Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
May 1, 2018
President's Message I By David M. Dworkin
Dear Friend,

As Kaitlyn Snyder reports in this Member Brief, HUD released a legislative proposal that would change work requirements and rents for HUD-assisted households. HUD’s legislative proposal, Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018, does not have a sponsor in the House or Senate. However, the proposal is similar to a discussion draft from Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.). Rep. Ross’s proposal was the subject of a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing last week. I encourage those of you who are interested in this subject to view the hearing. It does a good job of laying out a range of opinions on this issue, free of the rancor that has come to typify most congressional debates.

NHC’s Policy Committee will discuss the issue of rent reform during its next meeting on Friday of this week, and next week, I’ll be sitting down with HUD’s senior leadership to hear their thoughts and share our initial observations. This week we will also hold the first meeting of our Opportunity Zones Task Force, and next week a group of us will meet with Treasury’s Opportunity Zones team to hear from them and share our initial views, prior to writing a formal comment letter. We will also visit with the staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency later this week to discuss their timeline for the release of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Community Reinvestment Act. You can view the webinar we held on the Treasury Department’s CRA report here.

So there’s a lot going on at NHC, and as a member, your views on these issues are critically important to our ability to impact housing policy. Our membership is a rich source of experience and perspective on complex housing issues and the wide range of views that we have is valued by Washington policy makers of both parties. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me on all of these important issues and send along any research that you found particularly valuable. I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible and will be sure that we consider everyone’s perspective as we chart our course. Our board chair, Ted Chandler, often says that our membership is our greatest asset, and every day I am here I appreciate that more fully.
One final note: We laid my friend and colleague Bob Pohlman to rest today. Bob was awarded the Carl A.S. Coan, Sr., Award for Public Service in a private ceremony at his home last month, and there will be a formal award presentation at the Annual Housing Visionary Award Gala on June 14. Bob led the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development and is a past director of D.C.’s Department of Housing and Community Development. Bob was a pivotal figure in organizing a citywide housing advocacy campaign to gain dedicated funding for the D.C. Housing Production Trust Fund, the largest of its kind in the country, which has already created over 10,000 units of affordable housing in Washington.
David M. Dworkin
President and CEO
News from Washington I By Kaitlyn Snyder
NHC sends AHP extension letter; FHFA announces new deadline

Last week, NHC and 40 signatories sent this letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt requesting additional time to comment on its Affordable Housing Program (AHP) amendments proposed rule. Yesterday, FHFA announced that comments are now due on June 12. FHFA also amended the proposed rule to correct a calculation, which prevented AHP funds awarded to the Homeownership Set-Aside Program from being counted toward fulfillment of a proposed regulatory outcome requirement.
IRS releases FAQs on Opportunity Zones 

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released answers to a list of FAQs on Opportunity Zones. The FAQs state that in order to become a Qualified Opportunity Fund, an eligible taxpayer must self-certify using a form that will be released in the summer of 2018. The form does not need IRS approval or action. 
NHC forms Opportunity Zones Task Force 

At a meeting Thursday, May 3 from 1:30-3 p.m. EDT, NHC will launch our new Opportunity Zones Task Force. Currently, there is a critical opportunity to shape this program’s development as the rules and regulations for the program are currently being developed at the Treasury Department. The task force is designed to be a place to build consensus among all Opportunity Zones stakeholders as we develop suggestions to the Treasury Department and if necessary, to develop and suggest clarifying statutory changes. This working group is for NHC members only. If you are not already an NHC member you can join here. Please contact Kaitlyn Snyder for meeting information.
Register for NHC webinar on closing the digital divide

On May 8 at 2 p.m. EDT, join NHC for a webinar on ConnectHomeUSA. ConnectHomeUSA is a movement to bridge the digital divide for HUD-assisted housing residents under the leadership of national nonprofit EveryoneOn. Amber Petty, senior manager for national programs, and Joojo Ocran, special programs associate at EveryoneOn, will provide an overview of the program and the application process, after which a member of the most recent cohort of ConnectHomeUSA will share their experiences. We will conclude with a Q&A session and share next steps for the application process. Register here
Member highlight: NHC Board of Governors member named president at Enterprise Community Partners 
by Andrea Nesby

NHC Board of Governors member Laurel Blatchford was recently named president at Enterprise Community Partners , an NHC Gold member. Prior to this position, Blatchford served as Enterprise’s senior vice president for solutions and chief program officer for six years. Reporting to CEO Terri Ludwig, Blatchford will focus on leading Enterprise’s programmatic and policy work and through key initiatives such as Health and Housing, Resilience, Recovery and Rebuilding and Opportunity360, which is focused on connecting people and communities to opportunity.

In a news release, Ludwig applauded Blatchford’s work at Enterprise.

“Laurel’s creative leadership of a growing portfolio of activities since she joined Enterprise in 2014 demonstrates why our organization and the people we serve will benefit from her promotion to president. Laurel’s deep commitment to low-income families and her dedication to building more resilient, equitable and inclusive communities will serve Enterprise well as we connect more people to opportunity nationwide.”
Register for NHC’s Annual Policy Symposium

Registration for NHC’s Annual Policy Symposium is now open. Policy Symposium panels will complement the June 14 46th Annual Housing Visionary Award Gala by featuring honorees Nancy Andrews with Low Income Investment Fund and Team Detroit: Dan Gilbert with Quicken Loans, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Linda Smith with U-SNAP-BAC. The panel discussions will explore the next steps for the City of Detroit and the role of public-private partnerships in comprehensive community development panel. The Policy Symposium is June 15 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Marriott Washington Metro Center. Register here. Traveling from outside D.C.? NHC’s exclusive hotel discount ends on May 24, so be sure to book your hotel room when you register for the Policy Symposium.
HHS releases 2017 Profile of Older Americans

The Administration for Community Living, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, released “ 2017 Profile of Older Americans.” This report tracks the changing demographics for the population aged 65 and over, including 15 topical areas such as population, income and poverty, living arrangements, education, health and caregiving. The report found that about 28 percent of noninstitutionalized older persons lived alone and almost half of women age 75 and over lived alone.
HUD releases rent reform legislative proposal

Last week, HUD released a legislative proposal that would change work requirements and rents for HUD-assisted households. Under the proposal, non-elderly and non-disabled households would pay 35 percent of their income towards rent, as opposed to the current 30 percent. The proposal also eliminates deductions for medical and child care expenses and gives housing providers discretion to enforce work requirements. HUD’s legislative proposal, Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018, does not have a sponsor in the House or Senate. However, the proposal is similar to a discussion draft from Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.). Rep. Ross’s proposal was the subject of a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing last week. 
National Housing Week of Action starts today

Housing advocates and residents around the country will carry out more than 80 Our Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action events and activities in 25 states today through May 8. To find an event near you, visit the national or local events pages. 
Everyone in America should have equal opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. The National Housing Conference educates decision makers and the public about housing policies and practices to move housing forward together. NHC convenes and collaborates with our diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, nonprofit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, real estate professionals, equity investors and more to advance our policy, research and communications initiatives to effect positive change at the federal, state and local levels. Founded in 1931, we are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Defending our American Home since 1931
Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.