HUD Heartland News
Volume 13, Issue 1
In this Issue:
Calendar of Events:
November 12, 2018
November 22, 2018
December 4, 2018
December 25, 2018
Housing Counseling Trends
HUD's Office of Housing Counseling each month publishes "The Bridge".
Every other month beginning in September, they are publishing a report on housing counseling trends. The report will include how many people are counseled, demographic characteristics of those served by housing counselors, and the percentage of clients served who received reverse mortgage counseling.
The trends in service delivery reflect changes in the economy and in the housing market. The trends also indicate whether purchases are increasing, whether defaults are increasing or vice versa.
The statistics will help agencies to identify areas of concern and develop better, more informed decisions with them.
Homeownership Is Possible
On November 1, 2018, the South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition announced the launch of their "Native Homeownership is Possible" campaign via social media. Their message is intended for stakeholders to reach out to all of the Native communities in South Dakota. A social media toolkit and shareable images are available.
Homeownership Opportunities in Indian Country
The Sisseton Wahpeton Housing Authority in Sisseton recently signed loan documents for the second phase of their homeownership houses. The Housing Authority is utilizing HUD's Section 184 Loan Guarantee Program to purchase homes and lease them to families who will be able to purchase them as they become qualified. This model allows families to lease the homes, working with homebuyer readiness staff to prepare themselves to eventually purchase them. This second phase consists of six 1,200 square foot, three-bedroom homes built off-site and moved to lots prepared by the housing authority. The total mortgage cost of each home is $144,000 as a result of the housing authority utilizing subsidy programs, making them affordable for many families.
Reverse Mortgage Changes
Mortgagee Letter 2018-06, effective October 1, 2018, requires a second appraisal be conducted where a collateral risk assessment of the initial appraisal submitted for use in the reverse mortgage origination determines additional support for the collateral value is required. Lenders may not close or approve a reverse mortgage until the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has performed a collateral risk assessment and, if required, a second appraisal. FHA will evaluate the results of the new policy six and nine months after the effective date.
Veterans Homelessness Declines
According to HUD's 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, veteran homelessness continues to decline in the U.S. South Dakota's report revealed 15.4 percent fewer homeless veterans from 2017 to 2018. The Point-in-Time Count (PIT) estimates the number of homeless veterans in the last 10 days of January. In January 2018, in South Dakota, the PIT Count was 110, with 89 sheltered homeless veterans and 21 unsheltered homeless veterans.
Supportive Housing for Veterans
The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUDVASH) program combines Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The services are provided at VA medical centers and community-based outreach clinics. With the announcement of 7 additional vouchers for Sioux Falls Housing and the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System, Sioux Falls Housing now administers 128 HUD-VASH vouchers in the Sioux Falls area. Pennington County Housing and the Black Hills Health Care System administer 149 HUD-VASH vouchers in the Rapid City area. Meade County Housing and the Black Hills Health Care System administer 40 HUD-VASH vouchers in the Sturgis area.
Humans of HUD
In October, HUD launched "Humans of HUD" - a photoblog which documents the journeys of people impacted by HUD's programs and services. The photos and stories reveal everyday Americans who are striving to overcome homelessness, drug addiction, natural disasters, and other issues.
Funding for Tribes
January 7, 2019 is the deadline for Federally-recognized Tribes and tribal organizations to apply for a total of $65 million in Indian Community Development Block Grants (ICDBG). HUD expects to award 75 grants of between $400,000 and $5 million. ICDBG helps Tribes create decent housing, suitable living environments, and economic opportunities for persons with low and moderate incomes.
Homeless Youth Facility in Sioux Falls
A fundraising campaign was launched a year ago by the Volunteers of America (VOA) to build a facility to house homeless youth called HomePlace in Sioux Falls. They are seeking to raise $1.25 million yet for the $3.5 million affordable housing complex. The facility will be located near South Theodore Avenue and West 41st Street.
The VOA's current facility allows only about 10 homeless youth to be served at a time with a 90-day waiting period and average stay of nine months to a year. The new facility would allow double that amount to be served and in a more therapeutic setting to help them transition into life after high school.
Resources for the Homeless
The South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Consortium has implemented the South Dakota Coordinated Entry System which connects services to the homeless. The main phone number for anyone who is homeless in South Dakota is (800) 664-1349. There are coordinated entry locations in the following towns:
Field of Dreams Townhomes Available
After years of planning, Affordable Housing Solutions (AHS) in Sioux Falls has announced the availability of newly built townhomes for lowincome families looking for homeownership in the eastern part of Sioux Falls.
The Field of Dreams consists of 2 buildings with 26 townhomes located near 15th Street and Sycamore Avenue. The townhomes use energy efficient design for ventilation and water flow, which allows for lower utility bills. The units each have 2 bedrooms and attached garages. The townhomes are available to households earning 80 percent of the median income or less.
The project consists of multiple funding layers and partners including $300,000 in HUD's Community Development Block Grant program, administered by the city of Sioux Falls. For more information regarding the townhomes, contact AHS at (605) 221-0430.
Fair Housing Case in Sioux Falls
On August 21, 2018, HUD charged the owners of The Village at Three Fountains in Sioux Falls with housing discrimination after they refused to let a couple and their new baby stay in their one-bedroom apartment because of their occupancy policies.
After the baby's birth, the mother was told since there were now three occupying the apartment they would have to move to a two-bedroom unit, so they did. Sioux Falls City Code allows for the consideration of areas other than bedrooms to be used for sleeping and occupancy purposes. The one-bedroom unit provided a living area with sufficient sleeping space of 312 square feet, which exceeded the 200 square feet requirement.
According to the Fair Housing Act, "it is unlawful to refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of familial status." This April, HUD celebrated 50 years of the enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.
Fair Market Rents
Effective October 1, 2018, Fair Markets Rents (FMRs) for Fiscal Year 2019 were published in the Federal Register. FMRs are used to determine payment standard amounts for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, to determine initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts, as well as serve as a ceiling in the HOME rental assistance program.
Acceptance of Housing Vouchers
HUD has established a Landlord Task Force to engage with landlords and focus on boosting landlord acceptance of housing vouchers across the country. The housing choice voucher program is the country's largest rental subsidy program, assisting more than 2 million households each year.
A pilot study was conducted in 5 sites including: Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Newark, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. According to the study, most landlords do not accept the vouchers. Some reasons were frustrations with required inspections and disappointment with how local housing authorities handle tenant disputes.
The new Landlord Task Force will host several forums across the country to hear what the landlords have to say, specifically those who have chosen not to participate in the program. The purpose of the forums is to determine how HUD might make its rent subsidy program more accessible and acceptable, especially in higher opportunity neighborhoods where participation is lowest.
An interesting side note - it is not illegal in South Dakota to refuse a voucher since voucher holders are not protected under the Fair Housing Act. Protected classes are based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, and familial status.
Rent Reform Proposal
HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently stated that the current model of public housing is unsustainable and needs to be reformed. Reform centers on three key issues, the first of which is the more you earn, the more you pay in rent, resulting in the incentive to work less, work a low paying job, or not work at all. This would be resolved by having a three-year recertification of income and the removal of the requirement that tenants must report any income increases, immediately. The result would be less paper work, tenants would earn and save more money and eventually achieve self-sufficiency.
The second issue would be resolved by giving local housing authorities more flexibility to implement any one of the Choice Rent structures as they know best the specialized needs of their residents. The third issue would be resolved by moving families from a life of dependency to self-reliance and greater opportunity by investing in human capital, not just in bricks and mortar.
|Content Archived: February 22, 2022|