October 25, 2016
Bookmark and Share

National Low Income Housing Coalition Weekly Memo

Memo to Members, Vol. 14, No. 14

National Low Income Housing Coalition

April 10, 2009



***Conference Just One Week Away!

***Advocates Can Talk to Legislators, Sign on to Letter


***Cosponsors Sought for Tenant Protection Legislation

***NLIHC Seeks Tenant Protections Connection with Legacy Loan Program


***House Members Support HUD Funding, NHTF

***Subcommittee Field Hearing on Housing Crisis


***President to Nominate Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing


***Cleveland Organizations Respond to Renter Foreclosure Crisis


***Out of Reach 2009 to be Released April 14

***SSI Recipients Priced Out of Rental Market


***People Receiving SSI Completely Priced Out of More Cities, 1998 to 2008


***NLIHC Has Staff Opening



***Conference Just One Week Away!

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes will address those attending the NLIHC 2009 Housing Policy Conference and Lobby Day, to be held on April 19-22 in Washington, DC, at the Capital Hilton Hotel.


The conference will open on Sunday, April 19 at 6:30 pm with a screening of Trouble the Water, the award-winning and Oscar- nominated documentary about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, directed and produced by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal. Ms. Lessin and Mr. Deal will be present to introduce the movie and discuss it with attendees afterwards.


Monday and Tuesday will be packed with plenary events, workshops and networking. Sessions at this year’s conference will cover topics including the National Housing Trust Fund, renters and foreclosures, low income housing tax credits, the future of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and federal housing finance, homelessness prevention, the reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Act, the federal budget and appropriations, and much more.


There will be a reception on Monday night at which the 3rd annual Cushing N. Dolbeare Media award winners will be honored.


The 27th Annual Housing Leadership Award Reception will be held on Tuesday evening. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and NLIHC’s own Sheila Crowley will be recognized for their work in establishing the National Housing Trust Fund. (This reception will be held at the WashingtonCourtHotel and registration is separate from conference registration.)


Conference registration information can be found at https://www2398.ssldomain.com/nlihc/conference/index.cfm 


***Advocates Can Use Recess to Talk to Legislators, Sign on to Letter

Both the Senate and House of Representatives remain on recess through April 20, providing advocates with the opportunity to speak to Members of Congress in their home districts about housing problems in their communities and solutions. The National Housing Trust Fund Campaign is focused on securing at least $5 billion in funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and funding for 200,000 new vouchers in 2009, and advocates are urged to ask for support for this request.


In addition, NLIHC is collecting organizational sign-ons to an open letter to the Administration and Congress. The letter describes the request for funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and additional vouchers in light of the deteriorating economy.


“One in 10 people living below the federal poverty level will become homeless at some point over the course of a year. We project at least 800,000 new homeless people, including children, seniors, and veterans, this year unless action is taken now,” the letter states. “We are…quite pleased with President Obama’s proposal for $1 billion to capitalize the National Housing Trust Fund. But much more must be done to prevent a surge in homelessness and help the unemployed, low wage workers, low income seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans who are experiencing severe housing affordability challenges.”


Read the full letter at http://www.nlihc.org/doc/What-We-Mean-By-Housing-april-2009.pdf

To have your organization added to the letter, email outreach@nlihc.org and type in the name of your organization, city, and state. In the subject line, write “What We Mean By Housing.” The deadline to sign on the letter is April 17.



***Cosponsors Sought for Tenant Protection Legislation

NLIHC has issued a call to action urging advocates to contact their Representatives and request they cosponsor H.R. 1247, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009. This bill, which was introduced by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN), would provide important protections for tenants facing eviction when the homes they rent go into foreclosure. 


NLIHC research shows that 40% of all families affected by foreclosure are renters. In most states, after foreclosure tenants can be evicted from their homes with little or no notice.


H.R. 1247 would provide much-needed protections for these families by requiring that the purchaser of a property at foreclosure notify a tenant 90 days prior to requiring the tenant to vacate the property. In addition, a tenant with a lease would be allowed to remain in the property until the end of the lease, unless the purchaser will occupy the property as a primary residence, in which case the tenant would still receive 90 days notice. The bill also provides that a Section 8 voucher assisted tenant may remain in place for the term of the lease and requires the initial purchaser at foreclosure to assume the Section 8 housing assistance payment contract.


