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We are all stronger together
In this issue
Under One Roof

A look at the National Housing Conference, its members, and news and events from around housing.

Radiah Shabazz

Emily Brown
Amy Clark
Chris Estes
Ethan Handelman
Rebekah King
Radiah Shabazz
Janet Viveiros

To pitch stories, submit event listings or share happenings in the housing world, or with questions,
email Radiah Shabazz at:
Organizations In This Issue 

Children's HealthWatch

Community Preservation and Development Corporation

Council of Large Public Housing Authorities 

Local Initiatives Support Corporation 

Low Income Investment Fund 

National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials

Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation 

Public Housing Authority Directors Association 

Volunteers of America
People In This Issue


Erika Poethig

Dr. Megan Sandel

Michael Rubinger

Nancy O. Andrews

Pamela Lyons


NHC and Center Events
Please mark your calendars for the upcoming NHC events: 
Solutions for Restoring Neighborhoods 2015 Convening
Nov 5-6, 2015
New Orleans, LA
Member & Partner Events

2015 National Conference on Ending Homelessness 

July 15-17, 2015
Washington, DC


NH&RA 2015 Summer Institute 

July 15-18, 2015

Newport, RI 


2015 NAHRO Summer Conference 

July 30-August 1, 2015
Austin, TX


PHADA 2015 Legislative Forum 

September 13-15, 2015
Washington, DC 


Novogradac Historic Tax Credit Conference

September 17-18, 2015

San Antonio, TX


NAHREP 2015 National Convention 

September 20-22, 2015

Chicago, IL


NCSHA 2015 Annual Conference & Showplace 

September 26-29, 2015

Nashville, TN


NPH Fall Conference 

October 5, 2015

San Francisco, CA 





































































































































































































































JULY 2015

From the Front Porch Chris Estes
Raising our voices
Moving housing forward in the current environment requires collaboration


I hope you had a safe and restful Independence Day weekend. As D.C. settles back down after a flurry of activity, from the Supreme Court rulings to the big holiday weekend, this is usually the time when things here get quieter. This does not mean that the work on policy and funding stops. Achieving a bipartisan plan to lift the budget caps will be a significant effort for NHC and one we hope will unite all affordable housing and community development organizations.


While we still feel many state and national elected officials have yet to truly grapple with the significant shortage of affordable rental housing, we have been especially pleased to see how frequently affordable housing and economic opportunity issues have appeared recently in media across the country. Several news outlets reported on "State of the Nation's Housing 2015," released by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. And a data visualization from the New York Times highlights how location dramatically impacts opportunity and income, echoing the Urban Institute report Rebekah writes about below.




Washington Wire
NHC's weekly housing news update from inside the Beltway

FHFA reports that guarantee fees have increased


by Emily Brown


The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) annual report shows that single-family guarantee fees from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have increased to two and a half times what they were in 2009. FHFA's report also examines the impacts of recent changes to the guarantee fee policy and includes details on guarantee fee quality and quantity. FHFA recently announced some changes to g-fees but those changes did not include an overall decrease.


Bank of America, Citigroup to provide funding for rental housing in New York to fulfill settlements


by Emily Brown


As part of a 2014 settlement resulting from their roles in the 2008 financial crisis, Bank of America and Citigroup will be required to provide consumer relief. As Bloomberg Business reported last week, part of that consumer relief in New York will come from Bank of America and Citigroup providing $75 million in low interest loans for the rehabilitation or development of 3,700 new affordable units (2,200 within New York City and 1,500 throughout the state). This development, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio's commitment to increasing the city's affordable housing supply by 200,000 units, could help those most affected by the severe shortage of affordable rental housing. 


Republicans are talking about housing and poverty. Are housers listening?


by Ethan Handelman


In a speech at the National Press Club on July 2, Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry talked about block granting housing programs as part of a solution to poverty. Along with House Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Perry is now one of two prominent GOP leaders talking about major policy change involving housing as a response to poverty. These proposals have a long way to go before any kind of enactment, but the housing community should engage with them now or risk being left out of the conversation. Read more on NHC's Open House blog.


HUD releases study on homelessness interventions

by Rebekah King


HUD has released its Family Options Study, which studies homeless families who entered emergency shelters over an 18 month period in 12 different communities. Families were randomly assigned to one of four interventions:permanent housing subsidy, rapid re-housing, transitional housing or usual care. The study focuses on how families responded to these four different interventions. One of the study's key findings is that families who received a permanent housing subsidy, like a Housing Choice Voucher, experienced less homelessness and housing instability than families who received the three other interventions. HUD will discuss all of the findings from the study in a webcast on July 8 at 1 p.m. EDT.


