MReport November 2019

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M R EP O RT | 57 O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST GOVERNMENT HUD Makes $112M Available for Homebuyers with Disabilities HUD Secretary Dr. Benjamin Carson said this funding will produce affordable housing "at a time we need it the most." T he U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that there is $112 million available to expand the supply of permanent affordable housing for low-income people with disabilities. "Very simply, we need more permanent supportive housing to assist persons living with disabili- ties," HUD Secretary Dr. Benjamin Carson said. "The funding we offer today will support existing developments and, for the first time in nearly a decade, help to produce new affordable housing at a time we need it the most." HUD says funding is available for the two components of the Section 811 Program—traditional Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities and Section 811 Project Rental Assistance. Available funding includes $75 million in capital advances for the development of new support- ive housing for this "vulnerable population." HUD says this is the first time it is offering funding for both programs in nine years. "We're seeking to fund innova- tive and efficient housing models that combine form and function, a pleasant and safe place to live, with the appropriate supportive services," said Brian Montgomery, Commissioner of the Federal Housing Agency. "Our goal is to support affordable housing develop- ments that allow persons with dis- abilities to live as independently as possible in their own communities." Section 811 Capital Advances HUD is offering up to $75 mil- lion in funds for eligible non-profit organizations to fund innovative permanent supportive housing models. Section 811 Project Rental Assistance HUD is also making up to $37 million in rental assistance available to eligible housing agen- cies working with State Health and Human Service/Medicaid Agencies. Housing affordability has been a concern for the housing market for most of 2019, but Black Knight's September Mortgage Monitor Report revealed that it now takes 20.7% of the national median income to make monthly princi- pal and interest payment on an average-priced home—the second- lowest payment-to-income ratio in 20 months. According to the report, the $1,122 in monthly P&I required to purchase an average-priced home is 10% lower than in November when interest rates closed in on 5%. Home prices, however, have risen more than 4% since that point. Single-Family Zoning: On the Way Out? New legislation will allow homeowners to build accessory dwelling units on land previously zoned for single-family homes. C alifornia lawmakers have successfully passed pieces of legislation over the past four years that have chipped away at single- family zoning, making it easier for homeowners to convert garages into residential space and build freestanding homes. A report by the Los Angeles Times says that California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed multiple bills into law this week that allows property owners to build a back- yard home of at least 800-square- feet. The bill would also allow homeowners to convert a garage, office, or space room into living quarters. New legislation would allow for three homes on land previously zoned for single-family. "We're on the precipice of single-family zoning functionally not existing," said Ben Metcalf, former Director of the state's Department of Housing and Community Development. U.S. Census Data found that nearly two-thirds of California residences are single-family homes, according to the Los Angeles Times. University of California- Berkeley's Terner Center for Housing Innovation revealed that between half and three-quarters of the developable land in most of the state is zoned for single-family housing. Following January 1, cities and counties can only prohibit acces- sory-dwelling units for health and safety reasons, including properties at high risk of wildfires. "During the Depression when we had a massive housing crisis, people converted their rooms in their houses and put in hot plates so others could live there," said Denise Pinkston, an executive at Bay Area development firm TMG Partners, and one of the forces be- hind the new laws. "They adapted their housing stock to serve the needs of the population. During this housing crisis, we need to do the same thing." California has become one of many states—joining Oregon, Minnesota, and North Carolina— that have taken steps to remove single-family zoning. Durham, North Carolina, in September, amended ordinances for higher density, "undoing decades- old vestigaes" of discrimination that have prevented African-Americans from owning homes. The ordinance, known as "Expanding Housing Choices," amends zoning rules in areas near downtown to allow for higher density. City and county planners believe this could stabilize home prices as the market grows. Oregon's HB 2001 went into effect on August 8, and mandates that cities with a population of more than or equal to 25,000 to allow middle-housing types on lots previously earmarked for the development of detached single- family housing. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) clari- fies the legislation, saying that the policy does not "outright prohibit" single-family zoning or develop- ment in Oregon. "In fact, the bill should give builders and developers more flex- ibility and opportunities to build an expanded range of housing types in the state," the NAHB said.

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