Piece by Piece
Senate Banking Agrees on Reform
Tumbling Foreclosures Boost Home Prices
Keeping Longtime Residents in Cities
Rental Housing Shortage, Cobb Tops List
NHC Housing Landscape 2014
When Wall St. Buys Main St.
Increase Federal Funding for Housing?
Loan Mod Scam Alert
Calendar Items


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Piece by Piece Update

March 18, 2014





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


Senate Banking Reaches Agreement on Housing Finance Reform


(Courtesy of Ethan Handelman, NHC): The Senate Banking Committee announced this week that its leadership has agreed on legislation to reform the housing finance system. The forthcoming bipartisan bill includes many components advocated for by the National Housing Conference and its Housing Finance Reform Coalition, including:  ensuring the availability of 30-year fixed rate mortgages including low-downpayment options and a well-functioning To Be Announced (TBA) market; stable, liquid capital for multifamily housing; an affordability fee to support the National Housing Trust Fund, the Capital Magnet Fund, and a Market Access Fund; and an obligation by participants in single family and multifamily secondary markets to serve all eligible borrowers in all areas and housing types.   MORE


Tumbling Foreclosures Boost Metro Home Prices


(Courtesy of Arielle Kass, AJC): Metro Atlanta foreclosure notices are down 50 percent for the first three months of 2014, continuing a trend that bodes well for home values but not so well for shoppers searching for houses.  MORE


Tax Breaks Aim to Keep Longtime Residents in Cities


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): Large cities such as Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C., are offering property tax breaks to keep low- and middle-income longtime homeowners from leaving gentrifying neighborhoods. Cities that previously focused more on attracting new, young residents away from the suburbs say longtime residents are important for neighborhood stability.  Where Atlanta has lead, others will follow!  In 2008,  The "Keep Atlantans in their Homes" Campaign resulted in legislation offered and approved by the Fulton/Atlanta House and Senate delegations to increase the homestead exemption from $15,000 to $30,000 over a three year period, saving the average owner of a $125,000 home more than $600 annually in property taxes.  Atlanta/Fulton voters had the final say on homestead exemption --- approving the measure by a wide margin at the ballot  box in November, 2008.  MORE


Rental Housing Shortage is Worse in Sun Belt States; Cobb County Tops the List


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): High demand for rental properties, combined with rising rents, has created a shortage of affordable housing for extremely low-income renters, with an estimated 29 units available for every 100 households who need places to live, finds a county-by-county study by the Urban Institute. Counties in Georgia, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Texas top the list when it comes to a lack of places for low-income families to live.Of the top 100 U.S. counties in 2012, Cobb County has the largest gap in units that are affordable and available for extremely low-income families. SUN BELT   COBB CO.


Housing Landscape 2014 


(Courtesy of NHC): The continuing economic recovery has improved housing affordability for low- and moderate-income working households, but housing costs are still a significant burden, especially to renters, according to a new report released today by the Center for Housing Policy, the research division of the National Housing Conference. MORE


Implications of Single Family Rental Bonds for Tenants and Housing Market


(Courtesy of Center for American Progress): A new report authored by the Center for American Progress's Sarah Edelman (a panelist at the PBP Neighborhood Investment Conference last year), along with Julia Gordon and David Sanchez, examines the emergence of a new form of mortgage-backed securities tied to single-family rentals.  Over the past few years, institutional investors have bought hundreds of thousands of single-family homes across the country and rented them out. Now, Wall Street firms have created a security that is backed by these homes and supported by their rental incomes. This tool lowers their cost of buying and renting these homes and could supercharge the single-family rental industry.  FULL REPORT


Campaign to Increase Federal Funding for Housing


The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) is an education, strategy and action hub for national organizations dedicated to adequate federal housing and community development funding for lower income families and communities. The key principles underling the Campaign's work in support of HUD's programs are expansion and preservation:

  • Expansion: Increase funds for existing, effective programs that support families and communities and enact new opportunities to increase the supply of and access to affordable rental housing and economic development opportunities.
  • Preservation: Preserve existing affordable housing in order to be able to eventually meet affordable housing needs.
To learn more about the Campaign and to sign on to letters advocating to increase the Transportation/HUD spending cap to allow for increased investments in essential housing and community development programs, click here 




(Courtesy of NeighborWorks America): As part of National Consumer Protection Week (March 2 - 8), NeighborWorks America conducted on the spot interviews in downtown Washington, DC. The majority of people interviewed did NOT know it was against the law to charge for loan modifications.  VIDEO    MORE



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



Wednesday, March 19; 1:00 PM at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, Central Branch, Margaret Mitchell Square in downtown Atlanta; Free Workshop offered by Atlanta Legal Aid and GSU Law on bankruptcy.  These workshops will be especially useful to clients who need more information on how bankruptcy works, how it can be used to relieve debt, whether it is worthwhile to file a bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure, and whether a bankruptcy can be used to continue to advocate for a loan modification or time to sell a property.  Housing advocates are welcome to attend as well.


Saturday, March 22; 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM:  PNC Bank Mind Body and Soul Event; Serving Customers Today; Georgia International Convention Center.  RSVP by Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at [email protected] or 404-495-6142.


Tuesday, March 25, at 6:00 PM in Courtroom I of the Public Safety Building (Building D), 30 Waddell Street, Marietta, GA 30060; Free Workshop offered by Atlanta Legal Aid and GSU Law School on bankruptcy (see further description above).


April 2- 5; The National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA) Annual Conference, Omni CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.



HomeSafe Georgia 

(March - April); representatives will be participating in the following events. Please plan to attend an event near you to learn about the temporary mortgage payment assistance program. 



March 20th Veterans' Career Fair, Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, 10 AM - 2 PM;


March 26th, Treutlen County Job Fair, Soperton Club House, Soperton, 1-3 PM;


 March 27th, Evans County Job Fair & Career Expo, The Veterans Community Center, Claxton, 11 AM - 1:30 PM;


March 28th, Congressman David Scott's 11th Annual Job Fair and Housing Fair, Georgia International Convention Center, College Park, 10 AM - 3 PM;


April 24th, 65th Atlanta Diversity, Veteran & Professional Career Fair, Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta.


Please encourage those who may need assistance to visit us at an event or the HomeSafe Georgia website, www.homesafegeorgia.com.  For questions, please contact Cynthia Harrison, HomeSafe Georgia Outreach Coordinator, at 404-502-6176.





Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator