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Monthly Newsletter - November 17, 2011

Federal News 

 

House and Senate Expected to Cast Final Vote on HUD Appropriations Bill Today, November 17. The conference committee released the final version of the FY 2012 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill on November 14. The net total for HUD is $37.3 billion - a $3.8 billion reduction from FY 2011 levels, and $4.7 billion below the President's request. H.R. 2112 is expected to be sent to the President's desk for signature by tomorrow. It includes the following funding levels:

  • $17.2 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance contract renewals (3.4 percent increase) 
  • $9.3 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance (1 percent increase) 
  • $1 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (38 percent decrease) 
  • $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program (11.6 percent decrease) 
  • $1.875 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund (8 percent decrease) 
  • $3.96 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund (14 percent decrease) 
For proposed FY 2012 funding levels for other HUD programs and the full budget chart, view the Enterprise Budget and Appropriations webpage.
 
Congress Unanimously Approves First Two Portions of Jobs Bill. The legislation gives employers tax credits of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been unemployed longer than six months. It also gives employers a tax credit of up to $9,600 for hiring long-unemployed disabled veterans. The bill expands an education and jobs retraining program for unemployed veterans. It creates a new project that directs the Labor Department to figure out ways for veterans to use their specialized training to get licenses in different fields in the civilian work force. The legislation also repeals a George W. Bush-era tax accountability law that would have allowed the federal, state and local governments to withhold 3% of contractor pay, allowing those dollars to be applied as a credit toward federal income taxes. That law was supposed to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013. This legislation was unanimously approved by the House yesterday and by the House on November 10m, the day before Veterans Day. It is expected to be signed by the President.  

 

November 23 Deadline Looms for Congressional Super Committee.  The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction must deliver a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit by at least 1.2 trillion over the next ten years by November 23 to avoid accross-the-board spending reductions (sequestration) to national defense and domestic discretionary programs. Some entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, are exempt from mandatory sequestration. No HUD programs would be exempt. Major cuts to housing and community development programs appear likely.
  

House Subcommittee Held Hearing On HOME Program Fraud; HUD Proposed New Rule to Strengthen Oversight. Following a November 2 House Financial Services Committee joint hearing titled Fraud in the HUD HOME Program, HUD issued a press release proposing a new rule to strengthen oversight of the HOME program. The new rule would:

  • Require state and local governments to adopt policies and procedures to improve their oversight of projects, develop a system for assessing the relative risk of projects, and more closely monitor their HOME-funded sub-recipients; 
  • Require state and local governments to assess a developer's capacity and the long-term viability of the project, before they commit HOME funds to a project;
  • Require more frequent reporting by state and local 'participating jurisdictions' to enable HUD to more closely track projects once they're under way; and 
  • Set a higher 'performance bar' by establishing specific timeframes for taking appropriate corrective actions against participating jurisdictions who fail to complete what they started.

Bipartisan Policy Center Launches Housing Commission. Chaired by former Senators Christopher Bond (R-MO) and George Mitchell (D-ME) and Former HUD Secretaries Henry Cisneros and Mel Martinez, the commission plans to study the entire housing sector and to issue "realistic and actionable policy recommendations" early in 2013. Learn more on their website and blog.  

  

NACEDA News

  

NACEDA Members Create Midwest Caucus. NACEDA's midwest members gathered at the Indiana Statewide Conference on Housing and Community Development's Midwest Summit in late September. Inspired by keynote speaker Richard Longworth, author of the book, Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism, they decided to form a caucus to explore how they could make a case for housing and community economic development funding in the midwestern region. "It's a great opportunity for me to learn from my peers," said Nate Coffman, Executive Director of the Ohio CDC Association. "We're a distinct region with a very similar set of concerns. As we face funding cuts, we have so much in common and so much to learn from each other in terms of policy and advocacy, what's working, what's not working. I think this will last for years." The NACEDA Midwest Caucus includes the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development, Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, Housing Action Illinois, and the Ohio CDC Association.

