Tulsa: Financial Counseling for Tenants

Many tenants have experienced significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the last year. The City of Tulsa’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) administered by Restore Hope is continuing to accept applications to help landlords and tenants with past and future rent payments: http://erap.restorehope.org.

Tenants may also need assistance with financial planning to cope with the financial hardship and plan for the future. The City of Tulsa in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Tulsa provides free, confidential, 1-1 financial counselling to any resident. The Tulsa Financial Empowerment Center offers professional financial counseling at no cost to all residents. Services are available to anyone regardless of income.

Certified financial counselors are available for personalized guidance and can help tenants deal with a wide range of personal financial issues. Counselors can help tenants:

  • Take control of debt
  • Improve credit
  • Build savings
  • Create a budget and create a plan to stick to it
  • Find safe and affordable financial products
  • Other services based on tenants’ needs

Tenants can schedule an appointment online at: https://fecpublic.force.com/fecbot/s/referral?c__city=0010f00002VgXU4AAN. Tenants can also call (918) 802-7279 to setup an appointment. Services are available in English and Spanish and additional languages via Language Line. For more information about the City’s financial empowerment programs visit: http://www.cityoftulsa.org/FEC.

President Reaffirms Support for LGBTQ+ Community, Highlights Recent HUD Fair Housing Actions

President Biden issued a proclamation affirming June 2021 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month. This aligns with an Executive Order issued in January of this year, tasking the heads of all federal agencies, including HUD, with reviewing agency actions and rules to root out inconsistencies with the executive order’s policy that all Americans “should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.” In his proclamation, President Biden highlighted a number of actions HUD has taken with regard to his Executive Order to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. This action includes interpreting the Fair Housing Act to prevent discrimination in housing and rental assistance against LGBTQ+ people. HUD has also restored federal protections for transgender individuals seeking HUD-funded emergency shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness. Enterprise strongly supports and advocates for fair housing for LGBTQ+ individuals. Read more about fair housing in this blog post about the Fair Housing Act.

White House Reiterates Support for the Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit

On June 1, the White House reiterated its support for the Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit with the release of a fact sheet outlining its broader efforts to reduce the racial wealth gap through the American Jobs Plan. This follows the May 28 inclusion of the tax incentive in the President’s Budget and corresponding Green Book from the Treasury, which details the President’s tax priorities and plan to pay for the budget proposal. The tax credit, which aims to help revitalize historically marginalized communities, would help attract additional private investment in the rehabilitation of older homes and increase homeownership rates in low- and moderate-income communities. The proposal is modeled after the successful Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), and would subsidize single-family housing development costs in census tracts where poverty rates are at least 130 percent of the area poverty rate, median family income is below 80 percent of the area median income, and median home values are lower than the area/state median value. Qualified homeowners are those whose household incomes do not exceed 140 percent of the area median income, adjusting for household size as determined by the HUD Secretary. The administration’s support for the tax incentive mirrors the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA), which was reintroduced in both the Senate (S. 98) and the House (H.R. 2143) this Congress by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representative Brian Higgins (D-NY) respectively.

Governor Cuomo and New York State Legislature Enact FY22 Budget with $3 Billion in Rent and Homeowner Relief

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York’s State Legislature approved the state’s FY22 budget, which includes significant new housing funding, continues existing programs, and creates the state’s emergency rental assistance program. In total, approximately $3 billion in combined federal and state dollars will be provided for rent and homeowner relief in the state. New York advocates, including members from NLIHC’s state partner New York Housing Conference (NYHC), applaud the efforts of New York legislators to secure additional funding for housing. Leaders in this effort included Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Housing Chair Brian Kavanagh, and Assembly Housing Chair Steven Cymbrowitz.

Tulsa: In-Person ERAP Application Assistance on Saturday!

This Saturday, First Baptist Church North will be providing in-person assistance for tenants struggling with applications to the City of Tulsa’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Tenants can receive one-on-one assistance with making a new application or uploading documents to a pending application. This is a great opportunity for landlords and tenants who may have been struggling to get the assistance they need.

Below is language that you can share with your tenants in both English and Spanish to let them know about this opportunity for assistance. Thank you for your help getting the word out to tenants and please let me know if you have any questions!

English:

Are you worried about paying your rent or utilities next month or are you behind on bills? The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) may be able to help. Come out this Saturday, June 12th, to First Baptist Church North in Tulsa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to learn more and apply in person!

Location: 1414 N. Greenwood Ave., Tulsa

What you’ll need to apply:

-Government Issued ID

-Copy of your lease

-Utility Bill

-Unemployment verification, taxes, check stub or other income verification

(No social security number is required)

To learn about the program, visit: www.cityoftulsa.org/erap

Spanish:

Está preocupado por pagar su renta o factura de servicios públicos o está atrasado en sus pagos? El Programa de Asistencia de Alquiler de Emergencia (ERAP) puede ayudar. Acompáñenos este sábado, 12 de junio, en la iglesia First Baptist Church North en Tulsa de 10 a.m. a 2 p.m. para aprender más y solicitar en persona.

