Federal Legislative Updates
Housing Preservation Bill Introduced in
House Committee on Financial Services
Chairman Barney Frank formally introduced a
comprehensive Housing Preservation and Tenant
Protection Act of 2010.
CRN along with housing advocates throughout
the country have significantly contributed to
the bill in the past few years, offering
recommendations and proposals as part of the
National Preservation Working Group. While
the successful passage of this bill at its
current state is unclear, some of the
provisions may be included in the HUD
Appropriations bill instead. Major provisions
- New Project-Based Section 8 contracts to
replace Mod Rehab, Rent Supplement, and
Rental Assistance Program contracts.
- Gives HUD the Right of First Refusal for
assisted properties before a sale to the
private market in order to ensure
preservation and maintain affordability.
- Authorizes the transfer of rental
assistance vouchers from physically obsolete
or economically infeasible properties to more
- Provides various grants and loans to
rehabilitate assisted properties for
preservation, and grant funding for tenant
outreach and training.
We commend the leadership of Chairman Frank
for his leadership and commitment to the
preservation of critical affordable housing
stock throughout the country. We will keep
you updated on the bills status and progress
in the coming months.
The Center for Housing Policy and the
National Housing Trust will present an
overview of the Preservation bill on Tuesday,
April 20th at CHP's Live at the Forum event.
more about the event.
Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs
Tax Act of 2010
The Recovery Act authorized State housing
agencies and other tax credit allocation
agencies like the City of Chicago to exchange
a portion of their Low Income Housing Tax
Credit annual allocation (9 percent credit)
for an up-front payment. A previous bill,
H.R. 4213, has received support from the
House and Senate to extend this program
This bill [H.R. 4849] includes a
provision to monetize tax credits financed
through tax-exempt bonds (4 percent credit).
This would give owners of tax-exempt
bond-financed buildings, placed in service
after date of enactment and prior to December
31, 2010, the ability to choose to receive a
direct payment instead of the tax credits.
The payment would equal to $0.85 to dollar
value of the tax credit.
Financial Reform Legislation
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris
Dodd's draft financial system reform was
swiftly approved by a 13-10 committee vote.
The House version of the bill, H.R. 4173, was
approved in December.
The bill called the Wall Street Reform and
Consumer Protection Act, attempts to create a
better monitoring system to avoid another
economic crisis and address "too big to fail"
financial institutions. The highlight of the
bill is the creation of a Consumer Financial
Protection Agency to oversee and regulate
various financial products and industries
including mortgages, auto loans, pay day
loans, credit rating agencies, to protect
consumers from unfair and predatory practices.
Dodd's bill will house this agency at the
Federal Reserve while the House version
creates an independent Agency, which
advocates argue is necessary in order to
truly protect consumers especially since
current regulators failed to protect many
homeowners from predatory lending.
The bill has been referred to the Committee
on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. For
more information, click here
|City Housing Production Progress in 4th Quarter 2009.
The Department of Community Development
presented its progress on the City's
affordable housing production at a public
hearing on April 8th. Representatives from
Action Now, West Side
Housing Coalition, and Lakeside Community
Development Corporation Corporation were also
on hand to present their concerns and
opportunities regarding the City's housing
analysis of 4th Quarter housing production
can be downloaded here.
The 4th Quarter report represents the
completion of the first year of the fourth
Five Year Affordable Housing Plan, Accepting
the Challenge. Key recommendations from CRN's
analysis include the following:
Highlights from the Department's report
- Report the pipeline of projects slated
to receive Tax Credit gap assistance and the
Department's selection process.
Multifamily projects approved this
quarter received assistance through the
Recovery Act's Tax Credit Assistance and
- Improve reporting on the progress of
the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Acquisition strategies, low-income targeting,
developers and lenders involved in each
acquisition, and the pipeline of requests and
denials should be included.
