NHPF-Authored Articles & Industry Reports

Thought Leadership: NHPF-Authored Articles and Industry Reports

Where You Live Matters

About The NHP Foundation Headquartered in New York City with offices in Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL, The NHP Foundation (NHPF) was launched on January 30, 1989, as a publicly supported 501(c) (3) not-for-profit real estate corporation. NHPF is dedicated to preserving and creating sustainable, service-enriched multifamily housing that is both affordable to low and moderate income families and seniors, and beneficial to their communities. Through Family- Centered Coaching, NHPF’s subsidiary Operation Pathways engages with, and assists, families experiencing poverty and other hardship, to problem-solve together. Through partnerships with major financial institutions, the public sector, faith-based initiatives, and other not-for-profit organizations, NHPF has 56 properties, including approximately 10,000 units, in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

Contents

7 Strategies for More Resilient Affordable Housing by Eric W. Price for MultiHousing News

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A Decade of Rental Housing Vulnerability: Lessons Learned from Financial Crisis to Coronavirus by NHPF & Enterprise Community Partners 

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Remaking Resident Services in a Time of Social Change by Kevin Lewis for MultiHousing News 

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A Tale of Two Cities, Multifamily Housing Edition by Richard F. Burns for The Hill 

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What the New LIHTC Fixed Rate Floor Means for Affordable Housing by Richard F. Burns for Wealth Management Real Estate  Federal Historic Tax Credits Build Community Character in Brick and Mortar by Richard F. Burns for The Hill 

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How To Use Quality Research To Impact Business Decisions by Richard F. Burns for Forbes 

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Growing Up & Out of Poverty: Enhancing Academic Success Through the Intersection of Housing and Education by NHPF & Enterprise Community Partners 

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Uncharted Efforts—7 Ideas for Unprecedented Times by Thomas G. Vaccaro for Non-Profit Times 

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This Year’s Adversity Means Opportunity for Affordable Housing in 2021 by Richard F. Burns for The Hill 

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How Affordable Housing Can Work Towards Inclusion by Emmily De Los Santos for MultiHousing News  Is Affordable Housing Development In Your DNA? By Richard F. Burns for Forbes 

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Five Questions Mission-Based Leadership Must Answer in Times of Crisis by Richard F. Burns for Forbes  Is Nonprofit Business Communication Evolving for the Future? by Thomas G. Vaccaro for Nonprofit Pro  How an ESG-Guided Strategy Transformed a Houston Community by Joshua Shokoor for Multi-Housing News 

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In Pursuit of Housing that Works Harder for Veterans by Richard F. Burns for The Hill  Troubling Trends in Housing for the New Decade by Richard F. Burns for The Hill  How Whole Communities Benefit From Affordable Housing by Richard F. Burns for Forbes  Infuse Your Business with Kindness this Holiday Season by Thomas G. Vaccaro for Entrepreneur 

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Perceptions of Affordable Housing Investment: 2019 Study Key Findings by Kingsley Associates & NHPF 

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Why Not a Marshall Plan for Affordable Housing? by Richard F. Burns for The Hill  Prophets & Profits: 7 Strategies for Faith-Based Housing by Frank P. Cerbini for Multihousing News  5 Pro Tips to Building the Nonprofit Board of the Future by Barbara W. Wolf for Nonprofit Pro 

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Institutional Investing and Affordable Housing: A Brief History and Vision for the Future by Richard F. Burns for Forbes  How to Avoid a “Snoozefest” and Instead Execute a Well-Regarded B2B Event by Richard F. Burns for Entrepreneur  Seniors Face Daunting Challenges Regarding Health Care, Affordable Housing by Frank P. Cerbini for Westchester County Business Journal  How Institutional Investing Can Build Housing and Reap Returns by Richard F. Burns for Chief Investment Officer  An Affordable Housing Reboot Will Improve Community Health by Richard F. Burns, NHPF and Robert Friant, CSH  6 Must-Haves for Faith-Based Development Partnerships by Richard F. Burns for Affordable Housing Finance  “Don’t Try to Herd Cats”—and 4 Other Leadership Tips for the Gig Economy by Richard F. Burns for Entrepreneur Magazine  It Happened on Fifth Avenue—And It Can Happen in Your Town by Richard F. Burns for The Hill  Without More Intervention, the Affordable Housing Crisis Will Escalate by Richard F. Burns for National Mortgage News 