Ubicación: 1414 N. Greenwood (por la calle Greenwood y Pine)

Lo que necesitará para solicitar la ayuda:

-Identificación (número de seguro social no es requerido)

-Copia de su contrato de arrendamiento donde renta

-Factura de su pago de servicios públicos

-Verificación de desempleo, impuestos u otra verificación de ingresos

Para aplicar en línea, visite: www.cityoftulsa.org/erap

HUD Interim Rule Reinstates Aspects of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Requirements; Does Not Yet Require Specific Fair Housing Planning

This week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published an interim final rule and request for comments repealing the Trump Administration’s Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice (PCNC) regulation and reinstating aspects of the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule in effect under the Obama Administration. The 2021 AFFH interim final rule reinstates relevant definitions that had been rewritten under PCNC and the certifications that incorporate those definitions, including the requirement that HUD program participants certify “they take meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.” The provisions reinstated by the 2021 AFFH interim final rule include only those HUD believes have previously undergone sufficient notice and comment processes.

The interim final rule is intended to:

  • Restore the understanding of the AFFH obligation for certain recipients of HUD assistance by reinstating legally supportable definitions;
  • Amend program regulations and cross-references and related record-keeping requirements to restore meaningful AFFH certifications relevant to participants in the HOME Investment Partnerships, Community Development Block Grant, Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS, and Emergency Solutions Grant programs;
  • Explain the relationship of the public housing agency (PHA) plans and consolidated plan with PHAs’ fair housing requirements; and
  • Explain how HUD will assist program participants in carrying out their obligations.

Unlike the 2015 AFFH rule, this interim final rule does not set a particular type of fair housing planning requirement for HUD program participants, though it does provide that HUD will offer technical support and other assistance to jurisdictions that intend to undertake an Assessment of Fair Housing (as was required by the 2015 AFFH rule), an Analysis of Impediments (as required prior to the adoption of the 2015 AFFH rule), or other form of fair housing planning. HUD expects many of its program participants will want to engage in voluntary fair housing planning to support their AFFH certifications. To that end, HUD plans to restore the guidance and resources available to program participants for their use in conducting fair housing planning until HUD finalizes new regulations to implement more specific planning requirements under AFFH. This includes the AFFH Rule Guidebook, the Fair Housing Planning Guide, the local government and PHA AFFH Data and Mapping tool, and the Assessment Tool for PHAs and local governments (the state AFFH Data and Mapping tool and Assessment Tool were never finalized).

HUD expects to issue separately a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) addressing other provisions not included in the interim final rule that require the formal notice and comment rulemaking process. The ANPR will seek to build on and improve the planning process established in the 2015 AFFH rule.

The 2021 AFFH interim final rule will be effective on July 31. However, HUD is inviting comments on the rule so that it may consider public views before the effective date. Comments are due to HUD by July 9.

Webinar Reminder: Discuss Converting Motels and Hotels into Affordable Housing

Register for NHC webinar!

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It Works: Converting Motels and Hotels into Affordable Housing
Thursday, June 17, 2021, 12 – 1:30 p.m. ET
Be sure to join us next week for our webinar on motel/hotel conversion programs to create more affordable housing options.

Mary Tingerthal, former Commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, will lead a discussion with housing policy experts from across the county who will talk about their motel/hotel conversion programs: what it took politically and practically, what policy changes were needed, and what opportunities lie ahead to use additional federal resources for this purpose.

Register today!
Webinar speakers
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California speakers
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Richard Gentry serves as president and

CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission

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Lourdes Castro Ramírez serves

as California’s Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency

Oregon speakers
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Megan Loeb serves as a program officer

of housing & economic vitality at the Oregon Community Foundation

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Rep. Pam Marsh represents the 5th District in the Oregon House of Representatives
Vermont speaker
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Michael Monte serves as

CEO at the Champlain Housing Trust

Not able to participate?
A link to slides and a recording of the webinar will be emailed 24-48 hours after the presentation.

Negotiations Continue on Bipartisan Infrastructure Package

Congressional leaders and the White House are continuing negotiations for a potential bipartisan infrastructure package. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) met on May 12 with President Joe Biden to discuss the size, scope, and potential timing of a bill, and although no agreement was reached, Minority Leader McConnell noted in an interview the talks were “productive,” and President Biden stated he “came away encouraged” by the meeting.

NLIHC Launches ERA Dashboard and Updated ERA Program Table

NLIHC launched new Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) tools to monitor trends in how ERA programs are operating and to help renters find assistance. These tools include an ERA Dashboard on how many and which programs are implementing best practices and an updated ERA program table to help renters locate programs in their areas. These tools include programs funded by the $25 billion Treasury ERA program appropriated by the December 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act (ERA1). The resources will also soon include data from the $21.6 billion appropriated by the American Rescue Plan (ERA2). As of May 12, 2021, NLIHC identified 344 emergency rental assistance programs, including 47 statewide programs, funded through the $25 billion Treasury ERA program.

Las Vegas Initiative Provides Alternative To Policing Homelessness

The nonprofit Vegas Stronger seeks to reduce homelessness in Las Vegas by addressing substance abuse and mental health head on. Since the nonprofit’s launch in October, the Metro Police Department and residents have called on them to provide people experiencing homelessness with accommodations and clinical services instead of sending them to jail. “We’re really just trying to address the issues of homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse before it hits the criminal justice system. We want to help them before they even get into the system, before jail, before court, before anything,” said Dede Parker, a specialty court administrator for Clark County Courts.