- Commitment of over $48 million to assist
over 1,600 multifamily units, $25 million for
346 homeownership units, and $4.6 million to
preserve and improve 521 units. This
represents 84 percent of unit goals and 77
percent of dollar commitment goals
- Launch of new Homebuyer Assistance
- Details on the City's NSP program
implementation and progress. At the hearing,
the Department reports that, as of April 1, 2010:
- Over 1,300 units have been identified for
- Over 1,000 REOs assessed
- Made offers on over 700 units
- Acquired 218 units in 69 properties
- Committed $29 million or 53% of NSP1
The Department of Community Development's
quarterly reports have been a long-standing
tool to promote transparency and
accountability in city government. CRN has
been there since the beginning when
organizations rallied around the creation of
the first Five Year Affordable Housing Plan
in 1993 and a quarterly reporting system. It
has grown significantly since then and
meaningful policies and resources have been
enacted because of this open and public process.
|Residents Voice Concerns at Public Hearings on Foreclosure Efforts
Chicago residents and aldermen were able to
voice their concerns, ask questions, and
recommendations regarding the City of Chicago
foreclosure efforts at two public hearings
last month: a
public hearing on March 11th hosted by Chairman
Ray Suarez and the Committee on Housing and
Real Estate; and a joint hearing with the
City Housing Committee and State Senator Iris
Martinez on March 15th to hear the
foreclosure efforts of several financial
Many of who testified raised concerns over
the long delay in NSP activities coming to
their communities and clarity on how the
money-$153 million altogether-will make its
way to the most devastated areas. Alderman
Dixon of the 24th Ward, which covers the
North Lawndale community, expressed dismay
over the targeting of the funds arguing that
the number of properties that have been
acquired under NSP thus far in North Lawndale
is disproportionately less in relation to the
scope of the foreclosure and abandonment
problem in the community. Alderman Lyle of
the 6th Ward also noted that there has not
been any NSP activity in the ward despite its
designation as an area of greatest need.
New HUD Rules aim to increase NSP impact,
HUD's announcement last week of new changes
to NSP definitions of "foreclosed" and
"abandoned" may expand the pool of
eligible properties and addresses the issues
raised by residents regarding targeting more
properties. More importantly, the new
definitions mean that NSP can be used on
homes that are still occupied. The new
terms expands the definition of "foreclosed"
to include the following conditions:
- At least 60 days delinquent on its
mortgage OR the owner is 90 days or more
delinquent on tax payments OR
- Under state or local law, foreclosure
proceedings have been initiated or completed;
- Foreclosure proceedings have been
completed and the title has been transferred
to a servicer or intermediary that is not an
NSP grantee, subrecepient, developer, or end
The definition of "abandoned" has also been
expanded to include homes where no mortgage
or tax payments have been made by the
property owner for at least 90 days, or is it
has been determined that the property is
uninhabitable and no corrective action has
been done within 90 days of owner notification.
NSP to be reported at quarterly hearings
Alderman Ray Suarez, Chair of the Housing and
Real Estate Committee, reassured the public
that progress of NSP will be reported at the
Department's quarterly housing reports and
hearings. (See above CRN's Report on 4th
Quarter 2009 hearing held on April 8th.)
These are public hearings held four times a
year and in which anyone can present testimony.
Financial institutions face City, State
and residents at Public Hearing
At the March 15th joint hearing, financial
institutions were called to answer questions
from City and State officials as well as
community residents on their foreclosure
efforts. Those who testified included housing
counselors and residents facing foreclosures,
who also got the chance to speak directly to
the very lenders and servicers with whom they
are having the most difficulty.
Several recommendations were raised at the
public hearing including overhauling the loss
mitigation process. Housing counselors, like
Kristen Komara of The Resurrection Project
recommended designating a qualified contact
person who will be the main point of contact
for housing counselors and establishing a
monthly check-in system via phone calls to
provide updates on the status of each case.