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How We Helped Our Millennials Fall in Love With Philanthropy by Richard F. Burns for Entrepreneur 

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Local Action to Provide More Affordable Housing by Neal T. Drobenare for MultiFamily Executive 

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Want to Parlay Your Passion Without Losing a Paycheck? Think About Running a Not-for-Profit by Richard F. Burns for Entrepreneur  More Than a Roof: In An Uncertain Climate, One of Affordable Housing’s Key Players Presses On by Richard F. Burns for Affordable Housing News 

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Putting Faith in Housing: A Primer for All Partners by Richard F. Burns 

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Affordable Housing and Onsite Services: A Wake-Up Call to the Industry by Kenneth D. White for Builder & Developer Magazine 

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All I Want for Christmas Is Affordable Housing by Richard F. Burns for The Hill  Improving Properties, Improving Lives by Richard F. Burns for Affordable Housing News  Gaining Ground with Greener Affordable Housing by Richard F. Burns for Green Home Builder Magazine

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Professional Development: How Your First Job Can Transform Your Career by Richard F. Burns for NonProfit PRO 

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The Future of Affordable Housing in America by Richard F. Burns for HousingWire 

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Unaffordable Housing: A Root Cause of Social Inequality by Richard F. Burns and Thomas G. Vaccaro for Affordable Housing Finance 

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Thought leadership is an important pillar of NHPF’s External Affairs work. CEO Richard F. Burns and other leaders of our management team pen newsworthy and thought-provoking articles for publications across the business and philanthropic spectrum including Forbes, The Hill, Affordable Housing Finance, and Non-Profit Pro.

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Multi-Housing News, December 22, 2021 7 Strategies for More Resilient Affordable Housing by Eric W. Price, Executive Vice President & CFO, NHPF

Many affordable home renters are just one natural disaster, financial crisis or health emergency away from housing insecurity. The structural instability and financially precarious state of rental affordable housing becomes more acute with each threat.

• 59 percent contend that neither the public nor the private sector currently does enough to support affordable rental housing. • 54 percent feel that the two sectors should bear equal responsibility in supporting such housing, while • 43 percent believe the responsibility to support affordable rental housing should lie primarily with the public sector • 80 percent want various public sector actors—each level of government, as well as mayors and city councilmembers—to take a more active role in furthering the development and preservation of affordable housing. • 83 percent believe the philanthropic sector also needs to take a more active role in promoting residential affordability than it has in the past. Therefore, what steps ought to be implemented by those inside and beyond the affordable housing industry to ensure more resilient housing? We looked to experts participating in the 2021 NHPF Symposium “A Decade of Rental Housing Vulnerability: Lessons Learned from Financial Crisis to Coronavirus,” including mayors of major municipalities, academics and policy influencers, social activists, and state housing agency funders, for recommendations, which we have condensed to seven workable strategies. 1. Capitalize on a Readiness to Address Racial Inequity The current awareness of and attention to years of systemic racism have created a sense of urgency, and now there is a strong willingness to redress historic wrongs that have led to persistent racial and ethnic disparities in accessing and remaining in quality housing. Stakeholder recommendations are: • Pursue policies and programs at all levels of government to reverse decades of redlining, home appraisal discrimination, and unequal access to quality housing • Invest in long under-served populations and places. Among other things, there is a consensus recommendation for strong enforcement and potential expansion of anti-discrimination legislation such as the Fair Housing Act and the Community Reinvestment Act. 2. Redouble Efforts to Assist All Underserved Populations Those queried contend that the policies and events of the past decade plus have negatively affected most renter populations, although some groups of renters have fared better than others. Stakeholder recommendations are:

Recently, The NHP Foundation undertook a study on affordable housing vulnerability.

