May 31, 2016

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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Bipartisan Policy Center Releases Report Highlighting Housing and Health Care Troubles Facing American Seniors 


The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) published a report about America's expanding senior population and the challenges it will bring to the country's existing health care and housing networks. The report, Healthy Aging Begins at Home, was developed by the BPC's Senior Health and Housing Task Force, which is led by former HUD secretaries Henry Cisneros and Mel Martinez and former U.S. Representatives Allyson Schwartz and Vin Weber. According to the report, by 2030, seniors 65 and older will account for more than 20 percent of America's population, a 6 percent increase from today. The report also says that the increasing number of aging Americans will place a substantial burden on existing systems, including senior housing and health care.


House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2017 HUD Funding Bill 


The House Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill by voice vote. The full Committee did not modify HUD program funding levels from those reported by the THUD Subcommittee on May 18. The bill would fully fund project-based rental assistance contracts and funds the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) at its FY 2016 level of $950 million. The bill does not include language preventing implementation of the Housing Trust Fund (HTF), a welcome relief after the FY 2016 House-approved THUD bill included language that would transfer funds from HTF and prevent further capitalization of the program.


Representative McCarthy Introduces Moving to Work Expansion Bill 


House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced April 29 The Moving to Work Reformation and Expansion Act of 2016, H.R. 5137, which would remove the cap on the number of public housing agencies (PHAs) that can participate in Moving to Work (MTW) and change the status of MTW from a demonstration to a program. H.R. 5137 also would authorize HUD to provide technical assistance to PHAs participating in MTW and evaluate housing reforms undertaken by MTW participants to identify replicable program models. Thirty-nine PHAs currently participate in the MTW demonstration which provides PHAs with exemptions from many existing public housing and Housing Choice Voucher rules and greater flexibility to use Federal funds to pursue MTW's three statutory objectives: reducing costs and improving cost-efficiency for Federal dollars; promoting residents' economic independence; and increasing housing choices for low-income families. Under H.R. 5137, MTW agencies would still be able to combine their Public Housing Operating and Capital Funds and Housing Choice Voucher funds and use these funds interchangeably.


USDA Allows State RD Offices to Reallocate Unused Rental Assistance 


The USDA Rural Development (RD) office on May 24 published an "Unnumbered Letter" allowing state RD offices to reallocate unused rental assistance (RA) within their states without approval from the national office, reversing a policy in place since 2013 requiring state offices to return unused RA to the national office to be recaptured. NCSHA opposed the policy USDA established in 2013 and sought a change giving states the ability to use unused RA for other projects within the states, as the new policy allows.


HUD Affirms HFAs' Ability to Provide Down Payment Assistance with FHA
Loans 


Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing and Head of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Ed Golding issued a statement reaffirming that loans that include HFA down payment assistance (DPA) are eligible for FHA insurance. The statement also says that HFA DPA programs are legal and consistent with federal housing law. The statement is the result of internal deliberations between FHA, OIG, and senior HUD officials. These deliberations began after the HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an Audit Report last summer that found that NOVA Financial Investment Corporation, an Arizona-based mortgage lender, violated FHA policy by originating FHA-insured loans that included DPA grants from two local HFAs that the OIG says utilized "premium pricing" to pay for the grants.


HFAs to Receive Over $10 Million for Foreclosure Prevention Counseling  


NeighborWorks® America announced that it has awarded nearly $40 million in funding to support counseling for struggling homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program. The recipients include twenty-one HFAs that combined will receive almost $10.8 million. Funding will also be distributed to 19 HUD Counseling Intermediaries and 60 local NeighborWorks affiliates. NFMC was established by Congress in 2007 to increase the availability of counseling for homeowners on the verge of foreclosure. NeighborWorks has administered the program since its inception. The recently announced grants are the tenth round of funding provided through NFMC, each one funded through congressional appropriations. Including this latest round of funding, NFMC has awarded over $800 million in funding to support counseling and legal assistance for struggling homeowners.