The DePaul University Institute for
Housing Studies has released a new
working paper on the state of the multifamily
housing market in Cook County. The study,
Multifamily Housing Market and Value-at-Risk
Implications for Multifamily Lending, shows
significant price declines during the past
three years, a sharp increase in the rate of
foreclosures in 2009, and an increasing risk
for future rental property mortgage defaults
in Cook County.DePaul University Institute of
Download the full report by visiting http://ihs.depaul.edu
The Center for Housing Policy has
released the 2009 Paycheck to Paycheck data,
an interactive online database comparing
wages and cost of housing in metropolitan
areas throughout the United States.
In Chicago, the data shows a steep increase
in rental housing costs, while median home
prices show a significant decline. To see how
Chicago's wages and housing costs compare,
see our 4th
Quarter 2009 Housing Report or visit the
to Paycheck website.
|Cook County Mediation Program and Funding Opportunity
In November, Cook County Commissioners
approved a $3.5 million allocation to fund
the Cook COunty Mortgage Foreclosure
Mediation Program to assist homeowners who
have received a foreclosure summons from the
Under the program, all residential
foreclosures filed on or after April 12, 2010
must file a revised mortgage foreclosure
summons, that will include notification about
the new mortgage foreclosure mediation
program. After filing, a conference between
the lender and homeowner will be scheduled in
order to determine if there are workable
solutions before a foreclosure suit. The
Mediation Program gives all troubled
homeowners access to counseling and possible
legal representation and face time with the
Because the program would require a large
scale effort to bring HUD certified
counselors and outreach to eligible
homeowners, the Chicago Community Trust
is seeking proposals from nonprofit
organizations interested in providing
community-based, face-to-face outreach to
homeowners eligible for the Cook County
Foreclosure Mediation Program. Applicants
must be a qualified 501(c)(3), as defined by
the Internal Revenue Service Code, or have a
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that will
serve as the fiscal agent for the grant, and
must serve residents of Cook County, Illinois.
Applications are due by 5:00 pm (Central),
Friday, April 30, 2010.
more about this opportunity and apply for
The Department of Energy has issued new
guidance on the weatherization program for
10-15 streamlines the application
procedures for multifamily owners.
Notice 10-15A relates to accrual
of benefits of weatherization for low-income
tenants of rental housing where the tenants
do not pay directly for energy costs.
If you have not yet applied for
weatherization, contact your Illinois housing
weatherization provider. Find
providers in your area.
|2010 Community Development and Empowerment Series
A few spots are still available for upcoming
Empowerment Series workshops:
Contact Gené Moreno at firstname.lastname@example.org
to register or for more information. Visit
to learn more about the Series.
- Sources of Development Financing, May
- Single Family Housing Development, June
- Multifamily Housing Development, July
- Project and Construction Management,
- Property/Asset Management/Tenant
Services, September 16-17
Please let us know of your interest in
other training or technical assistance needs.
The 2010 Community Development and
Empowerment Series is presented by Harris Bank.
Congratulations to Angela Hurlock,
executive director of Claretian Associates
and CRN Board member, for winning Chicago
Magazine's 2010 Green Awards. We commend
her work in furthering
sustainable and green affordable housing in
Bethel New Life is celebrating 30
years with an anniversary gala on April 22,
2010. Visit www.bethelnewlife.org for more
information on these events.
Access Living is celebrating 30 years
as Chicago's disability rights organization
with an anniversary gala on June 7th, 2010.
Living for more information.
Deborah's Place is celebrating its
25th Anniversary in 2010. Their anniversary
celebration will be held on June 17th, 2010.
Visit their website
for more information.
The Resurrection Project is accepting
applications for Casa Maravilla Senior
Housing. Visit The
Resurrection Project to learn more.
Photo via Chicago Magazine: Angela Hurlock,
executive director of Claretian Associates
and CRN Board member.
|Help Build The Network!
The Chicago Rehab Network is the oldest and
largest coalition of non-profit community
developers and practitioners in the Midwest.
CRN works to provide a
foundation for new
strategies for effective policy,
communications, training and technical
assistance to support the development and
preservation of affordable housing across
You can support our work by spreading
the word about CRN or by making a donation.
Click Here to Support CRN