NHC submits comment letter on small area fair market rents


by Rebekah King

Recently, HUD released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on expanding the use of small area fair market rents beyond its current demonstration program. HUD's goal is to improve mobility to high opportunity neighborhoods for Section 8 voucher holders. NHC submitted a comment letter on this proposal which is available here.


Growing affordable housing shortage draws widespread attention 

by Emily Brown


The affordable housing shortage is no longer just affecting low-income or young demographics; as the Houston Chronicle reports, households at almost every income level now have trouble paying less than 30 percent of their income on housing. According to "State of the Nation's Housing 2015" from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, around half of the renters in the United States are cost-burdened and a quarter dedicate over half of their monthly paycheck to housing costs. The lack of affordable housing is so severe, in fact, that many renters spend over 70 percent of their income on housing costs. As The Atlantic points out, providing housing at more affordable rates would allow renters to spend some of this money on other costs and could put nearly $56 billion back into local economies.


Because of the high cost burden facing renters, many are unable to save money for a down payment and are more likely to remain in the rental market. As fewer people transition from renting to homeownership, higher-income individuals resort to renting which encourages developers to build luxury rental housing rather than moderately priced units. In fact, 82 percent of new rental units built between 2012 and 2014 were luxury apartments, according to CoStar Group research. This trend keeps vacancy rates low and raises rents for everyone. Prices for rental housing will likely continue this upward trend unless more affordable housing becomes available. 


Urban Institute issues new report on neighborhood inequality


by Rebekah King


The Urban Institute has issued a new report, "Worlds Apart," on neighborhood change from 1990 to 2010. The report found that residents in the most privileged neighborhoods experienced income, wealth and education gains. Residents in disadvantaged neighborhoods, however, more often experienced income declines. Overall inequality between low-income and high-income neighborhoods increased over this 20-year period. The report also discusses the role of zoning and discriminatory housing practices in contributing to neighborhood inequality. 



Improving intergenerational mobility by investing in people and place

by Emily Brown


On June 25, HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research held a panel discussion on upward mobility, mixed-income housing and the importance of place. The discussion, entitled "Investing in People and Places for Upward Mobility," was moderated by Katherine O'Regan, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. The dialogue focused on mixed-income communities as a key strategy to improve outcomes for low-income families; creating mixed-income communities can be done through investing in people through mobility strategies and investing in place through comprehensive community development. Some key themes from the discussion were that strategies for supporting upward mobility vary; collaborative efforts allow for the strongest projects and success can be difficult to measure in the short-term. Read more about this event on NHC's Open House blog.



Los Angeles approves personal property destruction as a response to homelessness 

by Emily Brown

Recently, the Los Angeles City Council approved two ordinances in response to the city's growing population of people living without stable housing (around 26,000). As the LA Times reports, the ordinances authorize the seizure and destruction of personal property and shelter 24 hours after notice, even if the owners are present. The city reportedly spends over $100 million annually to address homelessness, and these new measures will likely add to that cost, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Additionally, a report by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness has noted that criminal penalties create more barriers for those seeking stable housing, and can exacerbate problems associated with homelessness. The city council's decision was praised by local business owners who support the measures, but was criticized by advocates of the homeless. Rather than criminalizing behaviors associated with homelessness, the National Alliance to End Homelessness suggests both Housing First and Rapid Re-housing as more effective strategies to end and prevent homelessness. Though he initially stated support for the two ordinances, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has since changed his mind and now says that he will block enforcement of the ordinances until the council softens the aggressive measures.  


NHC Family Room
news from NHC's family of members
Community Preservation and Development Corporation kicks off revitalization of affordable development

by Radiah Shabazz
Via Twitter: @EdgewoodCommons

NHC member Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC) was joined last month by Mayor Muriel Bowser and various housing leaders to celebrate the planned revitalization of affordable housing developments in the Edgewood neighborhood of Washington, D.C. 

Edgewood Commons, formerly known as Edgewood Terrace, was a haven for open-air drug markets before CPDC acquired and redeveloped the portfolio of properties between 1995 and 2001. It is now in the process of being transformed into a mixed-use community of economically diverse residents. CPDC's approach for the redevelopment is to prevent the displacement and disruptions of current residents and those who have lived in the community for a number of years by preserving affordability. 




