News from the Chicago Rehab Network
30 years of Community Empowerment and Development without Displacement Summer 2011

In this issue

Federal Updates

Vacant Properties Ordinance Passes Committee; Council Vote Today

Mortgage Resolution Fund and Illinois Hardest Hit Fund

First Quarter Housing Report Released

TIF Accountability Hearing Tonight

IHDA Is New Project-Based Contract Administrator

Enterprise Community Loan Fund

Publication: Evidence Matters

Home Preservation Workshop for Wells Fargo and Wachovia

Network NewsMakers

Keep up with housing and community development news with CRN!

Follow us on Facebook


Federal Updates

Bill to Abolish National Housing Trust Fund Passes House Subcommittee

A Bill that would abolish the National Housing Trust Fund passed a subcommittee hearing on July 12 and will now move to the full committee for consideration.

The NHTF was authorized under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 to provide funds for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. The Fund was supposed to be capitalized through annual contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, when these GSEs were transferred into conservatorship as a result of the economic crisis in late 2008, this never occurred and no new sources had been identified.

According to the National Housing Conference, the debate during the hearing largely avoided discussion on real GSE reform.

Representative Campbell (R-CA) opposed the purpose of the subcommittee's hearing, arguing that a larger issue at stake is the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the stability of the nation's housing market.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Opens Its Doors

The new consumer agency opened its doors last week, issuing new rules and launching the new Consumer Response Center which began accepting consumer finance complaints and questions on its new website, ConsumerFinance.gov .

The Bureau was created under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, with its mission as the watchdog for American consumers to ensure that financial choices are made with the right information and to prevent abusive and deceptive financial practices in the industry. Visit ConsumerFinance.gov for more information

Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a Tax Reform Proposal last week called "Back to Black" which calls for the reduction of the federal deficit by $9 trillion over the next decade by reforming the tax code. However, as part of the plan, Sen. Coburn proposed the elimination of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition has responded to the proposal in this rebuttal piece. The Coalition asks industry leaders and advocates to read and sign-on to the letter. Organizations interested in signing the letter should contact Executive Director Victoria Spielman at [email protected].

  • Vacant Properties Ordinance Passes Committee; Council Vote Today
  • foreclosedhome-ntic

    An amendment introduced by Alderman Pat Dowell that would redefine "ownership" for vacant properties to include mortgage holders, assignees, and their agents passed the Committee on Housing and Real Estate last week. The full Council will consider the ordinance at today's City Council meeting.

    The ordinance is a crucial tool in mitigating the impacts of the foreclosure crisis. Blight, health and safety hazards abound when a foreclosed property is abandoned and vacated, and the expanded ownership definition means that the City has better tools to determine responsibility and liability for these properties and enforce the City's existing building codes, vacant property registration and maintenance requirements.

    Similar ordinances have already been in place in cities like Boston, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles. This ordinance could encourage banks to keep homeowners in their homes, discourage eviction and be more likely to negotiate with homeowners to keep buildings occupied. In addition, the new rule would help further stabilize neighborhoods by protecting investments and property values across Chicago's communities.

  • Mortgage Resolution Fund and Illinois Hardest Hit Fund
  • Governor Pat Quinn recently announced the creation of the Mortgage Resolution Fund (MRF), a new program that will use $100 million of the State's $445 million Federal allocation of Hardest Hit Fund dollars to purchase delinquent mortgage loans located specifically in the Chicago area and modify these loans into affordable payments.

    Illinois' Hardest Hit Fund program aims to keep homeowners who are unemployed or substantially underemployed in their homes by providing bridge funds to pay a portion of a their mortgage payment. Eligible homeowners will be those earning at or below 120% of the Area Median Income and assistance will be for up to 18 months.

    The Mortgage Resolution Fund will operate as a non-profit in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the Housing Partnership Network, National Community Stabilization Trust, Mercy Housing, and Mercy Portfolio Services, the lead agency for the City of Chicago's Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Bill Goldsmith, head of Mercy Portfolio Services, will also lead the new Fund.

    Unlike the Statewide program, MRF will purchase loans on a wholesale basis and individual applications will not be accepted. Homeowners seeking assistance with their mortgage can apply to the State's emergency loan program.

    For more information about the Hardest Hit Fund, visit https://www.illinoishardesthit.org.

  • First Quarter Housing Report Released
  • The Department of Housing and Economic Development has released the First Quarter 2011 Housing Progress Report. A public hearing on the report is scheduled for August 9th at 10:00 am at Council Chambers. Stay tuned for the release of Chicago Rehab Network's analysis of the report.

  • TIF Accountability Hearing Tonight
  • Today, Mayor Emanuel's Task Force on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) reform will hear the public's input on how to improve and enhance accountability in the City's Tax Increment Financing program

    The Task Force is charged with a set of goals that seeks to bring transparency, efficiency and accountability in the often-beleaguered TIF system.

    The hearing will be held at the Chicago Military Academy Gymnasium, 3519 South Giles at 6:00 PM.

  • IHDA Is New Project-Based Contract Administrator
  • The Illinois Housing Development Authority was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to serve as the Project Based Contract Administrator (PBCA) for Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contracts in the State of Illinois effective October 1, 2011. The contracts were previously administered by the National Housing Compliance (formally Georgia HAP). For more information, contact Diane Smith, IHDA PBCA Program Director at [email protected].

  • Enterprise Community Loan Fund
  • The National Urban League and Enterprise Community Loan Fund have partnered to form the Enterprise Community Loan Fund-National Urban League (ECLF-NUL), a new source of financing for community development projects across the country.

    ECLF-NUL is seeking projects to fund! Loans are short term and can be used towards predevelopment, acquisition, construction/renovation and bridge financing for multifamily housing preservation projects, single family housing, and mixed use development.

    Visit http://www.nulloans.org or email [email protected] for more information.

  • Publication: Evidence Matters
  • In the most recent issue of HUD's Evidence Matters tackles rental housing policy. Read more.

  • Home Preservation Workshop for Wells Fargo and Wachovia
  • Wells Fargo and Wachovia customers will have the opportunity to meet in person with a specialist to discuss mortgage payment challenges and review their options at a Home Preservation Workshop that will take place at the United Center from 9:00am to 7:00pm on August 17th and 18th.

    For more information, please visit the Event Page.

  • Network NewsMakers
    • IHDA is seeking suggestions for membership of the State Housing Appeals Board in accordance with the Affordable Housing and Planning and Appeal Act. See Memo Here.
    • The Northwest Suburban Housing Collaborative is seeking a Northwest Housing Coordinator. Visit the Metropolitan Planning Council's blog for more information.
    • Congratulation to the new Executive Director of LISC Chicago, Susana Vazquez. Ms. Vazquez replaced Andrew Mooney who is the new Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Economic Development.
    • LISC CNDA Awards Call for Nominations. Online applications for 18th Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards are now open at www.lisc-cnda.org
    • Farewell to Nacho Gonzalez who is retiring. Mr. Gonzalez has a long history in affordable housing and community development in Chicago's communities. Most recently, he served as Associate Director of the UIC Neighborhoods Initiative. CRN sends our best wishes to Nacho!
    • Also, farewell to Eldridge Edgecombe who is retiring from the Chicago Federal Home Loan Bank. We thank him for his tireless support for affordable housing and community development over the years.
    • Congratulations to Geoff Smith who is the new Executive Director of the DePaul Institute for Housing Studies. Mr. Smith was most recently Senior Vice President at the Woodstock Institute.
    • Best wishes to Roberto Requejo who is leaving the Chicago Community Trust for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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