September 5, 2017

Affordable Housing Finance: Roundtable: Experts Weigh in on Mixed-Income, Mixed-Tenant Housing

Industry leaders discuss benefits and complexities.
By Donna Kimura
It’s not easy to spot new affordable housing. From the outside, the communities often look like market-rate developments or are even the best property on the block.

On the inside, however, there’s a lot going on. Some developments have expanded to become mixed-income communities, housing both low-income and market-rate residents. Many properties also work to blend different populations, setting aside units for formerly homeless or special-needs individuals along with those for families and seniors.
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August 31, 2017
Affordable Housing Finance: 5 Ways to Better Advocate for Affordable Housing
Experts share their tips for engaging with legislators.

By Christine Serlin
1. Establish Relationships
Take the time to create relationships with legislators and their staffs before you need their help on an affordable housing issue. This includes making visits to Capitol Hill and legislators’ districts, says Michelle Norris, executive vice president of external affairs and strategic initiatives at Columbus, Ohio–based National Church Residences. “If you wait until their support is urgent, it might be too late,” she adds. “There’s no question this takes time from your day job, but it makes a great future possible.”
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August 31, 2017
Multifamily Executive: Large Number of Vacant Apartments Will Help Houston in Harvey Aftermath
RealPage chief economist Greg Willett says the metro area has 47,000 vacant units; labor issue will persist.
By Brian Croce
It still remains to be seen how much property damage and economic loss Hurricane Harvey will have caused in and around Houston once the storm has finally left the metro. The region is still focused on getting people to safety and finding shelter for displaced residents. The rest of the story...


CohnReznick: No Summertime Blues for Affordable Housing: Capitol Connection from Bob Moss
An extremely positive hearing held August 1 by the Senate Finance Committee entitled “Increasing Access to Affordable Housing” reflects the steady work of housing advocates across the country and the recognition by Chairman Orrin Hatch of how effective the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is to solving the rental housing crisis in America. In his opening remarks regarding the crisis, Chairman Hatch stated:
“There seem to remain many households facing cost burdens associated with renting, with perhaps as much as 26% of renter households having paid more than half of their incomes in rent in 2015, for example. And the burdens seem to fall heavily on lower-income households.”
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August 1, 2017

NAHB: Cantwell-Hatch Bill Would Help Ease Affordable Housing Crisis
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today called on Congress to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvements Act of 2017 (S. 548), legislation that would promote the construction of sorely needed rental apartments and help alleviate the nation’s affordable housing crisis.

Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas, told lawmakers that it is essential to increase the resources supporting housing production in order to meet the growing need for affordable rental housing.

“S. 548, a bipartisan bill championed by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), takes a significant and needed step to boosting supply by increasing Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) allocations by 50 percent,” said MacDonald. “Enacting this bill is expected to result in an additional 400,000 LIHTC units over the next 10 years. NAHB estimates that added construction would increase federal tax revenue by $11.6 billion and state and local revenues by $5.6 billion.”
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July 24, 2017
MFE: Seniors Have the Steepest Housing Challenge
More vulnerable to poverty and homelessness than previous generations, today’s elderly need affordable housing at an ever-growing rate.

By Bendix Anderson

Economists have been talking for years about the huge demand for affordable seniors housing that will come as the baby boom generation passes through retirement and grows frail. Meeting that demand is becoming a problem, but housing advocates have several ideas that can make a difference—all of which, and more, will be sorely needed.

“It’s really an ‘all-of-the-above’ type of answer,” says Linda Couch, vice president of housing policy for LeadingAge, an association of nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing services for older adults.
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June 29, 2017
Affordable Housing Finance: FHFA Proposes New Housing Goals for Fannie, Freddie
Agency increases the goal for low-income multifamily units.
By Donna Kimura
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would need to provide mortgages for 315,000 low-income housing units under newly proposed annual housing goals for 2018 through 2020.

That’s an increase from the current 300,000-unit goal for 2017, according to the proposal by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
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June 16, 2017

The Texas Tribune: Despite "Texas miracle," affordable housing difficult for many urban dwellers
A new Harvard study found that Americans — especially poorer ones — are having a harder time find a suitable place to call home. Texas lawmakers, experts and development industry leaders say there are plenty of reasons why that's true here, too.

By Brandon Formby, Chris Essig and Annie Daniel

It’s becoming harder for urban-dwelling Texans to find an affordable home to buy or decent place to rent as house prices outpace salaries, the income gap between renters and owners continues to widen and the number of high-poverty neighborhoods increases.

