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February 2, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) February 2, 2021 – Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, released the following statement upon President Biden's signing of an executive order regarding the public charge rule:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds the Biden administration’s action today to begin unwinding the Trump administration’s patently unlawful Public Charge Rule that included housing assistance receipt against immigrants and their families when applying for an adjustment of residency status. Federal housing assistance exists to keep families together and to lift them up, not to be weaponized to tear them apart. The cruelty of the rule was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as it caused families to opt out of many critical safety net programs, including federal housing assistance.
"CLPHA looks forward to working with the Biden administration to ensure the equitable and compassionate treatment of immigrants and their families when seeking federal housing assistance.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
For Immediate Release
January 28, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) January 28, 2021 – Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, released the following statement upon the conclusion of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs’ nomination hearing for The Honorable Marcia L. Fudge, of Ohio, to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds HUD Secretary-designate Marcia Fudge’s forceful call for expanding emergency rental assistance at her Senate nomination hearing today for individuals who are facing housing instability due to lost income or are experiencing unemployment because of COVID-19, many of whom are people of color. She understands that the $25 billion allocated to emergency rental assistance in the most recent stimulus was not enough and only a down payment.
“Right now, in back rent alone, 10 million low-income renters have accrued an average of $5,600 in rental arrears, which totals $56.3 billion. The current stimulus package will help approximately 3.5 million renters pay back rent by February. The remaining 7 million renters who are unable to pay back rent will face eviction, compounding the strain on our nation’s economy and compromising our nation’s moral responsibility to address racial inequities among our most vulnerable individuals.
CLPHA calls for Congress to immediately pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan which contains $50 billion in emergency rental assistance, and for the Senate to swiftly confirm Secretary-designate Fudge so that she can begin her imperative work.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
For Immediate Release
January 15, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) January 15, 2021 – Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, released the following statement on President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan for including $35 billion in emergency rental and utility assistance and a significant extension of the eviction moratorium.
“The Biden-Harris proposal underscores the magnitude of the rental crisis facing the nation, and, when combined with the $25 billion in rental assistance from the December stimulus, finally begins to address the threat of housing instability that millions of low-income Americans are facing. To date, 11.4 million renters have accrued an average of $6,000 in back rent, totaling $70 billion in unpaid rent. President-elect Biden said last night that every day matters when keeping a roof over one’s head. The most effective model to deliver rental assistance immediately is the Housing Choice Voucher program. Its efficiency is proven, the infrastructure is in place, and it can rapidly expand to deliver the significant amount of relief proposed in the American Rescue Plan.
“CLPHA is committed to working with Congress and the Biden-Harris administration to ensure its swift passage so that Americans facing the threat of eviction don’t have to wait another day longer.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
The District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) and partners cut the ribbon on the Residences at Hayes Street, a 150-unit affordable housing community constructed with help from a $2 million DCHA loan. DCHA will also provide nearly $241,000 annually in rent subsidies to residents.
The Charlotte Housing Authority has opened The Oaks at Cherry, an 81-unit affordable housing community with resident amenities such a playground, cyber café, and fitness center in Charlotte’s historic Cherry neighborhood. You can watch a video about The Oaks at Cherry community here.
Of the complex’s 68 units, 34 are funded by Section 8 project-based vouchers, and 15 of those apartments are set aside for individuals with disabilities. The construction of Key’s Pointe Residences is part of HABC’s massive revitalization plan for Baltimore’s O’Donnell Heights neighborhood.
At the CLPHA Fall Meeting earlier this month, Bruce Katz, former Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program,discussed how housing authorities, cities, and other stakeholders can seize the opportunity of the new Opportunity Zone tax incentives. Below is additional information and resources for CLPHA members on Opportunity Zones, including a CLPHA analysis of public housing developments in Opportunity Zones for members and a policy prospectus from Katz on how to best leverage these new tax incentives.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established the new tax incentive, which will
“Allow any taxpayer to defer paying tax on capital gains from the sale of property if those gains are timely invested in Qualified Opportunity Funds, which in turn must invest 90% of its assets in businesses located or property used in a low-income community. If investors invest for ten years, they also pay no capital gains tax on the appreciation on that investment.”
Following the establishment of the tax incentives, U.S. governors designated more than 8,700 “Opportunity Zones” in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; many overlap with locations where CLPHA members have public housing communities. Opportunity Zone incentives are unique because they rely on individual investment decisions instead of government distributions, can be utilized for all manner of projects (residential, commercial, industrial, or infrastructure), are not contingent upon pre-specified outcomes or metrics for success, and there is no cap to the amount of benefits investors can receive.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released a notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of a public hearing on Investing in Qualified Opportunity Zones. There are two provisions related to housing in the proposed rule: a working capital safe harbor for the acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of property for up to 31 months and also a provision stating that the basis attributable to land will not be taken into account when determining whether the building has been substantially improved. According to the rule, excluding the basis of land will help facilitate the repurposing of vacant buildings in Qualified Opportunity Zones.
