Federal Housing News
July 25, 2016
National Housing Trust Fund
HUD Posts HTF Maximum Rents and Eligible Income Limits
HUD posted to the HUD Exchange national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) webpage the maximum rents that can be charged to eligible extremely low income (ELI) households occupying HTF-assisted units. HUD also posted ELI income limits.
Webinar on Financing and Operating Affordable Housing for Extremely Low Income Households
NLIHC will host a webinar for advocates and developers on Monday, August 15 at 12:30 pm ET on options and considerations related to financing and operating affordable housing for extremely low income (ELI) households - those with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income.
Key Upcoming Dates Related to States’ HTF Allocation Plans
NLIHC provides state-specific information related to their national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) allocation plans. The state resources, available at http://bit.ly/28SEBVd, are updated regularly. We also provide a calendar of the dates, times and locations of upcoming public hearings as well as public comment period deadlines announced by the State Designated Entities administering the HTF program.
Representative Renacci Releases Tax Reform Plan, Reduces MID to First $500,000 of a Mortgage
Weeks after the House GOP released its blueprint for tax reform (See Memo, 6/27), Representative Jim Renacci (R-OH) released his own on July 14 in a white paper titled “Simplifying America’s Tax System (SATS).” Among the proposals is one to reform the mortgage interest deduction (MID) by reducing the amount of mortgage against which the MID can be claimed from $1 million to $500,000.
Senator Wyden Introduces Bill Assisting First-Time Homebuyers
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the “First-Time Homebuyer Credit Act of 2016” (S. 3175) on July 13. S. 3175 would allow first time buyers to receive a refundable tax credit up to a $10,000, or the equivalent of 2.5% of the purchase price of the home. The maximum amount refundable would be reached for homes selling at $400,000, and the credit would be available to individuals earning up to $80,000 and married couples earning up to $160,000.
HUD Secretary Castro Discusses Lead Exposure in Low Income Communities
The Center for American Progress (CAP) hosted a discussion on July 20 on the impacts of lead exposure in low income communities across the U.S. and on federal and local solutions to the problem. Panel participants, including HUD Secretary Julián Castro, framed the issue as not just an environmental or health problem, but as a housing problem and one that disproportionately impacts low income communities and people of color.
HUD Announces New AFFH Listserv
The HUD Exchange now includes an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) listserve among its email lists. By signing up for the AFFH mailing list, stakeholders receive email notifications about AFFH updates and new resources. Subscribe at: http://bit.ly/29WqoEM. HUD’s AFFH website is at: http://bit.ly/1Tm9RuO. NLIHC’s AFFH webpage is at: http://nlihc.org/issues/affh
Scarcity of Accessible Housing for an Aging Population
A study published in Housing Policy Debate titled “Housing for an Aging Population” by Sewin Chan and Ingrid Gould Ellen at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service finds a scarcity of accessible housing for the nation’s growing senior population.
FY17 appropriations delayed. The House and Senate have not agreed on any appropriations bills for FY17 and will be out of session from July 18 through Labor Day. During September Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution or omnibus funding bill to keep the government running after FY16 ends on September 30.
Republican officials promise to raise rental housing affordability at party convention. In an opinion piece for Housing Wire, former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating and former Congressman Rick Lazio point out that rental affordability is a problem in rural places as well as cities. They say “all sensible ideas should be put on the table” and assert that “in Cleveland, we will be doing our best to raise the volume on America’s rental affordability crisis.”
USDA RD launches new online data pages. The Dataset Website offers spreadsheets the public can download and use. Currently available files include multifamily property and management information, entities receiving obligations from rural housing programs during specific months, and tenant characteristics for multifamily properties. Data covering additional months and also single-family housing will be added within the next few weeks.
Report documents severe housing shortfall for extremely low-income renters. The Gap, issued by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, describes a shortage of 7.2 million affordable and available rental units for households with income at or below 30% of their area median. Three-quarters of extremely low-income renters are severely cost-burdened, spending more than half their income on rent and utilities. Data is provided at the national, state, and metropolitan area levels.
Data charts illustrate impact of federal rental assistance. Rental Assistance Reduces Hardship, Promotes Children’s Long-Term Success, a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities chartbook, shows that aid to over 5 million low-income renter households sharply reduces homelessness, housing instability, and overcrowding. It also points out that, due to funding limitations, only one in four eligible households receives federal rental assistance.
National Housing Trust Fund information posted for states. The National Low Income Housing Coalition provides links for each state’s draft allocation plan, notices of public comment periods, submitted comment letters, and state-specific advocacy resources prepared by NLIHC. A calendar lists key dates and upcoming events: public hearings, deadlines for submitting comment periods, and advocacy meetings. Contact email@example.com.
HUD proposes changes to Housing Choice Voucher administrative fees. Currently, administrative fees for PHA are based on the number of vouchers under lease and a percentage of the 1993 or 1994 local fair market rent, with an annual inflation adjustment. Based on recommendations of a study that measured actual costs, HUD suggests modifications. Ongoing fees would be based on six variables, and HUD could provide additional fees to address program priorities such as the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program and serving homeless households. Comments are due October 4. Contact Amy Ginger, HUD, 202-402-5152.
Federal agencies define ending chronic homelessness. In June the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and its 19 federal agency members released criteria and a benchmark that describe and quantify ending chronic homelessness in a community. The criteria include effective outreach, access to shelter, a community-wide Housing First approach, and more. To account for those who do not accept repeated offers of assistance and for changes in individual situations, the benchmark acknowledges that a small proportion of a community’s population may continue to experience chronic homelessness.
General section for FY17 HUD NOFAs published. Its provisions will apply to notices of available FY17 funds, which will be issued after September 30, 2016.