Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
June 19, 2018
President's Message I By David M. Dworkin
Dear Friend,

Today, the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University issued its annual report, “ State of the Nation’s Housing,” and its findings were disturbing, though not surprising. I’ve often said that housing is not a zero-sum game. Good news for homeowners is not bad news for renters, or vice versa. Unfortunately, the JCHS report has bad news for everyone. The current homeownership rate of 64 percent, which represents a small increase over recent years, is still the lowest in over a quarter century, and homeownership rates for younger adults and minorities today are even worse. Between 1994 and 2016, black homeownership rates increased by just 0.3 percent while white homeownership rates rose 2.2 percent, widening the black-white gap to 29.2 percent. Renters are under even greater stress. The Joint Center report found that more than 38 million U.S. households – nearly a third of all households – paid more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing in 2016. 20.8 million renter households are cost-burdened, and more than half pay over 50 percent of their income for housing. Think about your own income and having to devote half of that to rent and you’ll understand what millions of our fellow Americans are experiencing every day.

The most meaningful response is to build more affordable housing, which is needed for everyone from extremely low-income families to those firmly in the middle class. Yet our rental housing stock continues to shift to higher-cost units, in part because units that were once considered affordable have seen rents increase, and in part because even the most progressive among us refuse to allow subsidized housing in our neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, the number of people experiencing homelessness increased in 2017, ending a six-year trend of decreasing homelessness. Just today I was approached by someone I have known for several years who told me he is now homeless.

Demographics are not going to provide any relief. Over the next 20 years the aging of my generation – the baby-boom generation -- will grow the senior population by an estimated 30 million people. However, our current rental housing stock is not equipped to address this need. My daughters’ generation, the millennials, was hit especially hard by the Great Recession, just as they have entered independent adulthood. Think about how many of our friends and colleagues continue to support their adult children, at home or through much-needed financial support. And for those whose children are becoming homeowners, it’s important to remember that the parental “loan” is a down payment assistance program funded by multi-generational wealth and unavailable to 90 percent of Americans. I am grateful I received just this kind of support when I bought my first home, but being born on second base doesn’t mean I get to brag about hitting a double, or question why you are still on first.

I’ve tried to personalize some of these numbers because the fact is that the American Home is deeply personal to all of us. For those of you who were able to attend last week’s Gala, you saw that first-hand. We’ll publish a full report on the Gala and Policy Symposium once we get our photographs. For now, I hope that if you are not a member of NHC, you’ll join us today. You can do it online right now. As Harvard’s JCHS report makes clear, the battle to defend the American Home needs us all.

David M. Dworkin
President and CEO
News from Washington I By Kaitlyn Snyder &
Grant Kirkpatrick
White House releases, House passes revised rescissions 

Earlier this month, the White House released a set of revised rescissions, which lowers the amount rescinded from Treasury’s Capital Magnet Fund from $151.2 million to $141.7 million and from HUD’s FY 2017 Public Housing Capital Fund from $34 million to $31.9 million. No other housing-related rescissions were changed from the original rescissions package. The House passed H.R. 3, which incorporates the revised recessions into the original package. Politico is reporting that the Senate has until June 22 to pass the rescissions with a 50-vote majority. 

Democratic housing task force urges construction of millions of new homes

The New Democrat Coalition Housing Task Force released a report of its preliminary findings. The coalition finds that the U.S. is in need of millions of new homes and that there is a correlation between the unaffordability of the current housing market and a shortage of housing. The report lists causes of the housing shortage, such as land regulations, a lack of accessible financing from major banks and inadequate investment in the construction of affordable housing.
MBA names Robert Broeksmit as next CEO

The Mortgage Bankers Association® (MBA) announced Robert Broeksmit as its next president and CEO. Broeksmit currently serves as the president and CEO of Treliant Risk Advisors and brings over 30 years of experience within the mortgage sector. Broeksmit will replace David Stevens, who announced last October that he would retire in September 2018.
Sec. Carson describes rent reform as “not urgent”

Earlier this year, HUD released a legislative proposal that would modify rent structures and work requirements for HUD-assisted households. HUD’s proposal does not yet have a cosponsor in the House or Senate but closely aligns with a discussion draft from Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.). At a recent Bipartisan Policy Center event , HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced that the rent increase was “not urgent,” citing the increased FY 2019 Transportation-HUD allocations in both the House and Senate.
Register for NHC’s webinar on the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act

Join NHC for our July Restoring Neighborhoods Task Force webinar on July 11 at 2 p.m. EDT. This webinar will feature a presentation from Buzz Roberts, president and CEO at the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders (NAAHL), on the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA). NHIA would add single-family rehabilitation as an eligible use for private activity bonds to address the appraisal gap for distressed single-family properties. NHC and NAAHL are part of a coalition working to advance the proposal in Congress. Register here
"State   of the Nation’s Housing” released

Today, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released its 30th annual “State of the Nation’s Housing.  The report highlights demographic shifts in homeowners and renters as well as tracking the affordability of housing with measurements, such as the percentage of households that are cost burdened and the change in home values/rents and average incomes. Notably, in 2017, the homeownership rate increased for the first time in 13 years, rising from 63.4 percent in 2016 to 63.9 percent in 2017. The report also identifies needed policy challenges like the increasing role of state and local governments and the need for housing counseling. 
HUD to publish ANPR on disparate impact

Tomorrow, HUD will publish an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on its disparate impact standard. HUD implemented its disparate impact rule following the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project Supreme Court decision. HUD states it is “issuing this ANPR in response to public comments submitted on its May 15, 2017, Federal Register document seeking input on ineffective regulations and an October 26, 2017 recommendation from the Department of the Treasury.” Comments will most likely be due on August 20, 2018. 
The National Housing Conference has been defending the American Home since 1931. Everyone in America should have equal opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. NHC convenes and collaborates with our diverse membership and the broader housing and community development sectors to advance our policy, research and communications initiatives to effect positive change at the federal, state and local levels. Politically diverse and nonpartisan, NHC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Defending our American Home since 1931
Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.