May 27, 2016

EarthCraft Virginia Announces New Name, Broader Mission

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This post is a collaboration between Viridiant and VHDA.

EarthCraft Virginia is transforming to serve an even broader audience by expanding its efforts in education, consultation and certification. As Viridiant, the organization will do more to demonstrate how the latest building science can set a path for businesses and homeowners to create structures that are more affordable, livable and durable.

The new name recognizes the group’s expansion into Washington, D.C. and Maryland, and its intention to broaden services. While Viridiant will continue to offer the EarthCraft family of programs, it also plans to add more services and certifications in areas such as in-home energy monitoring, utility allowances, online energy assessment tools and unbiased consultation on specialties such as solar energy and energy-efficient home mortgages.

“We’re pleased Viridiant will continue administering the EarthCraft certification program as they broaden their spectrum of energy-efficient related services,” said JD Bondurant, Director of VHDA’s Housing Credit Program. “Green building continues to play an increasingly vital role in affordable housing and we look forward to Viridiant’s continued leadership in Virginia’s sustainable construction efforts.”

Find out how their new name embodies their new mission in the video below.
https://vimeo.com/159794494


VIRIDIANT from Shade Wilson on Vimeo.

May 25, 2016

VHDA Releases Housing Credit Final Rankings

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The Housing Credit program just released the final rankings for the 2016 competitive LIHTC reservation applications. To see the rankings, visit our final rankings online.

Congratulations to those who have developments shown above the double line on the Final Ranking Spreadsheet. There were some changes in the rankings due to the comments received during the comment period.  Please note that these final rankings are subject to approval by VHDA’s Board of Commissioners.

How to Print the Final Rankings
You will need Acrobat Reader. Download Acrobat Reader for free by visiting http://www.adobe.com/products/reader.html.

1. After opening the document in Acrobat Reader, choose File>Print>Properties.
2. Choose Legal for the paper size.
3. Choose Landscape for the layout.
4. Select OK to print.

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.


Photos: WeLive Now Open in Crystal City

(RECAP: WeLive is a much more ambitious effort than just trying to figure out how to cram humans into as small a space as possible while maintaining an aura of high-end living. As its leaders will tell you, it’s a new paradigm for living in cities.)
https://www.arlnow.com/2016/05/04/photos-welive-now-open-in-crystal-city/

Policy Focus: Rental Assistance Reform: Streamlining and Modernizing Key Programs 

(RECAP: A brief overview of current and prospective federal rental-assistance reforms, this Policy Focus discusses reforms such as Section 8, the Rental Assistance and Moving to Work Demonstrations (RAD, MTW) and Pay for Success. It includes a helpful chart with the status of 10 major rental-assistance reforms.)
http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/resources/ResourceDetails?ID=0101043

HUD Launches New Healthy Homes App

(RECAP: As consumers increasingly rely upon smartphones and other mobile devices to access information, this new mobile Healthy Homes app offers a convenient tool for users to learn about common health and safety risks in the home and the steps consumers can take to protect themselves.) http://www.realestaterama.com/2016/05/05/hud-launches-new-healthy-homes-app-ID033991.html


Four Ways Technology Can Make Housing More Affordable

(RECAP: Affordability is a fundamental challenge facing our most successful cities. Where supply cannot keep up with demand there are often four forces at work, and technology has the potential to help mitigate all of them.)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/quora/four-ways-technology-can_b_9839918.html?utm_hp_ref=technology&ir=Technology

Relationship Between Educational Attainment and Homeownership Becoming More Important, According to First American Homeownership Progress Index 

(RECAP: The second annual First American Homeownership Progress Index is available as an interactive tool that can be tailored to showcase how trends in employment, education, income, marital status, minority status, children per household and poverty impact homeownership rates over time at national, state and metropolitan area levels.)
http://www.realestaterama.com/2016/05/09/relationship-between-educational-attainment-and-homeownership-becoming-more-important-according-to-first-american-homeownership-progress-index-ID034053.html

