Today 1:00 PM-Proposed Rules OK NATIONAL HOUSING TRUST FUND PROGRAM AND PUBLIC INPUT SESSIONS

The Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) is promulgating new Chapter 75 Rules for the National Housing Trust Fund.  The proposed rules are here: https://www.ok.gov/ohfa/documents/April%201-draft-rules-NHTF.pdf

Today is your opportunity to voice public input into the draft proposed rules for the new Federal program funds Oklahoma is receiving. Plan to be at the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, Will Rogers Conference Room at 1:00 pm today. OHFA is located at 100 NW 63rd Street, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK, 73116.

The Governor designated OHFA as the National Housing Trust Fund administrating agency for the State of Oklahoma.   

“Financing Affordable Housing Development in Oklahoma” Seminar on February 17th

Event presented in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the Federal Home Loan Bank, and the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers

OKLAHOMA CITY – Important concerns facing the affordable housing industry today include homelessness, youth aging out of foster care, low-wage earners, and working families earning average incomes being priced out of a market due to housing shortages in their area.

The Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing will host a seminar on Financing Affordable Housing Development on February 17, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Will Rogers Theater in Oklahoma City to discuss potential funding solutions to help fill some of the state’s housing gaps. This event is presented in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka and the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Continuing education units are approved for licensed social workers.

Speakers include Ariel Cisneros, Senior Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Mike Borcher, Assistant Vice President and Affordable Housing Program Manager with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka; and Nick Hoehn, CPA HCCP and partner in the San Francisco-based accounting and consulting firm Novogradac & Company LLP.

The event will kick-off with an overview of the federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a law intended to encourage banks to help meet needs in their communities, followed by a panel discussion on the CRA’s influence on community development and interactions with local banks.

“Partnerships between banks and housing developers are key to meeting a community’s housing needs,” Cisneros stated. “This event will highlight investment programs that can make a real difference in a community.”

Mike Borcher will discuss affordable housing funding programs. “The Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka’s Affordable Housing program provides grants through its member institutions that fill funding gaps and build, repair or purchase housing for low and very low income people,” Borcher said.

Finally, Nick Hoehn, Partner with Novogradac will teach a two-hour Low Income Housing Tax Credit 101 course.  This course is ideal for economic developers, city councilors, banking institutions, nonprofits and others interested in increasing the supply of affordable housing in their community.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Federal Reserve, the Federal Home Loan Bank and the Oklahoma Social Workers on this exciting event. Our goal is to have a broad-based group to create effective change throughout the state,” said Andrea Frymire, President of the Coalition’s board of directors and executive vice president of Midwest Housing Equity Group. “The tax credit course will be very beneficial to many organizations.”

The cost to attend the seminar is $35 for coalition members and $50 for nonmembers before Jan. 29 and $45 for coalition members and $75 for nonmembers thereafter. The registration cost includes a buffet lunch.

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Toolkits for Strategies to End Veteran Homelessness

Earlier this month, HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs, Ann Oliva, shared What It Means to End Veteran Homelessness. HUD is committed to helping all Continuums of Care (CoCs) reach the goal established in Opening Doors of ending veteran homelessness by December 31, 2015, and has developed four new toolkits aimed to help CoCs and homeless services providers working with veterans implement strategies that will assist them in this mission. These new resources are now available on the HUD Exchange and were developed as part of the Vets@Home technical assistance effort.

View the Toolkits:

Toolkit Descriptions:

The toolkits include identification of best practices, key strategies, action items, and considerations for CoCs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) partners, and local public officials that can be implemented immediately to focus efforts on ending homelessness for veterans. Each toolkit includes a section for mayors and elected officials with methods and action steps that can be employed to end veteran homelessness. Each toolkit also has a complete list of resources, documents, and links to key websites highlighting best practices regarding all four toolkit topics.

