Sunday, May 23, 2010

Final Thoughts for Drafting of Oregon Hardest Hit Plan.

As the Oregon Hardest Hit draft will be completed this week, my final thoughts about what to insure is in the plan:
  1. Under promise and over deliver; make sure the projected count of assisted households is realistic and establish self screening mechanisms that will CLEARLY signal on the front end of the application process those households who will NOT qualify.
  2. Establish a maximum per household limit that any one household can receive from all HH programs.
  3. Establish robust fraud avoidance into ALL programs, including controls to insure that borrowers with existing unpaid income tax debt and other government debts do not receive Hardest Hit funding until those debts are brought current. (Do not allow HH funding to pay these non property related debts).
  4. To offer assistance to local governments, Insure that all HH programs include the requirement that all past due property tax obligations will be brought current.
  5. Use higher of 120% of statewide median income or 120% of local median income for eligibility.(Prior post HERE).
  6. Insure that funding commitments are matched by bank commitments, instead of serving as a substitute for them.
  7. Limit scope of non profit to single purpose; notices of non profit meetings and disclosure of meeting materials; briefings for State Housing Council; Direct any residual receipts to housing trust fund or existing affordable housing programs. (Prior post HERE).
  8. Use small scale pilots to test some programs before they are rolled out statewide. 
  9. For eligibility do not use a criteria of likelihood of future employment unless it can be objectively defined AND rigorous controls are established to insure that the standard is uniformly applied throughout the state.
  10. Include a legal aid line item in the budget as a placeholder for a future more defined legal assistance program; require Treasury to disallow it instead of assuming legal aid is not allowable. (See TARP statutory and regulatory links in post HERE).
  11. Commit to regular web publication of the status of households served and fund obligations and expenditures.
 Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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