Last Day to Submit OCAH Board Nominations

LAST DAY to Submit OCAH Board of Directors Nominations

Who will be the next group of leaders to serve on the Board of Director for the Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing?

Today is the last day to submit your board nomination for the OCAH Board of Directors. Download and complete a nomination form today. The Coalition Bylaws require candidates to be OCAH voting members in good standing. The Board aims to represent a diverse mix of professional industries, serving rural and urban areas in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. The board term begins January 1, 2020.

Key Board of Directors Election Dates

  • February 2019: The nominating committee meets to review nominations.
  • April 10, 2019: The Board of Directors consider a slate of candidates.
  • April 15-30, 2019: Elections held.
  • May 15, 2019: New Directors introduced at Annual Meeting.

The OCAH Nominating Committee is composed of three Board members: President, President-Elect and Immediate Past President.

NCSHA Recommends Improvements to Opportunity Zone Regulations to Increase Affordable Housing Investment

Testifying on behalf of the nation’s state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) during a public hearing on February 14, Stockton Williams, executive director of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to implement regulations that strengthen the ability of Opportunity Zone tax incentives to expand and preserve affordable housing.

According to recent analysis by NCSHA, the potential for billions of dollars in new investment in affordable housing through Opportunity Zones is growing. Of the 72 funds and $16 billion in planned investment included in the latest edition of NCSHA’s Opportunity Zone Fund Directory, nearly half ― 49 percent (35 funds) ― target community revitalization, including affordable or workforce housing.

In his testimony, Williams highlighted the importance of ensuring Opportunity Zone incentives can be put to work redeveloping vacant land in distressed communities, which represents a huge, largely untapped potential resource for affordable housing in many cities across the United States.

Williams also recommended other opportunities for IRS guidance to further enhance the prospects for affordable housing and economic development in Opportunity Zones including:

  1. Leveraging Opportunity Zone incentives with other tax credits, including the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, or the New Markets Tax Credit
  2. Preventing the loss of affordable housing in Opportunity Zones by expressly prohibiting removal or conversion of existing affordable housing, unless new housing of comparable quality and affordability is provided in or near a Zone
  3. Specifying reporting requirements to enable assessment of the impacts and outcomes of Opportunity Zone investment, including data collection on the number of affordable housing units developed or preserved in each Zone

Williams observed in his testimony, “Most state HFAs were at the table with their governors advising on their Opportunity Zone designation decisions, and many are allocating their own resources to enhance the viability of Opportunity Zones in rural and urban communities in their states. Supporting the utilization of the Opportunity Zone tax incentives to expand and preserve affordable housing is a priority for NCSHA, the state HFAs, and their partners in 2019.”

Details of Bipartisan HUD and USDA Spending Deal for FY19

Congress has reached a final deal to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY19.

In late December, President Trump and congressional leaders had failed to enact several spending bills for FY19 – including funding for affordable housing and community development programs – which led to the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history. While leaders reached an agreement to reopen the government for three weeks, they were quickly approaching the new deadline of February 15. Congressional leaders released last night a bipartisan spending package, including the Transportation-HUD and USDA spending bills that had previously been negotiated between the House and Senate. The House is expected to vote on the package later today before sending it to the Senate and then to President Trump for his signature. President Trump stated he was “not happy” with the deal, but reports indicate he is likely to sign the bill.

Overall, the bill provides HUD programs with more than $12 billion above the president’s request. The spending package builds on the 10% increase in HUD funding that advocates and congressional champions secured in FY18 by providing $1.5 billion in new resources in FY19. In doing so, Congress has clearly rejected the calls to drastically cut housing investments in the form of funding cuts, harmful rent increases, rigid work requirements, or de facto time limits as proposed by the White House. For more details, see NLIHC’s updated budget chart.

Compared to FY18, the negotiated package increases funding for tenant-based rental assistance, public housing, project-based rental assistance, and homeless assistance grants. The bill also provides enough funding to renew all contracts for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities and Section 202 Housing for the Elderly. The HOME Investment Partnerships program received a slight reduction.

The spending package also includes $25 million for a mobility housing voucher demonstration for families with young children to help them move to areas of opportunity, and it provides $100 million in competitive grants to Native American communities to spur construction and preservation of affordable rental housing. The bill does not include an amendment introduced by former Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) that would have prohibited people charged with certain crimes from receiving housing assistance. Some advocates voiced concerns about how this provision would have been implemented.

This successful outcome is due to the hard work of advocates across the nation and strong congressional champions, including Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) – the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittees.

NLIHC asks advocates to call your lawmakers to urge them to pass the spending package as soon as possible.

Read more details of the spending package here and see NLIHC’s budget chart here.

Analysis Shows Growing Income Gap Between Homeowners, First-Time Homebuyers

An analysis by Zillow looks at the income gap among homebuyers, existing homeowners and renters. The typical homebuyer in 2017 earned 6.5 percent more in household income than the typical homeowner. The gap in median household income between buyers and owners amounts to about $5,000 a year – and in some markets, the difference is more than twice that. Zillow points out that the disparity “underscores how much more expensive housing has become for buyers, and the difficulty faced by renters looking to become homeowners in high-demand markets.” For example, in 2017 a typical new buyer household in Dallas earned almost $12,000 more than the typical homeowner. Furthermore, the study shows that the average homebuyer earns twice as much as the average renter household – in some metros, the gap is almost three times. Significant challenges remain to achieving homeownership for low-income renter households: in 2017, the U.S. median household income was $79,900 for buyer households compared to $38,300 for renter households.