Eric W. Price

Along with Enterprise Community Partners, the organization queried more than 100 affordable housing stakeholders including investors, housing agency leaders, developers, elected officials and others. Survey participants rated housing policy and other interventions from the past decade, divided into three distinct periods: the Great Recession & Aftermath (2008–2011); Rebuilding in a Divided U.S. (2012–2019); and Pandemic & Social Upheaval (2020–2021). Briefly, results show that despite gains made by many policy enactments directed towards increased housing production and rental assistance, most underserved populations who comprise the renter universe remain just that—underserved. And simply building more new housing is not the answer either. Additional strategies must be implemented, and services provided to ensure residents can attain and maintain affordable housing. Here are some of the outstanding findings: Nearly 88 percent perceive that people of color struggle to access and keep affordable housing. • Nearly 89 percent cited long-term racial discrimination in real estate, lending practices, and federal housing policy. • 81 percent said they have the ability to address these racial and ethnic disparities in their current position. At the same time, 86 percent believe the public sector should have substantial responsibility for furthering greater equity of opportunity. • While respondents feel that veterans and older adults have had their needs at least adequately met by policies and programs enacted since 2008, they also said that immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals have been especially poorly served, along with people living in rural areas. • Programs for the formerly homeless and people with disabilities were ranked as falling just shy of the adequate threshold but incrementally above the results for people with low incomes in general.

• Increase funding for voucher-based programs benefiting residents with low incomes, with larger amounts made available for people further down the income ladder.

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Multi-Housing News, December 22, 2021 7 Strategies for More Resilient Affordable Housing (continued)

• Revisit income thresholds for various affordability programs, recognizing that even moderate-income households struggle to afford quality housing in certain parts of the country. 3. Foster Creation/Expansion of Automatic Stabilizers for the Housing Market Passing meaningful and impactful legislation during periods of pronounced economic or political strain—such as severe economic downturns or public health emergencies is often a Herculean task. Participants advocate for policies which act as automatic affordable housing stabilizers, beneficial in delivering much-needed and immediate support. Stakeholder recommendations are: • Make the Tax Credit Exchange Program permanent to facilitate the exchange or return of unused tax credits for cash grants in the event the LIHTC market should bottom out, as occurs during severe economic downturns. • Automatically increase allocations of housing vouchers when unemployment rates cross a certain threshold which would inject much needed capital into affordable housing markets while supporting residents in a timely fashion. • Tailor these automatic stabilizers to fit the needs of all stakeholders in the ecosystem while side-stepping the often arduous congressional approvals needed for fresh legislation to address individual crises. 4. Enhance Capital Support Survey participants generally considered the most effective programs to be those that focused on increasing the supply of affordable homes, particularly those with wraparound services. These policies have taken the form of capital support, such as the TCAP and credit exchange and the Rental Assistance Demonstration programs. Stakeholder recommendations are: • Lobby for increased funding of the LIHTC, the Capital Magnet Fund, National Housing Trust Fund and other programs that facilitate the development and preservation of more affordable rental units. • Seek ways to “bake in” funding for services. 5. Make Local, Flexible Policy Shifts to Enable Production and Preservation Local decisions often determine where and how much such housing can be developed. Zoning and building codes are central to the twin questions of availability and affordability. Effective supply-focused initiatives have eased regulatory burdens, such as by modifying land use policies to allow for greater density. Stakeholder recommendations are:

• Increase accessory dwelling units on existing single-family lots. • Change zoning density limits enabling multifamily properties. • Generate local affordable housing funds to augment state and federal resources for the purpose of developing or preserving affordable rental housing. • Address market differences: Explore raising income thresholds for eligibility in some high-cost markets, as even many moderate-income households find themselves housing cost- burdened. 6. Break Down Barriers to Increase Collaborative Efforts Most respondents believe that the public, private, and philanthropic sectors have key roles to play in expanding and preserving the supply of affordable housing. Yet, too many existing programs are designed in ways that make collaboration difficult. Programs do not necessarily have similar affordability thresholds, and some prioritize certain types of capital over others. Stakeholder recommendations are: • Consider ways to deepen subsidies for developments to be both affordable and economically viable. • Encourage the public, philanthropic and private sector to take a larger financial role than they have in the past. • Tweak regulations to enable programs to augment each other in a relatively seamless way • Revisit regulations to make them more consistent across programs. Aligning program rules can make it easier for private-sector actors to work in partnership with the public sector producing greater impacts. 7. Be open to bold, new funding ideas Respondents acknowledged the urgency of creating housing to withstand the nation’s next crisis and encourage creative financing options. Stakeholder recommendations are: • Consider cryptocurrency: One municipality taking this recommendation seriously is Miami, where its introduction of a local cryptocurrency, Miami Coin, has “in just under 60 days, already generated about $7.5 million for the city and can be used for affordable housing.” • Look to other countries. Learn from policies that support stable, affordable rental housing. For example, consider these case studies on rental housing implemented in six developed countries. The U.S. stands out as “having spent the least amount of GDP on housing compared to other rich countries.” With 89 percent of those surveyed believing that housing is a basic human right, we challenge everyone in the equation to seek innovative solutions to fund more resilient housing going forward.

