NLIHC and three other national housing organizations submitted a letter to HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge urging HUD to make regulatory improvements to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). NLIHC, the National Alliance of Community and Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), Grounded Solutions Network, and Habitat for Humanity International encouraged HUD to avoid rule changes that diminish the role of community housing development organizations (CHDOs), which have “played an important role in implementing HOME supported projects in places and neighborhoods that otherwise would be left without housing opportunities.” Support for CHDOs has diminished since changes were made to regulations in 2013 (see Memo, 7/26/2013).
The letter states that “the HOME Program is uniquely designed to build local community and housing capacity that will last over the long term” and recommends improvements to the program that will (1) help HUD fulfill Congress’s stated statutory purpose related to the HOME Program; (2) enable CHDOs to meet the needs of the communities they serve more effectively; and (3) eliminate inequities that currently exist in the HOME regulations.
The letter offers recommendations designed to help HUD improve the HOME Program’s accountability to low-income community residents and bring about a more equitable application of CHDO rules to enable a larger number of nonprofit development organizations to apply for CHDO designation, including community land trusts. (The HOME statute requires 15% of a participating jurisdiction’s (PJ’s) annual HOME allocation to be used for CHDOs.) Other recommendations include expanding allowable uses of CHDO Technical Assistance, which would make CHDO participation more accessible to smaller communities, rural areas, and organizations led by people of color. Allowing a more flexible use of funding would result in recipients of HOME funds better reflecting the communities the program was intended to serve, while also following through on the program’s intent to “expand the capacity of nonprofit community housing development organizations to develop and manage decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing” (42 U.S.C. 12722).
Read the letter at: https://bit.ly/3BJ130e