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  • 23 Feb 2023 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    Join Mental Health Association Oklahoma and The City of Oklahoma in their celebration of the Taylor Ridge Grand Reopening at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 27th!


  • 6 Feb 2023 8:18 AM | Anonymous
    Residents throughout the Oklahoma City metro will have the opportunity to vote in important municipal and school board elections on Tuesday, Feb. 14. In Oklahoma City, registered voters in Wards 2, 5, 6 and 8 will be able to vote for their City Council representative. This nonpartisan election will decide who represents those wards and districts for the next four years.

    BE AN INFORMED VOTER

    Before you cast your vote, take the time to be informed about who will appear on your ballot. The OKC Chamber contacted each of the candidates and asked questions regarding their thoughts on issues of importance to the Chamber. It’s vital to understand how each candidate will approach the office and their stance on priorities that are important to OKC’s business community.

    BUTTON_CandidatesReponses.jpg

    You can research more about what will appear on your ballot by view a sample ballot using the OK Voter Portal and viewing the list of elections for OklahomaCanadianCleveland and Pottawatomie counties.

    VOTING INFORMATION

    Early voting is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 9-10 at your local county election board:

    Regular voting is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at your assigned polling location. Find your polling location on your voter ID card or by using the voter portal at oklahoma.gov/elections/ovp.

    EMBARK bus and OKC Streetcar service will be free on Election Day to help get voters to the polls, and you can learn more about their routes by visiting their websites.


  • 25 Jan 2023 8:17 AM | Anonymous
    Earlier today the White House released a fact sheet on the Biden – Harris Administration’s actions to protect renters and promote rental affordability. The actions fall into two major areas. The first is a Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights that will guide a number of federal agency actions to identify practices that unfairly treat tenants in and applicants for rental housing, including the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development. The blueprint is designed around a set of principles stating that renters should have access to housing that is safe, decent, and affordable; renters should have a clear and fair lease that has defined rental terms, rights, and responsibilities; federal, state, and local governments should do all they can to ensure renters know their rights and to protect renters from unlawful discrimination and exclusion; renters should have the freedom to organize without obstruction or harassment from their housing provider or property manager; and renters should be able to access resources that help them avoid eviction, ensure the legal process during an eviction proceeding is fair, and avoid future housing instability.

    In addition, the White House statement says the administration is rallying state and local stakeholders and private housing actors to drive further action to protect renters in line with the blueprint. As part of this effort, the administration is launching the Resident-Centered Housing Challenge (Challenge), a call to action to housing providers and other stakeholders to strengthen practices and make their own independent commitments that improve the quality of life for renters. The Challenge, which will occur during the Spring of 2023, encourages state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to enhance existing policies and develop new ones that promote fairness and transparency in the rental market. Early commitments in support of the Challenge, which would affect more than 15 million rental units, include Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) policies that cap annual rental increases to 5 percent per year for federally or state subsidized affordable housing. Beginning in 2023, WHEDA’s policy applies to existing residents in properties utilizing state or federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. PHFA applied this policy to its portfolio of 450 properties with PHFA funding in 2022. The White House statement lists other commitments by Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, Realtor.com Rentals, the National Apartment Association, the National Association of Realtors, the Institute of Real Estate Management, and the National Multifamily Housing Council.

    statement NCSHA released in response to the White House’s announcement commends the Biden – Harris Administration for its continuing efforts to expand the supply of affordable housing and ensure low-income renters remain safely and affordably housed — objectives shared by all the nation’s state housing finance agencies. It also states that WHEDA’s and PHFA’s carefully tailored, state-specific policies were developed after detailed analysis, industry input, and public comment. It also says that broader federal efforts should follow a similar approach to balance the needs of all the stakeholders in the affordable rental housing system.

    The administration says it welcomes additional commitments from interested stakeholders to take actions aligned with the blueprint principles and to join the Challenge for resident-centered housing practices. To join the Challenge, interested partners can complete this survey (RCHousingChallenge).