CLPHA will be reviewing the proposed rule to understand how PHAs can take advantage of Opportunity Zones to further local housing goals. Comments on the notice are due December 28 and the public hearing will be held on January 10, 2019.
Resources for Members
CLPHA Analysis of Members in Opportunity Zones: Using the list of designated Qualified Opportunity Zones and HUD data on public housing buildings, CLPHA performed a comparison analysis to determine which public housing buildings are located in designated Opportunity Zones. We found that 57 CLPHA members had at least one public housing building in a qualified Opportunity Zone. In the attached spreadsheet, you can find a full list of properties, including census tract and geographic data, located in Opportunity Zones, as well as a quick-glance table that lists the housing authority and property development name. Click here to download CLPHA’s Analysis from our Dropbox.
Policy Brief – From Transactions to Transformation: How Cities Can Maximize Opportunities –Bruce Katz and Evan Weiss: This brief details a vision for the potential economic and social outcomes of the Opportunity Zone tax incentives and offers ten steps for cities to leverage local resources in order to take advantage of them. Download the brief from Drexel’s website.
Opportunity Fund Directory: The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) has released this new online resource that provides descriptions and contact information for publicly-announced Opportunity Funds. View the Directory on NCSHA’s website.
Opportunity Zone Explorer: Enterprise Community Partners has created this mapping tool to help those interested in opportunity zones determine which tracts in their regions have been designated and how they related to other federal programs. Use the Opportunity Zone Explorer on the Enterprise website.
The Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) and Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) were recognized for their work in addressing homelessness among community college students and other barriers to higher education in a recent article for Inside Higher Ed. THA’s College Housing Assistance Program began in 2014 in response to rising rents in Tacoma and Pierce Counties. High rates of homelessness among Tacoma Community College students created opportunities for partnership between the College and THA, which now serves 150 students — many of whom have children of their own — who are homeless and near homeless. With the help of a housing voucher and additional financial aid, students are able to continue pursuing their degrees.
CHA is taking a slightly different approach to a similar problem. In working with City Colleges of Chicago through a program known as Partners in Education, the housing authority covers tuition and other fees for residents. Over 600 CHA residents are currently enrolled in Chicago’s community colleges, and while many receive federal and state financial aid, additional assistance from the housing authority ensures continued enrollment. As Moving to Work (MTW) agencies, both THA and CHA are able to engage in postsecondary partnerships as a result of program flexibility.
THA and CHA will further discuss these partnerships with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, and Louisville Metro Housing Authority at a postsecondary convening co-sponsored by CLPHA, Housing Is, and Kresge next month. CLPHA looks forward to discussing how initiatives like these can be replicated and brought to scale across the country.
From the Los Angeles Rams' press release:
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay, the LA84 Foundation, the Play Equity Fund and the Steinmetz Foundation provided funding for the construction of new playground equipment at the Ramona Gardens Housing Development in Boyle Heights. The playground has been completely refurbished and will be unveiled during a celebratory ribbon-cutting at 4pm on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
With nearly 500 residences at Ramona Gardens – home to approximately 1,700 people and 700 children – this collaborative effort will provide enhanced opportunities for area youth to engage in play and healthy movement.
Over 350 children are expected to attend the playground's unveiling. They will be joined by members of the Rams 2022 rookie class, Rams Cheerleaders and mascot Rampage. There will also be interactive official team activities for the kids, sports equipment giveaways and food. Local elected and community leaders will also be in attendance.
The playground will also serve the needs of the students who attend Santa Teresita School, an elementary school across the street. The renovations and all-abilities playground equipment for kids aged 2-12 were designed in partnership with Legacy LA, a community organization that serves the surrounding neighborhoods.
The installation of the colorful new playground equipment was recently completed after a month-long build that included benches, decorative landscaping, as well as an elevated artificial turf surface that is the size of a basketball court. The construction was managed by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA). The structure meets current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.
"This new playground equipment transforms Ramona Gardens' recreation area into a vibrant community space, and it provides kids with a safe place to play for the healthy movement that's crucial to every childhood," said Renata Simril, President & CEO of the LA84 Foundation, and President of the Play Equity Fund. "The generosity of Sean McVay and the Steinmetz Foundation, as well as the work of Legacy LA and HACLA, helped us make this playground a reality. It is a tribute to the power of collaboration, and will help kids and families make memories that last a lifetime."
From the Los Angeles Community Development Authority's press release:
The Los Angeles County Development Authority is excited to announce the launch of the Senior Grant Program which provides grants to help low-income seniors to remain in their homes and age in place.
The Senior Grant Program will replace the Single-Family Home Improvement Loan Program to serve the growing senior population without the burden of requiring a property lien as a requirement for the assistance. The funds are made available through the Federal Community Development Block Grant Program.
