The next Atlanta Regional Housing Forum will be held on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. at the Loudermilk Center for the Regional Community, 40 Courtland Street, Atlanta, GA 30303. Registration is still available at http://www.atlantaregionalhousing.org/forum.
Topic and Speakers
The Future of Affordable Rental Housing in the United States & Metro Atlanta: An examination of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission report, its potential long-term impact on our region and the near-term outlook on the rental market in metropolitan Atlanta.
Renée Glover, President & CEO of the Atlanta Housing Authority and Member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission, will deliver the keynote.
A panel discussion will follow, featuring:
- James S. Grauley, President & COO, Columbia Residential
- Jerry Wilkinson, Founder and Chair, The Wilkinson Companies and 2012 Chair, National Apartment Association
In February 2013, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Housing Commission released its report and recommendations for the future of American housing policy. Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and co-founder of the BPC, George Mitchell introduced the report in unambiguous terms: “Six years after the collapse of the housing market that caused so much chaos and suffering all around the country, the problems in housing remain both severe and urgent. Today, far too many credit-worthy families are unable to obtain a mortgage. The credit pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other, blocking the path to home ownership and delaying a robust housing recovery. And more than four years after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorship, our nation still lacks a clear vision for the future of housing finance. The federal government’s overwhelming presence in the mortgage market is unsustainable. We’re also facing a rental crisis. Federal rental assistance is inadequate to meet current needs, with only one in four eligible households actually receiving help.”
The BPC report, “Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy,” aims to address some of the nation’s most troubling housing concerns by providing a blueprint for an entirely new system of housing finance for home ownership and rental markets. While committed to ensuring that “all creditworthy households have access to home ownership and its considerable benefits,” the BPC’s Housing Commission recommends the ultimate departure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In its place, the Commission suggest a reformed system in which private sector plays a far more prominent role in bearing credit risk while promoting greater diversity of funding sources for mortgage financing.
The BPC, founded in 2007, also recommends a more targeted approach to provision of rental assistance dollars. BPC Housing Commission co-chair and former HUD Secretary, Henry Cisneros explained, “Rents are rising in many regions. Our lowest income renters are spending larger shares of their incomes on housing than ever before. Rising rents force many of our lowest income households to make the difficult choice of spending less on health care or food or other expenses to cover their rental housing expenses. “
According to the report, there are nearly 10 million households at or below 30% of Area Median Income. Of these households with the highest need for assistance, only 1 in 4 are provided support due to shrinking resources. The Commission recommends a new performance-based approach that would “direct scarce resources to the lowest-income renters while insisting on a high level of performance by housing providers.” Those earning closer to 80% of AMI would see less long-term rental assistance and more targeted urgent, short-term assistance programs.
The BPC report also recommends a renewed commitment to rural housing program, a new comprehensive approach to aging in place, and a 50% increase in funding for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.
Changing trends in demographics in America and Georgia will profoundly impact housing demand and the types of housing needed and desired. How will these proposed recommendations meld with shifting minority demographics, an aging population and shrinking Federal resources? What provisions are recommended to ensure access to affordable mortgage financing? What are potential long-term impacts of the BPC’s recommendations on the rental market? What is the near term outlook for affordable rental housing in our region?
Join us for answers to these questions and more.
9:00 a.m. – Registration
9:30 a.m. – Welcome & Introductions
Bill Bolling, Atlanta Community Food Bank
9:45 a.m. – Keynote Presentation
Renée Glover, Atlanta Housing Authority, Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission Member
10:15 a.m. Panel Discussion
11:45 a.m. – Adjourn
Please remember, the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum is a free event, but registration is requested. See http://www.atlantaregionalhousing.org/forum to register. We also ask that you consider bringing nonperishable food items for donation to The Atlanta Community Food Bank.