  • 19 Dec 2022 8:16 AM | Anonymous

    USDA and Northpark Apartments Agree to Keep Apartments Affordable

    STORM LAKE, IA – After more than a year of federal court litigation, five residents of Northpark Apartments, represented by Iowa Legal Aid and the National Housing Law Project, will now be able to stay in their homes through a settlement finalized on December 15, 2022. In October 2021, the residents filed a federal lawsuit Acosta v. Vilsack in the U.S District Court for the Western District of Iowa against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the owners and managers of Northpark Apartments, alleging that the USDA unlawfully permitted Northpark Apartments to exit USDA’s affordable housing programs, resulting in rent increases and housing insecurity for the tenants. The settlement will keep Northpark in USDA’s programs, thereby keeping the housing affordable.

    The residents alleged that, in violation of federal civil rights laws and federal laws governing prepayments, USDA unlawfully approved the prepayment of Northpark’s Section 515 loan and ignored existing use restrictions that would have ensured the project continue to operate as affordable housing. Once the unlawful prepayment was approved, Northpark threatened to dramatically increase rents.

    Background on the Section 515 and 521 Programs: USDA’s Section 515 program provides extremely low mortgage interest rates (one percent over 50 years) to private owners with the commitment that the owners provide affordable housing to very low-, low- and moderate-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities in rural America. USDA’s Section 521 program provides additional Rental Assistance to families living in homes supported by the 515 program, so that their shelter costs account for no more than 30 percent of their adjusted household income. These programs also provide vital tenant protections, including protections from eviction without cause. When 515 loans are prepaid, the Rental Assistance that residents receive is terminated. Pursuant to the Emergency Low-Income Housing Preservation Act, USDA should not permit an owner to prepay a 515 loan if it will impact minority housing opportunities at the project and in the community.

    Details about the Settlement: After extensive negotiations, the parties reached an agreement that returned Northpark to the USDA’s 515 program, restored the Rental Assistance that tenants previously received, and ensured that tenants who paid more in rent or utilities were made whole. USDA also agreed to revise its policies in order to protect all tenants who live in USDA 515 housing nationwide including by:

    · initiating proposed rulemaking on USDA’s Rural Development Voucher program;

    · convening a stakeholder listening session and revising tenant notification letters regarding the prepayment of a Section 515 loan and the Rural Development Voucher Program Guide;

    · translating all tenant notification letters into Spanish; and

    · issuing guidance reminding their multifamily housing staff and borrowers of their obligations to provide meaningful access to Limited English Proficiency populations.

    A copy of the Acosta v. Vilsack complaint and settlementmay be found here under “Active Cases.”


  • 13 Dec 2022 5:14 PM | Anonymous

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    Source: National Fair Housing Alliance, “2022 Fair Housing Trends Report,” https://bit.ly/3uy5tmw

    Note: Source of income is not a federally protected class but is protected under some state and local laws. Sex includes sexual orientation and gender identity. NFHA notes the high frequency of complaints based on disability may be due to the fact that these often arise from an overt refusal to provide a reasonable accommodation, compared to more covert forms of housing discrimination.


  • 13 Dec 2022 8:15 AM | Anonymous

    On November 28th, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) sent a letter urging House leadership to include key provisions to expand and strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program from the bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) ( H.R.2573 / S.1136) in any year-end legislative vehicle. The letter calls for the enactment of two key AHCIA provisions to preserve and produce more affordable rental housing: 1) reinstating the 12.5% increase to Housing Credit authority that expired at the end of 2021; and 2) lowering the bond financing threshold from 50% to 25%.   

    Last week, the ACTION Campaign, a coalition co-chaired by Enterprise and the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCHSA), also sent a letter, signed by over 2,500 businesses, nonprofits and public agencies mirroring the same requests. Enacting these provisions by the end of the year is critical for the production of affordable housing, as Novogradac and Company LLP projects that these two actions would collectively finance an additional 1.93 million affordable rental homes over the next 10 years.   


  • 11 Mar 2015 5:36 AM | Anonymous

    You can create as many different blogs as you wish. You can limit access to a blog by placing it on a restricted page. If you make the page public, you can still use the blog gadget settings to control functionality for visitors and members.

    You can read more about setting up blogs on our Blog help page.

    If you are looking on more information on how to use blog, you can find it here.

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