April 18, 2017

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


HUD Releases Housing Credit Tenant Data Report 

HUD recently published Understanding Whom the LIHTC Program Serves: Data on Tenants in LIHTC Units as of December 31, 2014, providing demographic and economic data about Housing Credit tenants, including race, ethnicity, family composition, age, income, use of rental assistance, disability status, and monthly rent burden of tenants. The median annual income of Housing Credit tenant households was $17,152. Approximately 47 percent of tenants were extremely low-income, earning 30 percent or less of area median income (AMI); 34 percent of households were very low-income, earning between 30 and 50 percent of AMI; and the remaining 19 percent earn more than 50 percent of AMI.

Approximately 56 percent of Housing Credit households pay 30 percent or less of their income for rent, while 9.5 percent pay over 50 percent of their income for rent. Nearly 38 percent of tenants reported receiving rental assistance, 43 percent reported not receiving rental assistance, and 20 percent did not report whether they receive rental assistance. According to the report, 23 percent of tenants identified their race as white, 23 percent identified as black or African American, 9 percent identified as Hispanic, 2 percent identified as Asian, and 1 percent identified as either American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander. Approximately 40 percent of respondents did not report on race or ethnicity, as allowed under fair housing laws.


New Hensarling CHOICE Act to Include Further Changes to CFPB, FHFA 

House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) earlier this week released a chart outlining several new provisions he intends to include in comprehensive financial reform legislation (The CHOICE Act) that he plans to introduce by the end of the month. The chart highlights areas of the new bill that will differ from similar legislation Hensarling introduced last Congress. Several of the new provisions could have a direct impact on those regulations that affect HFA housing programs. Specifically, the revised bill would severely constrict the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which oversees much of the mortgage lending industry.

The bill would rename the CFPB as the Consumer Financial Opportunity Agency (CFOA) and limit it to enforcing current consumer protection laws. The bill would also prohibit the agency from writing new consumer protection rules, exerting supervisory authority over financial firms, or enforcing fair lending laws. The bill would establish a single director as head of the new CFOA, the same model that now applies to the CFPB. Unlike current CFPB law, however, the bill would authorize the President to remove the CFOA director at will (currently, the President can only remove the CFPB director for cause). This is a departure from the original CHOICE Act, which would have replaced CFPB's single director structure with a bipartisan commission.


Find Out What Virginia’s Housers are Thinking about Current and Future Affordable Housing Needs

Housing Virginia Survey

We asked and you answered, and the results are in! We’ve checked the pulse of the affordable housing industry with a short survey of housing affordability in the Commonwealth. We wanted to know how members of the affordable housing industry perceive the shifting challenges of affordable housing.

Reminder: this is just a snapshot of how the survey respondents are feeling about several issues – it’s not a rigorously selected sample of opinion. With that, let’s take a look at the results.

Major Findings
Responses were provided by 145 individuals from across the state and from a diverse range of industries.

  • 73% of respondents think that affordable housing has become “much more” or “slightly more” difficult to find in their community over the past year.
  • Over half (58%) of respondents felt that the amount of housing resources in their community has “significantly” or “somewhat” decreased over the past year.
  • Only 9% of respondents feel “somewhat” or “very” optimistic about the future of housing affordability.
  • The most challenging housing problem identified by respondents was high rental costs. 
  • Urban respondents were more concerned about rental costs than average, while rural respondents said that poor housing quality was just as challenging.


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