Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
December 5, 2018
President's Message I By David M. Dworkin

It has been a whirlwind seven days for NHC and for housing. On Tuesday, Nov. 27, nearly 200 NHC members and partners met in Washington, D.C. for our Solutions for Affordable Housing 2018 convening. The following day, we held our first Advocacy Day on the Hill, where NHC members were able to take advantage of the timing of the Solutions convening to meet with their congressional representatives, senators and administration officials. On Thursday and Friday, I attended the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) biannual Mortgage Roundtable with other senior leaders in affordable housing, where we heard from top economists from NAHB, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the housing markets, and spoke at length with Treasury’s Craig Phillips and HUD’s Brian Montgomery, who also joined us at S olutions. This week, Linda Mandolini, NHC’s board chair and president of Eden Housing, past Board Chair Ted Chandler, COO of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust and several dozen other NHC members attended the New York Housing Conference’s Awards Luncheon. There, I had an opportunity to address 1,200 New York housing leaders, following one of the best speeches I’ve heard in a long time, delivered by new House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, who represents parts of Brooklyn in one of the most diverse congressional districts in the nation. And today, I bid farewell to my former boss and one of my personal heroes, former President George H. W. Bush at the Capitol Rotunda. Like I said, it’s been a whirlwind week!

Here are a few of the highlights I’d like to share with you:

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News from Washington I By Tristan Bréaux
Freddie Mac analysis: U.S. housing gap is more than 370,000

The United States has a housing gap of more than 370,000 units, according to a recent analysis by Freddie Mac. “In the last 10 years, since the Great Recession, the economy has expanded greatly, but the housing market still has not recovered,” according to the report. “Since 2011, residential housing construction has increased, but only gradually – and not enough to meet demand.” The study points out that while the U.S. housing market added 1.25 million housing units last year, the current rate of demand is approximately 1.62 million housing units per year— which is 370,000 units more per year than the 2017 rate of supply. The report identified three major factors driving demand for more housing construction: a growing population, the need to replenish existing stock, and the benefit of having some vacant units in a well-functioning market. 
HUD offers new funding for Small Area FMR implementation

The Office of Public and Indian Housing is offering reimbursement for up to $25,000 in costs related to implementation of Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMR), an approach that promises to help voucher holders move to high opportunity neighborhoods. The funding is being made available to the 24 areas mandated to use SAFMRs as well as those that are voluntarily implementing them, with applications due by Dec. 31. 

Camp fire exacerbates housing crisis

An affordable housing community in Paradise, California, is among the casualties of the Camp fire that has caused massive destruction in the state. The 36-unit LIHTC development was one of the newest affordable housing communities in the rural area. This loss is one example of how the fire is exacerbating the housing crisis in the area. 
NYC right to counsel law shows results

New York City was the first in the country to provide universal access to counsel for tenants facing evictions. After one year of implementing the new law, the city has released a report on the first phase of the program’s implementation showing that it helped keep almost 22,000 renters in their homes during FY 2018. 
Affordability impacting housing market

The U.S. housing market slowed in October, with new home sales falling 12 percent below the same point in 2017. According to NAHB, the slowdown is related not only to rising interest rates but also to rising prices and lack of affordability. Although demographic and employment trends show positive signs for the housing market, affordability challenges have led some potential buyers to step back from the market.
Tool shows connection between housing and school segregation

A new data tool from the Urban Institute helps show how residential segregation and school segregation go hand-in-hand in cities across the U.S. Overall, the data show that residential segregation explains 76 percent of the variation in school segregation across cities. The tool compares the residential segregation of school-age kids in a city with the level of school segregation in that same area. According to the authors, “without remedying residential segregation—likely a very difficult and expensive task—school segregation is unlikely to ever go away.”
The National Housing Conference has been defending the American Home since 1931. We believe 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.
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