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A Decade of Rental Housing Vulnerability Lessons Learned from Financial Crisis to Coronavirus Results of a Survey of Key Industry Stakeholders

A Decade of Rental Housing Vulnerability

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The report reveals seven resilient housing strategies resulting from the survey findings combined with expert input from The NHPF 2021 Symposium participants.

Contents

Overview Negative Affordable Housing Policy Impacts Positive Affordable Housing Policy Impacts Maximizing Impact: Seven Strategies to More Resilient Affordable Housing In Conclusion

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Overview

The NHP Foundation (NHPF) and Enterprise Community Partners

(Enterprise), in concert with Econsult Solutions, recently completed a survey of more than 100 owners, developers, researchers, public officials, and lenders throughout the country involved in the affordable housing ecosystem.

Drawing upon lessons learned from recent policy and program

developments, and direct comments and recommendations from public and policy officials, NHPF and Enterprise sought to identify ways of alleviating housing vulnerability for lower-income renters, particularly renters of color, who despite widespread DEIJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice) efforts, remain largely disenfranchised when it comes to housing.

A Decade of Rental Housing Vulnerability

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The survey focused on policy interventions during three distinct time periods outlined in the chart below:

Key Policy Innovations

Superstorm Sandy

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; 2017 California Wildfires

Neighborhood Stabilization Program

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act Tax Credit Assistance Program

(TCAP) and Exchanqe Capital Magnet Fund

Choice Neighborhoods Initiative

Rental Assistance Demonstration 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housinq (AFFH) Rule National Housing Trust Fund

2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

LIHTC Change in Income Targeting

Pandemic Eviction Moratoria

Pandemic Direct Rental Assistance

PANDEMIC & SOCIAL UPHEAVAL (2020-2021)

GREAT RECESSION & AFTERMATH (2008–2011)

REBUILDING IN A DIVIDED U.S. (2012–2019)

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

The report reveals seven resilient housing strategies resulting from the survey findings combined with expert input from NHPF Symposium participants. Support for these strategies from across the affordable housing spectrum will be the catalyst for the kind of affordable housing that will weather the financial, societal, and natural storms we encounter in the future. The road to these strategic recommendations is paved with both negative and positive impacts from the last decade plus. The report will examine these impacts and the role they play in the current affordable housing paradigm.

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Negative Affordable Housing Policy Impacts

Owing to the past decade of significant economic and political swings, not surprisingly, survey participants perceived several policies and trends to have exacerbated housing vulnerability for lower-income individuals and households. • Reduced federal support for housing during most of the last decade. Beginning with the 112th Congress in 2011, HUD experienced either real or nominal funding cutbacks in many of its programs, including the HOME and the Community Development Block Grant programs that have been used to provide gap-filling capital for affordable housing production and preservation. As the federal role was shrinking, cutbacks in state and local budgets due to fiscal stresses, beginning during the Great Recession, meant the overall level of public support for affordable housing shrank. • Suspension of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s equity investments in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties upon entering conservatorship in 2008, cited as one trigger for the Great Recession, was viewed as one of the events with the most negative impacts. • Reduced prices for LIHTC as a result of lowered corporate tax liabilities stemming from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the suspension and ultimate rescission of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. Any action imperiling LIHTC is a tremendous blow as research shows that children whose families use rental assistance to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods are substantially more likely to attend college and earn more as adults.¹ Further, additional years spent in LIHTC housing as a child is associated with an average 3.9 percent increase in the likelihood of attending a higher education program for four years or more, and a 5.2 percent increase in future earnings.² Similarly, for each additional year a teenager’s family used a voucher or lived in public housing they had higher earnings as an adult.³ • Increasing number of higher income renters. The economic boom throughout much of the 2010s brought many higher-income households into center cities, increasing the demand for housing in often limited geographic areas. • Minimal multifamily construction during the Great Recession led to an undersupply of new rental units, with new construction targeting the luxury market and with little older supply trickling down to more affordable levels. Enhanced demand from people willing and able to afford higher-priced housing led to the conversion of many previously affordable rental units into upper market condominiums or apartments. • Tight lending conditions (“credit box”) made it hard for wealthier would-be homeowners to get mortgages, keeping rental demand tight.

