Piece by Piece
Long-Term Vacancies
GA Ranks 6th
Debt Relief Act to Expire
Freddie REO Inventory Down
Housing Absent from Trail
Bank of America Veterans Program
Renters Face Burdens
Enterprise Innovation Blog
Calendar Items: Fall Affordable Housing Conference


>PBP Online 

  Follow us on Twitter

Piece by Piece Update

October 16, 2012





Please take note of the following news and calendar items. 

Federal Reserve Board of Governor Elizabeth Duke Addresses Problem of Long-Term Vacancies


(Courtesy of NHC):  Elizabeth Duke, member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, addressed the problem of long-term vacant properties and highlighted policies that are helping to get housing--and the broader economy--back on track.  Duke's speech on Oct. 5 provides examples from across the country on how cities are targeting vacant property solutions to the particular needs of local markets.  In the speech, Duke pointed out that no single solution can fix the vacancy problem; while some areas need just strong code enforcement to reduce blight, others may need targeted incentives to attract private capital or even demolition for the most blighted assets.   MORE


Georgia Ranks 6th in Country for Foreclosures


(Courtesy of AJC):  Georgia ranked sixth in the nation in foreclosure rate in September, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, with one in 532 housing units in the state affected.That's about the norm, lately, and it's been a lot worse: In May, Georgia had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation.  Georgia follows Florida, California, Illinois, Arizona and Nevada.  MORE



Mortgage Debt Relief Act Set to Expire at End of 2012


(Courtesy of Tribune Newspapers) Struggling homeowners who obtain reductions in their mortgage debt face a new obstacle starting next year - a bill for taxes on that aid.  A special exemption of as much as $2 million per household in principal reduction and other aid from banks, in place since 2007, is set to expire at year's end. Housing advocates and lawmakers are worried that the exemption will disappear just as thousands of homeowners are receiving large amounts of mortgage debt relief from the nation's five largest banks as part of a national settlement of foreclosure abuse investigations.  "The expiration of that provision is a hidden time bomb," said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.  He and other lawmakers are expected to push for an extension of the special tax exemption, but even with bipartisan support, it's unlikely to get a vote before the November election.  And all bets are off on any legislation getting enacted in a turbulent post-election session later this year in which lawmakers must grapple with the divisive fiscal cliff issues.  As the clock ticks on the mortgage debt exemption, concern is rising.  MORE   IRS Mortgage Debt Relief Act Info


Freddie Mac REO Inventory Down 30%; Freddie Offers New Bulk Sale Program


(Courtesy of NHC): Freddie Mac's REO inventory is down 30%, which is a good sign to executives as home prices continue to rise and unemployment wanes. "As of our last quarter, we were at about 53,000 units," said Chris Bowden, vice president of Freddie Mac's HomeSteps unit, while speaking at HousingWire's REperform Summit, a mortgage servicing conference that concluded Friday in Dallas. Freddie Mac introduced a bulk sale program through the HomeSteps unit that would give buyers the opportunity to look at the properties Freddie Mac owns choose portfolios of 6 to 100 properties upon which to submit offers to Freddie Mac. The National First Look program, which provides nonprofits doing community stabilization work an opportunity to bid first at a discount, still applies before properties are available for bulk sale. According to NHC's report, Freddie Mac has already closed a sale to a nonprofit through this program, although it has not announced details.  MORE 



Housing Issues Absent from Campaign Trail: Shelterforce


(Courtesy of Shelterforce):  Talk of jobs and the economy dominate the 2012 election cycle. Given the role of housing in the economic crash, it would be easy to assume that housing and community development issues would be part of that discussion.Unfortunately, that debate has remained largely absent on the campaign trail in the 2012 election cycle... Housing advocates are still struggling to get candidates and sitting elected officials to even engage in discussions about where they stand on these issues.But that may be changing. This year, housing groups are holding town halls and rallies around the country and sending petitions and postcards to the campaigns. They're stepping up their state-level lobbying efforts, forming new coalitions, and calling on candidates to commit to their principles. They're bringing together public officials, housing advocates and experts, and community leaders to talk about problems in the housing market that have hobbled neighborhood revitalization and have led to Americans losing their homes to foreclosure.  MORE


Bank of America Donates REO Homes to Wounded Veterans; Turning Vacancy into Opportunity


(Courtesy of DSNews):  Bank of America announced recently that it's donating up to 1,000 properties for injured military veterans and first responders. The properties will go to nonprofits and local government programs over a three-year period."This is an important expansion of our property donation and community revitalization initiatives and improves the inventory of homes these organizations focused on assisting our veterans and first responders need," said D. Steve Boland, national mortgage outreach executive for Bank of America, in a statement. "We understand our responsibility to help neighborhoods impacted by foreclosure and property abandonment to recover." MORE


One in Two Renters Face Housing Cost Burden: Census Bureau


(Courtesy of National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations) The latest American Community Survey (ACS) one-year data indicate that a little over 20 million renter households across the United States, or 53% of all renter households, face a housing cost burden. This represents an increase of about 600,000 renter households paying 30% or more of their income toward rent and utility costs since 2010, when 19.4 million renter households faced such a burden. More renters across all income groups faced a housing cost burden in 2011 than did in 2010. Over a quarter of renter households (27%) faced a severe housing cost burden and spent over half their income on housing in 2011, up by nearly half a million households since 2010.  MORE


Enterprise Launches Blog Series on Innovation in Community Development


(Courtesy of Enterprise) On September 25, Enterprise launched a series of articles on innovative concepts in community development on its @the Horizon blog. The goal of the Policy Innovation Series is to advance innovative policy ideas and generate lively discussion to expand the policy and programmatic toolbox we use to address affordable housing policy challenges.  MORE




October 23

11th Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference Sponsored by AHAND-GSTAND.   Designed for nonprofit housing practitioners, the conference has sessions for developers and housing housing counselors. Among the presenters will be HUD staff to brief participants on proposed changes to the HOME Investment Program and to talk about fair housing requirements. Early registration ends October 5th, so register now  at www.ahand.org to get the reduced fee:  AHAND/GSTAND Member $75/$95 per person; Non-Member $100/$125 per person; Student $25 per person.  MORE




Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



andp brown