Piece by Piece
Bipartisan Vision for Housing Policy
Worst-Case Housing
767k Foreclosures in 2012, Inventory down.
VASH Modifications
Senator Isakson asks for Final Rule
Paths to Homeownership
Gwinnett Vet New Homeowner
AJC: Wounded Vet Breaks Ground
Suburbanization of Poverty in Atlanta
Despite Aid, Still Distressed
Calendar Items


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Piece by Piece Update

March 11, 2013





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


National Bipartisan Housing Commission Releases New Vision for Housing Policy



(Courtesy of Housing Matters) A bipartisan commission of former Cabinet secretaries, former Senators and other leading housing and economic experts, including Atlanta Housing Authority's Renee Glover, unveiled a new vision for housing policy. The report entitled Housing America's Future: New Directions for National Policy calls for reducing the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, proposing instead a public guarantor that would intercede only in catastrophic circumstances, leaving most losses to be absorbed by the private sector. The report also calls for reforms that would establish a new performance-based system for delivering federal rental assistance with more responsibilities passed to state and local providers. The commission proposes to shift existing resources to assist more effectively the most vulnerable households, and to expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program to increase supply of affordable rental housing -- noting that U.S. households living in extreme poverty face a critical shortage of rental housing.  For first-time home buyers, the report emphasizes the importance of housing counseling as a means of preparing for homeownership.   FULL REPORT


HUD: Worst-case Housing Needs Grew by 43% Since 2007



(Courtesy of NHC): HUD's 2011 Worst Case Housing Needs Report documents the growing need for affordable housing and the rising burden on households. The report finds dramatic increases in worst case housing needs during the 2009-2011 period that cut across demographic groups, household types, and regions. This rise in hardship among renters is due to substantial increases in rental housing demand and weakening incomes that increase competition for already-scarce affordable units.  HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a press release that " Today's report is a wakeup call to all of us working to make sure every family has a decent place to call home."  MORE



767,000 Completed Foreclosures in 2012;
Foreclosure Inventory Down 21%



(Courtesy of CoreLogic): CoreLogic recently released its National Foreclosure Report, which provides data on completed U.S. foreclosures and the overall foreclosure inventory. According to CoreLogic, there were 56,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in December 2012, down from 71,000 in December 2011, a year-over-year decrease of 21 percent.  The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in December 2012 were: California (100,000), Florida (98,000), Michigan (74,000), Texas (57,000) and Georgia (49,000).These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.  MORE


HUD Announces Modifications to VASH Performance Goals


(Courtesy of NHC): HUD recently announced changes to Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers for FY13. HUD is reaffirming its commitment to ending veteran homelessness by 2015.  To meet that commitment, it is focusing on two targets: 88% total utilization rate for HUD-VASH vouchers and 65% targeting to the chronically homeless.   Other policies in the recent notice include disbursement of funding on an as-needed basis and the requirement for an implementation plan using a Housing First approach for PHA's applying for HUD-VASH in 2013.  


Senator Isakson Asks for Final Rule to Enable Home Mortgage Lending


Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) joined two other Senators in a letter to regulators responsible for the qualified mortgage rule (QRM) asking for swift action on a final rule to enable home mortgage lending. The QRM would define exemptions from risk retention requirements for securitized mortgages and would likely have far-reaching effects on the availability and affordability of home mortgages. The senators specifically opposed a downpayment requirement in QRM, noting that it was against the intent of Congress and would deny opportunity to responsible borrowers. MORE


Paths to Homeownership for Low-Income and Minority Households


(Courtesy of HUD.gov Evidence Matters): As the country continues to recover from the Great Recession, homeownership remains an important vehicle for building and accumulating wealth. The most recent issue of HUD's Evidence Matters explores the importance and challenges of homeownership for low-income and minority households.   MORE


Gwinnett County NSP Partners Celebrate New Veteran Homebuyer


Navy Veteran Darrell Lowery (3rd from Right) is Gwinnett County's Newest NSP Homebuyer

Partners in  the Gwinnett County NSP program, including Gwinnett County Community Development staff, representatives from ANDP and the Lawrenceville Housing Corporation, gathered with HUD Southeastern Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. and Georgia DCA Director Glenn Misner to welcome home Darrell Lowery, a Navy Veteran and proud new Lawrenceville homeowner thanks to Gwinnett's NSP3 program.  Since 2009, the NSP Program in Gwinnett County has repaired 134 homes, with 119 sold or under contract.  



Wounded Atlanta-Area Vet Helps Break Ground for His New Home



(Courtesy of AJC): Todd Love, an ex-Marine who lost three limbs in an IED blast in Afghanistan, helped clear the land where his new home will stand. Later this year, a new "smart home" should stand in the scrub pine forest near Douglasville, a gift from the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation, a charity partnership that is building 19 homes for severely wounded veterans. Love's ranch-style house will be state-of the-art, a home where he can control almost all functions with an iPad: doors, lights, shades, heating and air conditioning. The Atlanta-based Home Depot Foundation has donated $200,000 to the effort but the organizations are still seeking donations for Love's home and others.  MORE


Foreclosure Taskforce Supports Affordable Housing Lending in Comment to CFPB



(Courtesy of NHC): NHC led an effort by the National Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force to comment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on the its proposed change to the Ability to Repay or Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule. The comment letter supports CPFB's proposal to exempt foreclosure prevention loans and affordable housing loans made by HFAs, CDFIs, downpayment assistance providers, and nonprofits from the QM rules. The letter also urges the CFPB to remain engaged with affordable housing lenders and monitor the exemption to be sure it remains a specialized provision and not a generalized loophole. MORE


Neighborhood Nexus Reports on the Suburbanization of Poverty in Atlanta Area 



(Courtesy of Neighborhood Nexus): One of the most significant changes of the past decade is the changing geography of poverty. Once confined to dense urban centers and remote rural locales, poverty has spread forcefully into the suburbs. But, it's not like poverty has disappeared in the urban core - it increased slightly, in fact, and the heaviest concentrations are still found within a relatively small swath inside the City of Atlanta. But that small increase in the urban core was dwarfed by the increases found in the suburbs.  MORE


Forgiveness Focuses on Second Mortgages


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): Much of the mortgage aid to borrowers stemming from the national mortgage settlement has been on second mortgages, leaving troubled first mortgages still headed toward defaults and foreclosures, some housing advocates say. Fewer than 71,000 borrowers -- or 13% of those helped -- were assisted with first mortgages. MORE



Share your calendar items with us! Please email Susan Adams at [email protected] with news of your upcoming events.





March 13 3:30 PM
Webinar on Independent Foreclosure Review hosted by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.   In January 2013, thirteen of the mortgage servicers subject to the Independent Foreclosure Review reached an agreement with federal regulators to pay more than $9.3 billion in cash payments and other assistance to help borrowers.  As a result of this agreement, the participating servicers have ceased the Independent Foreclosure Review, which involved case-by-case reviews, and replaced it with a broader framework allowing eligible borrowers to receive compensation more quickly.  Presenters Suzanne Killian (Federal Reserve Board of Governors) and Ted Wartell (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) will provide additional details on the payment agreement. 

March 14, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM 

Taking Control of and Managing Problem Properties 

G-STAND and AHAND are sponsoring a seminar conducted by The Center for Community Progress  entitled Taking Control of and Managing Problem Properties. As a critical element to ensure there is a pathway for reuse, how do you create the systems to manage and acquire problem properties? This workshop will look at land banking, tax foreclosure, vacant property inventories and other tools for gaining control of persistent problem properties. Registration is $40. 


PLEASE NOTE:  The training is based on the Building American Cities Toolkit™, an online comprehensive resource designed to help practitioners think through strategies, identify specific tools to carry out those strategies, and learn about communities elsewhere that have improved the land, buildings, and neighborhoods that make up a city's built environment. Start your journey here.   EVENT REGISTRATION


March 16th
9 AM - 1 PM
HomeSafe Georgia team will participate in a City of Snellville and PTA Job Fair at Snellville Middle School, 3155 Pate Road, Snellville.

March 30th   
Committed to Communities Tour of Homes. 
The 7thCommitted to Communities event which will showcase the possibilities of owning a home in the Capitol View neighborhood and adjacent neighborhoods.  This home and community tour will include approximately 15 homes for sale in the area.  Some homes will be in walking distance, while others will be a short drive away.  Prices for the available homes on the tour will range from about $35,000 to $225,000. EVENT REGISTRATION



April 23
Visitability Webinar

Concrete Change and the SOPOS Coalition, partners in the PBP Initiative, announce an opportunity to receive web-based training on Visitability.  This will be the last opportunity to receive training directly from Eleanor Smith, Founder and Director of Concrete Change.  Visitability is a movement for every new home to offer basic access features. Come and gain a level of knowledge about Visitability principles, design, costs, strategies, and more that will enable you to deliver presentations, train others, and influence policy related to Visitability.  To register, please contact Kristen Vincent at [email protected]   



September 16-18, 2013  

Solutions 2013 National Conference on State and Local Housing Policy.  


The National Housing Conference (NHC) will host Solutions 2013, a national conference on state and local housing policy, will arm practitioners, advocates, policymakers and program administrators with the best available information on how localities and states can work collaboratively and creatively to address residents' housing challenges and develop inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities.

Registration information, speakers, resources and more will be available soon at nhc.org. Solutions 2013 will feature concurrent tracks with sessions on: restoring neighborhoods; solutions for inclusive communities; how housing matters; housing communications; and housing and services needs of veterans and older adults.




Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



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