Reports + Articles


HUD Unveils New Preservation Webpage

The Office of Multifamily Housing Programs recently created a new section of the HUD website designed to simplify searches for HUD information on preservation. The “Preserving Mulitfamily Properties” page (click here) compiles links to relevant HUD notices, guides, documents, other webpages, etc. covering preservation-related information for Section 202, Section 236, Section 221, Section 223, and project-based Section 8 properties. Also included are sections on protecting tenants and the Mark-to-Market process. The lead-in webpage (click here) also offers links to Mark-to-Market information specific to tenants, owners, lenders, and participating administrative entities.

— Posted on 7/27/2011

NOAH Receives $1.5 Million in CDFI Funds for New Lending

The Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH) recently received a 2011 award of $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund for new permanent lending activity in Southern Oregon. In its application, NOAH targeted five counties (Coos, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath) with particularly high unemployment rates and foreclosure rates that contribute to an increasing shortage of housing affordable to people with low incomes. Though the new funds will not be dedicated to preservation, NOAH hopes to use at least part of the new funding for loans on preservation properties. Nationally, Treasury awarded approximately $142 million, receiving $465 million in requests through the 2011 Notice of Funding Availability. The other Oregon awardees were Housing Development Center ($500,000 for the HDC Community Fund) and Innovative Changes ($290,000).

— Posted on 7/25/2011

RD Releases NOFAs for Four Production/Preservation Programs

Following Congress’ passage of an FY11 appropriations bill back in April, USDA Rural Development (RD) recently issued Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) for four programs that can be used to preserve affordable rural rental housing. The Multi-Family Housing Revitalization Demonstration (MPR) program provides funds to preserve and revitalize existing rural multifamily rental housing financed with Section 515 or 514/516. Applicants cannot use MPR funds to add new units or structures, such as community rooms, to existing properties, but the funds can be coupled with other program funds (see below) to achieve such renovations. For FY11, approximately $15 million is available for MPR nationally. Unfortunately, Congress did not authorize preservation-specific rental assistance (RA) for FY11, so no new RA is available in conjunction with the MPR, or other RD, funds. Click here for more information.

The Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing (FLH) program offers loans and grants for both the development of new farmworker rental housing and the purchase and revitalization of an existing FLH-financed property. Tenant eligibility for the housing produced is restricted to households with income earned in aquaculture/agriculture or in the processing of the related commodities either on-farm or off-farm. The funding offered through the competitive NOFA is for off-farm housing, while requests for funding for on-farm housing are on a rolling basis. For FY11, Congress appropriated approximately $27 million for Section 514 (loans) and $10 million for Section 516 (grants) nationally. Click here for more information.

The Section 515 Rural Rental Housing (RRH) program offers loans to provide rural rental housing, or necessary facilities directly related to such housing, for households with very low, low, or moderate incomes. The loans can also be used for the purchase and/or renovation of existing rural rental housing. For FY11, Congress appropriated approximately $69 million for Section 515 loans nationally. Within the overall funding availability, there is a set-aside for non-profit entities. Click here for more information.

Though primarily for single-family homeownership use, the Section 533 Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program can provide revitalization assistance to owners of rural rental housing and cooperative housing complexes who will rent the preserved units to households with low or very low incomes. Click here for more information.

For all the NOFAs mentioned above, RD solicits pre-applications, from which it will select a group of applicants to submit final applications. Pre-applications for MPR, Section 514/516, and Section 533 funding are due by August 22. Applications for Section 515 funding are due by August 25.

— Posted on 7/13/2011

HUD Implements FY11 HOME Rent and Income Limits

Effective July 13, new FY11 HOME rent and income limits will help determine eligibility and set rents for homes created by the majority of federal housing production programs. HUD calculated the FY11 HOME income limits using the FY11 income limits for public housing and Section 8 implemented last month (see 6/02/2011 post). Click here for the FY11 HOME income limits for Oregon. Click here for the FY11 HOME rent limits for Oregon.

— Posted on 7/13/2011

OHCS Loses Contract to Administer Project-Based Section 8 Contracts

Following a competitive application process, HUD recently announced new two-year contracts for Performance-Based Contract Administrators (PBCAs) in each state. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), despite experience and a solid track record as a PBCA, lost the contract and will no longer administer project-based Section 8 contracts, along with other forms of HUD-controlled project-based rental assistance, in Oregon. Contract Management Services (CMS), a division of the Bremerton Housing Authority in Washington, will replace OHCS as the PBCA in Oregon, effective October 1.

PBCAs are responsible for myriad duties related to project-based rental assistance contracts, including renewals and dispersal of payments to property owners. As such, the upcoming change will affect preservation efforts in Oregon, though how and to what extent is not yet known. OHPP will lose valued partners at OHCS and must develop new relationships with CMS staff. OHCS vowed to appeal HUD’s decision, but will still begin planning for the upcoming transition. It is also still possible that OHCS could continue work, in some capacity, as a subcontractor for CMS in Oregon.

With a clear focus on cost cutting, HUD accepted bids that shook up PBCAs across the country and puzzled advocates who fear that out-of-state PBCAs might hamper preservation efforts that HUD strongly supports. While it successfully bid for Oregon and Alaska, as well as retaining Nebraska, CMS lost contracts and will no longer be the PBCA for Utah and its home state, Washington (now to be administered by Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority). Summit Multi-Family Housing Corporation in Ohio was not previously a PBCA in any state, but HUD selected it for Maryland, New Jersey, and New York (the state with the largest volume of project-based units). The current PBCAs in Georgia and Florida, both local, lost their respective contracts, only to be awarded the new contracts for each other’s states. Many other states will also have new PBCAs, with a higher number not located within that state.

A PDF highlighting the changes and including unit totals is available on the Oregon Housing Blog. Click here to more information.

— Posted on 7/07/2011

State Legislature Approves $5 Million for Preservation

On the final day of the 2011 legislative session, both the Oregon House and Senate passed a lottery-backed bond bill, HB 5036, with bonding authority to provide an additional $5 million for multifamily rental housing preservation in 2012. Earlier in June, the legislature approved the Oregon Housing and Community Service (OHCS) budget for 2012 that included $10.5 million for preservation to come from lottery-backed bond sales. However, in the last weeks of the session, opposition surfaced to approving bonding authority for that full amount in HB 5036, threatening to scale it back or eliminate it completely. Fortunately, advocates were able to convince lawmakers of the need to continue funding for preservation, with $5 million in new authority ultimately remaining in the bill. When the legislature reconvenes for a short session next February, advocates plan to restate the case for additional funding. Click here for HB 5036.

Just like previous dedicated preservation funds and the current 50% set-aside of all other CFC-distributed resources, the new funds will only be available for preservation of existing multifamily rental properties with federal rental assistance subsidies attached to a minimum of 25% of units.

— Posted on 7/01/2011