Affordable Housing News

Affordable housing news 3/18/16

Posted by NMA on Mar 18, 2016 4:37:45 PM

If you're interested in the status of voucher utilization and funding, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) announced earlier this week that it will be hosting a free webinar next Wednesday, April 6, at 2:30 p.m. eastern time (11:30 a.m. Pacific time):

As of the end of 2015, state and local housing agencies had restored about half of the nearly 100,000 housing vouchers that they had cut after sequestration in 2013, and many were poised to restore additional vouchers in 2016. Some agencies that could be assisting additional families are instead leaving funds on the table unspent, however. Webinar panelists will provide a status update on voucher utilization and funding, discuss steps that housing agencies can take to improve utilization, and briefly assess the funding outlook for 2017.

Click here to register for the webinar. In other news:

NeighborWorks: More than 20 cities and states across the country have declared an end to veteran homelessness

NLIHC: Senate subcommittee holds hearing on FY17 HUD budget request

It's the first weekend of daylight saving time—enjoy the sunshine! We'll be back next week with more affordable housing news and analysis.

Topics: appropriations, HCV utilization, Program News and Notices, sequestration, VASH, veterans

House approves bipartisan budget agreement

Posted by BEMuser on Oct 29, 2015 10:25:08 AM

bipartisan budget agreementBy a vote of 266 to 167 yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the budget agreement reached this week by the White House and leaders in Congress. Dubbed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the agreement would increase the debt ceiling and lift spending caps mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011, restoring 90 percent of the sequestration budget cuts for non-defense discretionary programs. The Senate has not acted on the bill yet, but it is expected to do so before November 3, when the government would begin to default on its obligations if the debt ceiling is not raised.

The spending levels for each federal agency will have to be determined before amounts can be allocated to particular programs and activities. So it will be some time before HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) will be able to provide you with anything more than an estimate of how much funding you can expect for your programs in calendar year (CY) 2016.

Topics: appropriations, Program News and Notices, sequestration

Friday news roundup 7/17/15

Posted by BEMuser on Jul 17, 2015 11:26:06 AM

NCSHA: HUD publishes AFFH final rule and revised assessment tool

NeighborWorks: Key lesson from Supreme Court fair housing ruling

NHC: Climate resilience and equity in low-income communities

NHC: House subcommittee discusses strengths and challenges of PIH

NLIHC: Take action to stop sequestration now

NLIHC: OMB sends letter to Senate Appropriations Chair on THUD bill

Rooflines: A clear SCOTUS statement on disparate impact and AFFH

White House: Making our communities stronger through fair housing

Topics: appropriations, disaster programs, fair housing, Program News and Notices, sequestration

House passes 2016 HUD funding bill

Posted by BEMuser on Jun 11, 2015 3:41:32 PM

On Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2016 Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) appropriations bill H.R. 2577 on an extremely close, party-line vote. According to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) news blast sent out today, the bill remains largely unchanged from its original form. As CBPP notes, while the bill gives priority to renewing rental assistance for current families, spending limits set forth in the Budget Control Act of 2011 has required the House to make further cuts in both public housing and HOME, in addition to preventing any new investments to restore vouchers cut by sequestration or to quell homelessness. Still, CBPP contends that H.R. 2577 does show significant support for housing choice vouchers, increasing funding for voucher renewals by $665 million.

Not everyone agrees with CBPP’s sunnier outlook on the situation, however, with many such as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) formally expressing dissent and criticizing the bill for freezing or cutting critical investments for assisting vulnerable populations.

H.R. 2577 was introduced in the Senate yesterday, where it is currently under review.

To receive more updates and analysis like this on the latest HUD news, subscribe to NMA’s PIH Alert and receive a daily email with breaking stories and other important information for PHAs and housing professionals. Have you entered our contest to win a free year’s subscription to the PIH Alert? Don’t delay, the contest ends June 18!

Topics: appropriations, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, sequestration

Friday news roundup 3/27/15

Posted by BEMuser on Mar 27, 2015 10:38:15 AM

The HUDdle: Battling housing discrimination: Victories start with a few brave women

NCSHA: House and Senate budget committees approve FY 2016 budget plans

Next City: Developers and cities are navigating the affordable housing sea in a leaky boat

NHC: New data on housing affordability points the way for housing policy

Off the Charts: Fixing sequestration is key to restoring housing vouchers

Topics: appropriations, fair housing, Program News and Notices, sequestration

Friday news roundup 3/13/15

Posted by BEMuser on Mar 13, 2015 12:08:31 PM

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: What does the president's budget mean for affordable housing?

The HUDdle: HUD updates its social media directory

NHC: Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on HUD budget discusses negative impacts of sequestration

Rooflines: Local energy codes are one benchmark to compare the quality and performance standards of all housing across jurisdictions

Topics: appropriations, Program News and Notices, sequestration

NLIHC invites PHAs to sign letter supporting housing funding

Posted by BEMuser on Mar 5, 2015 3:00:26 PM

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is urging national, state, and local housing organizations to sign a letter supporting funding for the House and Senate subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Related Agencies (THUD).

The letter is addressed to the House and Senate chairs and ranking members of the appropriations committees. It encourages them to increase the funding allocation to the THUD subcommittee to the highest possible level in fiscal year (FY) 2016. As the letter explains:

The THUD allocation uniquely promotes the well-being of our communities by providing essential capital and program funding that enables public and private partners to build critical transportation infrastructure, spur economic development in communities, and help more than five million seniors, people with disabilities, and other families afford stable and safe housing. Through these investments, Congress supports small-business job creation, expands our nation’s infrastructure capacity, encourages economic recovery and growth, reduces homelessness and housing instability, and promotes lasting community and family economic success.

