• The Bulletin: Affordable housing projects are threatened as tax cuts undermine a source of funding

    On First Street in Santa Ana, California — not far from where authorities recently cleared a tent encampment along the Santa Ana River near Angel Stadium — developer Caleb Roope wants to build nearly 1,000 apartments that will be affordable for low-income seniors and families. Despite a renewed push from the state to tackle its affordable housing crisis, Roope, chief executive of Pacific Cos., isn’t sure he can break ground on the two subsidized projects. The problem? The federal government. The $1.5-trillion tax cut President Trump signed into law last year slashed corporate tax rates and gave businesses more money to spend how they choose. In doing so, it indirectly cut the value of a crucial tax credit developers rely on to offer homes at rents that lower-­income Americans can afford. As a result, developers such as Roope are receiving less money when they sell those credits, opening up gaping budget holes that are delaying, even killing, their projects. “We had one fall through in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was 216 units,” Roope said. “We also had another 184-unit project in Phoenix that suffered a similar fate.”

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  • Curbed SF: San Francisco axes 150-unit affordable housing plan in Forest Hill

    The Mayor’s Office of Housing [MOH] no longer plans to fund a proposed 150-unit affordable housing development for seniors in Forest Hill, saying that delays from neighborhood opposition have inflated the project’s price too far. Christian Church Homes, a religious non-profit that develops affordable housing for seniors, announced in 2016 that it would partner with Forest Hill Christian Church to create new senior housing on a hillside lot at 250 Laguna Honda Boulevard. But Forest Hill residents, including the Forest Hill Association, objected and cited concerns about the possibility of formerly homeless residents moving in to the neighborhood, as well as criticism of the proposed building’s size, locale, and necessary zoning exceptions. “We’re talking five stories and a lot of traffic going in and out,” Joe Bravo, an attorney who lives in Forest Hill, told Curbed SF in 2016. “Why is nobody looking around and saying this city may perhaps have limits? That you can’t just keep building more?”

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  • NCSHA: FHFA Proposes Changes to FHLB Affordable Housing Program

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued March 6 a proposed rule that would amend the Federal Home Loans Banks’ (FHLB) Affordable Housing Program (AHP). The proposal is designed to give FHLBs more flexibility in administering and targeting their AHP programs to meet specific housing needs. FHFA will hold a webinar to explain the proposed changes on Tuesday, March 27 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Federal law requires each FHLB to contribute ten percent of their annual earnings to set up their own AHP. AHP funding is used to finance homeownership opportunities for low- or moderate-income households (those with incomes at 80 percent or less of the area median income) and the development and rehabilitation of affordable multifamily housing (in which at least 20 percent of units are affordable to renters earning 50 percent of area median income or below). From 1990 through 2016, the FHLBs used $5.4 billion in AHP financing to subsidize the development of 660,000 affordable rental units and assist 167,000 homebuyers.

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  • LA Times: We asked the candidates how they planned to meet housing production goals. Here’s how they responded

    LA Times: We asked California gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa a series of questions about their unprecedented goals of having 3.5 million homes built in the state by 2025 to address the state’s housing shortage. Below are their written responses in full.

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  • League of California Cities: League of California Cities Supports the Affordable Housing Bond

    The bond will generate $4 billion for affordable housing programs, infill infrastructure projects and the veterans’ homeownership program. The Legislature placed the bond on the ballot through the passage of League-supported SB 3 (Beall) last September. If approved by voters in November, the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond will fund a number of programs and breathe new life into existing housing programs that have proven, over the years, to be effective. California cities are eager to access much needed affordable housing funding to jumpstart construction. Programs that would be funded under the bond include:

    • Multifamily Housing Program — $1.5 billion
    • Transit-Oriented Development Implementation Program — $150 million
    • Infill Incentive Grant Program — $300 million
    • Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Fund — $300 million
    • Local Housing Trust Fund Matching Grant Program —  $300 million
    • CalHome Program — $300 million
    • CalVet Home Loan Program —:$1 billion
    • Self-Help Housing Fund — $150 million
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  • The Press Democrat: Sonoma County housing bond seen by supporters as way to bolster affordable stock