  

NACEDA Southern Caucus Emerges. Southern members met by conference call in October and are planning another meeting for November 21. "I find getting together with my peers to be really useful. We're all dealing with state governments right now and state budget issues," said Terry Chelikowsky, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of Community Development Corporations (FLACDC). "I find it much more useful talking about what's going on right next door because the political culture is similar in those states." The southern members discussed affordable housing trust fund legislation and looked at Florida as a model, although Chelikowsky pointed out that it's not currently funded. They also discussed the idea of coordinating a meeting with that of a national organization, perhaps the Center for Community Change or NeighborWorks America. The NACEDA Southern Caucus currently includes the Alabama Association of Community Development Corporations, Arkansas Coalition of Housing and Neighborhood Growth for Empowerment, FLACDC, South Florida Community Development Coalition, Atlanta Housing Association of Neighborhood-Based Developers, Georgia State Trade Association of Nonprofit Developers, and the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations. 

 

NACEDA Members Attend Ford Conversation on Fair Housing. NACEDA Executive Director Sam Yoon, along with NACEDA members Betsy Crum and Pat Spring (CT), Joe Kriesberg (MA), Diane Sterner (NJ), and Andy Schneggenburger (Atlanta) participated in a unique convening at the Ford Foundation on October 3. It was designed to bring together leaders in community development together with advocates from the fair housing arena to discuss their shared history and a vision toward working together more closely in the future. Sam Yoon and Betsy Crum, Executive Director of the Connecticut Housing Coalition, were asked to speak on strategies for facilitating the development of affordable housing in "high opportunity" areas from a community development perspective. "It was a wide-ranging and revealing conversation," said Sam Yoon. "It was good to have folks from Ford's Metropolitan Opportunity unit, HUD, the private sector, fair housing attorneys and advocates, and representatives of both large and small non-profits all there at the same time. I'm glad that NACEDA members were part of the discussion." 
 

Partner News

 

Citi Launches PolicyMap Data Tool - Learn More at November 28 Webinar. The CommunityDevelopment@Citi website now features the PolicyMap Data Tool - a portal to the national data, tables, charts, reports and maps. Data includes demographics, home sale statistics, mortgage trends, labor figures and much more. PolicyMap users can view data and maps online; download and export the information; and upload their own data to share with others. Learn more about how to use PolicyMap's interactive database Data Tool at a webinar on November 28 at 2 pm EST. Webinar registration and information

 

Member News

 

Housing Action Illinois Conference Features Barbara Sard, Celebrates 25 Years of Advocacy and Training. Barbara Sard of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities spoke on a plenary titled, Federal Deficit Reduction-Spending Crisis or Revenue Crisis? She promoted "policy changes that leverage additional funds, serve additional families or save costs without harming intended beneficiaries." Sard advocated for policies to meet the public housing capital backlog with private capital; SEVRA reforms that would save $1 billion over 5 years; administrative streamlining; the use non-HUD funds for service costs; and a focus on work- and health-enhancing services for assisted residents. In a workshop titled Successfully Measuring the Economic Impact of Affordable Housing, John Fallon of the Corporation for Supportive Housing made a strong case for the human and societal cost of not housing those most in need, using the example of "Million Dollar Richard." Without housing and support, Richard cost the system $72,900 per year in jail, emergency room and state hospital costs. To house and serve a client like Richard would cost approximately $12,020, Fallon asserted. It also celebrated Housing Action Illinois' successful policy campaigns, including the creation of the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the creation of the state Homeless Prevention Program. Read the program for descriptions of the plenary sessions and workshops on four tracks: Policy and Advocacy; Housing Counseling, Affordable Housing Development; and Shelter, Service & Housing.

 

Sheila Crowley Addressed Georgia's 10th Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference. The event was co-presented by the Georgia State Trade Association of Nonprofit Developers (G-STAND) and the Atlanta Housing Association of Neighborhood-Based Developers (AHAND). NLIHC President Sheila Crowley discussed the federal budget, the ongoing campaign to capitalize the National Housing Trust Fund, and what the 2012 election cycle means for low income housing. She noted that the budget cuts mandated if the Congressional Super Committee does not succeed would take effect in January 2013 - after the 2012 election - and urged CDCs and advocates to focus on getting constituents registered. "Empowering low income individuals to vote is essential in protecting and promoting their housing needs," Crowley asserted. Ben Nichols of Enterprise Community Partners discussed their recent study of ten nonprofit housing and community development organizations in a session titled Building Sustainable Organizations. Recommendations derived from study include strengthening financial reporting and analysis; maintaining strong relationships with funders and government partners; and conducting forecasting and scenario planning when considering new projects. 

