Enterprise: Community Developments: White House 2020 Budget Request, Health & Housing

March 12, 2019

  • Affordable housing and community development advocates and stakeholders are continuing to evaluate the President's Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) budget request, released on Monday. The budget request is non-binding and primarily serves to communicate the Administration's priorities in FY 2020. The request calls for a reduction of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget to $44.1 billion in gross discretionary spending, which represents a $9.7 billion cut from the $53.8 billion enacted by Congress in FY 2019 appropriations. As reported in Community Developments yesterday, the request proposes to eliminate funding for key programs at HUD, including the Public Housing Capital Fund, the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, and the Section 4 Capacity Building Program. The Administration's budget request also proposes eliminating funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund Program at the Department of Treasury and some rural housing programs administered by the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Housing Service, including the Section 515 Rural Multi-Family Housing Loan Program and farm labor housing loans and grants.
  • The South By Southwest conference featured a panel discussion on “Housing as Medicine: Can We Afford the Rx?” -- which discussed how the health industry can help address the nation's housing affordability challenge. Panelists included Laurel Blatchford, president of Enterprise Community Partners, and Bechara Choucair, senior vice president and chief community health officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. and Hospitals. Blatchford noted that by “integrating health into the development and preservation of affordable homes, and by conceiving of well-designed homes as a platform for health, we can make communities healthier and lower costs for families and for the healthcare system at large.” She also pointed out that Enterprise has recently launched the national Health Begins with Home initiative to harness the power of affordable homes to create healthier families and stronger communities. Working with a broad group of partners, including Kaiser Permanente, Enterprise will put $250 million to work over the next five years to promote health as a top priority in the development and preservation of affordable homes. (GlobeSt.com, March 11)
  • In a speech to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard laid out suggestions for improving the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations. Brainard highlighted the need for the primary CRA regulators - the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - to collect better data, tailor requirements based on a bank's size and activities and apply rules consistently. She opined that the CRA definition of a bank's assessment area "could be flexible enough to allow banks that conduct most or all of their retail activity online to identify states in which they have a significant level of deposits, lending, or other banking activity." (PoliticoPro, March) Enterprise has submitted comments to the OCC on possible streamlining of and enhancements to the CRA.
  • The deadline for submitting applications to the 2019 Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute (AHDLI), which will take place in Cleveland on July 16-18, is Friday, March 22. The AHDLI is a three-day in-person convening that brings together development, design and policy leaders to share best practices and exchange feedback on housing development proposals, as well as working through specific challenges related to design, construction, policy and finance. Designers and developers can access the 2019 AHDLI Q&A webinar and submit applications on the Enterprise website.
In Case You Missed It
  • Enterprise's Policy Development and Research (PD&R) team has released their latest report on housing tenure - the share of households owning and renting their homes - trends, based on data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS). The report finds that homeownership rates increased again in Q4 2018 to 64.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, marking the 10th-straight quarter of growth. The number of owning households a reached 79 million for the first time in U.S. history. These gains have not been distributed evenly, however, as the share of Black households owning their homes remained stagnant on an annual basis, and the gap between Black and White homeownership rates increased to its largest level in the 25-year HVS series. The report also points out disparities in tenure rates and trends by age and income and makes the case for more tenure-neutral approaches to addressing housing affordability and supply constraints. Read the report on our website.

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