    Sonoma County voters may be asked this fall to support a massive housing bond aimed at solving a housing crisis exacerbated by the devastating October wildfires. Details of the proposed measure are still being worked out, but supporters are suggesting a number north of $300 million would be needed to make a sizable dent in the shortage of affordable housing in the county. “If this county does not pass an affordable housing bond now, I don’t think it ever will,” said Santa Rosa City Councilman Jack Tibbetts. “I think that will say a lot about who we are as a community.” Tibbetts, who has emerged as a leader in the effort, said he’s eying a number between $300 million and $400 million. A survey conducted in July and again in January used $370 million. The local proposal comes as California voters this November face a decision on a $4 billion housing bond meant to fund low-income developments and subsidize home loans for California veterans. Various Bay Area counties have passed housing bonds of their own in recent years. In 2016 alone, voter-approved measures in Santa Clara, Alameda and San Francisco authorized up to $950 million, $580 million and $261 million for affordable housing, respectively.

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  • Crubed: Can manufactured housing ease America’s affordable housing crisis?

    America’s affordable housing crisis is driven in large part by the simple fact that there aren’t enough homes in America right now to satisfy demand. High construction costs and labor shortages mean builders can’t build fast enough to keep up with household formation, and Americans who already own homes are reluctant to sell an asset that is appreciating rapidly. This has pushed home prices to or beyond their pre-financial collapse peaks, leaving prospective home buyers without an affordable option. While there’s no easy fix, signals within the federal government suggest one solution is getting increased attention—manufactured housing. Previously referred to as mobile homes, manufactured houses are built in a factory, transported to a site on a flatbed truck, and installed on-site. Not to be confused with prefab homes, which have parts made in a factory but are mostly constructed on-site, manufactured homes cost as little as $45,000, a mere fraction of the median price for a new single-family site-built home of $323,000.

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  • Affordable Housing Finance: WNC Closes $94.2 Million California LIHTC Fund

    Michael Gaber

    WNC has closed a $94.2 million institutional low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) fund that will help finance the rehabilitation of six affordable housing properties in both suburban and urban areas of California. The properties, located within the cities of Antelope, Los Angeles, National City, Sacramento, and San Marcos, will provide 972 affordable housing units to families throughout the state. “This is the 21st fund WNC has closed that focuses on the development or rehabilitation of quality affordable housing in the state of California,” said Michael Gaber, WNC executive vice president and COO. “With a severe supply/demand imbalance for affordable housing throughout the United States, it is vitally important that we do all that we can to rehabilitate and maintain existing affordable housing to provide a safe, comfortable home to families in the state.” WNC Institutional Tax Credit Fund 10 California Series 16 includes eight Community Reinvestment Act–qualified institutional investors, three of which are first-time investors with WNC, a LIHTC syndicator and national investor in real estate and community development initiatives.

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  • MTC: MTC Pledges $10 Million for New Fund to Preserve Affordable Housing

    Affordable housingThe Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today committed $10 million to establish a new revolving loan fund known as the Bay Area Preservation Pilot Fund to help nonprofit developers finance the acquisition and preservation of existing multifamily housing properties that are located in areas with high-frequency transit service and are considered affordable for lower- and moderate-income renters.  The Commission’s stake will be supplemented by an additional $39 million from Preservation Pilot managers Enterprise Community Loan Fund (ECLF) and Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) to make a total of $49 million available for new loans. “It’s no secret that the Bay Area’s housing supply hasn’t kept pace with the region’s employment growth,” noted Oakland mayor and MTC Commissioner Libby Schaaf, who played a lead role in organizing the Preservation Pilot initiative.

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  • The Collegian: New bill could offer loans to combat student homelessness

    Assemblywoman Anna Caballero spoke at a news conference at Fresno State last week to introduce Assembly Bill 2784, which aims to combat homelessness among college students. Sponsored by the California State Student Association, AB 2784 will implement the Emergency Student Housing Loan Program. It would offer a loan for housing costs that would be forgiven if a student completes the academic semester during which the loan was awarded, Caballero said. The program would pilot at three colleges within the California State University system. “For years, we have acted as if college students were immune to homelessness, that they had the resources and that the community had the housing availability to meet the student’s housing needs, but this is no longer the case,” Caballero said. Caballero emphasized the prevalence of homelessness at CSU campuses. According to a 2018 CSU study of basic needs, she said, 10.9 percent of students have experienced homelessness one or more times within the past 12 months.

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