Friday, November 20, 2015

For 1st Time HUD Publishes Metro Zip Code Level Difficult to Develop Areas--27 in Oregon.

Formal publication in Federal Register next week; I downloaded and posted advance notice HERE.  Oregon Zip Codes are in Excel file I created HERE and embedded below [IF you can click on zip code in Excel it should include link to zip code map]: 

Difficult to develop designated counties outside of metro areas continue, they can be found from HUD web HERE

HUD DDA website HERE will have more detailed ways of looking at these zip codes, as well as qualified census tracts. 

Difficult to Develop areas are eligible for a basis boost for the LIHTC program and can help offset the expected higher cost to develop affordable housing in these zip codes. 

Effective dates for the DDA's is July 2016.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.   

Update: My Home Forward Moving to Work Written Testimony on Differences in Voucher Rent Burdens.

Update: Home Forward staff have reminded me that "rent burden" is more correctly "shelter burden", as it includes an utility allowance. So wherever you find "rent burden" in text below substitute the more correct "shelter burden". 

The Oregonian has published a story HERE about rent increase requests received for voucher tenants. 

Related to the story about rent increases requested, I attended the community partners meeting at Home Forward this week in advance of the public hearing on the Moving to Work plan with the Board on Wednesday. 

At the community partners meeting a document with rent burden data for the tenant based and project based voucher program was distributed by Home Forward. The data shows that rent burdens are higher in the tenant based voucher program vs. the project based voucher program.  However, as expected, voucher rent burdens for both project and tenant based vouchers are lower than rent burdens for all Multnomah County households below 50% MFI. 

I tweaked the data in the Home Forward document to remove overhoused and zero income tenants from the total and did some analysis of rent burdens for the 5,306 voucher households where that data was available, comparing project based vouchers vs. tenant based vouchers. [ 70% of these 5,306 vouchers were tenant based].

My analysis/written testimony for the public hearing is HERE and embedded below, including a table and graph of rent burdens, broken out between the tenant based and voucher based program. The last page is a copy of the handout provided by Home Forward at the community partners meeting. 

In my written testimony I recommended that the following placeholder be included in the MTW plan:

During the year Home Forward will assess the rent burdens of voucher holders in both the tenant based and project based voucher programs

  • To increase transparency of rent burden data.
  • To determine if there are disparate impacts on protected classes in the higher rent burdens experienced by tenant based voucher holders. 
  • To examine the policy tradeoffs that reduction in rent burdens might require, including reduction in the number of families served.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog

Monday, November 2, 2015

Big Deal-Home Forward Gearing Up for Annual Update to Moving to Work Plan.

Home Forward's Board of Commissioners next work session is Wednesday November 4; packet HERE includes the draft MTW plan.

A "Community Partners" meeting is set for November 16th, a public hearing on November 17th, with Board approval scheduled for their December 15th meeting.

If your interested in the well being of low income renter households, and especially minorities, the elderly, and persons with disabilities in Portland and Multomah county I can't think of a more valuable document to read and understand. Yes, it's long, because it covers a LOT of territory.

What I Would Like to Better Understand: 
  1. How much HF policies provide both tenant based and project based voucher tenants with protections against rising market rents, including a clearer understanding of how one qualifies for a "hardship" and the frequency with which hardship requests are being made and granted.  I also would like to understand the timing of effective dates for HF approved higher rents in response to hardship requests.
  2. I would like to see and better understand HF data on rent burden distributions [not just averages] for both the tenant based and project based vouchers. The MTW plan has language that talks about 50% or 70% of income rent burdens as being acceptable in some circumstances, and I would like to see how many and what percentage of both tenant based and project based voucher holders are actually paying more than 30% of income for rent.
  3. I would like to hear more about the additional costs to HF and HUD of increasing voucher rents in the face of increasing market rents. 
  4. I would like to see what the voucher turn back rate is in the most recent months vs historic turn back rates.
  5. I would like to see when HF plans to adopt new payment standards, once HUD publishes final FMR's in November. 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

Monday, October 12, 2015

HUD Oregon 2nd Qtr 2015 Detailed Housing Voucher Data; For First Time Vouchers in Use On Track to Exceed 35k.

Update: Changed headline to properly read "2nd Qtr"
I have downloaded and extracted Oregon data from the national HUD VMS Excel database. That Oregon data is HERE and embedded below; it includes data for the months of April to June 1015 as well as a pivot table of that data. 

The file opens to a pivot table for June 2015 showing vouchers in use, vouchers out for lease up, and housing assistance payment [HAP] costs. You will have to scroll right to see all columns in the pivot table.

June 2015 Observations: 
  1. There were 33,007 vouchers in use, with another 2,679 issued but not yet used (aka "on the street").  If all issued vouchers were in use that would increase total vouchers in use statewide in Oregon by 8.1% to 35,686. 
  2. That percentage of vouchers on the street varies widely in the state; unused vouchers on the street for Home Forward [in table as Housing Authority of Portland] was only 3.8%, while in Lane County the lease up of vouchers on the street would increase total vouchers in use by 27.1%
  3. HAP payments for the vouchers in use on June 2015 total $199 million annualized; the additional $16.1 million projected HAP costs for the 2,679 vouchers issued but not yet used would bring total annualized Oregon HAP costs to $215 million.  

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

With Two Days Left Mine is the Only Oregon Comment on HUD's Proposed Oregon FY 2016 Fair Market Rents.

The docket folder for comments on proposed FY 2016 HUD fair market rents is HERE.

Of the 29 comments posted to date MINE is apparently the only comment originating in Oregon. October 8th is the cut off date for comments.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon housing blog.