May 24, 2016

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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Senate Passes FY 2017 Housing Appropriations Bill 

The Senate voted 89 to 8 in favor of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) funding bill, H.R. 2577. Despite an overall allocation that is $827 million below last year's funding level, the Senate THUD bill provides nearly $1.5 billion more for HUD's affordable housing and community development programs than Congress appropriated for them in FY 2016. The bill provides $950 million for the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program, the same funding level as last year, and fully funds rental assistance accounts. The Senate combined the THUD bill, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs FY 2017 spending bill, and a measure to provide emergency funding to combat the Zika virus. According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), this joint appropriations package is the first of several "mini-buses" intended to speed up the appropriations process ahead of the Senate's scheduled July 15-September 6 recess. The new fiscal year begins October 1, so Congress must enact new appropriations bills or a continuing resolution to keep federal programs operating after that date.

Senators Cantwell and Hatch Introduce Housing Credit Cap Increase Legislation 

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S. 2962, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016, which would enact several of NCSHA's Housing Credit-related legislative priorities. The bill would address the severe shortage of affordable rental housing by increasing Housing Credit authority by 50 percent over five years beginning in 2017 and providing states additional flexibility in their program administration. The legislation also increases the small state minimum by 50 percent, also over five years. Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) joined Senators Cantwell and Hatch as original cosponsors. In addition to the cap increase, the legislation would set a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate for both acquisition Credits and for Housing Bond-financed Credit properties, allowing states to provide more Credit equity to these developments if necessary to achieve their financial feasibility. It would also provide an income-averaging option under which the Housing Credit could finance units for households earning up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI), so long as the average income limit within the property is 60 percent of AMI or less. This would expand the market for Housing Credit units and enable the Housing Credit to reach even lower income families by allowing developers to offset lower rents paid by very low- and extremely low-income households with higher rents paid by eligible households earning more.

Fannie Readies Launch of 'Trended Data' Initiative

"Some people suggest we slavishly follow FICO. That is not true. We evaluate credit data through own automated system [Desktop Underwriter]. And form our own judgments about the creditworthiness," said Timothy Mayopoulos, president and CEO of Fannie Mae. Lenders and credit bureaus are gearing up for Fannie Mae's June 25 launch of its "trended data" initiative, which provides a new data element to its automated underwriting process. The program provides a snapshot of an applicant's revolving credit payments in an attempt to better divine a borrower's creditworthiness. The launch marks a significant change for the mortgage industry. "Trended data is not considered in currently available credit scores, so consideration in the Desktop Underwriter credit risk assessment will be its first widespread use in the mortgage industry," said Eric Rosenblatt, a Fannie vice president, in a recent commentary.

May 18, 2016

Mortgage Credit Certificate Makes First Home More Affordable

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For many first-time homebuyers, a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) could be the difference that makes buying and owning a home affordable.

Administered in Virginia by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), an MCC is a federal income tax credit, equal to 20 percent of the annual mortgage interest paid. The remaining 80 percent can still be taken as an income tax deduction. The MCC is effective for the life of the mortgage, as long as the borrower lives in the home.

There are some eligibility requirements. Borrowers must be first-time homebuyers, or not have owned a home in the previous three years. There are also income limits and sales price limits on the home being purchased. Borrowers should consult with their tax preparers to determine if an MCC will benefit them.

Interested homebuyers should ask their lender for an MCC when they first apply for their mortgage, because VHDA will need to approve the MCC application and issue an MCC commitment — before the buyer closes on their home.

To learn more about how VHDA’s MCC program could save money for your first-time homebuyer clients, visit http://vhda.com/MCClenderinfo.


Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

100 Essential Books of Planning

(RECAP: As part of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the American planning movement, the American Planning Association created a list of the books essential to planning. These books come from every decade starting in 1909, the date of the first national planning conference.)
https://www.planning.org/library/greatbooks/

RAD at 3

(RECAP: Rolled out in an initial notice in March 2012, with additional authority granted by Congress in early 2015, RAD has enabled housing authorities to convert public housing operating and capital funds to long-term Sec. 8 contracts—no additional funds were appropriated—as the means to generate additional financing resources. As the demonstration has been at work for three years, we can begin to see how RAD is measuring up to its original charge.)
http://www.housingfinance.com/policy-legislation/rad-at-3_o

Does The Bank of Mom and Dad Help Homeownership?