To cosponsor H.R. 1247, your Representative should contact John Nolan in Mr. Ellison's office at John.Nolan@mail.house.gov or 202-225-4755. Advocates can use this toll free number, 877-210-5351, for the Congressional switchboard and asked to be connected to the housing staffer for your Representative's office.


The bill was introduced on March 2 (see Memo, 3/6). Current cosponsors are Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Joe Baca(D-CA), Michael E. Capuano (D-MA), Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D- IL), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Janice D. Schakowsky(D-IL), Jose E Serrano (D-NY), and Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA).


The provisions of H.R. 1247 have also been included in H.R. 1728, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, which was introduced on March 25 (see Memo, 3/27/09).


***NLIHC Seeks Tenant Protections in Connection with Legacy Loan Program

NLIHC has submitted comments on the Legacy Loan Program (LLP) announced by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on March 24. The letter requests that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Treasury Department act to protect tenants in foreclosed properties as they move to resolve toxic assets held in banks.


The LLP will create new public-private investment funds (PPIFs) to purchase loans and other assets from depository institutions. These PPIFs will provide private capital and the federal government will use taxpayer funds to support the activities of these entities.  According to the description provided by the FDIC, Treasury will be responsible for overseeing and managing its equity contribution in the PPIFs, the FDIC will be responsible for overseeing and managing its debt guarantees to the PPIFs, and the FDIC will staff operations relating to the formation, funding, and operation of PPIFs.


In its letter, NLIHC states that, given the substantial role that the federal government will play in the financing and operations of these PPIFs, the provisions of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) require that the LLP be implemented in a manner that will provide protection for tenants in foreclosed and troubled properties. EESA requires that the Treasury Secretary work with federal entities and agencies, including the FDIC, that hold troubled mortgages to allow tenants to remain for the term of their mortgages. EESA also imposes obligations to protect rental subsidies and ensure the viability of projects when the Secretary restructures a mortgage on a rental property. 


NLIHC’s April 10 letter specifically asks that tenants in a property subject to a mortgage acquired by a PPIF be provided with at least 90 days notice before eviction and have the right to remain in the property for the remaining terms of their lease. In addition, all federal and state tenant rights and protections must be maintained and, if the tenant holds a Section 8 housing choice voucher or has any other form of rental assistance, that assistance must be protected. Finally, the letter notes that under the EESA restructuring multifamily mortgages must be done in a manner that will ensure their continued financial viability.


The comment period on the LLP program closed April 10. For a copy of the NLIHC letter go to www.nlihc.org



***House Members Support HUD Funding, NHTF

As a prelude to the FY10 Congressional appropriations process, 54 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Chair John Olver (D-MA) and Ranking Member Tom Latham (R-IA) on April 3.


The letter urges the subcommittee to appropriate $5.5 billion for the public housing operating fund, $5 billion for the public housing capital fund, $8 billion for project-based Section 8 contract renewals, $16.5 billion for the renewal of existing tenant-based Section 8 housing choice vouchers, and $4.5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program in FY10.


“[W]e voice our full support for the Administration’s request to fund the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund at $1 billion,” the letter also states. “This program will prevent homelessness and create and preserve affordable housing for very low income households.” In February, the President announced his intention to dedicate $1 billion to capitalize the National Housing Trust Fund from an unnamed source outside of the regular HUD appropriations process.


House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) led the effort to send the letter.


Link to the letter at http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Final-Waters-Housing-Approps-Letter-4-3-09.PDF


***Subcommittee Field Hearing on Housing Crisis

Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) hosted a field hearing of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity in Los Angeles on March 28. The hearing, “The Housing Crisis in Los Angeles and Responses to Preventing Foreclosures and Foreclosure Rescue Fraud,” brought together panelists to share testimonies on their experiences with foreclosure issues in Los Angeles area.


The panelists included leaders of local nonprofit groups, city, county and state officials, and Los Angeles’ residents who receive federal housing vouchers. Susie Shannon, Housing Advocate for the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness, explained that there was an affordable housing crisis even before the economic downturn. She proposed a national freeze on the demolition of public housing units and supported one-for-one replacement of redeveloped public housing and the right of residents to return to their redeveloped housing.


While much of the hearing focused on foreclosures’ effects on homeowners, Larry Gross, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, pointed out that homeowners are not the only injured party. “While there has been a lot of attention, rightfully so, on the plight of the nation's homeowners facing the loss of their homes due to foreclosure, there is, in many cases, a forgotten and overlooked victim in this overall travesty confronting our country. I am referring to the nation’s renters,” Mr. Gross said. He asked that the subcommittee work on developing federal measures that would provide legal protection to renters living in properties that go into foreclosure. He specifically denounced banks that have received federal bailout money and still evict tenants based solely on the foreclosure status of the property.


