Piece by Piece Update
July 28, 2011
We apologize in advance for the lengthy update, but there is a lot of PBP activity this summer and we want to keep you informed.
In this Update:
-Unemployed Homeowners Relief
-PBP Sector Meetings
-Land Banks & Land Banking
-Last Call for QRM Comments!
Last Call --- QRM Comment Period Ends August 1
Regulators are continuing to accept comments on the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule --- that calls for 20% down payment requirement --- until August 1 so there is still time to submit your own comments. See options below for commenting directly to regulators from National Community Reinvestment Coalition, National Housing Conference and the National Association of Realtors.
NCRC NHC NAR
Obama Administration Offers Additional Mortgage Relief to Unemployed Homeowners
On July 7, the Obama Administration announced adjustments to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements that will require servicers to extend the forbearance period for unemployed homeowners to 12 months. The Administration will also require servicers participating in the Making Home Affordable Program to extend the minimum forbearance period to 12 months wherever possible under regulator and investor guidelines. This is particularly good news for Georgia where the unemployment rate is approaching 10 percent. See the full Release
Piece by Piece Sector Meetings
Housing Counseling: The Piece by Piece counseling sector met on July 12 with Ed Jennings, Jr., HUD's Regional Administrator for the Southeast, to discuss opportunities for collaboration and best practices in outreach to struggling homeowners. More than 40 individuals representing housing counseling agencies from across metro Atlanta discussed meeting their clients' needs in an era of reduced funding and agreed to continue efforts to collaborate more strategically. The meeting was moderated by Enayat Oliver with NeighborWorks and hosted by Enterprise Community Partners. Meeting Summary
Local Governments: Piece by Piece partner ARC convened the local governments on July 13 for updates on NSP and for further discussions on initiating county-based Piece by Piece efforts. ARC's Beth Hawes prepared a document highlighting recent county-based activities. Meeting Summary
Land Banks and Land Banking
PBP partner the Center for Community Progress recently released a guide to Land Banks and Land Banking authored by Emory University Law Professor Dr. Frank Alexander. The guide is designed to serve as a roadmap for cities and counties across the country that are interested in land banking as a tool to ensure that tax-foreclosed properties are sold or developed with the long-term interest of the community and the surrounding property owners in mind. Land Banks and Land Banking is available electronically at www.communityprogress.net. Legislation was filed with the Georgia General Assembly in April 2011 to reform and ultimately simplify Georgia's land bank enabling legislation. SB 284
West Metro Foreclosure Workshop Scheduled for August 18
Piece by Piece Douglas and ARC are sponsoring a foreclosure workshop for the Westside communities of Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Paulding Counties. The workshop will examine the impact of the foreclosure crisis on the Westside counties and highlight best practices to address the crisis. Elected officials, community development and/or planning and zoning directors, real estate professionals, home builders, development authorities and chamber of commerce representatives are encouraged to attend. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Rep. David Scott (D-GA) have been invited to attend. More Details & Registration
Other Items of Interest
-Piece by Piece partner the National Housing Conference recently released a fact sheet "Code Enforcement in Communities with High Foreclosure Rates." The document features a best practice from Baltimore as part of the City's comprehensive program called "Vacant to Value." The City recently streamlined their code enforcement process by implementing administrative citations, similar to parking tickets, for failure to comply with a violation notice. Read the Fact Sheet
-The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released its State of the Nation's Housing Report for 2011. The Report addresses the continuing foreclosure crisis in Section 6: Housing Challenges.
Full Report Report - Section 6
-In Paycheck to Paycheck (a report released July 21), the Center for Housing Policy finds that many of the jobs that are currently available do not pay enough to afford typical housing. This suggests that job creation efforts need to be paired with affordable housing policies to help families recover from the recent recession. In the Atlanta metro area, accountants earn enough to afford the mortgage for median-priced home -- if they can amass more than $13,000 for a downpayment and obtain access to credit. Full-time wages for office clerks, groundskeepers, security guards, janitors, and many other workers are not enough to afford a 2 bedroom apartment at fair market rents, let alone purchase a home. See the database for affordability details for workers in each metro area, and see the fact sheets online for rankings of all 200+ metro areas in terms of home prices and rents. Full Report
Piece by Piece Coordinator