  • The Identifying and Engaging Veterans Experiencing Homelessness Toolkit provides information for CoC stakeholders, practitioners, and public officials on the use of data and analytics, as well as outreach tactics to locate and engage veterans who may be homeless. The toolkit also includes information on the creation of a By-Name list and utilization of coordinated entry in an effective crisis response and referral system. Key strategies to collaborate across systems and teams are detailed, along with ways that communities can sustain the effort with flexible systems.
  • The Effective Homeless Crisis Response Systems for Veterans Toolkit provides information for CoC stakeholders, practitioners, and public officials concerning concepts and practices central to an effective homeless crisis response system for veterans. Key components, strategies, and related resources to strengthen homeless crisis response systems are reviewed.
  • The Connecting to Permanent Housing Toolkit helps CoC stakeholders, practitioners, and public officials to broaden and strengthen their connections and access to safe, decent, and affordable permanent housing for veterans experiencing homelessness. The toolkit includes key features and strategies to develop and maintain housing partnerships to expedite veterans in finding housing. These include private market and landlord engagement strategies, special considerations for VA and non-VA mainstream housing programs, and resources for rural and high cost/low vacancy communities. The toolkit also includes considerations for public officials involved in local efforts toward ending homelessness among veterans.
  • The Housing Stability Toolkit provides information for CoC stakeholders, practitioners, and public officials concerning the concept of housing stability and related practices. Key strategies, action steps, and related resources that support housing stability among veterans are reviewed, including services and resources that increase veteran income.

Additional resources can be found on the Resources for Homeless Veterans and Homeless Veteran Service Providers page.

Consolidated Plans, Annual Action Plans, and CAPERs Now Available on HUD Exchange

Consolidated Plans, Annual Action Plans, and CAPERs are now available on the HUD Exchange. The Consolidated Plans, Annual Action Plans, and CAPERS page provides one place where the approved Consolidated Plans and related documents can be found, making information more accessible to HUD’s customers and partners to support planning and coordination of HUD programs. Plans can be found by grantee, year, and plan type. New or updated Consolidated Plans, Annual Action Plans, and CAPERs are pulled from IDIS and posted on the HUD Exchange nightly.

Research Shows Housing Vouchers Reduce Hardship and Provide Platform for Long-Term Gains Among Children

Housing Choice Vouchers sharply reduce homelessness and other hardships, lift more than a million people out of poverty, and give families an opportunity to move to safer, less poor neighborhoods. These effects, in turn, are closely linked to educational, developmental, and health benefits that can improve children’s long-term life chances and reduce costs in other public programs. This analysis reviews research findings on vouchers’ impact on families with children, people with disabilities, and other poor and vulnerable households.

The Housing Choice Voucher program, the nation’s largest rental assistance program, helps more than 2 million low-income families rent modest units of their choice in the private market. But due to funding limitations, only about one in four families eligible for a voucher receives any form of federal rental assistance… More

http://www.cbpp.org/research/housing/research-shows-housing-vouchers-reduce-hardship-and-provide-platform-for-long-term

Americans Believe Housing Crisis Persists, Survey Finds

A significant majority of Americans believes the country is still not past the housing crisis that began seven years ago, according to a new survey of housing attitudes released today by the MacArthur Foundation.

Despite some improvement in their view of the housing situation nationally, the enduring sense of the housing market under pressure is reflected in the public feeling more worried and concerned than hopeful and confident about what the future holds for the country. Americans believe it is harder than it used to be to attain a secure middle-class lifestyle and significantly more likely for a family to fall from the middle class than to join it.

“This survey is a wake-up call. People want and expect solutions to the housing crisis to be a higher priority for both national and local leaders alike,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch.

OKLAHOMA STORM SURVIVORS URGED TO REGISTER FOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE

Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding in Oklahoma are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.

“We are relieved to have FEMA assistance for three Oklahoma counties hard hit by storms that began in early May,” said Deputy Director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and State Coordinating Officer (SCO) Michelann Ooten. “We encourage everyone impacted by the storms and tornadoes to contact FEMA as soon as possible as we work to bring assistance to additional counties as well.”

The presidential disaster declaration of May 26 makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma counties.

“We are working side by side with our state partners at OEM to make sure all eligible survivors receive the help they need to get the recovery process started,” said Federal Coordinating Officer John Long. “But the only way you will know if you are eligible for federal disaster aid is to register.”

Individuals and business owners in the designated counties can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Oklahomans should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but under-insured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if the person has registered with another disaster-relief organization such as the American Red Cross, or local community or church organization. FEMA registrants must use the name that appears on their Social Security card. Applicants will be asked to provide:

•    Social Security number
•    Address of the damaged home or apartment
•    Description of the damage
•    Information about insurance coverage
•    A current contact telephone number
•    An address where they can get mail

Bank account and routing numbers if they want direct deposit of any financial assistance.

For more information on Oklahoma disaster recovery, click http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4222  or visit the OEM site at www.oem.ok.gov.