2-3 year delay in AFFH compliance?!   HUD is once again seeking to evade its civil rights responsibilities, this time with a multi-year extension of time to all local governments with upcoming deadlines to submit an Assessment of Fair Housing to HUD.  An extraordinary and unexpected development.  Read the notice here.  Stay tuned.
 
OCA v Carson :  Over the holidays, we received a positive preliminary injunction ruling from the federal district court in DC, enjoining Secretary Carson's attempted two year suspension of the mandatory Small Area Fair Market rent rule. This will be a major opportunity for public housing agencies in the 23 affected metro areas to reorient their policies and rent structures to give families access to new neighborhoods and communities.
 
Housing mobility received some important media attention over the holidays, with a great opinion piece in the Boston Globe and an excellent segment on the PBS Newshour, featuring some of our our colleagues in Baltimore, Chicago, and St. Louis (PRRAC and the Mobility Works team have been working with the St. Louis program for since its inception in 2015).

LIHTC advances :  Although the recent tax reform bill has many affordable housing advocates justifiably concerned about a potential drop in affordable housing production through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, there were a couple of recent items of positive news on the LIHTC front - first, the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) released the final version of its"best practices" guide for state Housing Finance Agencies, recommending, among other things, that states' annual Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) should not include extra points or threshold requirements for local municipal approval or financial contributions to a LIHTC development, that QAPs should include meaningful content for the federally required preference for developments consistent with a "concerted community revitalization plan," and that QAPs should balance community development objectives with opportunities for low income families to access housing in lower poverty areas of opportunity. These recommendations reflect more than a decade of advocacy and dialogue at the federal and state level, as well as mirroring the (bi-partisan) fair housing provisions of the 2017 Senate bill (which were unfortunately dropped from the final tax reform bill). 
 
S econd, the state of California has just announced its adoption of a new opportunity map to help guide its LIHTC allocation decisions.  The state worked with Berkeley's Haas Institute, Enterprise Community Partners, and the California Housing Partnership Corporation in developing the new map, which addresses complex dynamics of racial and economic exclusion, displacement, and disinvestment in some very different types of California communities... 
 
Calling all graphic designers the National Coalition on School Diversity has just issued an RFP for a graphic design firm - more details here!  
 
 
Other Resources
 
Gentrification and school integration ?   The Civil Rights Project highlights an important potential benefit of neighborhood change in city schools in this new report...but can it last?    
 
Lead poisoning: Environmental and public health groups won a victory in the 9th Circuit, which issued an opinion on December 29 ordering EPA to update its lead exposure rules. The court held that applicable statutes require the agency to act, and that it had unreasonably delayed, particularly because the available science on hazards to children's health showed "a clear threat to human welfare." The opinion is available here.
 
Voucher discrimination in Cuyahoga County: Thanks to the Cleveland-based Housing Research and Advocacy Center for this in-depth report on discrimination against Housing Choice Voucher families in Cuyahoga County.  We have been working with the Center and its partners in an affordable housing coalition to build support and funding for a new housing mobility program in the Cleveland metro area.
 
Interesting mid-career opportunity?   In an effort to provide more staffing resources to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Commission seeks individuals who work for state or local governments, or educational institutions, and who are interested in working with the Commission through the "Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program."  A potential opportunity to help this important watchdog agency during a difficult era in the modern civil rights movement.  More information about this program can be found here .  For more information on these positions and to apply for consideration, please contact   publicaffairs@usccr.gov .

             
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