Piece by Piece
NHC's Solutions 2013
State of Nation's Housing
GA Slips in Income
Investors Lending
NSP Income Exceeds $1B
Regulators Relax Rules
GA Land Bank Manual
Higher Rates to Slow Market
NeighborWorks 3rd Largest Builder
Calendar Items


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Piece by Piece Update

July 25, 2013





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


Solutions 2013: National Housing Conference & Center for Housing Policy Offer Discount for Atlanta Event


The National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy will be hosting their Solutions 2013 conference in Atlanta on September 16-18. The national conference on state and local housing policy will provide those in the affordable housing industry and related fields an opportunity to sharpen skills, learn the latest trends and change the lives of residents in your community!  Register by July 31 for an early bird discount of 10%.   MORE



State of the Nation's Housing Report Released


(Courtesy of NHC): Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies recently released State of the Nation's Housing, the 2013 edition of its annual report. This year's report shows some positive housing market growth in the form of rising rents, home prices, and residential construction activity in many markets. New home sales saw the first year-over-year increase in seven years, but existing home sales and total inventory of new homes remain low. Despite these positive signs, there remain high levels of distress in many areas of the country. The homeownership rate fell for the eighth consecutive year, reflecting a net loss of over 150,000 homeowners during 2012. Delinquency and foreclosure rates are down from historic highs in 2010, but remain well above pre-crisis averages.  MORE


Georgia Slips in Per Capita Income


(Courtesy of Georgia Budget and Policy Institute): Georgia's level of per capita income -- a catch-all measure that includes wages, stock dividends, government benefits and other earnings by individuals -- is down to 40th among the states as of 2012, the most recent year of data available. That is the same position Georgia held in 1979 and is down from 25th in 2001 and 28th as recently as 2006. MORE   Georgia Budget and Policy Institute Blog 


Major Housing Investor to Start Lending to Other Landlords


(Courtesy of Housing Matters):  Blackstone, which has spent $5 billion buying up more than 30,000 distressed houses and renting them out, has created B2R Finance to offer loans of $10 million or more to landlords seeking to expand their portfolios with single-family rental homes, according to sources. Institutional investors accounted for 10% of home purchases in the nation's busiest 100 markets as of April, up from 5% a year earlier, according to Radar Logic.  MORE

NSP Program Income Exceeds $1 Billion


(Courtesy of OneCPD): The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) combined program income exceeded $1 billion for the first time on July 1, according to recent reports from HUD.  This funding will grow and support additional NSP projects.  In addition, HUD reported that NSP targeting appears to be increasing.  The clustering of NSP investments coincides with improved home sale performance.  MORE


Regulators Ease Rules for Loans with Low Down Payments


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): Regulators recently have backed off of requirements for banks to hold high capital levels for certain mortgages -- particularly those with higher loan-to-value ratios, which include loans made with low down payments. The move is lauded by observers in the housing industry, who say the more lax requirements will ease access to mortgages for first-time homebuyers and others without large sums of cash on hand.  MORE 


Georgia Land Bank Resource Manual Released by Center for Community Progress


The enactment of the new Georgia Land Bank Act in 2012 opened the door to a new era of regional collaboration, focused initiatives on particular problem properties, and the conversion of vacant spaces into vibrant places. The Georgia Land Bank Resource Manual has been prepared to provide assistance to counties and municipalities in Georgia struggling to deal with growing inventories of tax delinquent, substandard, deteriorating and foreclosed properties.  SEE CALENDAR ITEMS BELOW FOR TRAINING ON JULY 31.  LINK TO MANUAL  TRAINING


Higher Mortgage Rates Expected to Slow Housing Market


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): The recent spike in interest rates has effectively reduced mortgage affordability by 10%, and the market will likely feel the effects in the first-time buyer and high-end sectors, some experts say. The increase is also expected to slow the pace of home price gains, which have been accelerating rapidly as inventory has been scarce.  MORE


Suit Filed on Behalf of National Housing Trust Fund 


(Courtesy of NLIHC): The National Low Income Housing Coalition, along with four individual plaintiffs and the Right to the City Alliance, filed a lawsuit today against the Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Edward DeMarco for failing to uphold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's statutory obligations to make contributions to the National Housing Trust Fund. When the National Housing Trust Fund was established in the Housing and Economic Recovery (HERA) Act of 2008, the identified source of dedicated funding was contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  MORE


NeighborWorks America Now US's Third-Largest Nonprofit Builder of Affordable Homes for Sale


(Courtesy of NHC): NeighborWorks  America has recently announced their ranking as one of the nation's largest builders of affordable homes, according to Builder Magazine's top 100-ranking third among builders specializing in affordable for-sale homes and holding the number 49 overall place for 2012 with 608 closings. All of the homes built by the NeighborWorks network are classified as affordable.  MORE 


Mortgage Settlement Update 


(Courtesy of eCreditDaily): Recent major developments in the National Mortgage Settlement nearly went unnoticed as the latest report card was released on the five big banks that are currently party to the landmark $25 billion deal to correct foreclosure abuses and mortgage-modification rejections.  For one, the nation's top housing official said more banks in coming weeks will join the original five as part of the historic settlement.  In another development, talks are underway to strengthen new rules against "dual tracking" - the practice of foreclosing on homeowners who are trying to negotiate a mortgage reduction plan.  MORE


Financial Coaching Services Promise Economic Security to Families


NeighborWorks America and the Citi Foundation recently released a report that highlights how expanded access to financial coaching services promises greater economic security to individuals and families.  The report details how financial coaching can level the economic playing field by offering the information and support that helps consumers reduce debt, increase savings, and reach their financial goals.  MORE


No-Documentation Mortgage Modification Program Begins


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): In the next few weeks, homeowners who are three to 24 months delinquent on their mortgage payments should begin receiving letters from mortgage servicers offering modifications. Servicers are required to offer modifications under the new Streamlined Modification Initiative. Unlike the Home Affordable Modification Program, an earlier government initiative known as HAMP, this one carries no burdensome documentation requirement. Borrowers may be approved without providing any proof of financial hardship.   MORE



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



July 31;  Georgia Land Bank Authority Act Training;  11:30 AM- 2:30 PM; City Hall Annex, Multi Purpose Room, 300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, GA 31601. This FREE training session is open to all interested local government staff, elected officials, non-profit housing organizations, and community leaders in Georgia who want to learn more about the opportunities and options involved in land banking. TRAINING


September 4; Quarterly Atlanta Regional Housing Forum; Topic and presenters to be announced. MORE

September 9 - 12;  2013 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, Philadelphia, PA.  Registration deadline for scholarships is July 2. For registration and more details on conference agenda click here.  


September 16-18;  The National Housing Conference presents Solutions 2013: National Conference on State and Local Housing Policy is designed to be useful to both newcomers and experienced practitioners and policymakers by offering a comprehensive, highly interactive educational experience over the three-day conference. The conference will include opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, mobile workshops, facilitated discussions, panel discussions, networking receptions and breakfasts, and plenary sessions. MORE


Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



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