Piece by Piece
Homeownership: 18-Year Low
NeighborWorks Nat'l Survey
Housing Instability Among Veterans
Chase Settlement
Atlanta Parcel Survey
Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas
Foreclosed Stay Close
CLT Feels Landlord Impact
HUD Extends Comment Period
New Tool: Calculating Transportation and Housing Costs
Find a Counseling Agency!
DeKalb Securing Vacant Homes
Preserving Affordable Rentals
Calendar Items


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Piece by Piece Update

November 21, 2013





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


Homeownership Remains at 18-Year Low


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): The homeownership rate in the U.S. has hovered around 65% over the past two quarters, at a level last seen in 1995, Census Bureau data show. The voracious appetite of investors for low-priced homes has pushed some first-time buyers out of the market. As home values rise and investors pull back, some are asking whether more first-time buyers will step in. The homeownership rate in the U.S. peaked at 69.4% in 2004. MORE


NeighborWorks America Releases First National Housing Survey


NeighborWorks America released highlights from its first national housing survey. Chief among the findings is that five years after the deepest housing crisis since the Great Depression -- which triggered the foreclosure of nearly a million homes every year since - most adults have maintained a positive, but grounded, view of homeownership: While the vast majority (88 percent) said owning their own home is an important element of their "American dream," a healthy 55 percent also said they would not feel any less successful if they did not.  MORE



New Report Highlights Housing Instability Among Veterans


(Courtesy of Liza Getsinger NHC): Nearly a quarter of all veteran-headed households spend more than half of their income on housing costs, according to a new report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) titled "Housing Instability Among Our Nation's Veterans."  Especially vulnerable are very low-income veterans (those with incomes less than 30 percent of area median income) with service-related injuries. These findings highlight the importance of providing strong funding for crucial programs, such as the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, that meet the housing needs of veterans. 


Read the full NLIHC report


On the issue of permanent supportive housing: NHC


More on significant housing challenges faced by veterans, by Enterprise Community Partners CEO Terri Ludwig for The Huffington Post. 


Justice Department to Release Details of Chase Settlement


(Courtesy of New York Times): The Justice Department announcement, expected this week, will detail how the government will divide the record $13 billion JP Morgan Chase payout, with $4 billion directed to struggling homeowners. Under the settlement, the people briefed on the deal said, JPMorgan will have to hire an independent monitor to oversee the distribution of the $4 billion in relief. MORE


City of Atlanta Releases Survey of Residential Parcels


The City of Atlanta recently released a landmark residential parcel survey, known as the Strategic Community Investment (SCI) Report. It consists of a comprehensive overview of observed housing vacancy, parcel conditions and neighborhood analysis of over 200 communities in the City of Atlanta. Nearly every residential property with one to four housing units was observed and documented using teams of workers who canvassed streets in the City of Atlanta. The parcel survey did not identify commercial or industrial property. The housing survey and analysis was coordinated and compiled and developed by Atlanta Property Disposition Solutions, LLC. (APDS).  Full Report & Summary 


Partnership for Southern Equity Launches Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas


In partnership with greater than a dozen organizations and experts, Partnership for Southern Equity has developed the Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas (MAEA).   MAEA is a comprehensive mapping project that uses GIS, data and narrative to tell the story of spatial justice in the Metro Atlanta region. The purpose of the MAEA is to provide regional stakeholders with an up-to-date, easily accessible, data-rich resource capable of informing the larger debate on how to create a more fair and equitable region. MORE


Most Victims of Foreclosure Stay Close to Home


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): The breadth of the 2008 recession prompted most people who lost their homes to remain in the same area. In 2009 and 2010, fewer than 11 million people left their home counties, the lowest levels since 1947, according to the Census Bureau. A UCLA study found that in 2010, more that 24 million people made moves within their towns, many to cheaper housing. Minority groups are disproportionately affected by these forced moves, according to the Center for Responsible Lending. MORE


Charlotte's Housing Sector Feels Impact of Wall Street Landlords


(Courtesy of Charlotte Observer): The Wall Street-backed investment firms that have bought Charlotte homes by the hundreds are moving with unusual speed to evict their new renters when payments don't come in as expected. Court documents and interviews with more than a half-dozen current and former tenants show these new companies have brought with them an aggressive stance toward collections that has caught longtime renters by surprise.  It's the latest sign of how Wall Street's entry into the local single-family home market has transformed that corner of Charlotte's housing sector. MORE


HUD Extends Comment Period for Housing Counseling Rule


(Courtesy of NHC): HUD announced that it will extend the public comment period on the proposed changes to the Housing Counseling Program regulations. The extended deadline is now December 12. NHC will submit comments on the proposed rule through the National Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force. The proposed rule has broad implications for organizations doing housing counseling through HUD's Housing Counseling Program as well as in conjunction with other major HUD programs such as the HOME and CDBG programs.  See HUD Office of Housing Counseling "Frequently Asked Questions" guide on Housing Counselor Certification proposed rule HERE.


HUD Launches New Tool to Help Homeowners and Renters Calculate Transportation and Housing Costs


(Courtesy of HUD): HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, recently unveiled the Location Affordability Portal (LAP), a cost calculation tool that allows users to estimate housing and transportation costs for neighborhoods across the country. The LAP will help consumers and communities better understand the combined costs of housing and transportation associated with living in a specific region, street, or neighborhood and make better-informed decisions about where to live, work, and invest. MORE


New Tool Helps Consumers Find Local Housing Counseling Agencies


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched a tool to help consumers find local housing counseling agencies to answer their questions or address their concerns. The Bureau is releasing the tool in advance of the January 2014 effective dates for its mortgage rules. The Bureau also published guidance for lenders on how to provide mortgage applicants with a list of local homeownership counseling organizations. MORE


DeKalb County Launches New Method to Secure Vacant Houses


DeKalb County recently launched a pilot program featuring an alternative board-up system designed to look like traditional windows in order to provide clear views inside a property that plywood would not allow. During the pilot program, DeKalb County will evaluate its performance and could consider changes to county code upon a favorable review.  For more information, contact Marcus Kellum, Code Compliance Administrator, at 404-687-3711.  Learn more about SecureView


Preserving Affordable Rental Housing


(Courtesy of HUD): The nation's supply of affordable rentals is shrinking. Nearly one out of three homes with a monthly rent of less than $400 in 1999 - affordable to people working full time at minimum wage - had left the affordability stock by 2009.  Some of these homes were lost through conversion from subsidized to market-rate rentals, from year-round to seasonal uses, or from rentals to ownership. Demolition and abandonment, largely the result of unmet capital needs, claimed others. Although new rental housing is being constructed, these new units, with national median rents reaching $1,000 and more, are generally not affordable to low-income (and even some moderate-income) renters.  The nation's stock of government-subsidized affordable rentals represents a taxpayer-funded investment worth billions of dollars. As Michael Bodaken of the National Housing Trust puts it, "[I]t's less expensive, and smarter," to preserve the affordable housing stock that the nation has already paid to construct. MORE



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



November 21; 6 to 8 PM, Atlanta Metropolitan College Auditorium, 1630 Metropolitan Parkway, SW.   Invest Atlanta Housing Strategy Community Outreach Meeting --- City Council Districts 4, 11, and 12.  Invest Atlanta is inviting the community to be part of the growth that shapes the City of Atlanta.  This is the final of four community meetings held in clusters around the City to inform and discuss housing needs and policies.  For more details www.investatlanta.com.


December 4; 9:30 am - 11:45 am; Atlanta Regional Housing Forum (NOTE NEW LOCATION - St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 435 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta. GA 30308) Forum will focus on the findings of the recent "The Equality of Opportunity Project". A study on the effectiveness of tax policy that measures income data among all major U.S. metros, revealing where a child raised in the bottom fifth is most likely to rise the top fifth.  Report co-author Nathaniel Hendren of Harvard University will expound on the report.  REGISTER


December 6; 1:00 - 2:00 PM EST; The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Richmond; the U. S. Department of the Treasury; the U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development; Enterprise Community Partners; and NeighborWorks America invite you to participate in an October "Regional Community Conversation" conference call-in session.   This Regional Community Conversation will focus on "Creating an Environment Conducive to Investment" and "Neighborhood Revitalization in Shaker Heights." For more information, please contact Sibyl Slade, Senior Regional Community Development Manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, at email [email protected].org or by phone at 404-498-7242.  REGISTER  


Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



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