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Housing and community news: Mar 16-22, 2019

Posted by NMA on Mar 23, 2019 9:20:00 AM

What we're reading now: the latest housing reports and analysis

HUD: HUD approves plan to support southern Georgia counties in their recovery from 2017 disasters

In a press release, HUD announced it had approved the State of Georgia's disaster action plan and will award the state $38 million in federal recovery funds through HUD's Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery Program.

This fund will be used to support the state's recovery from January 2017's deadly tornadoes as well as damages from Hurricane Irma, which include seriously damaged housing, businesses, and infrastructure.

In other news:

KQED: Forget YIMBY vs. NIMBY. Could PHIMBYs solve the housing crisis?

  • The acronyms YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard) and NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) rose from the housing crisis and the battle over new developments. But now there is a new acronym: PHIMBY (Public Housing in My Backyard) whose supporters believe municipally-run affordable housing is the best way to solve the housing crisis.

Multi-Housing News Online: Affirmed Housing Breaks Ground on LA Supportive Housing

  • Work on Aria, a 57-unit community dedicated to formerly homeless individuals, has now begun. This five-story structure, located in Los Angeles' Westlake South submarket, will include studios and one-bedroom apartments with more than 1,000 square feet of common space.

Multi-Housing News Online: Boston affordable housing project to add 135 units

  • The third phase of a redevelopment project in Boston has broken ground. The project will take The Anne M. Lynch Homes at Old Colony, one of the oldest federal public housing properties in America, and convert it into a 135 affordable unit housing.

NACo: Smarter Counties workshop uses ‘Design Thinking’

  • In a two-part Smarter Counties workshop at the 2019 NACo Legislative Conference, participants learned how to use design thinking to solve problems from a person first approach.

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Topics: Industry News

HUD approves disaster recovery plans for Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Texas

Posted by Annie Stevenson on Mar 13, 2019 2:21:09 PM

Last week the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it has approved the latest disaster recovery action plans for Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Both plans include tight fiscal controls.

In the first press release, HUD announced approval of the latest disaster action recovery plan to help Florida continue to rebuild from Hurricane Irma. The plan will invest an additional $158 million through the Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG–DR) program to address lingering unmet needs in impacted Florida counties, including seriously damaged housing, businesses and infrastructure.

The second press release announces that HUD has also approved an amended disaster action recovery plan for the U.S. Virgin Islands. An additional $779 million in CDBG-DR funds will be invested for continued recovery efforts following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Each press release includes the following statement:

HUD requires that these recovery dollars be targeted to local communities that experienced the greatest impact and that all disaster relief funds will be spent in a manner that helps disaster victims. As a result, HUD will impose strict conditions and financial controls on the use of these funds.

HUD also recently announced that is has approved Puerto Rico’s latest disaster recovery action plan to help the island continue to rebuild from Hurricanes Maria and Irma, as well as an additional $652 million to support Texas’ recovery from Hurricane Harvey. HUD supports recovery from disasters such as Hurricane Harvey through its CDBG–DR program, which requires grantees to develop recovery plans with thought and input from local residents. Texas’ latest recovery plan adds to the $5 billion in HUD-funded recovery programs for the state that HUD approved last June and focuses mainly on restoring damaged and destroyed homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

Learn more about preparing for a disaster

Topics: CDBG-DR, Industry News, disaster recovery

Housing and community news: Mar 2-8, 2019

Posted by NMA on Mar 8, 2019 9:11:33 AM

What we're reading now: the latest housing reports and analysis

HUD: HUD announces disaster assistance for Alabama tornado victims

On Wednesday, Mar 6, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide mortgage relief and other support to homeowners and low-income renters of Lee County, Alabama in the wake of the deadly tornado that hit the county earlier this week. This mortgage relief follows a presidential major disaster declaration, which allows HUD to offer relief to families living in impacted counties.

This assistance includes:

  • The ability to grant a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA-insured homes

  • To make mortgage insurance available under HUD’s Section 203(h) program

  • To make insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation under HUD’s Section 203(k) program

  • Allows information to be made available on federal and state housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties

In other news:

Mercury News: Here’s how presidential candidates want to help solve the housing crisis

  • Several 2020 presidential candidates have already proposed bills to address the affordability crisis in states, such as California, who experience dramatically rising rent and home prices.

National Association of Counties: HUD secretary: Opportunity Zones can lift distressed areas out of poverty

  • On Tuesday, Mar 5 at NACo's 2019 Legislative Conference, HUD Secretary Ben Carson told county officials two ways they could help create more affordable housing is through utilizing Opportunity Zones and streamlining regulations. Carson also urged county officials to align transportation, land use plans, and infrastructure projects, as well as looking at any "archaic" rules, regulations, and zoning restrictions.

