One day left to register for the Fair Housing Training at the OK Housing Conference per 2021 QAP Requirements…

One day left to register- Per the 2021 QAP, Fair Housing training verification is now required at carryover for Round 1 2021 only. If you are planning to complete the Fair Housing training at the conference to meet this OHFA requirement for Round 1 Applicants, you must be registered for the conference (and choose the Fair Housing Training you need) no later than December 31, 2020. No exceptions. The Fair Housing Trainings for both Developers & Property Managers held at the Oklahoma Housing Conference will meet OHFA requirements and will be acceptable for two (2) years from the date the training was completed.

Register Now for the 2021 Oklahoma Housing Conference and Fair Housing Training.

Don’t forget to register for Fair Housing Training at OK Housing Conference by December 31, 2020

Per the 2021 QAP, Fair Housing training verification is now required at carryover for Round 1 2021 only. If you are planning to complete the Fair Housing training at the conference to meet this OHFA requirement for Round 1 Applicants, you must be registered for the conference (and choose the Fair Housing Training you need) no later than December 31, 2020. No exceptions. The Fair Housing Trainings for both Developers & Property Managers held at the Oklahoma Housing Conference will meet OHFA requirements and will be acceptable for two (2) years from the date the training was completed.

Register Now for the 2021 Oklahoma Housing Conference and Fair Housing Training.

Must register for Fair Housing Training at OK Housing Conference by December 31, 2020

Per the 2021 QAP, Fair Housing training verification is now required at carryover for Round 1 2021 only. If you are planning to complete the Fair Housing training at the conference to meet this OHFA requirement for Round 1 Applicants, you must be registered for the conference (and choose the Fair Housing Training you need) no later than December 31, 2020. No exceptions. The Fair Housing Trainings for both Developers & Property Managers held at the Oklahoma Housing Conference will meet OHFA requirements and will be acceptable for two (2) years from the date the training was completed. For a list of OHFA guidelines/rules, Click Here.

Register Now for the 2021 Oklahoma Housing Conference and Fair Housing Training.

Must register for Fair Housing Training at OK Housing Conference by December 31, 2020

Per the 2021 QAP, Fair Housing training verification is now required at carryover for Round 1 2021 only. If you are planning to complete the Fair Housing training at the conference to meet this OHFA requirement for Round 1 Applicants, you must be registered for the conference (and choose the Fair Housing Training you need) no later than December 31, 2020. No exceptions. The Fair Housing Trainings for both Developers & Property Managers held at the Oklahoma Housing Conference will meet OHFA requirements and will be acceptable for two (2) years from the date the training was completed. For a list of OHFA guidelines/rules, Click Here.

Register Now for the 2021 Oklahoma Housing Conference and Fair Housing Training.

IRS to Hold Hearing on Average Income Test

On March 24, the IRS will hold a hearing on its proposed rule to implement the Average Income Test (AIT) for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program. To qualify as a Housing Credit project, an owner must provide a minimum number of affordable units in each property, referred to as a “minimum set-aside.” There are three minimum-set aside options for owners to choose from: 20 percent of units for households with an income of 50 percent or less of the area median income (AMI); 40 percent of units for households with an income of 60 percent or less of AMI; or 40 percent of units with the flexibility to serve households earning as much as 80 percent AMI, so long as the average income in the property is 60 percent or less of AMI. This third, flexible option – the AIT – allows Housing Credit properties the flexibility to provide deeper affordability, particularly for families earning 40 percent or less of AMI.

The AIT was included as a new minimum set-aside option in the publichearings by March 5.

Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On February 11, HUD issued a memorandum to implement the policy set forth in President Biden’s Executive Order 13988 on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. In it, HUD announced that it will administer and fully enforce the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Specifically, the memorandum directs HUD to accept and investigate all jurisdictional complaints of sex discrimination and enforce the Fair Housing Act where discrimination occurs.

The memorandum also states that HUD will “conduct all activities involving the application, interpretation, and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination consistent with its conclusion that such discrimination includes discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.” State and local jurisdictions funded by HUD’s Fair Housing Assistance Program will be required to enforce the Fair Housing Act, as will organizations and agencies that receive grants through the HUD’s Fair Housing Initiative Program. HUD’s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity, in partnership with its Fair Housing Assistance Program Agencies and Fair Housing Initiatives Program Grantees, will review – within 30 days – all allegations of sex discrimination received since January 20, 2020. To read HUD’s press release announcing the memorandum, click here.