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Positive Affordable Housing Policy Impacts

The survey found broad support for greater governmental involvement in facilitating affordable housing. Respondents were particularly supportive of approaches designed to increase its supply.

The highest ranked policies are compared in the chart below:

AVERAGE RATING (1–5 SCALE)

 Highest Ranked Policies During Three Eras

The Great Recession & Aftermath (2008–2011)

Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) and Credit Exchange (2009)

3.91

Extended Unemployment Benefits (2008)

3.69

Neighborhood Stabilization Program (2008, 2009, 2010)

3.68

Rebuilding in a Divided US (2012–2019)

Rental Assistance Demonstration (2011)

3.55

National Housing Trust Fund (2016)

3.47

Capital Magnet Fund (revived 2016)

3.37

Pandemic & Social Upheaval (2020–2021)

Pandemic Direct Rental Assistance

4.06

Increase in Capital for Housing

4.06

Utility Cutoff Moratoria

3.72

Additionally, those questioned believe that several pandemic-era policies have had greater positive impacts than previous initiatives in supporting affordable housing. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “outstanding,” respondents rate both the overall increase in housing funding as part of the various stimulus measures and the provision of direct rental assistance through the CARES Act slightly better than “good,” with average rankings of 4.1. Two other recent initiatives—the various federal and state moratoria on evictions and utility cutoffs of households delinquent on their rents/payments—received average ratings of 3.5 or higher. Collectively, the pandemic-era policies had higher average ratings than those implemented in either the Great Recession and Aftermath (2008–2011) or the period characterized as Rebuilding in a Divided US (2012–2109). Respondents believe that the pandemic-era policies have had an overall neutral to positive impact in reducing housing vulnerability (average 3.3 rating). In contrast, the policies of both the Great Recession and Rebuilding in a Divided US periods received negative to neutral ratings (2.6 and 2.7, respectively). The higher ratings for the pandemic era may reflect the adoption of better policies, but it also may be attributable to recency bias; those questioned are likely to be more aware of these newer policies than some of those enacted in the past.

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Maximizing Impact: Seven Strategies to More Resilient Affordable Housing

1. Capitalize on a Readiness to Address Racial Inequity There is a strong willingness to redress historic wrongs that have led to persistent racial and ethnic disparities in accessing and remaining in quality housing. There is also a shared sense of responsibility to address the disparities. The timing is propitious to pursue policies and programs at all levels of government that are designed specifically to reverse decades of redlining, home appraisal discrimination, and unequal access to quality housing, and invest in long under-served populations and places. There may well be much more widespread support than has typically been assumed for such efforts. Among other things, there is a consensus recommendation for strong enforcement and potential expansion of anti-discrimination legislation such as the Fair Housing Act and the Community Reinvestment Act. Nearly 88% of respondents perceive that, relative to the population as a whole, people of color struggle to access and keep affordable housing. Nearly 63% of survey participants believe that such individuals struggle “much more” than others. When asked about the primary causes of these racial and ethnic disparities, nearly 89% of respondents cited long-term racial discrimination in real estate, lending practices, and federal housing policy. Institutional discrimination far outpaced the second and third-most-cited factors: disparities in income and/or employment, and instances of racism or racial bias among landlords and other individual actors. “ Collectively these factors have led to

a significant gap in homeownership rates between white households and households of color, with Black ownership at an all-time low at 42% vs. whites at 70% ownership across all sectors. 4 ”