Those are among several findings from a Texas Tribune analysis of data that underpins a study that Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies released Friday. The data were part of a report called “The State of the Nation’s Housing” which found that while the U.S. housing market is returning to normal after the Great Recession, “not all households and not all markets are thriving.”
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June 12, 2017
MFE: Preserving Affordable Housing: Best Practices
With the affordable housing shortage seemingly growing by the day, it's more important than ever to preserve the stock we already have.
By Bendix Anderson
In buying Oakwood Apartments in Bedford, Mass., POAH used donation tax credits to guarantee the seller a sufficient profit to enable the property to be sold at a discount.

America has a deep shortage of affordable housing, and, every year, the situation seems only to worsen. That makes it more important than ever to preserve the homes we already have in affordable housing programs.

But affordable housing developers can’t buy every affordable housing property that’s up for sale in order to keep these buildings in stock, or repair every affordable building burdened with deferred capital needs. What the industry can do, however, is ensure the best chances of preserving affordable housing by following six recognized best practices.
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June 2017
e 2017

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University: The State of the Nation's Housing 2017
A decade after the onset of the Great Recession, the national housing market has, by many measures, returned to normal: housing demand, home prices, and construction volumes are all on the rise, and the number of distressed homeowners has fallen sharply. However, high demand and tight supply are pushing up housing costs and adding to concerns about affordability.
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Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Households 2015-2035
By 2035, more than one in five people in the US will be aged 65 and older and one in three households will be headed by someone in that age group. This growth will increase the demand for affordable, accessible housing that is well connected to services far beyond what current supply can meet
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NALHFA Celebrates Infrastructure Week
Why Affordable Housing Infrastructure Matters

It's infrastructure week and across America its #TimeToBuild! Infrastructure week is a national week of education and advocacy that brings together organizations, businesses, local governments, workers, elected leaders, and community members to focus on ournation's infrastructure needs. A piece of the infrastructure puzzle that is often left out is affordable housing.  Affordable housing is a vital component to infrastructure investment, and the construction and preservation of our country's affordable housing stock will strengthen productivity and economic growth, promote economic mobility, and will support job creation and increased incomes. The rest of the story...

May 16, 2017

Texas Housing Construction: From Bust to Robust
By David S. Jones, Senior Editor, Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University
COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (Real Estate Center) – Home construction is ramping up across America, and in no place is that more apparent than in Texas.

“After an anemic start to the year, the number of Texas single-family home construction permits soared 11.5 percent in March to a ten-year high of 10,481,” said Dr. Luis Torres, a research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

“Texas led the nation in total permits issued and ranked fifth in permits per capita,” he said. “Construction permits increased significantly in the Texas Urban Triangle.
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May 8, 2017

Multifamily Executive: Confronting the Affordable Housing Gap

The solution to easing the affordable housing crunch will come from various sources working together, according to a MultiFamily Executive (MFE) article.

Through a partnership with Freddie Mac Multifamily, MFE is examining the lack of affordable housing in the U.S. The first
piece in a 12-part series begins by examining the key drivers behind the lack of affordable housing and what can be done to ease the crisis. MFE is a sister publication to Affordable Housing Finance. The rest of the story...

May 02, 2017

Affordable Housing Finance: Trump’s Tax Reform Outline Gets White House to Table
Capitol Hill insiders break down what’s in store for affordable housing industry.

By Christine Serlin

A lot of noise has come out of Washington, D.C., during President Trump’s first 100 days, including the potential for tax reform anda corporate rate reduction, which are causing a hiccup in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity pricing, and the proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget. The rest of the story...

April 29, 2017

Patenaude Nominated for HUD Deputy Secretary
The housing veteran served as HUD assistant secretary under George W. Bush.
By Donna Kimura
Pamela Hughes Patenaude, who has 30 years of experience in housing and public policy, has been nominated to be deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). President Donald Trump announced Friday that he would send the nomination to the Senate for confirmation.
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May 03, 2017

Office of the Governor, Greg Abbott: Governor Abbott Appoints Five To Texas Department Of Housing And Community Affairs

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Paul Braden and Leo Vasquez to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for terms set to expire on January 31, 2023. He also reappointed J.B. Goodwin and appointed Sharon Thomason for terms set to expire January 31, 2021 and appointed Asusena Reséndiz for a term set to expire January 31, 2019. TDHCA is responsible for promoting and preserving home ownership, financing the development of affordable rental housing, supporting community and energy assistance programs.The rest of the story...

May 8, 2017
HUD: Beth Van Duyne Named HUD SW Regional Administrator

Will oversee HUD programs in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana

FORT WORTH - Former Irving, Texas, Mayor Beth Van Duyne today announced that she is honored to be joining the Trump Administration in serving as the Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Southwest Region. As Regional Administrator, she will work in HUD's Regional Office in Fort Worth, Texas, and oversee HUD programs and operations in the Region's five states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The rest of the story...

May 2, 2017

Is HUD’s Fair Housing Rule Here to Stay?