(RECAP: As the housing industry looks to the large, racially and ethnically diverse millennial generation as a new source of home purchase demand, the potential and limitations of the 'Bank of Mom and Dad' need to be kept in mind.)
http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/04292016_downpayment_assistance.asp

The REAL rental housing issue

(RECAP: Tenants in private market housing, most of them low or very low income, make up half or more of the residents of most lower-urban neighborhoods. Millions of people are evicted each year, and millions more move involuntarily without waiting for a formal eviction proceeding. We have a fairly decent although patchy network of organizations in this country to help homeowners keep their homes, but nothing that to help renters keep their homes.)
http://www.communityprogress.net/blog/real-rental-housing-issue

Families With Kids Are The Reason Neighborhood Segregation Is Getting Worse

(RECAP: While families without children — both high- and low-income — continue to live in diverse areas, families with children have been sequestering themselves to the neighborhoods with the best local schools. As income inequality has gotten worse, so too has this phenomenon. This is bad news for low-income families that have kids. When affluent families choose housing based on local school options, those without the ability to choose are left with the worst schools.)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/residential-segregation-children-families_us_57214692e4b01a5ebde47d34

Jane Jacobs believed cities should be fun — and changed urban planning forever

(RECAP: The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961, was Jane Jacobs reaction to urban planning movements that wanted to clear entire city blocks and rebuild them. She argued this ignored everything that made cities great: the mixture of shops, offices and housing that brought people together to live their lives. And her vision triumphed.)
http://www.vox.com/2016/5/4/11583342/jane-jacobs-100th-birthday

May 17, 2016

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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NCSHA Urges HUD to Recast State Fair Housing Tool 

NCSHA submitted comments to HUD on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Tool for States and Insular Areas, which HUD will require states to use to complete the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) under AFFH. The AFH replaces the Fair Housing Analysis of Impediments, which HUD program participants previously undertook to assess impediments to housing choice. AFFH requires all entities that receive funding from HUD grant programs—HOME, the Community Development Block Grant, the Emergency Solutions Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS—and public housing authorities to take part in the AFH process.  NCSHA's comments reflect deep concerns about the state tool, which they believe imposes unreasonable requirements on states and goes well beyond what is necessary for states to achieve meaningful fair housing planning. They argue that HUD severely underestimates the time and cost of the AFH process and does not take into full consideration the challenges associated with statewide AFH implementation.

MBA: Foreclosure Starts at Lowest Level Since 2000

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates continued to recede, with foreclosure starts falling to their lowest level this century.  The MBA 1st Quarter National Delinquency Survey said the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties remained unchanged from the fourth quarter (4.77 percent, seasonally adjusted) of all loans outstanding. This represents the lowest level since third quarter 2006. The delinquency rate was 77 basis points lower than one year ago. The delinquency rate includes loans that are at least one payment past due but does not include loans in the process of foreclosure.  MBA reported the percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions started during the first quarter fell to 0.35 percent, down by one basis point from the previous quarter and down 10 basis points from one year ago. This foreclosure starts rate was at the lowest level since second quarter 2000.

HUD Awards $355 Million For Local Homeless Programs

Funding support 1,200 local homeless housing and service programs
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro awarded $355 million to more than 1,200 local homeless housing and service programs across the U.S. and Puerto Rico (see attached chart). These Continuum of Care (CoC) grants support the Obama Administration's efforts to end homelessness and build upon the $1.6 billion in funding HUD awarded through a first round of funding in March. Virginia received $4,708,036.

