Webinar on Financing and Operating Affordable Housing for Extremely Low Income Households

NLIHC will host a webinar for advocates and developers on Monday, August 15 at 12:30 pm ET on options and considerations related to financing and operating affordable housing for extremely low income (ELI) households – those with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income.

Developing rental units affordable to ELI households without relying on vouchers can be very challenging. NLIHC’s national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Developer Advisory Group recently published two briefs on strategies for funding ELI housing and on options and considerations related to using operating assistance and operating assistance reserves for HTF projects to achieve 30-year ELI affordability without depending on vouchers.

NLIHC’s Ed Gramlich and Paul Kealey will provide an overview of the Advisory Group’s papers.  Former Homes for America President and CEO Nancy Rase and Community Frameworks Senior Housing and Community Developer Ginger Segel, both members of the HTF Developer Advisory Group, will be on hand to share reflections and answer questions.

HTF requires that at least 80% of a state’s allocation must be used to produce, rehabilitate, or preserve rental housing, that 100% of a state’s allocation in 2016 must benefit ELI households, and that HTF-assisted units must remain affordable for at least 30 years. Learn how this can be accomplished and what the pitfalls are. 

Register for this webinar at: http://bit.ly/29YREE0

For accessibility accommodations, contact James Saucedo at jsaucedo@nlihc.org or 202-507-7452.

Advertisements

Ohio Awards Over $31 Million in LIHTCs

Read the full story here.

By Christine Serlin

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) has reserved more than $31 million in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) for the creation of 2,593 units in 41 affordable housing developments.

Columbus, Ohio’s capital city, has four developments that received low-income housing tax credits in the latest funding round, including Poindexter Phase III, the new construction fourth phase of a mixed-income, multigenerational transformation plan that received a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Implementation Grant through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Four additional developments in Franklin County also received reservations.

The LIHTCs will help fund the construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of affordable housing communities that will serve families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities in rural, suburban, and urban areas of the state. Twenty of the state’s counties will be served.

“The housing tax credit program doesn’t only create quality affordable housing for Ohioans. It’s also a valuable resource that leverages private-sector participation, creates jobs, and improves communities,” said Doug Garver, OHFA executive director, in a statement.

To see the full list of the 2016 reservations, visit http://ohiohome.org/ppd/documents/2016-HTC-Recipients.pdf.

A decade after housing peaked: Owners richer, renters hurting

 

This story has been reposted from The Columbus Dispatch
By Josh Boak
Associated Press  •  Monday June 20, 2016 3:32 PM
MOUNT PLEASANT, South Carolina (AP) — It’s a troublesome story playing out across America in the 10 years since the housing bubble peaked and then burst in a ruinous crash: As real estate has climbed back, homeowners are thriving while renters are struggling.

For many longtime owners, times are good. They’re enjoying the benefits of growing equity and reduced mortgage payments from ultra-low rates.

But for America’s growing class of renters, surging costs, stagnant pay and rising home values have made it next to impossible to save enough to buy.

The possible consequences are bleak for a nation already grappling with economic inequality: Whatever wealth most Americans possess mainly comes from home equity. An enlarged renter class means fewer Americans can build that same wealth and financial security.

Nearly two-thirds of adults still own homes. And some who rent do so by choice. Yet ownership has become a more distant dream for the many Americans who still regard it as a route to prosperity and pride. The problem has become especially severe in areas that offer the best job prospects as well as those that have been battered by foreclosures.

“It doesn’t paint a pretty picture,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, the online real estate database company. “You’re really blocking out a group of buyers from owning a home. They’re truly living paycheck to paycheck, and that does not put them into a good position to buy.”

Joe Fabie and his wife face just such a bind. They moved to Mount Pleasant, just over the bridge from historic Charleston, South Carolina after law school in Pittsburgh. The suburb’s pastel-hued harbor vistas, tin-roofed houses and Spanish moss-adorned live oaks were enchanting.

But the rising rent on their one-bedroom apartment — more than for their three-bedroom rental in Pittsburgh — made it impossible to save enough to buy a home. With their rent going up again, the couple moved to a cheaper suburb in hopes of repaying their student debt and saving for a starter home.

“The best school district is Mount Pleasant, and we would like to be there,” said Fabie, 27. “But if you’re lucky you can get some beat-up homes for around $300,000.”

An exclusive analysis by The Associated Press of census data covering over 300 communities found that two major forces are driving a wedge between the fortunes of renters and homeowners:

—Historically low mortgage rates have enabled homeowners to refinance and shrink their monthly payments, thereby reducing a major household cost. The median annual mortgage expense for a U.S. homeowner has dropped by $1,492 since 2006.

—A combination of foreclosures and new college graduates crowding into the strongest job markets has raised demand for rentals. Renters accounted for all the 8 million-plus net households the United States added in the past decade. Home ownership has dipped to 63.5 percent, near a 48-year low.


Read the full story here.

Can San Francisco Get Mixed-Income Public Housing Redevelopment Right?

The HOPE SF program is aiming to explicitly avoid many of the problems mixed-income public housing redevelopments have faced, to create a truly inclusive process.

Read the full article here on Shelterforce.org

By M. Joseph, N. Latham, R.G. Kleit, and S. LaFrance Posted on May 4, 2016
Hunter’s View, the first development in HOPE SF to have construction and occupancy of mixed-income units. (Courtesy of Mark Joseph.)