The challenging fiscal environment makes the social and economic returns provided through the THUD allocation more crucial than ever. The THUD allocation should be a top priority. In recent years, however, investments made possible by the THUD allocation have been cut sharply. Since FY 2010, budget cuts and sequestration have reduced the THUD allocation by over 25 percent. These cuts have been forced on communities at a far greater rate than their ability to absorb, and the consequences are alarmingly clear.

If you wish to sign the letter supporting the legislation, you may do so here. NLIHC has set a deadline of Friday, March 13, for signatures.

Topics: appropriations, budget cuts, Program News and Notices, seniors and elderly, sequestration

Obama administration releases proposed budget for FFY 2016

Posted by BEMuser on Feb 3, 2015 3:30:46 PM

Yesterday the Obama administration released its proposed budget for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016. As part of the budget rollout, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a summary of its portion of the 2016 budget and discussed the budget in a town hall meeting broadcast yesterday.

In a news release, HUD Secretary Julián Castro praised the HUD portion of the budget for its focus on securing quality housing for Americans, ending homelessness, making communities more resilient, protecting people from housing discrimination, and providing critical rental assistance:

HUD is the Department of Opportunity, and the president’s budget proposal is a blueprint for greater opportunity for all Americans. By increasing our department’s funding level by nearly $4 billion over current levels, the president’s budget helps us continue our progress toward achieving our mission to promote homeownership, support community development, and expand access to affordable housing for all.

What does the Obama administration propose for the housing choice voucher (HCV) and public housing programs in 2016? The proposed budget for HUD requests a total of $21.1 billion for the HCV program, or 5.4 percent more than it requested for 2015. The total breaks down this way:

  • $18.3 billion for voucher renewals, or almost 2 percent more than was requested for 2015
  • $150 million for tenant protection activities, the same amount requested for 2015
  • $2 billion for administrative fees, or 18 percent more
  • $108 million for renewal of vouchers for persons with disabilities under Section 811 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, or not quite 1 percent less
  • $75 million for the supportive housing program for homeless veterans, the same amount provided the past several years
  • $178 million for new vouchers for families, veterans, and tribal families who are experiencing homelessness, as well as victims of domestic and dating violence
  • $38 million for new vouchers for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking who require an emergency transfer
  • $20 million for new Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers

The budget document explains that the new funding "restores the approximately 67,000 vouchers that were lost as a result of sequestration cuts in 2013." It also proposes expanding the Moving to Work (MTW) program, allowing fixed-income families to recertify their incomes every three years, and increasing the threshold used to determine deductions for unreimbursed medical expenses from 3 to 10 percent of family income.

As for the public housing program, the HUD portion of the proposed 2016 budget includes these requests:

  • $1.97 billion for the capital fund, or about 2 percent more than requested for 2015
  • $4.6 billion for the operating fund, the same amount requested for 2015
  • $250 million for Choice Neighborhoods, or 108 percent more

The proposed budget also requests $50 million, a 400 percent increase, for "a targeted expansion of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) to public housing properties that cannot feasibly convert at existing funding levels and are located in high-poverty neighborhoods, including designated Promise Zones, where the administration is supporting comprehensive revitalization efforts."

For the consolidated family self-sufficiency (FSS) program, the proposed budget includes $85 million for family self-sufficiency coordinators, 13 percent more than requested for 2015.

You will find the president's message to Congress here, a slide presentation of the proposed HUD budget here, a brief summary of it here, a press release about it here, links to the congressional justifications for the various parts of it here, and the appropriations language submitted to Congress here.

To stay updated on the latest program information, subscribe to the PIH Alert and receive a daily email with news and analysis for PHAs and housing professionals.

Topics: appropriations, capital fund, Choice Neighborhoods, domestic violence, FSS, MTW, operating subsidy, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, RAD, sequestration, VASH, VAWA, veterans

Friday news roundup 1/30/15

Posted by BEMuser on Jan 30, 2015 2:41:01 PM

On Monday the Obama administration will be releasing its detailed proposed budget for next year. In a one-hour webcast scheduled for Monday afternoon, HUD Secretary Julián Castro will provide a briefing on the HUD portion of the budget. The webcast will begin at 4 p.m. eastern time (1 p.m. Pacific time). If you wish to watch the webcast live, you will find the link you need on this page shortly before it starts. In other news:

Housing Finance: Community Development Trust commits $100 million to assist RAD projects

Next City: Restoring payments to the National Housing Trust Fund, and Sec. Castro on The Daily Show

NLIHC: Appropriation levels for HUD programs in FY16 could be the worst in several years

Rooflines: Supreme Court argument reaffirms the case for disparate impact

Topics: appropriations, fair housing, Program News and Notices, RAD, sequestration

Friday news roundup 11/14/14

Posted by BEMuser on Nov 14, 2014 1:03:56 PM

Yesterday HUD’s Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) Gustavo Velasquez sent an email inviting interested parties to participate in a conference call scheduled for Monday, November 17, on HUD's annual report on the state of fair housing. The event, which will be hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and HUD Secretary Julián Castro, begins at 3 p.m. eastern time. If you wish to participate, you’ll find an online registration form here. In other news:

The HUDdle: We are ending homelessness

The HUDdle: Helping affordable housing developers reach Energy Star certification

Off the Charts: Sequestration's toll: 100,000 fewer low-income families with housing vouchers

Washington Post (via Planetizen): What happens when housing for the poor is remodeled as luxury studios

Topics: energy efficiency, fair housing, Program News and Notices, sequestration

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