Strong Town: 8 things your town can do to add more housing (without spending a dime)

  • Strong Towns researched ways communities can expand their housing beyond simply increasing funding or using housing vouchers. Strong Towns shares different ways any city, big or small, in America can add more housing to their towns.

CityLabHow to design a better city for deaf people

  • How a room is designed will impact individuals who use that space and their ability to communicate. CityLab talks with DeafSpace Design about "universal" design choices and the impact it has on communities such as the Deaf community.

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Topics: Industry News

Housing and community news: Feb 16-22, 2019

Posted by NMA on Feb 22, 2019 1:20:27 PM

What we're reading now: the latest housing reports and analysis

National Low Income Housing Coalition: Details of bipartisan HUD and USDA spending deal for FY19

Congress has enacted the omnibus spending package for HUD and other federal agencies. The 1,090-page bill had been approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives on February 14, and the President signed the bill on February 15.

The bill provides more than $12 billion above the President’s request for HUD programs. Building on the 10 percent increase in HUD funding for 2018, $1.5 billion in new resources is now available for 2019—including modest increases for the public housing Capital Fund and Operating Fund, Section 8 HAP renewals and ongoing administrative fees, the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, and Healthy Homes, to name a few. The Choice Neighborhoods program has not been eliminated and has been funded at the same levels as last year. In addition, an amendment that would have barred people charged with certain crimes from receiving housing assistance has not been included over concerns regarding its implementation. 

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has posted an article detailing provisions of the bill and an updated chart comparing fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding levels to proposed and final levels for FY 2019.


In other news:

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: HUD funding bill will launch Housing Voucher mobility demonstration

  • Congress recently passed the mobility demonstration to help PHAs plan and implement a housing mobility program to help low-income families gain access to low-poverty neighborhoods with higher-performing schools.

National Low Income Housing Coalition: THUD subcommittee holds hearing to review HUD’s performance during government shutdown

  • An oversight hearing was held on Feb. 12 by the House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee to review HUD's management of project-based rental assistance contracts that expired during the partial government shutdown. The subcommittee hopes to use lessons learned from the shutdown to improve communication with Congress and housing stakeholders.

The Sault News: State to offer a new option for low-income housing

  • Michigan is offering a new modular housing option to help low- and low-mid level income families buy homes. So far 55 cities and nonprofit organizations have expressed interest in the program.

Los Angeles Times: HUD Secretary Ben Carson announces job funds for Nickerson Gardens tenants

  • U.S. Secretary of HUD, Ben Carson, announced on Feb. 20 a $3.7-million grant for a new job center at Nickerson Gardens. The grant will be applied to the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles' Jobs Plus Initiative Program, which helps citizens with job placement and getting employment.

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Topics: Industry News

Housing and community news: Feb 09-15, 2019

Posted by NMA on Feb 15, 2019 11:14:42 AM

What we're reading now: the latest housing reports and analysis

DSNews: HUD offers helping hand to displaced earthquake victims

HUD announced on Monday, February 11, disaster assistance efforts would be accelerated for Alaska's 7.0 magnitude earthquake. This announcement follows the January 31 major disaster declaration issued for Anchorage and affected counties, which allowed a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA home mortgages.

The relief is now open to providing federal disaster assistance to support low-income renters and homeowners displaced by the recent earthquake. HUD's Section 203(h) program will also provide relief by helping disaster victims with their mortgage insurance on homes that were destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

HUD is sharing this information with FEMA and will be reaching out to housing providers to find available units at public housing agencies and in multi-family properties.


In other news:

Multi-Housing News: Bridge Housing tops out $84M affordable project in OR

  • A 203-unit affordable housing development in Portland, OR is nearing completion. The building will provide housing to low-income families and homeless military veterans in the area.


Strong Towns: Nominate your city for our 4th Annual Strongest Town Contest!

  • Strong Towns are now taking applications for their Annual Strongest Town Contest. Community members can nominate their town and share what they think makes it unique and worth celebrating.


HUD Public Affairs: HUD awards $74 million to help families reach self-sufficiency

  • On Thursday, Feb. 14, HUD announced the recipients for service coordinators in the FSS program.


League of California Cities: Looking to update your general, specific, or community plan?

  • California cities can apply this coming spring for funding through the SB 2 Planning Grants Program to update a variety of plans.


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: HUD funding bill will launch housing voucher mobility demonstration

  • Congress passed the funding bill which includes $28 million to fund the voucher mobility demonstration. This fund will help housing mobility support services and operating regional mobility programs, along with providing new vouchers for families with children.


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Topics: Industry News

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