HUD Publishes Data on Housing Credit Tenant Characteristics

On March 2, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published demographic data on tenants living in Housing Credit properties as of 2018. This data, collected annually from state Housing Credit allocating agencies as required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, includes details on tenant race, ethnicity, family composition, age, income, use of rental assistance, disability status, and monthly rent burden. Note that, while in the past HUD has published a formal report on Housing Credit tenant data, this year it has simply made the data available in table format with a separate background document that also provides a brief explanation of each available table.

According to the data, the median annual income of Housing Credit tenant households was $17,522. Nearly 58 percent of households were extremely low income, earning 30 percent or less of area median income (AMI); 25 percent were very low income, earning between 30 and 50 percent of AMI; and the remaining 16 percent earned more than 50 percent of AMI.

Approximately 64 percent of Housing Credit tenants paid 30 percent or less of their income for rent, while 25 percent paid between 30 and 50 percent of their income for rent, and 8 percent paid more than 50 percent of their income for rent. Approximately 41 percent of households reported receiving rental assistance, 37 percent reported they did not receive rental assistance, and 22 percent did not provide information on whether they received rental support.

The data on race and ethnicity indicates that approximately 38 percent of the heads of household in Housing Credit apartments are White, 28 percent are Black or African American, 11 percent are Hispanic, and 9 percent are other (including Asian, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or multiple race). Race and ethnicity were not reported in 15 percent of all households.

ACTION Campaign Update and Monthly Call, March 5 at 2PM EST

Join the ACTION Campaign Monthly Call

The ACTION Campaign monthly call will be held on Friday, March 5 at 2:00 PM EST.

  • kdalessandro.
  • Phone number: 929-205-6099
  • Meeting ID: 193 634 880
  • Password: 256387

ACTION Updates

Legislative and Advocacy Update

ACTION is preparing for the reintroduction of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA), working with our champions on the Hill to finalize the bill text. As soon as the legislation is reintroduced, we will alert our members and mobilize advocacy efforts to rebuild and expand our strong cosponsorship from last Congress. We will also continue to monitor for any potential legislative vehicles that could carry our Housing Credit priorities, including through the budget reconciliation process or an infrastructure package.

IRS to Hold Hearing on Average Income Test

On March 24, the IRS will hold a hearing on its publichearings by March 5.

ACTION Submits Comments to Federal Reserve on ANPR to Modernize the CRA

On February 16, ACTION co-chairs Enterprise Community Partners and the National Council of State Housing Agencies submitted a comment letter on behalf of the ACTION Campaign to the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) on its advance notice of proposed rulemaking to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The letter highlights the critical role the CRA plays in Housing Credit investment and encourages the Fed to issue a final CRA regulation that facilitates investment in affordable housing through the Housing Credit program. The next step in the process is for the Fed to issue a proposed rule for further comment. ACTION encourages the Fed to work with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to together issue a joint final CRA rule.

ACTION Membership

ACTION is the largest coalition of Housing Credit advocates in the country. Help our coalition continue to grow by inviting your state and local partners to join ACTION.

Housing Credit Research

  • A report by the National Housing Trust and LeadingAge, “Affordable Senior Housing: A Scan of State Housing Credit Allocation Plans” assesses how senior housing development is being prioritized in state Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs), which is especially critical given the rapid grown in the older adult population in recent years.
  • The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) released a report called, “Leveraging Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to Support Thriving Communities,” which emphasizes how supportive housing – safe, stable affordable housing with quality integrated services – is critical to support thriving communities, especially given the consequences of Covid-19. It underscores the importance of QAPs to support thriving communities through the Housing Credit program.

Housing Credit In the News

Treasury Releases Updated Guidance on the Emergency Rental Assistance Program

On February 22, the US Treasury released its revised guidance on the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The ERA ensures that tenants stay housed while also helping to stabilize the rental housing industry. The updated FAQ clarifies several eligibility requirements of the program. In particular, the guidance indicates that eligible households must experience unemployment or other pandemic-related financial hardship, have one or more individuals in the household demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness, and have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income.

The updated document also allows for income to be determined based on either the full calendar year for 2020 or monthly income extrapolated over 12 months.
Additionally, the guidance provides flexibility by allowing ERA grantees to rely on the applicant’s testimony to ensure that there is no duplication of benefits provided by another government assistance program. The program currently provides assistance for up to three months, and with the availability of additional funds and revised guidance, households may receive up to 12 months of additional assistance. For more information on the specifics of the program, click here.

Senate and House Introduce Legislation to Strengthen and Permanently Extend the NMTC Program

On February 25, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL-07) and Tom Reed (R-NY-23) introduced the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021 (S. 456 & H.R. 1321).