  

Sixty Eight South Carolina CDCs Now Have Full GrantStation Membership Thanks to SCACDC. The South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations (SCACDC) purchased GrantStation membership and training for all of their member organizations. President and CEO Director Bernie Mazyck explained that the investment will improve access to current grant information and grant writing skills for CDCs and nonprofits throughout the state. "Our CDCs will be the first line of information on available grants. They will assist other nonprofits in their local areas by having GrantStation resources and training on the most effective way to use it," he said. Learn more about NACEDA's partnership with GrantStation to provide full and reduced memberships on the NACEDA website.

  

Share Your News With NACEDA Members! Contact Suzanne Gunther, NACEDA communications consultant, at sgunther@naceda.org.  

 

 

Events & Educational Opportunities 

  

Enterprise  Free Webinars

Year 15: Transition Strategies for Expiring LIHTC Properties - November 17, 2-3:30 pm EST

Determing Sales Price - December 13, 2-4 pm EST. Part of the HUD NSP TA Series. 
Registration and information for both webinars.

  

National Employment Law Project Free Webinars. Webinars run from 2-3 pm EST.

Protecting Workers Caught in the Rush to Recoup Unemployment Insurance Overpayments - November 17

Model State Legislation to Reduce Employment Barriers for People with Criminal Records - November 22

Promoting Recovery by Raising the Minimum Wage - December 8

Registration and information

 

Bring Workers Home - 2011 Regional Forum on Workforce Housing - December 1 in Portland, OR. Presented by the National Association of Realtors and the National Housing Conference. Registration and information

  

Housing Assistance Council Training - Construction Management and Advanced Financial Management

December 1-2 in Chico, CA Registration and information

Dec 5-6 in Eugene, OR Registration and information

 

NLIHC Free Lunch-Time Series in Washington, DC

HOPWA presented by the National AIDS Housing Coalition - December 5
Fair housing issues presented by the National Fair Housing Association - December 12
More information
 

 

NeighborWorks Training Institute - December 12-16 in Washington, DC

Registration and information

 

NeighborWorks Symposium - December 14 in Washington DC. Titled Building on Strength: Invigorating Business Models for Affordable Rental Housing in the New Era, the symposium will highlight leaders who are exploring efficiencies in their existing practices, as well as investigating new business strategies. Keynote remarks by Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) and Raphael Bostic, HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy, Development and Research. Registration and information

  

Publications & Resources

  

Neighborhoods, Obesity, and Diabetes - A Randomized Social Experiment, The New England Journal of Medicine, October 20, 2011. The study found that a person's risk of diabetes and extreme obesity dropped by nearly 20 percent by moving to a wealthier neighborhood. 
 
Furhman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy, October 2011. Fact sheet
accompanying the Furhman Center study.
 
HousingPolicy.org Toolkit: Promote Sustainable and Equitable Development, Center for Housing Policy, October 2011. Features tools that states and localities can use to create and preserve affordable housing options in areas where transportation costs are likely to be low.
 
 
NLIHC Housing Spotlight: Renters' Growing Pain, October 2011. Examines data from the recently-released American Community Survey.
 
Grantstation & NACEDA Partnership
NACEDA Offers Full Access to GrantStation at Free or Reduced Rates.

If your organization is a NACEDA member, your benefits package now includes free full access to GrantStation, a web-based set of resources to identify relevant grant opportunities and improve your grant writing techniques.
 
If your organization belongs to a NACEDA member state or regional association, you can get full access to GrantStation for just $75. (List of NACEDA member associations) To take advantage of this great deal, register and login  through the NACEDA website.
 
Our Price: $75*
List Price: $599
 
Not familiar with GrantStation? Visit their website and watch a product demonstration. Don't hesitate to contact NACEDA if you would like more information.

*Offer only available through www.naceda.org

National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations

phone: (202) 518-2660