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March 24, 2017: NHLP Recommends Best Practices for Assessing LIHTC Compliance to National Council of State Housing Agencies
HJN advocates have been confronting so-called planned foreclosures, where owners of LIHTC properties use foreclosure to prematurely terminate long-term rent and use restrictions. The Treasury Secretary has never exercised its statutory authority to address this problem by making determinations that the foreclosure is part of a termination scheme. Other advocates have seen similar problems resulting from so-called "qualified contracts" submitted by owners to Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) under Section 42, and by full or partial releases granted to owners by HFAs. Drawing upon these experiences, NHLP collaborated with HJN allies to develop recommendations for consideration by the National Council of State Housing Agencies as it develops a revised best practices guide for state agencies. Our recommendations seek to advance the agencies' shared goal of preserving affordable units for the entire term of the extended use period (30 years or sometimes longer).
March 23, 2017: Statewide Meeting with California Fair Housing Advocates and the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing
NHLP and the Western Center on Law and Poverty coordinated a meeting with fair housing advocates and the Director and legal staff of the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss statewide fair housing trends and identify shared goals among the Department and local legal services and other organizations that advocate for tenants.
March 20, 2017: NHLP Submits Comments to HUD on HOTMA Implementation Guidance
HUD is slowly implementing provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA). On March 20, NHLP submitted comments on behalf of HJN to HUD on its HOTMA implementation guidance related to Section 8 voucher inspections. The comments focused on interpreting the new law to provide safe and habitable housing to tenants while expediting the inspection process to reduce periods of housing instability and homelessness. NHLP also submitted comments with the Preservation Working Group on HUD's proposed implementation of new project-based voucher rules.
March 20, 2017: RD Issues Notice and Letter on VAWA Implementation and Preserving Maturing Rental Housing Developments
In the last days of the Obama Administration, USDA Rural Development (RD) issued an administrative notice implementing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013) and an unnumbered letter setting out various steps that RD staff can take to preserve RHS Section 515 rental and Section 514/516 farm labor housing developments that are nearing loan maturities. For more information, please contact Gideon Anders.
March 17, 2017: NHLP Executive Director Shamus Roller Speaks at Yosemite Policymakers Conference
On March 17, NHLP Executive Director Shamus Roller spoke on a plenary panel at the Yosemite Policymakers Conference of the Local Government Commission. The conference brings together mayors, city council members and other local elected officials to discuss climate change, water, energy, and community design. Shamus discussed federal housing policy and its impacts on local governments around the country.
March 16, 2017: NHLP Executive Director Shamus Roller's Statement on Trump Administration's Proposed Federal Budget
This morning, the Trump Administration released a blueprint of their Fiscal Year 2018 proposed budget. Though the contents were not a surprise, the proposal reflects deep cynicism about government support for housing the most vulnerable Americans and the right to a fair trial. In its blueprint, the Administration proposed over $6 billion in cuts for HUD programs, including the elimination of the Community Development Block Grant program and other similar programs that support critical housing and infrastructure needs of local governments.
Despite the claim that the budget will continue to provide housing assistance to the millions of people who access it, the truth is that over 200,000 low-income families across the country will become at-risk of homelessness and housing instability due to cuts to rental assistance. These cuts come at a time when HUD’s budget has already decreased dramatically since 2010, and stand in stark contrast to the large tax cuts that remain for wealthy real estate investors and high-income homeowners.
The Administration also proposed the elimination of the Legal Services Corporation, which provides access to pro bono legal representation. The investment in legal services is a highly cost effective way to help ensure that everyone in our country has access to justice.
The President’s proposal marks the very early stages of the budget process; a process that will eventually require a compromise between the President and Congress. NHLP is dedicated to opposing these irresponsible cuts and preventing the further marginalization of poor families and communities. We will amplify the voices of low income tenants in Washington and arm housing advocates with the tools they need to advocate for access to affordable housing and legal services programs.
There is much work to be done. Please join us.
March 16, 2017: NHLP Co-Sponsors Bill to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing
In response to emerging threats at the federal level, NHLP, along with Public Advocates and Western Center on Law and Poverty, is co-sponsoring a California bill that would amend California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to include an affirmatively furthering fair housing obligation. The requirement would require public agencies to administer their programs and activities related to housing and community development in a way that affirmatively furthers fair housing. Staff Attorney Renee Williams will testify at the bill hearing before the California State Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.
March 16, 2017: Join Us for Our "Don't Get RAD-dled" Series!
30-Minute Trainings on What You Need to Know about RAD
HUD is permanently privatizing 185,000 public housing units nationwide through the RAD program. RAD conversions have a profound impact on tenants’ everyday lives, as well as the long-term affordability of our housing stock nationwide. Learn about how to ensure the greatest protections for RAD tenants and the availability of affordable housing in your community. Legal aid attorneys, tenant advocates, and tenant leaders are all welcome to attend.
The 30-minute segments will provide a brief overview of issues that tenants and advocates will encounter in RAD conversions nationwide, with an additional 10 minutes of Q&A. During each session, NHLP staff will discuss the protections guaranteed by RAD, relevant legal authorities, advocacy tips, and other resources.