Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013 OHCS QAP Includes Several Fair Housing/Housing Choice Improvements and Increased Transparency, Jump Starting Conversations for 2014 QAP/CFC.

The Housing Council package for the May 17th meeting contains the final QAP for Council consideration as well as a summary of comments received on the earlier draft and OHCS staff responses. [ A permanent link to all Housing Council meeting packets for 2013 is in the right pane under Oregon Housing Council Materials].

Along with the Fair Housing Council, for 2013 I had suggested the addition of a discretionary basis boost for project applications in low poverty neighborhoods. I had suggested also that the QAP expand the transparency of waivers, and add an explicit acknowledgement that they had the authority to grant waivers to affirmatively further fair housing.

I am pleased to see that those recommendations were incorporated in the 2013 QAP.

Moreover, I am pleased that OHCS acknowledges the need for an more extensive fair housing conversation and policy review for the 2014 QAP /CFC saying 

" Within the next six months OHCS will facilitate a work group to research and recommend Fair Housing policies for program adoption that will be incorporated into Permanent Rules."
(My 2013 QAP comments included a listing of the kinds of topics I think should be included in that conversation and policy review).

In response to FHCO comments, OHCS has indicated the scoring panels will receive Fair Housing training. I anticipate this will include examples of how an application in a low income area can claim points in the scoring criteria. 

Note: For non QAP policies, OHCS will be adopting temporary administrative rules and producing other related policy guidance.  The OAR chapter for OHCS is HERE; looks like Division 90 contains the rules for the LIHTC program (but rule changes might also occur in other Divisions of the OHCS rules).

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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