The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published Sept. 9 its most recent edition of its Community Development Investments newsletter, “Housing Financing in Indian Country: Spotlight on HUD’s Title VI Program.” The newsletter describes the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Title VI loan guarantee program. In addition, examples are presented of how banks have used the program to extend financing for housing in Indian Country. Also discussed are activities that may be eligible for Community Reinvestment Act consideration. The newsletter is available at www.occ.gov.
The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) submitted comments May 10 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Tool for States and Insular Areas.
On Aug. 26, a U.S. District Court in Texas dismissed a disparate impact claim by The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) against the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) in TDHCA’s allocation of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) in the Dallas metropolitan area. The decision comes more than a year after the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in the case that disparate impact claims could be recognized under the Fair Housing Act. The 32-page decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas rules that ICP did not prove a prima facie case of disparate impact, so it could not proceed in its claim. The Supreme Court ruling was a 5-4 decision allowing complaints to be made under the Fair Housing Act based on “disparate impact,” which is when a policy that appears to be neutral has a discriminatory effect on a protected class. More information is available at www.taxcredithousing.com.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and 11 other U.S. senators introduced March 7 the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017. The legislation would include a 50 percent increase in the annual LIHTC allocation, establish a minimum 4 percent credit rate, allow income-averaging, allow states to grant a 30 percent basis boost if needed for bond-financed developments and several other provisions, including renaming the LIHTC as the “Affordable Housing Tax Credit.” The legislation was expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives. Cantwell’s office also released a report, “Meeting the Challenges of the Growing Affordable Housing Crisis,” which highlighted the impact on affordable housing of the record increase of 9 million renters in the past decade, the relatively low rate of rental housing construction, the removal of 13 percent of affordable housing homes since 2001 and stagnant wages.