By Daniel J. McGraw

Fair housing advocates, people who want to see a reversal of the racial segregation prevalent in U.S. cities, and fans of open data have kept a wary eye on the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, issued by HUD in 2015, since President Donald Trump was elected in November. The rest of the story...

March 8, 2017

CohnReznick: Affordable Housing News & Views

Housing Tax Credit Monitor: 2016 Housing Credit Equity Volume Survey

Based on data collected by CohnReznick from 36 active syndicators and direct investors, we estimate that investors collectively funneled approximately $16 billion of equity into housing credit investments in 2016, making it a record volume year in the history of the housing credit program. Read more about total equity volume, a housing pricing update, and current multi-investor regional and national funds. The rest of the story...

Tax Talk Triggers Pricing Drop for LIHTCs (National Real Estate Investor) 

Potential tax reforms ahead that could reduce corporate tax rates have created a “speedbump” for the low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) market. Investors are lowering bids on price per credit, which has slowed deal flow and sent sponsors scrambling to find alternative solutions to bridge the financing gap.  The LIHTC market is a bit “unsettled” in the wake of the presidential election, adds Beth Mullen, CohnReznick partner and Affordable Housing Industry Practice – National Director. The rest of the story...

Make Room: Advocating for Bold Solutions to End Housing Insecurity
The start of 2017 has brought with it great traction in terms of advocating for more affordable rental housing. As one of the first sponsors of Make Room, a national nonprofit exposing the human suffering and societal costs of the rental housing crisis and advocating for bold solutions that will end housing insecurity, CohnReznick has gotten to see first-hand what the organization is capable of, and we’ve already participated in two events this year.
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Lancaster Pollard: 2017 Housing Outlook: In Uncertain Times, Advocacy is Key
Talk about uncertainty. Over the years, those in the affordable housing industry have dealt with their fair share of uncertainty— in the form of budget shortfalls, continuing resolutions, sequestration and more. As 2017 begins to unfold, however, the aura of uncertainty is perhaps stronger than ever as the prospect of tax reform, drastic budget cuts, infrastructure spending and a retired pediatric surgeon taking over the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) all loom on the horizon. Fortunately, the affordable housing industry has a lot of friends and advocates in Washington and across the nation. In 2017, it’s going to need them all to step up in a big way. The rest of the story...

March 8, 2017
Novogradac & Company: How Much Might the National Median Income Level Grow in 2017?
Published by Thomas Stagg
In January, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updated its 10-year economic projections. The update includes the 2017

consumer price index (CPI) estimate that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will use for calculating the 2017 income limits for affordable rental housing properties that involve HUD and low-income housing tax credit financing. 

The CPI inflation factor HUD will use in calculating the 2017 income limits will be 1.0317. HUD multiplies the 2014 American Community Survey data by the CPI inflation factor to determine area median income.
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March 7, 2017
Novogradac & Company: Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Introduced in Senate
Eleven U.S. Senators joined Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to officially introduce the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 today. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., joined as original cosponsors the bipartisan group announced Monday–Sens. Cantwell, Hatch, Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Dean Heller, R-Nev., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Todd Young, R-Ind. The legislation follows the release by Cantwell’s office of a report, “Meeting the Challenges of the Growing Affordable Housing Crisis,” which highlights the impact on affordable housing of the record increase of 9 million renters in the past decade, relatively low rental housing construction, the removal of 13 percent of existing affordable housing homes since 2001 and stagnant wages.

March 3, 2017
Novogradac & Company: Millennials in the Context of LIHTC

Published by H. Blair Kincer
A Jan. 23 New York Times article entitled, “Peak Millennial? Cities Can’t Assume a Continued Boost from the Young,” noted that the cresting wave of Millennial migration to center cities that had fuelled a rental boom in many American downtowns. Regardless of whether this trend is due to rising incomes, younger households getting priced out of central neighborhoods, or the outmigration of young families, the trend will shape the future of center cities. And importantly for the affordable rental housing community, this trend will have significance for low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) properties.
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February 28, 2017
Novogradac & Company: IRS Notice Means Slight Increase for Many States’ LIHTC, Bond Caps
Published by Michael Novogradac
The nation’s population grew by 0.7 percent during the year that ended July 1, 2016 and that means the 2017 low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) ceiling and tax-exempt private activity bond cap for many states will increase. The 0.7 percent growth follows two consecutive years of 0.8 percent growth.

IRS Notice 2017-19  lists 2017 calendar-year resident population figures, which determine the state ceilings. Under Rev. Proc. 2016-55, each state’s 2017 LIHTC ceiling is the greater of $2.35 multiplied by the state population or $2.71 million. Each state’s tax-exempt bond volume cap is the greater of $100 multiplied by the state population or $305,315,000.
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Articles of Interest

Texas Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies