Piece by Piece
Investors in the Market
HPN National Policy Recommendations
Foreclosure Crime Study
Code Enforcement
Nonprofit Role in Rehab
Energy Efficiency Up, Default Risk Down
Affordable Housing Out of Reach
Calendar Items: Help for Troubled Homeowners


>PBP Online 

  Follow us on Twitter

Piece by Piece Update

April 2, 2013





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


Investors Lead the Way in Housing Recovery


(Courtesy of WSJ): U.S. housing recoveries almost always have been ignited by rising demand from families and individuals looking for a place to live. This recovery is different. Investors-including some big Wall Street players-are leading the way, say industry executives and analysts. Their role is noteworthy given that flippers and speculators were blamed for helping to inflate the housing bubble of the past decade.  Today's investors are mostly buying with the intention of holding on to the homes and renting them out. As they pile into the housing market, they have set off a chain reaction that has stabilized prices and changed market psychology, industry executives and analysts say. MORE


More recent articles on investor activity in the single-family rental market.

Bloomberg: Blackstone Crowds Housing Market as Rental Gains Slowing

AJC: Big-Scale Buyers Drive Housing Sales


The Housing Partnership Network Releases National Housing Policy Recommendations


(Courtesy of HPN):The Housing Partnership Network (HPN), a member-driven organization comprised of 100 entrepreneurial nonprofits that operate all across the country, recently released recommendations for changes in housing policy and practice.   Key recommendations support housing policy that encourages acquisition of scattered-site single-family rental housing by high-capacity nonprofits through bulk REO disposition strategies; facilitates the growth of nonprofit property management capacities to manage this new asset class; builds a stronger, more sustainable, broadly available housing counseling system by requiring counseling in more instances and creating a dedicated funding source; and helps capable nonprofits grow and build stronger balance sheets through the Capital Magnet Fund.  See Full Report 



Furman Center: Increased Foreclosure Leads to Increase in Neighborhood Crime Rates



(Courtesy of Furman Center): A new study released by the Furman Center shows a strong correlation between an increase in foreclosure and increase in crime at the neighborhood level.  According to the study, the greatest increases in crime occur on blocks where there have been three or more foreclosures, espe�cially where existing crime rates are moder�ate to high. The study recommends that policing and community stabi�lization efforts concerned with combating these effects should prioritize neighbor�hoods that have a greater share of such blocks. The study also showed that homes in the foreclosure process are causing crime to increase on their blocks even before the foreclosed house is sold at auction. The findings suggest that community stabiliza�tion efforts should be widened to address the ways in which homes still in the foreclo�sure process can threaten their neighbor�hoods.  See Full Report


5 Things Cities and CDCs Don't Get About Code Enforcement


(Courtesy of Allan Mallach for ShelterForce's Blog "RoofLines"):  In most circles, all you have to do is say "code enforcement" and people start mumbling about previous engagements. And yet, it should be pretty clear that it matters. Most neighborhoods are made up of hundreds or thousands of houses, and a scattering of apartment buildings. No CDC, even the most energetic, is likely to control more than a tiny fraction of its neighborhood's housing stock. But real progress using code enforcement is held back by the mutual short-sightedness of two actors that should be working together on it but rarely do-city governments and CDCs.  MORE  


The Key Role of Nonprofits in Home Repair and Rehab


(Courtesy of Joint Center for Housing Studies): Major nonprofit organizations and public funding programs contribute significant support for maintaining and improving the homes of America's most vulnerable households-including the elderly, disabled, and those with low-incomes-who might not otherwise be physically or financially able to undertake critical home remodeling and repair projects themselves. This study examines several of these national nonprofits, as well as the public funding programs that support their work to make homes safer and healthier, more energy efficient, and more accessible.  MORE



New Report Shows Decreased Risk of Mortgage Default for Energy Efficient Homes


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): A new report by the University of North Carolina Center for Community Capital and Institute for Market Transformation shows the risk of mortgage default is one-third lower for energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR-rated homes. The report, Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks, is the first academic study to assess the linkages between home energy efficiency and mortgage risks. Controlling for other factors, the odds of a mortgage default on an ENERGY STAR residence are one-third lower than those of a home in the control group. A mortgage holder on an ENERGY STAR residence is also one-quarter less likely to prepay, a risk from the lender's perspective, making the loans potentially more valuable to them. Additionally, the study found that the extent of energy efficiency matters: the greater a house's efficiency, the lower the risk of default.  MORE


Affordable Housing Out of Reach for Low-Income Families



(Courtesy of NLIHC): The National Low Income Housing Coalition released Out of Reach 2013 last week documenting how rents are outpacing wages for low-income households. The report finds that "a household needs to earn at least $39,080 to afford a two-bedroom unit at the Fair Market Rent (FMR) of $977. This translates into an hourly Housing Wage of $18.79. The Housing Wage is an estimate of the full-time hourly wage that someone must earn to afford a decent apartment while spending no more than 30% of income on housing costs." 



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




April 11 - 13
Duluth Georgia Homeowner Assistance Event
Gwinnett Center; 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy; Duluth, GA 30097,  

Bank of America
will  host a homeowner assistance event for customers in the Duluth area.  This event will provide customers with a forum to meet with a Bank of America Specialist who will review their file, discuss and provide counsel on options - such as a loan modification - to avoid foreclosure, and help them onto a path toward a solution. Specialists will be available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. each day and parking is complimentary.   DETAILS HERE


April 13; 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Foreclosure Prevention; Early Intervention - Free Workshop. Ponce De Leon Branch Public Library. Registration is required. Click here to register.
April 13-19 
HomeSafe Georgia Staff have been invited to participate in the following events to provide information on the HomeSafe Georgia program. 
  • April 13th, East Point Community Health Fair, East Point Fire Station #1, 2757 East Point Street, East Point; 11 AM - 3 PM;
  • April 16th, Spring 2013 Career Fair, Piedmont Technical College, 495 North Indian Creek Dr., Clarkston; 10 AM - 2 PM;
  • April 18th, Salute to Our Heroes, VFW Post 2681 Marietta, 140 Powers Ferry Road SE, Marietta; 9 AM - 3 PM;
  • April 19th, 13th Congressional District 10th Annual Jobs Fair, Georgia International Convention Center, College Park, 10
    AM - 3 PM;

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]   






Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



andp brown