Piece by Piece Update
October 3, 2011
Please make note of the following news and calendar items:
Atlanta Area Leads Nation in Job Losses
Metro Atlanta earned another undesirable superlative last week. The Atlanta region lost more jobs last year than any other metro area according to a new report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Metro Atlanta has lost 30,800 jobs since August 2010. Its closest competitor in job losses, Kansas City, lost 12,800 positions. MORE
Foreclosures as Public Health Crisis
"Foreclosure is not just a metaphorical epidemic, but a bona fide public health crisis," according to Craig Pollack and Julia Lynch,
co-authors of an opinion piece that appeared in the New York Times on October 2. Thanks to Nancy MacLeod with PBP partner Atlanta Legal Aid for calling our attention to this important article. The article addresses the mental, physical and emotional stress created by foreclosure and the heavy impact on housing counselors who are called to serve as "crisis counselors" as well. More than one-third of homeowners in Pollack and Lynch's public health study had symptoms of major depression. The article offers that mental health caseworkers should be engaged with housing counseling agencies to help clients deal with the emotional fall-out from foreclosure. MORE
Gwinnett County Seeks to Fix Rise in Vacancies AJC Reports
Gwinnett County's efforts to reoccupy foreclosed homes was the focus of a recent AJC article that featured Gwinnett's NSP program and quoted program director Bill Kingsbury. MORE
Federal Policy Update
At a recent Piece by Piece Housing Counseling Sector meeting, HUD Deputy Regional Administrator Karen Jackson Sims encouraged counseling agencies to follow the appropriations process in Washington, DC and remain informed about critical housing-related budgetary policy. PBP partner Enterprise Community Partners offers a great tool for stakeholders who want to track federal policy making and the potential impact "outside the Beltway." Capitol Express is a regular e-newsletter offered to subscribers at no charge. Subscribe to receive Enterprise's Capitol Express Newsletter.
An item from the September 21 newsletter on the HUD/Transportation Appropriations Committee is included below:
Update: Senate Committee Advances HUD Appropriations Legislation
As previously reported in Capitol Express, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) marked-up its fiscal year (FY) 2012 appropriations bill on Tuesday, September 20. The following day, September 21, the full Senate
Appropriations Committee also voted on and approved the FY 2012 THUD bill.
In summary, the Senate allocated $18.9 billion for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, including $75 million for HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers. Two major HUD programs experienced larger reductions in funding as compared to the approved House FY2012 THUD appropriations bill: the HOME Investment Partnership Program received $1 billion (a $200 million cut compared to the House FY2012 bill and a $650 million cut compared to the President's FY2012 request) and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, received $2.85 billion (a $650 million cut compared to the House FY2012 bill and an $840 million cut compared to the President's FY2012 request). The Senate appropriated funds to several programs that had received no funding in the House bill, including $60 million for HUD's Housing Counseling, $120 million for Choice Neighborhoods and $90 million for Sustainable Communities programs.
It is unlikely that Congress will finalize FY 2012 appropriations before FY 2011 ends on September 30, so it will likely pass a continuing resolution (CR) to authorize government spending through November 18.
Please view the updated Enterprise budget chart for the proposed FY 2102 funding levels put forth by the House and the Senate.
The National Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force, a cross-industry group working to address the impacts of foreclosures in communities across the country, is reaching out to legislators in support of the Project Rebuild provision in the proposed American Jobs Act. Project Rebuild calls for $15 billion in funding to support an NSP-like initiative. The Task Force, which operates with staff support provided by PBP partner the National Housing Conference, estimates that Project Rebuild will create 191,000 potential new jobs in the construction and property management industries. Please see their letter to US Representatives Biggert and Gutierrez, Chair and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity.
Fall Affordable Housing Conference - Tuesday, October 25
G-STAND together with its partners, the Atlanta Housing Association of Neighborhood-based Developers and the Georgia Affordable Housing Corporation, will host the 10th Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference in Atlanta at the State Bar of Georgia Conference Center. Conference sponsors include RBC Bank and Georgia Power. Make plans now to attend the 10th Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference on Tuesday, October 25 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. at the Conference Center of the Georgia Bar Association in Atlanta. REGISTER NOW!
What's Next? Prognosis and Prospects for Housing and Urban Form After the Crisis - October 26
What do we know - or think we know - about the future of the housing markets, housing finance, and homeownership? What about prospects for rental housing? What will various changes in housing finance and public policy mean for our urban and suburban futures? Georgia Tech Professor Dr. Dan Immergluck will address these and other related questions at a Professorial Lecture offered by Georgia Tech's School of City and Regional Planning on October 26 at 6:30 pm at the Reinsch-Pierce Family Auditorium. MORE
First Annual Georgia Supportive Housing Association Conference - November 15
Make plans to attend the first ever annual conference of the Georgia Supportive Housing Association - a one-day town hall meeting on supportive housing in Georgia. The event will take place at the Georgia Bar Association Conference Center and will feature a plenary session and break-out sessions. Registration is $60 for members and $75 for non-members. For more information, contact Paul Bolster at email@example.com.
Piece by Piece Coordinator