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Happy Halloween! I hope your October has been prosperous. In this month's Rebuilding Indiana Monthly you will read about the many community development issues at the Statehouse and in Congress.
In Congress, there is much talk of appropriations--money allocated to programs. Next week, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bills will be on the calendar in the Senate along with the Agriculture, Rural Housing, and Food and Drug Administration bill, H.R. 2111, and the Commerce, Justice, and Science Bill, H.R. 2596.
The Senate T-HUD bill, S. 1596, would cut Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding by 10 percent below current levels. Community Development Block Grants, Project Based Rental Assistance, Tenant Based Rental Assistance, HOME Investment Partnership Program, and Public Housing Capital and Operating Funds all face significant reductions in the legislation due to pass in the first days of November. Further, the House and the Senate failed to include in their appropriations bills the increased funding needed to implement program changes required by the Homeless Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) legislation.
Rural housing programs are also facing serious reductions in both the House and Senate FY2012 budgets. The House passed legislation to fund the 502 Single-Family Subsidized Direct Program at 25 percent below current funding levels. While the Senate allocated more, the proposed legislation still cuts funding by 20 percent from FY2011. Rural housing advocates should also be aware that Senator Coburn (R-OK) introduced an amendment to the Agriculture appropriations bill that would cut $1 billion, or 40 percent, from rural community development programs across the board.
To read more on the cuts to specific programs, efforts to coordinate rural housing advocates' outreach, and contact information for Indiana's Senators, click here to read the full IACED blog post on this issue. The voice of IACED members is critically needed in this discussion.
As we watch developments in Congress, IACED continues to advocate at the Indiana General Assembly. We are continuing advocacy efforts around a 2011 legislative priority, which was not resolved to our satisfaction. Recall in the 2011 session we supported legislation meant to clarify the property tax exemption of charitable non-profits owning and developing affordable housing. More generally there is real concern about the number of charities facing the loss of property tax exemption.
On October 12, 2012, IACED testified at a hearing of the State Tax and Financing Policy Commission, discussing the challenges facing affordable housing and human service providers in this time of economic recession and the importance of the property tax exemption. As a result of this advocacy, IACED asked the Commission to consider all available legislative and administrative remedies to ensure that the charitable and exempt status of Indiana non-profit affordable housing producers is protected. For my full post on these developments, click here.
We will continue to keep you updated.
|IACED is now on Twitter using the handle @INCommDev. Click the image below to follow us on Twitter.
Are you among the 400-plus followers regularly reading IACED's tweets? If not, here is a sampling of what you missed.
- Report Projects 5% Increase in Homelessness by 2013 - The Homelessness Research Institute at the National Alliance t...
- Help for unemployed Hoosiers thanks for sharing
@shrivercenter MT Secretary of Labor announces social web partnership
Trainings, Events, and
You need current and reliable information to set your vision. You need expertise to ensure your strategy is executed at the highest level. IACED can help you achieve both. We offer a wide variety of training and professional development services that are designed to help our members get what they need to make the most of their organization's talent and resources.
Upcoming trainings include:
The second of the 4-part Housing Development Finance Professional certification training (HD420) will convene December 5-9 at the Indiana Historical Society.
Be watching your In boxes for the Non-Profit Finance and Fund Development training, to be held the week of November 14. Stay tuned for specific training dates. This training will cover non-profit organizational development; creating an annual program that brings funds year after year; securing a sustainable future; growing and sustaining an online giving program; developing major gifts; and much more!
If you are interested in receiving IACED Request for Proposals, please monitor the blog or contact Chris Collins, Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
Statewide Conference Materials
On behalf of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and the Indiana Association for Community and Economic Development, thank you to everyone who attended the 2011 Statewide Conference on Housing and Community Development and Midwest Summit.
IACED staff enjoyed hearing about the projects and programs of members and the issues you face to build resilient families and strong communities. We hope you found the content and networking opportunities beneficial to your work in building stronger Indiana communities!
In response to numerous requests for copies of session materials, please visit the IACED blog, which includes the conference materials received thus far. You can click here
to find that post.
IACED Offers Quality Technical Assistance
Whether you are running an organization or trying to design a new program or project, it can feel like a considerable weight. Our job is to help share the load! IACED provides members with a wide range of direct technical assistance. For more information contact IACED Senior Program Manager Jessica Love.
Attend the 2011 Indiana Rural Summit
Please attend this year's Indiana Rural Summit that will bring together Indiana's rural leaders and citizens to develop creative ways of strengthening and advancing the state's rural communities. The Summit will also offer an overview of the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC) and a tour of its Landsbaum Center for Health Education.
The 2011 Indiana Rural Summit will be held December 1 and 2. The two-day event, presented by the Indiana Rural Roundtable, will take place at Indiana State University in Terre Haute at ISU's University Hall, home of the Bayh College of Education. The Bayh College of Education is located at 401 North 7th Street in Terre Haute. To register, click here. For more information about the event, please contact the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs at (317) 233-3762 or (800) 824-2476.