LISC, LIIF awarded New Markets Tax Credits 

by Radiah Shabazz 


The U.S. Treasury recently awarded two NHC members $60 and $70 million, respectively, in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) was awarded $60 million in credits and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) received $70 million. The funds will be used to spur economic development in distressed communities across the country.

Both organizations have a strong track record of using tax credit funding to boost development and reduce poverty and crime in communities. LISC has used past funds to construct a state-of-the-art library and community center in Petersburg, Va., a new health center in St. Paul, Minn. and a charter school in Harlem. Past funding for LIIF has financed redevelopment of Memphis, Tenn.'s Sears Crosstown, a state-of-the-art mixed-use facility consisting of commercial, residential and mixed-income space. The development will also include office space, health clinics and an arts- and sciences-based charter high school.  




Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation, NAHRO release Value of Home

by Radiah Shabazz

Last month, NHC members National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and Public Housing Authority Directors Association (PHADA), in partnership with the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) and Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), released Value of Home, their analysis of the latest data on the need for and value of rental assistance and the impact that assisted housing has on communities. The said goal of this report is to increase focus on housing assistance for people with low incomes.

Key findings from the report include that assisted families are significantly more likely to include children, seniors and disabled individuals, with 41 percent of assisted individuals being children and 50 percent of households headed by an elderly or disabled person. The report shows that recipients of rental assistance report better economic outcomes and greater stability in comparison to low-income unassisted renters, and that the presence of assisted housing in a community has been shown to contribute to economic development and revitalization, and reduce homelessness.   


Briefing Room
news from the NHC and the Center

Telling your housing story


by Amy Clark


Last month I had the pleasure of traveling to Melbourne, Fla. for the Florida Alliance of Community Development Corporations 2015 Summit. Titled "How to Tell the Community Development Story," the vision for the summit was to help community development professionals not just improve how they work, but improve how they talk about their work as well.

Over the course of giving my presentation and working with Alliance members on their stories, I found that while this was a talented group of community developers, they had some difficulty stepping back far enough from the details to simply and effectively describe their work. Sound familiar? We all suffer from this affliction to one degree or another. Here are some ways to tackle it.


Read More >>  


NHC Board elections, Annual Gala and Policy Symposium


by Amy Clark and Radiah Shabazz


Many of our members and friends are familiar with our Annual Gala. But June 11 and 12 were about more than just a celebratory gathering of the housing community.

We started the day Thursday morning with our Board of Governors meeting. We said thank you to John Kelly for his three years of leadership as chair, and welcomed Ted Chandler to his new role. While we are sad to see some of our board members step down, they will be ably replaced by the new slate of board members elected by the membership.


Policy Workshop
what we're building

Building trust to build communities

by Ethan Handelman 


Fair housing connects to widely shared American values of equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination. It also triggers divisive policy discussions about just how to achieve those values and fear of penalty for violating rules. Starting from the practical realities of existing patterns of housing and lessons learned by many housing practitioners, NHC is working to help make communities stronger by building trust within the housing community based on our shared values.

Many different parts of the housing community need to work on fair housing. Public sector agencies set the rules by which housing is built, financed and put into use. At the state and local level, policy choices have powerful effects on housing costs, location and quality, but many state and local governments are wary of federal requirements and sometimes opaque enforcement. At the federal level, HUD sees limited capacity for implementing housing policy in many localities, intransigence in a few and its own resource limitations for technical assistance and enforcement. Over time, trust has eroded on both sides.




Research Lab from the Center for Housing Policy developing solutions through research
Affordable housing is much more than a roof

by Janet Viveiros


Affordable housing is health care. Research is continually deepening our understanding of the critical role of safe, affordable and quality housing in supporting good health for people of all ages. People's need for housing goes beyond just shelter. Having a stable, safe and affordable place to live means that households have greater resources to access health care, less exposure to toxins that cause illness and lower levels of stress associated with being unable to afford housing or facing homelessness. 

At NHC's Policy Symposium on June 12, Dr. Megan Sandel, a physician and researcher with Children's HealthWatch, spoke about the lasting harmful effects that homelessness has on children. Her research team found that children's health is negatively impacted by being homeless before they are even born. As a physician, she wishes she "could write a prescription for housing" in order to treat many housing related illnesses such as severe asthma. She encouraged affordable housing organizations to identify and approach community hospitals and other health care institutions to begin working together to use affordable housing to improve the health of community members.




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