The bicameral, bipartisan legislation would permanently extend the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program at $5 billion in annual credit authority, adjusting for inflation. It would also create an exception from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for NMTC investments. The AMT sets a limit on the tax benefits, and an exception for NMTC investments would encourage investment in the program. The NMTC Coalition estimates that, in total, this legislation would create an additional 590,000 jobs and a variety of housing, commercial, medical, and community facility projects.

The NMTC was set to expire at the end of 2020, but Congress extended the program for an additional five years in the end of year spending package and increased its allocation to $5 billion through 2025. The introduction of the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021 highlights the continued bipartisan support for the program in the 117th Congress, and Enterprise applauds Members of Congress for their work to strengthen and permanently extend the program.

House Passes $1.9 Trillion Covid-19 Relief Package

Last week, the House passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R.1319), a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package. The bill includes one-time $1,400 stimulus checks, boosts the weekly supplemental unemployment benefits from $300 to $400 through August 29, 2021, and authorizes $350 billion in state and local aid, among other provisions aimed at mitigating the pandemic-induced economic fallout.

The bill also provides several important provisions intended to mitigate the impacts of pandemic-induced housing insecurity. These include over $20 billion for the Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program; nearly $10 billion to establish a Homeowner Assistance Fund that would be administered by the Treasury; $5 billion through the HOME program formula to help jurisdictions secure housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness; $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers; $5 billion to cover home energy and water costs and arrears for impacted households; and $100 million to assist tenants living in USDA-subsidized developments. The bill passed the House with a 219-212 vote and is currently on the way to the Senate floor. Congressional leadership and the Biden-Harris Administration hope to enact the legislation before March 14, when unemployment benefits are set to expire.

Last Chance to Sign onto the Section 4 Letter

Deadline Today: Sign Letter Urging Congress to Provide $50 million for Section 4 in FY22
Please join national, state and local organizations in urging Congress to provide funding of at least $50 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 4 Capacity Building and Affordable Housing Program for FY22, as well as an additional $40 million in any future economic recovery legislation.

Section 4 strengthens the nation’s lower-income rural and urban communities by bolstering nonprofit community developers who build and invest there. This critical program enables local nonprofit organizations to develop affordable housing, finance small businesses, revitalize commercial corridors, and help address local healthcare, childcare, education, and safety needs. Section 4 has also provided disaster relief by helping local community development organizations rebuild homes and community facilities, as well as assisting small businesses.

Non-profit Section 4 grantees are facing increasing demand for services despite decreasing financial resources amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Plussing up funding for the critical program to $50 million in FY22 and including an additional $40 million in any future economic relief bill would help these community-based organizations stabilize their operations and meet the growing affordable housing and community development needs of the people they serve.

The Section 4 organizational sign-on letter will close at the end of the day. Please sign on now to voice your support for the Section 4 program.

Federal Agencies Extend Their Covid-19 Forbearance Measures

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to deliver Covid-19 relief to American families, the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Affairs (VA) and Agriculture (USDA) announced a coordinated extension and expansion of federal Covid-19 forbearance and foreclosure relief measures for homeowners with government-backed mortgages, which were due to expire in March 2021.

The three federal agencies are extending the foreclosure moratorium for homeowners with federally backed loans—those guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), VA and USDA—through June 30, 2021, as well as extending the mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window until June 30, 2021. The FHA, VA and USDA are also providing up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance for borrowers who entered federal mortgage forbearance on or before June 30, 2020. Additionally, on February 9, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Government-Sponsored Entities, or GSEs) are extending the forbearance period for eligible GSE-backed mortgages, who are on a Covid-19 forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021, by up to three months. According to the White House, these coordinated efforts will cover 70 percent of existing single-family home mortgages. 
 

CFPB will prioritize consumer complaints

Acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Dave Uejio directed the Division of Consumer Education and External Affairs (CEEA) to ensure consumer experiences are at the center of CFPB policymaking. “Moving forward CEEA should redouble its efforts to ensure the bureau engages all consumers who are economically suffering,” said Acting Director Uejio. This engagement includes prioritizing consumer complaints, which are at an all-time high, according to the agency.

Acting Director Uejio suggests that certain regulated entities have been “lax” in their treatment of consumer complaints and have failed to meet the CFPB’s expectation that companies will respond to those complaints in a substantive and timely manner. “I also understand that consumer advocates have found disparities in some companies’ responses to Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities,” said Acting Director Uejio. “This is unacceptable.” CFPB’s consumer response division will prepare and publish a report on those companies with a “poor track record” on complaint responsiveness.