MBA Ask House Support for Housing Priorities in T-HUD Bill

The Mortgage Bankers Association, in a letter to House budget appropriators, urged support for a number of legislative priorities in the Administration's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017. The appropriations legislation, known as T-HUD, is a $56.5 billion bill that covers key transportation initiatives, but also the HUD fiscal year 2017 budget. The House Appropriations Committee, and specifically, the House Appropriations Transportation and HUD subcommittee, are expected to take up the bill this month.

Moving Americans Out of Poverty

Millions of poor Americans are stuck in places where they and their children are all too likely to remain in poverty. What can be done to improve their prospects?  Historically, mobility has been one of the U.S. economy’s greatest strengths. When people found themselves in a place with few opportunities, they moved. This is no longer so true. Increasingly, the poorest Americans seem trapped. The result is that poverty gets more concentrated and entrenched. Imagine having no access to good education, health care or job opportunities -- imagine not even knowing anybody who does. Poor children do better when they move to places with less poverty, less crime, higher-performing schools and more two-parent families. That’s just common sense, but if you’re skeptical, the research confirms it. One recent study found that living in a significantly better neighborhood from birth raises adult income on average by about 10 percent.

May 11, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Sourcebook Update Complete: Now Data up Through 2015 Q4

(RECAP:  Virginia has released the most recent Sourcebook update, which brings quarterly data sets up to 2015 Q4 and annually updated data to its most recently available year. One of the data points that received its annual update is the Housing Cost Burden, or the number of households paying more than 30% of their annual income on housing cost alone.)
http://www.housingvirginia.org/news/sourcebook-update-complete-now-data-2015-q4/

Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places

(RECAP: Through the Sustaining Places Initiative, the American Planning Association defined a set of principles to guide comprehensive plans for sustaining places, and developed these guiding principles into a set of recommended planning practices to serve as a resource for the preparation of local comprehensive plans.)
https://www.planning.org/sustainingplaces/compplanstandards/

Google Awards Millions For Disability Initiative

(RECAP: The company’s charitable arm, Google.org, has selected 30 organizations to receive grants through its “Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities” initiative. The largest grant of $1.4 million will go to The Arc to create an online tool to help people with cognitive disabilities find the right apps and other assistive technologies to meet goals based on their profile.)
https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2016/04/13/google-awards-millions-initiative/22171/

Energy Efficiency: Vital to the Budgets of Low-Income Households

(RECAP: Electricity and water are indispensable for day to day living, and low-income households pay a disproportionate share of their income for these necessary utilities—up to 25 percent of their discretionary income—compared to five percent for the rest of us. This disproportionality is a function of not only of lack of sufficient income, but the fact that the poorest often reside in the least efficient housing.)
http://www.rooflines.org/4448/energy_efficiency_vital_to_the_budgets_of_low-income_households/


Why Universities are Getting into Senior Housing

(RECAP: Across the country, there are several examples of universities that have partnerships with senior housing communities. The partnerships function in different ways and have different goals, but increasingly, universities are becoming more interested in senior living, and vice versa, for the mutual benefits that they can realize.)
http://seniorhousingnews.com/2016/04/24/universities-getting-senior-housing/

May 10, 2016

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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HUD Publishes Housing Trust Fund State Allocations 

HUD published in the Federal Register the state-by-state 2016 allocations for the Housing Trust Fund (HTF). As HUD announced last month, total 2016 HTF funding is approximately $174 million. Pursuant to the HTF Interim Rule, state allocations are determined by a formula based on four factors: (1) a state's relative shortage of rental housing available nationwide to extremely low-income (ELI) families (persons with incomes at 30 percent of area median income (AMI) or less); (2) a state's relative shortage of rental housing available nationwide to very low-income (VLI) families (persons with incomes at 50 percent of AMI or less); (3) a state's relative number of ELI renter households living in substandard, overcrowded, or unaffordable units in that state; and (4) a state's relative number of VLI renter households living in substandard, overcrowded, or unaffordable units in that state. In addition, construction costs in each state are factored into the formula. The HTF statute establishes a $3 million minimum allocation for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development will receive $3,140,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Trust Fund (HTF).