Nominations deadline extended until Friday, Feb 15- can you post next week?

DEADLINE EXTENDED until Friday, Feb 15
to submit OCAH Board of Directors Nominations

Who will be the next group of leaders to serve on the Board of Director for the Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing?

The Coalition Bylaws require candidates to be OCAH voting members in good standing. The Board aims to represent a diverse mix of professional industries, serving rural and urban areas in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

Are you or someone you know an exceptional member of the affordable housing industry with a perspective that would benefit the Coalition? The board term begins January 1, 2020.

The Nominating Committee has extended the deadline to accept nominations for the OCAH Board of Directors. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, February 15. Download and complete a nomination form today.

Key Board of Directors Election Dates

  • February 2019: The nominating committee meets to review nominations.
  • April 10, 2019: The Board of Directors consider a slate of candidates.
  • April 15-30, 2019: Elections held.
  • May 15, 2019: New Directors introduced at Annual Meeting.

The OCAH Nominating Committee is composed of three Board members: President, President-Elect and Immediate Past President.

Tweetstorm Today Telling Congress to #FullyFundHousing

Join Today’s 3 p.m. ET Tweetstorm Urging Congress to #FullyFundHousing Programs

NLIHC and the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding are hosting a tweetstorm today, February 13, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET to urge Congress to avoid another government shutdown and fully fund affordable housing and community development programs. Use #FullyFundHousing in your tweets and tag your member of Congress.

President Trump announced on January 25 an agreement to temporarily reopen the federal government for three weeks — ending our nation’s longest shutdown in history — giving legislators time to negotiate a larger spending deal and border security. The short-term funding bill expires on February 15. If Congress and the White House fail to reach a deal by then, the government will again shut down, further harming low-income renters and undermining the short-term operations and long-term viability of our nation’s affordable housing and community development programs.

By participating in today’s tweetstorm, you can urge Congress to ensure affordable housing and community development programs receive robust federal funding in full-year spending bills for HUD and USDA.

Sample tweets and images can be found at: https://bit.ly/2TDixTj

Click Here to Download Sample Tweets and Images

Senate Banking Committee to Hold Confirmation Hearing for FHFA Director

The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing on February 14 for President Trump’s Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) nominee, Mark Calabria. Mr. Calabria is currently serving as Vice President Mike Pence’s chief economist and was previously the director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute. The FHFA oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which – through a small assessment on their books of business – fund the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF), the first new program in a generation dedicated to building and preserving homes for the nation’s lowest-income people. The hearing will be held on February 14 at 10:00 a.m. ET in 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building. The hearing will be streamed live at: https://bit.ly/2I901kK

Existing Home Sales Drop Month-over-Month and Year-over-Year

According to the National Association of Realtors, U.S. existing home sales in December dropped 6.4 percent month-over-month and 10.3 percent year-over-year to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million, which marks the lowest level since 2015. The median sale price for an existing home in December rose 2.9 percent from a year earlier, the smallest increase since March 2012 and an indication that home-price growth has slowed significantly. The Wall Street Journal suggests that existing home sales were “weighed down by a surge in stock-market volatility, uncertainty as the government shutdown began and rising interest rates, which pushed up mortgage rates in November to their highest level in seven years.”

Take Action: Housing Trust Fund

Critical funding for the national Housing Trust Fund may be at risk! Last week, the Trump administration signaled that funding for the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) could be suspended, which many organizations use to address homelessness and housing poverty.

If the National Housing Trust Fund is important to your organization, contact your senators and representative and sign a letter to Congress telling them to protect and expand the Housing Trust Fund, the first new federal housing resource in a generation exclusively targeted to address the underlying cause of the affordable housing crisis: the severe shortage of affordable rental homes available to people with the lowest incomes.

Contact Your Elected Officials Today!

Background

Under the Obama administration, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt took important steps to ensure funding for the national Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund. One month after Director Watt’s term ended in January, FHFA Acting Director Joseph Otting — appointed by President Trump — stated that FHFA “is reviewing its options,” related to contributions to the Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund. President Trump’s nominee for FHFA director, Mark Calabria, goes before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday for a confirmation hearing.

If FHFA suspends funding for the Housing Trust Fund, the long-term viability of the program would be put at risk, making it harder for the lowest income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, people experiencing homelessness and other individuals to have affordable homes.

In 2016, the FHFA allocated the first $174 million in Housing Trust Fund dollars to states. NLIHC’s September 2018 interim report summarizes key features of the 1,500 rental homes being created by 42 states with their inaugural Housing Trust Fund dollars. (The remaining seven states and the District of Columbia are now sharing their information with NLIHC, which will be presented as an updated supplement to the interim report at NLIHC’s 2019 Housing Policy Forum.)

Take Action

It is critical that advocates urge their members of Congress to protect and expand the Housing Trust Fund. You can help!

  1. Call your senators and representative and tell them to protect current funding for the Housing Trust Fund.
  2. Join nearly 2,000 organizations and local government officials by signing onto a national letter urging Congress to protect and expand the Housing Trust Fund. Organizations and local governments can sign onto the letter here.