Indiana's Jobless Rate Continues Upward Trend
Last week, the Indianapolis Star reported that Indiana's unemployment rate increased 0.2 percent from 8.7 percent in August to 8.9 percent in September. The figures, released from the Department of Workforce Development, show four straight months of increasing unemployment in the state.
In the article, Indiana's Workforce Development commissioner noted that 9,000 new private sector jobs were added, but those jobs were offset by the number of people seeking employment. The national unemployment average currently stands at 9.1 percent. To read the full article, click here.
Discuss Human Services at Regional Public Policy Forums
IACED is proud to be a member of the Indiana Coalition of Human Services (ICHS). In the coming weeks, IACED will be attending a series of public policy forums organized by ICHS. The agenda includes:
Topics for the 2012 General Assembly
Conversation with local legislators about 2012 session and human services (Bipartisan representatives of local legislative delegations have been invited by ICHS to offer their perspectives and legislative forecasts.)
Question and Answer Time to discuss: 1) unintended consequences of legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2011, 2) the latest developments from the General Assembly's interim study committees, and 3) administrative actions affecting your human services programs
Remaining Fall Forums are scheduled as follows:
Check out our full blog post for details on registration by clicking here.
11/3, 9 am-11:30 am EDT - Indianapolis, United Way Building, 3901 N. Meridian St., RCI Rm
11/4, 9 am-11:30 am EDT - South Bend, Charles Martin Youth Center, 802 Lincoln Way West
Across the Nation
White House Modifies its Mortgage Refinancing Program
The Obama administration recently announced its newest attempt to stem the tide of foreclosures and help responsible borrowers with underwater home loans refinance with changes to their Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).
The President is touting the program's streamlined requirements that include removing a provision that excluded borrowers from the program if the amount owed on their loan was more than 25 percent greater than their home's value as a means to double number of homeowners served by HARP. Mortgage Bankers and other industry advocates expressed hope that this move will entice more private lenders to participate in the program. To read the full blog post that includes program specifics, click here.
New Report Shows Dramatic Increases in Federal Student-Loan Default Rates
The Department of Education released a report in September showing the national two-year loan default rate increased to 8.8 percent in FY2009, 1.8 percent higher than in FY2008. The increases were most common among students borrowing from the government to attend for-profit institutions (15 percent of defaults, up from 11.6 percent in FY08). The report found that of the 3.6 million borrowers that entered repayment during this time frame, 320,000 defaulted.
In Indiana, 91,443 borrowers entered repayment during the study's time frame; of those, 7,736 (or 8.45 percent) are in default. Through a press release on the report, Department of Education officials noted that they have introduced a new program offering flexible loan repayment options and have taken steps against misleading or overly aggressive recruiting practices to reduce further instances of default. To read more about the study, click here for the Department of Education's press release or here for the full IACED blog post.
House of Representatives Holds Hearing on New Mortgage Finance Legislation
On October 13, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing to discuss legislation introduced by Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) to merge Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, currently Government-Sponsored Enterprises, into a single government-owned entity. The legislation, H.R. 2413, was coauthored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and endorsed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Freddie and Fannie were established to help expand affordable homeownership and provide stability to the housing finance market; but market instability in 2008 forced the two mortgage giants into conservatorship. Even in this state, the companies were able to provide solid capital when private companies dramatically reduced the capital they offered for secondary mortgage products. This legislation is an alternative to full privatization models also introduced in legislation and would still allow the government to play a role in backing the secondary market.
Community development advocates urged lawmakers to include a mechanism in the bill that would fund the National Housing Trust Fund. This provision was passed in legislation passed right before the companies went into conservatorship, which meant the companies never made any contributions. To read more on this bill or the hearing, click here to read the IACED full blog post, or click here for video of the hearing.
House of Representatives Committee Moves Bill That Strips McKinney-Vento Title V
On October 13, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure marked up H.R. 1734, the Civilian Property Realignment Act. The bill was authored by Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA) and seeks to create a panel to make decisions on the disposal of surplus federal properties. Housing advocates reached out to the Committee early on to express concern that the proposed panel did not require input from homeless providers.
When the bill went to mark up, however, Rep. Denham clarified in a substitute amendment that federal surplus properties would no longer be subject to Title V of the McKinney-Vento Act, which states that homeless shelter providers have preference in acquiring such excess property.
Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), expressed opposition and attempted to strike the amendment, but those efforts failed in a roll call vote. Rep. Denham's substitute language was accepted, but he expressed a desire to work with Delegate Norton to craft a provision addressing the needs of the homeless before the bill goes before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform or the full House for a vote. Stay tuned to the IACED blog for more updates on this legislation.