Ruth Teague, Director of the Los Angeles Office of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, reiterated Mr. Gross’s emphasis on renter families in her testimony, and added that many of these foreclosed-upon renters end up homeless. She purported that the reason these renters are not receiving the help they need is because there are “inadequate financial resources and insufficient alignment of housing finance systems and services funding systems in Los Angeles.” Ms. Teague suggested that the federal government should increase funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and encourage state and local agencies to streamline their services.


California Attorney General Jerry Brown was among the witnesses to testify. In all, 19 witnesses were scheduled over four panels.  


Link to testimony from the hearing at www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/hr032809.shtml



***President to Nominate Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing

President Obama announced on April 10 his intention to nominate Sandra Henriquez for Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing at HUD. Ms. Henriquez has been the Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Housing Authority since 1996. According to its website, the Boston Housing Authority houses approximately 10% of the city’s population.


Ms. Henriquez also serves as the Chief of Public Housing for the City of Boston, a Cabinet position within the administration of Mayor Thomas Menino. She is on the board of directors of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) and the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) in Massachusetts, both long-time NLIHC partners.


In addition to overseeing all aspects of HUD’s public housing stock, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing also administers the Housing Choice Voucher program, Native American Housing Block Grants, Indian Community Development Block Grants and the Resident Opportunities for Self Sufficiency program, among others.


The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.



***Cleveland Organizations Respond to Renter Foreclosure Crisis

The Cleveland Tenants Organization (CTO), an NLIHC member, is responding to the effects of the foreclosure crisis on renters through their Rental/Foreclosure Outreach Program (RFO). This program provides renters with early warning that the home they are renting is in the foreclosure process, information about tenants’ rights, and financial assistance to those facing imminent homelessness due to evictions after a foreclosure.   


Over the past two years, CTO has received hundreds of calls from renters living in properties facing foreclosure, and the local

United Way
’s First Call for Help line, a program assisting homeowners in foreclosure, noticed an increase in calls from renters as well. In response, CTO’s RFO program was developed in partnership with
United Way
, CuyahogaCounty (which includes Cleveland), Policy Matters Ohio, the ClevelandMediationCenter, and Neighborhood Housing Services.


According to Policy Matters Ohio, a nonprofit policy research organization, approximately one-third of all foreclosures affect renters in CuyahogaCounty. CTO’s experience suggests that 10% of renters evicted due to foreclosure end up in homeless shelters and 70% double up with families and friends.


The RFO process begins with Policy Matters Ohio sending CTO a list of properties recently added to the foreclosure docket and likely to be occupied by renters (U.S. Census non-owner occupied property data and County Auditor data are cross-referenced). CTO informs every renter household in these properties that foreclosure has been initiated and gives them an estimated date of a foreclosure-induced sheriff’s sale.


“A wonderful feature of this program is that it gives renters the one thing that they need – time,” said Mike Piepsny, Executive Director of CTO. “RFO gives renters time to save for new rent, security deposit, and moving expenses, and time to relocate to safe, decent, affordable housing” A recent survey of some of CTO’s clients shows that the average renter household in a foreclosed property loses up to $2,500 due to forced rapid relocation.


Since September 2008, CTO has contacted more than 4,000 households and spoken directly with more than 3,000. Through a $50,000 county pilot program, RFO helped 48 renter households facing imminent homelessness relocate to safe and affordable homes. CTO also organizes tenants of multifamily buildings facing foreclosure to assure that their rent is deposited into an escrow account and released to the appropriate utility service in order to maintain the building’s heat, electricity, and water.


The RFO program has demonstrated to some state legislators the need to protect renters facing foreclosure. A bill has been introduced in the Ohio House which would require landlords to notify renters within one month of foreclosure filing.


For more information, contact Mike Piepsny, Executive Director, Cleveland Tenants Organization, mpiepsny@clevelandtenants.org



***Out of Reach 2009 to be Released April 14

NLIHC will release Out of Reach 2009 on Tuesday, April 14. Out of Reach calculates the Housing Wage – the hourly wage that someone with a full-time, year-round job must earn to afford adequate rental housing – for every county, metropolitan area, and state in the country. Out of Reach highlights the vast discrepancy between the Housing Wage and both the minimum wage and average renter wages, thereby illustrating the difficulty that many low-wage workers encounter in their search for affordable housing.


