Archive for May, 2013

Learn About the Future of Affordable Rental Housing on June 5

May 31, 2013

REMINDER

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

Background

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.

Agenda

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

Registration

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.

ARC’s Community Choices Program to Help Five Communities Implement Visions

May 8, 2013

ARC Press Release

(ATLANTA, May 7, 2013)The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) will provide planning and technical assistance to five communities around the region, helping them reach their respective quality-growth visions. Each year, through the Community Choices program, ARC provides cities and counties with the tools, resources and strategies needed to implement the unique plans they have for their communities.

ARC Community Choices communities and projects selected for 2013 are:

Clayton County – The Community Choices team will assist with a strategic review of county redevelopment needs and planning documents with a specific focus on Tara Boulevard.

City of Fayetteville – The Community Choices team will perform an audit of the City’s current zoning as it relates to results from a recent charrette on an area slated for the development of a film studio. The final deliverable will be a report detailing any conflicts and recommended actions to resolve them.

City of Lithonia – The Community Choices team will work with the agency’s Research & Analytics Division to develop a mobile tool to conduct a detailed housing inventory. As part of this project, citizen volunteers will be trained to assist with the inventory. The final deliverable will be a report detailing the results of the inventory, along with the relevant files so that the City may keep the data current.

Rockdale County – The Community Choices team will carry out an audit of the County’s zoning ordinance as it relates to results from community meetings on its Urban Redevelopment Plan. The final deliverable will be an in-depth report sharing inconsistencies between the zoning ordinance and planning documents, along with detailed recommendations for action.

City of Stockbridge – The Community Choices team will provide assistance with rewriting the City’s sign ordinance. A local stakeholder committee will be formed to help guide the development of the ordinance. The final deliverable will be a new, updated ordinance.

“Our assistance with this exceptional list of projects represents ARC’s commitment to help local governments implement their plans in efficient ways,” said Jane Hayse, Director of ARC’s Center for Livable Communities. “And it doesn’t stop here. The lessons we learn through the Community Choices program will also be passed on to other communities in the future.”

The Community Choices program provides a broad range of tools, resources and technical assistance to help communities shape more vibrant futures.  The goal is to assist local governments with making appropriate, long-term decisions about where, when and how they should grow in order to achieve their community’s unique vision.

For more information on the Community Choices program, visit www.atlantaregional.com/communitychoices.


%d bloggers like this: