Piece by Piece Update

July 2016





Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


State of the Nation's Housing

Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard Releases 2016 Report

(Courtesy of Housing Matters; JCHS): Despite signs that the housing market is recovering, homeownership rates remain depressed and rental demand is high, according to research from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Other housing challenges and consequences documented in The State of the Nation's Housing 2016 include a rise in cost-burdened renters, high rates of overcrowding among low-income families, trade-offs between housing and other essentials, and a doubling of the number of Americans living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. MORE

Atlanta Home Shortage is Worst in Nation 

(Courtesy of AJC): Atlanta has the worst shortage of homes for sale in the country - that is, the scarcest inventory of any major market, according to data crunched by Georgia Multiple Listing Service and passed along by Virgent Realty. Experts have been complaining for several years that the balance of supply and demand has been tilted in metro Atlanta - in this case, there's a lot more demand than supply. That means that, in some areas, potential homebuyers often find themselves bidding against each other for attractive homes and, in other areas, they may not find what they're looking for at all. MORE

National Trends: Worsening Housing Shortage for Starter and Trade-Up
(Courtesy of Housing Matters): The nation is not building nearly enough new residential units. The serious shortage of new supply is bottling up housing demand and pushing home prices and apartment rents well beyond what a growing number of households can afford.  According to new research released by Trulia:  nationally, inventory has dropped most for starter and trade-up homes, but less so for premium homes; regionally, starter home inventory is down most in the West and South.   In metro Atlanta, the starter home inventory has declined by 33.2% from 2012 (Q1) to 2016 (Q1) and trade-up home inventory is down by 40.9% over  the same period.  MORE  | TRULIA REPORT

Housing's New Players Repeating Banks' Old Mistakes

(Courtesy of New York Times):  When the housing crisis sent the American economy to the brink of disaster in 2008, millions of people lost their homes. The banking system had failed homeowners and their families. New investors soon swept in - mainly private equity firms - promising to do better.  But some of these new investors are repeating the mistakes that banks committed throughout the housing crisis, an investigation by The New York Times has found. They are quickly foreclosing on homeowners, losing families' mortgage paperwork, much as the banks did. And many of these practices were enabled by the federal government, which sold tens of thousands of discounted mortgages to private equity investors, while making few demands on how they treated struggling homeowners.  MORE  (USE PULL QUOTE FOR GRAPHIC)
Clayton-Based Nonprofit Serves Homeless Veterans
30,000 Vets and Low-Income Families Helped Since 2007

(Courtesy of Clayton News Rosalind Sconiers has a passion to seek, address and solve the problems confronting Georgia's homeless population. The single parent of four adult children is founder and CEO of the nonprofit Sconiers Homeless Prevention Organization Inc. (SHPO) based in Riverdale. The group serves Clayton County and nearly a dozen other areas across Georgia.  Sconiers is committed to helping the underserved homeless with an affinity to serve veterans, low-income families, senior citizens and the LGBT youth.  SHPO has facilitated more than 450 hands-on workshops for the homeless and has placed over 3,500 people into low-income affordable rental housing.  MORE
Southwest Atlanta Development Serves Senior Veterans
Located on John Hope Drive, SW in Atlanta, Oasis at Scholar's Landing is a state-of-the-art community with 60 one-bedroom apartments.  The community  is designed for seniors who need some help to maintain their independence. Veterans interested in living at Oasis receive preference, and financial resources are available to help them pay for housing expenses.  Oasis provides housing, meals and assistance with daily living activities for seniors who live at the community.The Veterans Administration offers Aid and Attendance to veterans, spouses and surviving spouses who need help with eating, bathing, dressing, medication assistance and other daily living activities. The benefit can go toward the cost of living in a personal care home, such as Oasis at Scholars Landing.  To learn more about the veteran preference at Oasis at Scholars Landing, call 404-330-0400.

