building experts.
If you are interested in participating, carefully review the Learning Cluster Request for Proposals and submit your project proposal to email@example.com no later than October 21, 2013. If you have questions, email Kori Hattemer.
New NLIHC report: Housing Spotlight: America’s Affordable Housing Shortage, and How to End It
There were over 10 million renter households with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income in 2011. For these extremely low income families, there were only 3 million affordable and available homes. The National Housing Trust Fund could help end this shortage of over 7 million affordable homes.
These are among some of the findings in NLIHC's new report, Housing Spotlight: America’s Affordable Housing Shortage, and How to End It.
The report provides an
in-depth analysis of the growing gap between the number of low income renters
and the number of units that are affordable and available to them. This
analysis of the 2011 American Community Survey shows that for every 100
extremely low income families, there are only 30 affordable and available
Click here to download Housing Spotlight: America’s Affordable Housing Shortage, and How to End It.
New resources on lifecycle underwriting - test the viability of your properties over a 50-year lifecycle
The National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy are pleased to announce a suite of materials exploring lifecycle underwriting -- a new way of thinking about the costs of affordable multifamily rental housing.
Rather than looking simply at the initial costs to develop a property and the ability of a property to remain financially viable for an initial 10- to 20-year period, lifecycle underwriting examines whether a property's finances are sufficient to cover the expected costs of maintaining the property over its full lifecycle, which can be as long as 50 years.
The new materials describe the principles behind lifecycle underwriting, the practical and policy implications of this new approach, and the results of a research study applying this methodology to compare the costs of two methods of producing multifamily affordable housing: new construction and acquisition-rehab. The materials also include a free online tool that enables users to apply lifecycle underwriting to their own properties.
The materials include:
- L-Cycle: The Lifecycle Cost Modeling Tool. This free tool enables users to estimate whether a property is likely to have sufficient funds to meet expected capital needs over a full 50-year lifecycle. Users can input basic property characteristics and obtain an estimate of when the property's reserves are likely to show a deficiency under different scenarios, as well as how much in additional funding would be needed to remain viable over a 50-year period.
- Comparing the Costs of New Construction and Acquisition-Rehab In Affordable Multifamily Rental Housing. This research working paper uses the lifecycle cost methodology to compare the total cost of developing and maintaining affordable multifamily rental housing over a 50-year period using either acquisition-rehab or new construction. Our analysis of a convenience sample of more than 200 properties found that, all else equal, new construction added approximately $40,000 to $71,000 (25 to 45 percent) per-unit to the lifecycle costs.
- Lifecycle Underwriting: Potential Policy and Practical Implications. This policy working paper explores the policy and practical implications of lifecycle underwriting and opens up a debate about the trade-offs of financing properties for a 50-year viability period, rather than the more typical 15-year time frame.
- The Lifecycle Cost Adjustment Methodology: An Exploration of the Baseline and Alternative Assumptions. This technical working paper describes the lifecycle cost adjustment methodology in greater detail.
The new materials, available at www.nhc.org/lcycle, were produced by the Center for Housing Policy in partnership with Compass Working Capital and Summit Consulting. The National Housing Conference collaborated with the team on the policy implications paper.
Partnering Landlord Information
The Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) and Housing for New Hope’s programs are of special interest to landlords because of the valuable housing and budget services we provide. We not only help you find tenants for your units, but also to maintain long-term, successful tenants.
Becoming a partnering landlord does not in any way obligate you to use our service, but only confirms that you are open to working with CEF and Housing for New Hope. By becoming a partnering landlord, you can contact us when you have an unoccupied unit to fill or when you have a tenant who needs budget counseling services in order to keep the rent paid.
Why become a partnering landlord?
- Receive rent payments on time
- Recruit successful tenants
- Reduce turnover costs
- Advertise with us
- Have an agency to call with tenant concerns
What We Offer
- Our tenants agree to participate in a “protective payee” service, called Peace of Mind Accounts, which allow our tenants to ensure monthly rent and utilities are paid on time with automatic bill pay services
- CEF works alongside tenants to create budgets and open savings accounts that can keep tenants paying on time, even in case of emergencies
- Housing for New Hope prescreens applicants to make sure that all of our tenants have adequate income and access to services in order to be successful, long-term tenants
- We are someone you can call, and we will do everything in our control to guarantee that our tenants will be the best possible
Invest in your community and become a partner in ending homelessness.
Community Empowerment Fund
Housing for New Hope