Data will be available at www.nlihc.org/oor2009 following a conference call with members of the media at 1 pm EDT. If you are a member of the media and would like to participate in the call, please contact Taylor Materio (taylor@nlihc.org).


***SSI Recipients Priced Out of Rental Market

Nationally, a non-elderly adult with disabilities who relies on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) would need to pay 112% of their monthly income to be assured of finding a modest, affordable, one-bedroom apartment. Locally, without additional housing subsidy, there are few opportunities for these individuals to find affordable housing.  Those are the top findings of the Priced Out in 2008 report, released this week by the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the Consortium of Citizens with disabilities. 


The national average SSI payment in 2008 was $668 a month or $8,016 a year.  Since 1998, the first time Priced Out was published, the value of SSI payments has fallen from 24% to 18% as a share of median income. With rising rents, the proportion of SSI income needed to rent a modest one-bedroom at the Fair Market rent has increased 62% from an already unaffordable 69% that first year. 


The report also shows that even with state supplements to SSI income, the housing equation falls short.  In Alaska, for example, where the payment is highest, $999 a month, people who rely on SSI still would have to pay 81% of their SSI income to afford the fair market rent for a one-bedroom.  Along with state level comparisons, the report also provides similar comparisons for the major metropolitan areas within states.


Based on these results, the report provides a series of policy recommendations, including the creation of 5,000 new units of Section 811 permanent supportive housing each year through the passage of H.R. 1675, the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009 (see Memo 3/27), 10,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers for people with disabilities, and at least $1 billion in funding for the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund.


The report will be released at 9 am on April 13, 2009, and can be found at www.tacinc.org/pubs/pricedout/2008.html.



***People Receiving SSI Completely Priced Out of More Cities, 1998 to 2008

The number of metropolitan housing markets where the monthly one-bedroom Fair Market Rent exceeds the total monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment.


                        Metropolitan              Number of states

                        areas                           represented

1998                44                                13


2008                219                              41


% change         398%                           215%


Source: Technical Assistance Collaborative and Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (2009) Priced out in 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2009 from www.tacinc.org/pubs/pricedout/2008.html.



***NLIHC Has Staff Opening

NLIHC is seeking a Research Analyst who will be responsible for data analysis using data from the U.S. Census, HUD, other public source, and NLIHC’s own data collection, and preparation of research reports. Requirements include strong oral and written communication skills; demonstrated professional experience with GIS, databases, SPSS or similar statistical packages, and large datasets; advanced degree in Sociology, Geography, Public Policy, or a similar field; and a commitment to social justice.  Experience or coursework in survey research a plus. NLIHC offers a competitive compensation package. Send cover letter and resume to Deputy Director, NLIHC, 727 15th Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20005.  Applications accepted until position is filled. EE0/AA.


Adrienne Bruins, Legislative Intern

Marika Butler, Research Intern

Angela Chen, Administrative Assistant, x224

Linda Couch, Deputy Director, x228

Sheila Crowley, President, x224

Danna Fischer, Legislative Director / Counsel, x243

Ed Gramlich, Outreach Director, x314

Elisha Harig-Blaine, Outreach Associate, x316

Jake Kirsch, Outreach Associate, x244

Jay Klein, Outreach Intern

Ellen Lathrop, Legislative/Communications Intern

Taylor Materio, Communications Associate, x227

Khara Norris, Development Associate, x242

Danilo Pelletiere, Research Director, x237

Kim Schaffer, Communications and Development Director, x222

La'Teashia Sykes, Outreach Associate, x247

Michelle Goodwin Thompson, Director of Finance & Information Technology, x234

Keith Wardrip, Senior Research Analyst, x245

Greg White, Housing Policy Analyst, x230



NLIHC membership is the best way to stay informed about low income housing issues, keep in touch with advocates around the country, and support NLIHC’s work.


NLIHC membership information is available on our website, at www.nlihc.org, or by mail or e-mail. Just e-mail us at membership@nlihc.org or call 202-662-1530 to request membership materials to distribute at meetings and conferences.


Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving equitable federal policy that assures affordable, accessible, and healthy homes for the people with the lowest incomes in the United States.


National Low Income Housing Coalition

Memo to Members

April 10, 2009

Vol. 14, No. 14


Back to top
| Back to home page

White House Live Stream
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Sounds Make the News ®
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News