Diverted Homeowners Fueled Rental Affordability Crisis
(Courtesy of Housing Mattters): Millions of would-be homebuyers were "diverted" into the rental market as a result of the Great Recession, adding huge unexpected new rental demand to what was already forecast to come from the millennial generation's transition to adulthood, according to new research by the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California.  As a result, an estimated 6 million would-be homeowners have been diverted to renting or have left the housing market over the past decade. MORE

How Legal Corporate Secrecy Harmed One West Atlanta Neighborhood
(Courtesy of AJC): Profiteers use LLCs to buy up derelict houses and dodge penalties when they're deemed unsafe. It costs $100, payable to the Secretary of State, to start one in Georgia. No ID required, and no need to disclose a responsible party such as a CEO or partner. In 2015, 84,000 LLCs filed registrations in this state, up from about 57,000 10 years earlier.  Ashview Heights resident Elizabeth Whitmore and her neighbors have taken to working as volunteer sleuths, tracking down deadbeat owners through internet searches and other sources. She estimates that 75 percent of the blighted homes the team researches trace back to an LLC, some of them owning 10 or more properties. MORE

HUD Releases Early Results from Groundbreaking, Large-Scale Study of Benefits of Housing Counseling
(Courtesy of NHC/HUD): HUD recently published early findings from a rigorous, large-scale, random assignment study on the benefits that housing education and counseling provides to first-time homebuyers.  Early results are encouraging and suggest homebuyer education and counseling may lead to favorable results for first-time homebuyers in terms of mortgage literacy and preparedness, homebuyer outcomes, and loan performance. Although there have been numerous recent studies documenting the effectiveness of housing counseling, this study is groundbreaking in its scale, experimental design, elimination of any selection bias, and expected length that the families will be followed. MORE

National Housing Trust Fund
Secretary Castro recently announced that HUD allocated nearly $174 million through the Nation's Housing Trust Fund. The Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is a new affordable housing production program that will complement existing Federal, State, and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households, including families experiencing homelessness.  Eight years after it was authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), the Housing Trust Fund is only now being capitalized through contributions made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  

Georgia's allocation for FY 2016 is $3.3 million.  HTF funds can be used for acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of housing for rent or first-time home buyers. MORE

DCA has prepared a draft version of its proposed National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) Allocation Plan and its Method of Distribution for review and comment (follow this link).

Fifth Third Mortgage Helps Homebuyers Make Their Down Payments; New Program Offers up to $3,600
Fifth Third's Down Payment Assistance Program offers 3 percent of the purchase price in down payment assistance, up to $3,600, for low-income borrowers or those purchasing in a designated low-income area and financed through Fifth Third.* The program is paired with the Freddie Mac Home Possible Advantage Mortgage, a product with a 3 percent down payment and reduced mortgage insurance premiums.**  Fifth Third's program also can be combined with state and local programs to help consumers take advantage of free money for their down payments.  MORE


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

October 17; Georgia ACT Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference.

HomeSafe Georgia 

HomeSafe Georgia representatives will be at the following events to discuss their federally funded mortgage assistance program that helps homeowners avoid foreclosure. 
HomeSafe Georgia is a free, state government program to help homeowners who are unemployed, underemployed or face other types of financial hardships save their homes from foreclosure.  There is no cost to apply and no fee if you are approved.          
A homeowner who has experienced a financial hardship within the last 36 months i.e. hardship associated with loss of job, military service, death of a spouse, or medical hardship may be eligible for HomeSafe Georgia assistance.    We encourage potential eligible homeowners to attend one of the events. 
Churches, clubs and community organizations are encouraged to inform others about the above events and to help those without internet access to apply for these funds. For more information, please visit

July 26; Wiregrass Technical College Career Fair, from 1-4 PM at Wiregrass Technical College, Valdosta Campus, Brooks Hall, Building 500, 4089 Val Tech Drive, Valdosta.

August 6; 12th Annual 13th Congressional District Health Fair, from 9 AM - 2 PM; Mundy's Mill High School, 9652 Fayetteville Road, Jonesboro.


Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  






Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc. | 229 Peachtree Street NE Suite 705 | Atlanta | GA | 30303