As the affordable housing crisis and issues of social and racial inequality once again gain national attention across the United States, the HOPE SF housing redevelopment initiative represents a unique effort to ensure that the poorest residents of San Francisco are not excluded from the benefits of that city’s economic growth and vitality.

In 2007, San Francisco joined Atlanta and Chicago as the third U.S. city to launch a high profile mixed-income transformation of a substantial portion of its public housing stock. The federal government had already begun to promote mixed-income development in the mid-1990s as a means of deconcentrating the poverty that had been segregated into isolated, socially, and physically deteriorating public housing developments. For about a decade and a half, much of this redevelopment was funded through the HOPE VI program, with over $6 billion awarded to over 240 revitalization projects nationwide. Under the Obama administration, HOPE VI has been phased out and replaced with the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI), which adds a broader focus on neighborhood-wide development and a more intensive focus on resident services.

HOPE SF, designed and launched as a locally funded initiative after San Francisco failed to secure HOPE VI funding, tackles individual-level, development-level, and neighborhood-level transformation simultaneously, which subsequently landed the project a $30 million CNI implementation grant and two $300,000 planning grants.

Read the full article here on Shelterforce.org

Peer Exchange Self-help Housing in the North of England

People can now apply to attend a peer exchange visit to World Habitat Award winners Self-help Housing in the North of England, UK. This peer exchange will run from Monday 19 September through to Friday 23 September 2016 and is sponsored by the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF).

BSHF is an independent not-for-profit organisation working around the world. They encourage better housing for people with few housing choices by identifying and promoting great practice in housing, bringing people together to transfer solutions and ideas, and facilitating programmes leading to positive change.

About the project

Self- help Housing in the North of England includes two similar well-established self-help housing schemes in Yorkshire and Humber in the UK.

The award winning work is delivered by Canopy and Giroscope, two separate housing charities that train homeless and vulnerable people to renovate abandoned properties and bring them back into use. Both organisations purchase or lease long-term empty properties and bring them back into use with the help of volunteers, who often also end up living in the renovated houses.

The programmes provide low-cost, high-quality, permanently affordable and energy efficient housing for low-income communities. Watch their achievements in this video.

About this peer exchange

This peer exchange will provide participants with an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience, become part of a community of practice and gain an in-depth understanding of the key aspects of the award-winning programme, including engagement with marginalised people, renovation of empty properties and provision of affordable, secure tenancies. Intensive site visits will form a major part of the peer exchange, providing an opportunity to study all aspects of the programme and to meet those responsible for its success.

Applying for a place

This peer exchange will be of particular interest to urban practitioners, researchers or policymakers involved in self-help housing, empty homes/vacant buildings and/or homelessness.

To apply please complete this short application form.

Please note that places are limited and are not guaranteed.

BSHF will cover participants’ accommodation, food and travel costs during the exchange. Limited bursary funds are available for those requiring financial assistance with the costs of travelling to and from the peer exchange.

Applications need to be made by Monday 6 June 2016, 7am (UK time).

Apply now

Tiny Houses: A How-to Guide for Columbus

April’s meeting of the Housing Dialogue showcased the semester-long research efforts of an Undergraduate Junior Studio class at the Knowlton School of The Ohio State University. The class produced “Living Tiny in Columbus: A how-to guide for implementing tiny houses,” a presentation and document that can inform policymakers about how to implement tiny homes him and around Central Ohio.

A survey of 875 people conducted by the students showed high interest in tiny house living, mostly among people without children and for larger models just under 800 sq. ft. Their research of current city codes showed that tiny homes are possible within some zoning districts, but they also propose a Tiny House Unit Development (THUD) for tiny home villages.

Below is an outline of the group’s reesarch:

  • Typical size, 120-800 sq ft, usually below minimum square footage requirements
  • Studio defined tiny homes as those under 800 sq. ft. and on a foundation, not wheels
  • Google trends searches demonstrate significant growth since 2010 in searches for “tiny houses”
  • Interests in tiny houses include sustainable living, minimalism, shrinking household size, urban lifestyle, and housing affordable issues
  • Studio’s goal was to understand how to implement tiny houses: market research, zoning, site selection, and cost/design

Market research

  • Conducted a survey with 875 respondents.
    • 77% of respondents expressed interest in living in a tiny house (either slightly, moderately, or very interested)
    • 83% of below-median income respondents were interested, higher than the interest level of those above the median-income in Ohio.
    • Among four options of tiny home layouts ranging from 310 to 777 sq. ft., the largest option was the most preferred among survey respondents.

Zoning

  • Some zoning districts in Columbus would allow tiny homes without appeals currently.
  • Zoning proposal: Tiny House Unit Development (THUD)
    • PUD zoning approach
    • Facilitates a tiny house village or development
    • Foundations, sewer, water, utility hookups would be required. Homeowners association would be required to maintain common areas. Setbacks would match those of surround residential neighborhood.

Site Selection

  • Food access; public transit; walkability
  • Looked at Old Town East and South Linden

Cost/Design

  • Estimated cost for the market-rate tiny home is $144,146. With affordable housing subsidies, the estimated cost is $91,063. The majority of the costs are in materials.

 

 

 

View the full report here: tiny-house-report