Legislative Updates

AHMA-PSW’s Weekly Affordable Housing News 2/15/18

  • The Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) is re-announcing a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for approximately $1,400,000 in project-based rental assistance for up to thirty-five (35) units funded through Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program (811 PRA).  Please download the Information Bulletin for additional information.
  • The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has a new funding opportunity available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) as a result of a presidentially declared disaster for the December 2017 California Wildfires (DR-4353). HMGP can fund eligible project and planning activities for eligible subapplicants in accordance with FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Guidance.  Cal OES invites you to submit an Notice of Interest (NOI) for eligible Hazard Mitigation Project and Planning activities by March 15, 2018. The NOI can be submitted electronically via Cal OES’s HMGP web page. The instructions for completing the NOI are available here
  • Starting on February 8, 2018, HUD’s Office of Recapitalization (Recap) will host “Mod Rehab Talk” office hours for Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab) owners to schedule times to speak with HUD staff one-on-one to discuss their properties, questions about Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversion, preservation strategies, and the RAD application process. Owners will be able to sign up for individual 30-minute sessions with HUD staff during designated times each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 – 4:00 PM EST. After this initial call, owners who need further consultation and guidance may be referred to TA providers for on-call direct TA.  Sign up today for one of the 30-minute sessions Here. You may also sign up on the RAD and Multifamily Housing Preservation pages on the HUD Exchange.
  • Costa Mesa City Council members took a step Tuesday toward removing so-called residential incentive overlays that allow high-density residential development at specified locations along Harbor and Newport boulevards.  The overlays were created as part of the 2016 update to the city’s general plan. They permit building up to 40 housing units per acre at certain commercial properties along the two thoroughfares. At the time of the update, those who supported the overlays said the goal was to encourage redevelopment of problematic properties — namely motels that some have decried as hotbeds for drug use or criminal activity.  On Tuesday, though, the council voted 3-2 — with Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor and Councilman Jim Righeimer opposed — to start the process of deleting them almost entirely.
  • Santa Ana is looking at whether to become the first city in Orange County to implement rent control on apartments and houses. The city council was scheduled to start the discussion Tuesday night with a presentation from experts on the issue.
  • Homeless and Move On Preference Technical Assistance:  Request for Interest (RFI) Apply for Technical Assistance to Promote the Homeless and Move On Preferences in HUD Multifamily Assisted Housing.  HUD Seeks Multifamily assisted housing owners and property management companies, HUD Continuums of Care, State Housing Agencies, and Communities interested in implementing Homeless or Move On preferences in HUD Multifamily properties.  Links to the materials can be found here.  Individualized technical assistance (TA) will be available through this Request for Interest. CoCs and housing providers (both privately owned and State agencies) may receive individualized TA coaching, education, and concrete support from an assigned expert in implementing the Multifamily Homeless and Move On preferences. This TA will help housing providers streamline their internal processes and improve rates of success in admitting households who are experiencing homelessness or who were formerly homeless. TA will also include assistance in outreach to and relationship-building with local housing providers and homeless service agencies. The short RFI application is due by March 5, 2018.
  • HR 620, The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 is being sent to the House Floor.  With 108 cosponsors this bill has strong bi-partisan support.  The purpose of this bill is to establish an opportunity for property owners to remedy actual violations of the ADA before any lawsuit is allowed to be filed.  This will have the effect of preventing profit motivated frivolous lawsuits that are settled to avoid the massive costs of contesting such a suit.  Passage of this bill may present an opening to discuss abuses of a similar nature in  other areas such as Fair Housing
  • FHFA publishes GSE affordable housing goals for 2018-2020  This week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency published a final rule to establish affordable housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 2018-2020. The rule makes slight changes to Multifamily Goals, such as requiring the GSEs to support development of 315,000 units annually for low-income renters (compared with 300,000 units required for years 2015-2017).
  • IRS issues guidance on designating Qualified Opportunity Zones
  • This week, the IRS issued guidance to governors on the process for designating Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) for the new Opportunity Zone program established by recent tax reform legislation. The Opportunity Zone program allows for tax-preferred treatment of capital gains that are reinvested in low-income census tracts.  State and territorial governors and the mayor of DC have until March 21st to nominate census tracts for QOZ designation (or request a 30-day extension), which are subject to formal designation by the Treasury Secretary.
  • As Los Angeles politicians face mounting pressure to combat the homelessness crisis, the City Council is weighing two measures aimed at clearing obstacles to getting more people into housing.  One measure would allow permanent supportive housing projects to avoid a review process that can drag out a year or more and expose the projects to public battles with opponents.  The proposed law would slash parking requirements and allow homeless housing projects of up to 120 units in much of the city — and as large as 200 in downtown and some other areas — to avoid environmental review and public hearings as long as the projects meet certain requirements. Under current law, housing projects with 50 units or more have to go through a more exhaustive process.  Council members are also considering a measure that could make it easier to temporarily convert motels into homeless housing, which has been touted as a more immediate way to get people off the streets. City officials hope that by removing zoning restrictions, they will encourage struggling motels to contract with county-funded programs to get people housed.
  • California Tax Credit Allocation Committee:  TCAC would like to make its stakeholders aware of pending building code changes related to accessibility.  Please note that the building code definition of public housing includes tax credit projects. Access Code Stakeholder Forum – February 22, 2018.  The Division of the State Architect (DSA) is conducting a public meeting to present initial drafts and solicit public. input on proposed code amendments to the accessibility provisions of the California Building Standards code.  The meeting takes place in Sacramento on Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may participate by teleconference and/or WebEx (details are included in the meeting agenda); attend a videoconference at the DSA regional offices in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego; or, attend in person at the Division of the State Architect, Headquarters Office located at 1102 Q Street, Suite 5100, Sacramento, CA 95811 in Conference Room B. The agenda and other supporting documents for this meeting are available on the DSA’s Access 2019 webpage.  The proposed code amendments include provisions that impact public housing. Comments in support or opposition are appreciated and may be raised at the meeting or via email.