HFA Program Loans Exempt from Final USDA QM Rule 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a final rule establishing the underwriting standards that loans originated through the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) must meet to be considered "qualified mortgages." Loans that do not meet these standards will no longer be eligible for insurance under SFHGLP as of April 28.
The definition of "qualified mortgage" set in the final rule is largely similar to the definition USDA initially proposed last year. To be eligible for SFHGLP insurance, loans will have to meet the program's underwriting standards, and upfront points and fees must not exceed three percent of each loan's total principal, with adjustments made for smaller loans.
The final rule includes an exemption from the rule's requirements for loans originated through HFA programs.

May 9, 2016

Share Our Free eBook

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Do you know someone who is renting a home, or thinking about renting? Tell them about VHDA's free eBook on successful renting!

What are your rights and responsibilities as a renter? How do you find a place to rent? Whose problem is it if the sink drips? Can you get your security deposit back? Get answers to these and many more.

Property Managers and Housing Agencies: Please share a link to the eBook on your website to help educate your renters on the rights and responsibilities of renting.

Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s  eNews. Sign up for VHDA eNews.

May 6, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Mixed-use density in a suburban center: Clarendon Center, Arlington 

(RECAP: Building density that supports walkable urban centers is a key strategy of new urbanists—but this goal is challenging in already built-out suburbs. Existing conditions, space constraints, zoning restrictions and long approval processes often present obstacles. Despite those barriers, Arlington’s two-block Clarendon Center combines historic buildings, 244 residences, 181,000 square feet of office space and a neighborhood grocery store.)
https://www.cnu.org/mixed-use-density-suburban-center

Out of institutions and into independent living

(RECAP: Volunteers of America Chesapeake’s Northern Virginia Community Living Centers is a program that coordinates housing and supportive services for local adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.)
http://www.insidenova.com/headlines/out-of-institutions-and-into-independent-living/article_9d45d604-038e-11e6-8893-eb59d3cd872c.html

Workforce Shortages and Creative Partnerships

(RECAP: The shortage of skilled construction workers is one of the key factors in rapidly rising construction costs that have a significant impact on the industry’s ability to provide affordable housing. HomeAid Northern Virginia is undertaking a unique approach to address this situation: they are proactively convening seemingly disparate partners — homebuilder construction trades and nonprofit homelessness service providers — and building a pathway to skilled construction jobs for some of our community’s most vulnerable residents.)
http://www.housingfinance.com/news/workforce-shortages-and-creative-partnerships_o

What does it take to forge strong partnerships between cities and anchor institutions?

(RECAP: As cities look to leverage their assets and find their footing in a post-recession, postindustrial era, many are forging partnerships with anchor institutions—colleges, universities, hospitals and medical centers—to address the challenges facing urban communities.)
http://www.urban.org/urban-wire/what-does-it-take-forge-strong-partnerships-between-cities-and-anchor-institutions

Final ‘Housing Matters’ program looks at village model for aging in place 

(RECAP: In the 1990s, we heard often “It takes a village to raise a child.” These days more and more towns across the country are adopting the idea that it takes a village to age seniors in place. On April 11, the Council on Aging, Friends of the Council on Aging, and the League of Women Voters presented the last program in their Housing Matters series — a look at how the village concept allows older people to remain in their homes with supportive services.)
http://www.harvardpress.com/Home/All-Articles/ID/15591/Final-Housing-Matters-progam-looks-at-village-model-for-aging-in-place

May 3, 2016

VHDA Releases Housing Credit Preliminary Rankings

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The Housing Credit program just released the preliminary rankings for the 2016 competitive LIHTC reservation applications. To see the rankings, visit our Preliminary Rankings online.

Open comments for these rankings will be accepted from May 3 to May 10. You may comment on the scoring categories or the amount of feasible credits for any application.

How To Submit a Comment 
Your comments should be sent to JD Bondurant, Director of LIHTC Programs, by 5 p.m. May 10, 2016, one of these ways:
email at taxcreditapps@vhda.com
email at jd.bondurant@vhda.com 
regular mail at 601 S. Belvidere Street, Richmond, VA 23220

A scanned copy of all of applications received is available on our website. If you have not registered to view these applications, please feel free to do so now by visiting the registration page. Once you have registered, you will be given a temporary password and granted access.

How to Print the Preliminary Rankings
You will need Acrobat Reader. Download Acrobat Reader for free by visiting http://www.adobe.com/products/reader.html.

1. After opening the document in Acrobat Reader, choose File>Print>Properties.
2. Choose Legal for the paper size.
3. Choose Landscape for the layout.
4. Select OK to print.

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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Senate Appropriations Committee Passes FY 2017 HUD Funding Bill      

The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill. The THUD Appropriations Subcommittee reported the bill April 19. The full Committee adopted the bill with only minor amendments to the Subcommittee-passed bill, which did not change its HUD program funding levels. The bill provides $950 million for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), the same as its FY 2016 spending level, and fully funds project-based rental assistance contracts. The bill also increases the number of public housing units that can convert under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program from 185,000 to 250,000 and eliminates the program's sunset date. It also includes authority for Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC) properties to convert under RAD and provides $4 million in assistance to those properties for that purpose.

HUD Issues HTF Allocation Plan Guidance 

HUD recently issued Notice CPD-16-07 providing guidance to Housing Trust Fund (HTF) grantees on the submission requirements for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 HTF Allocation Plans. The Notice includes important information on the HTF allocation plan process, including how HUD will notify states of their allocation, required elements of the allocation plan, and guidance on revising state strategic plans and describes changes HUD has made to the consolidated plan regulations to account for the HTF allocation plan process. The Notice also details the process by which HUD will review and approve or disapprove of HTF allocation plans. States will need to review their current strategic plan to determine how the additional HTF resources will impact that plan and amend the strategic plan accordingly even if the state is not due to submit a full five-year consolidated plan in 2016. States will also need to include their HTF allocation plan in their annual action plan. If a State has not finalized its HTF allocation plan by the time it submits its action plan for FY 2016, the state may submit the HTF allocation plan as an amendment to its action plan, so long as the amendment is submitted by August 16, 2016.
 

Guest Post: Why We Appreciate the High-Touch Help HFAs Can Offer 

(This post originally appeared on Fannie Mae's Housing Industry Forum)
Homeownership is a dream that is out of reach for millions of Americans, with only 63.4 percent owning their homes, the lowest level in 30 years, according to the Census Bureau.
Even as home sales have increased with interest rates near historic lows, first-time homebuyers are playing a relatively small part in the market. Along with tight lending standards, rising home prices – especially at the low end of the market – are shutting out many buyers. But, as a lender, I would point out that first-time homebuyers struggling to purchase have options. Among the most attractive are housing finance agencies (HFAs) – housing authorities established to help meet the needs of the residents of individual states, counties, and cities through a wide range of affordable housing and community development programs. HFA programs provide access to low-down-payment options. And through required education and counseling, they also help first-time borrowers understand the responsibilities of homeownership.

May 2, 2016

Housing Choice Voucher Set-aside For People with Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities

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The Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to providing community-based housing choices for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These efforts include offering integrated, affordable, and in many cases, accessible housing options for these individuals. 

In support of this commitment, VHDA has set aside a portion of Housing Choice Vouchers for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. During FY2015, we set aside 32 Housing Choice Vouchers, and for FY2016, we've set aside 65 vouchers. We have been working with other Public Housing Authorities across the state to set aside vouchers in their areas, and we appreciate the support they have given us in this effort.

In partnership with several state agencies, VHDA is working to improve housing opportunities for clients leaving training centers, nursing homes or intermediate care facilities. Our 2015 Community Outreach Report has more details about this effort and other ways VHDA is working to help improve housing opportunities for people with disabilities.

Questions? Contact HCV Program Director Sharon Fairburn.

Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s  eNews. Sign up for VHDA eNews.