Eligible homeowners in Supervisorial Districts 1, 2, 4 and 5 may receive a grant of up to $15,000 for mobility and habitability repairs.
Seniors interested in applying for the program must be homeowners over 62 years old, low-income and must own their own home. Examples of modifications include wheelchair ramps, grab bars, widened doorways, non-slip floor covering, or conversions from tubs to roll-in showers.
Additionally, the program will finance deferred maintenance repairs such as plumbing, electrical or heating that are necessary to improve the structural integrity of the home and prolong the home’s useful life.
From the San Diego Housing Commission's press release:
An empty dirt lot in San Ysidro is getting a new purpose as an affordable housing community with rental apartments for 100 seniors with low income, including 25 for seniors who have experienced homelessness, a transformation made possible through collaboration with the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC).
“What we’re doing today is opening the door – or I guess in this case, the windows – of opportunity for more folks in our community, 100 affordable housing units for seniors,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said at a groundbreaking ceremony today for Ventana al Sur, which is “window to the south” in Spanish. “Projects like these are how we tackle our region’s housing affordability and our homelessness crisis. And I’m particularly grateful that MAAC would go the extra mile and reserve 25 of these homes for homeless seniors. And there’s no bigger issue facing our city currently than our homelessness crisis.”
Developed by MAAC and Kingdom Development, Ventana al Sur’s rental apartments, a mixture of one- and two-bedroom units, will remain affordable for 55 years for seniors with income up to 50 percent of San Diego’s Area Median Income, currently $52,050 for a two-person household. The development also includes one manager’s unit.
“Today’s groundbreaking is a significant milestone. For this development, it represents the start of construction. For the San Diego community, it is the latest progress in the ongoing work to address the shortage of affordable housing. This is especially important for the senior population that will call Ventana al Sur home,” said Colin Miller, SDHC’s Senior Vice President of Housing Finance and Property Management.
SDHC awarded 25 rental housing vouchers to Ventana al Sur to help pay rent for seniors who previously experienced homelessness. These residents will also receive on-site supportive services.
SDHC also awarded a loan of up to $4.4 million toward the development of Ventana al Sur, which will consist of funds SDHC administers: the City of San Diego’s Affordable Housing Fund and California Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) Local Housing Trust Funds.
SDHC supported the Ventana al Sur development through HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s homelessness action plan, which has created more than 10,600 housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of Homelessness. HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO launched in November 2014.
From Mountain Housing Opportunities' press release:
The Asheville Housing Authority (AHA) and Mountain Housing Opportunities, Inc. (MHO) were awarded a new construction 9% housing tax credit development in Buncombe County.
The new rental development is the first phase of our “Reimagining Deaverview” initiative and will have 82 units located at 275 Deaverview Road, Asheville, NC 28806. The three buildings will have a mix of 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom units sited upon approximately 3.1 acres. The units will be rented to families making 60% and below the area median income.
A limited number of tax credits are awarded each year across the state. This year, AHA and MHO were successful in obtaining this competitive award. The state tax credit and loan package, announced October 4th, were key to making the project financially viable.
“We are excited to see this important project moving forward,” said Tara Irby, COO of Asheville Housing Authority, “We have been working closely with the residents and other stakeholders in the community for two years and this is a great milestone to celebrate.”
“The housing credits are the main source of funds for developing affordable housing in America and in NC. They are very competitive and difficult to win, so I want to thank NCHFA for making these available to help the people of Buncombe County,” said MHO’s Executive Director, Scott Dedman.
Construction is expected to begin Summer 2023 and will be completed in Fall 2024. In the 2022 cycle, the North Carolina Finance Agency awarded competitive housing tax credit funding to 28 developments in 23 counties, totaling 1,716 affordable apartments.
From the City of Norfolk's press release:
The City of Norfolk is joining the Community of Practice for Healthy Housing Equity, led by the National League of Cities (NLC), to develop community-wide approaches that support healthy housing in our community. Norfolk joins five other cities from across the nation to do intensive work on healthy housing and healthy equity.
The full cohort includes Chicago, IL; Golden, CO; Grand Rapids, MI; New Orleans, LA; Norfolk, VA; and Osceola, AR. The yearlong Community of Practice provides municipal leaders a proven, comprehensive and coordinated framework for improving health outcomes through housing, as well as abundant resources and hands-on support from NLC, an organization with nearly a century of expertise in this area.
The goal for the City’s engagement in this Community of Practice is to identify baseline data, measurable outcomes and achievable initiatives for improving the health of Norfolk residents through housing interventions. Primary participants include the Departments of Housing and Community Development, Neighborhood Services, Human Services and Public Health as well as Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
The Healthy Housing Community Practice, an initiative of NLC’s Institute for Youth Education and Families, provides expert assistance to help municipal teams make changes—centered in equity—to policies, practices, systems and structures that impact home-based health for children and adults, such as lead and asthma triggers.