Kimberly L. Jones Social Activist and Author

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More than 89% of respondents consider affordable housing to be a human right and strongly support increased efforts on the part of both the public and private sectors to create and preserve more units for lower-income households. Survey participants overwhelmingly believe that people of color struggle to obtain and retain quality housing to a much greater extent than their white counterparts and the majority (81%) of respondents said they have the ability to address these racial and ethnic disparities in their current position. Among these individuals, 56% feel that alleviating these inequalities is central to how they approach their work, while 32% feel their efforts are constrained by political or other factors. 5 Respondents feel strongly that each key stakeholder in the sector—different levels of government, nonprofit and for-profit developers, lenders, investors, and local citizens (through neighborhood associations)—should bear responsibility for helping to alleviate historic racial and ethnic inequities . At the same time, 86% of those questioned believe that the public sector should have the primary responsibility for furthering greater equity of opportunity. 6 Lenders and investors are viewed as having secondary responsibility for creating a more level playing field, ahead of developers.

Which stakeholder(s) should bear primary responsibility for addressing racial and ethnic disparities in accessing and keeping affordable housing? Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Access to Affordable Housing

Perceptions among developers and property owners:

Perceptions among all other respondents:

GOVERNMENT 92%

GOVERNMENT 68%

DEVELOPERS 60%

DEVELOPERS 37%

N/A: I do not perceive such disparities 16%

N/A: I do not perceive such disparities 3%

LENDERS/ INVESTORS 47%

LOCAL CITIZENS 38%

LOCAL CITIZENS 58%

LENDERS/ INVESTORS 66%

The survey found considerable, broad-based willingness on the part of developers, public officials, and other stakeholders to attempt to address these racial and ethnic disparities by facilitating the development of more quality housing that low-income people can afford. At the same time, respondents recognize that achieving that goal will require a mutual commitment from both public and private sector actors.

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2. Redouble Efforts to Assist All Underserved Populations Overall, those participating in the survey contend that the policies and events of the past decade have negatively affected most renter populations. That said, those questioned felt some groups of renters have fared better than others. Respondents believe that veterans and older adults have had their needs at least adequately met, with average scores of 3.5 and 3.0, respectively, on a 5-point scale. Yet those were the only two groups receiving net positive scores. Programs for the formerly homeless and people with disabilities fall just shy of the adequate mark (averaging 2.9), but slightly above the results for people with low incomes in general (2.8). Those questioned felt that immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals (2.0 each) have been especially poorly served by policies and programs enacted since 2008, followed by people living in rural areas (2.3).

AVERAGE RATING (1–5 SCALE)

Policies & Programs for Underserved Populations

Formerly homeless and people with disabilities

2.9

People with low incomes

2.8

People living in rural areas

2.3

Immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals

2.0

It is worth noting that housing programs, unlike certain means-tested programs such as Medicare or food stamps, are not automatically available to every eligible person. As a result, there is often a significant delay between the time when a person needs help and when that assistance becomes available. This different treatment of housing relative to other components of the social safety net may explain the consistently low scores for the housing programs’ efficacy in reaching particularly vulnerable individuals. Looking forward, most respondents favored increased funding for voucher-based programs benefiting residents with low incomes, with larger amounts made available for people further down the income ladder. They also advocated for revisiting the income thresholds for various affordability programs, recognizing that even moderate-income households struggle to afford quality housing in certain parts of the country.

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3. Foster Creation/Expansion of Automatic Stabilizers for the Housing Market

Given the difficulty of passing meaningful and impactful legislation during periods of pronounced economic or political strain— such as severe economic downturns or public health emergencies—Ingrid Gould Ellen, NYU Professor of Urban Policy & Planning and Jenny Schuetz, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute, recommend policies which act as automatic affordable housing stabilizers, beneficial in delivering much-needed and immediate support.

These include making the Tax Credit Exchange Program permanent to facilitate the exchange or return of unused tax credits for cash grants in the event the LIHTC market should bottom out, as occurs during severe economic downturns. Alternatively, automatically increasing allocations of housing vouchers when unemployment rates cross a certain threshold would inject much needed capital into affordable housing markets while supporting residents in a timely fashion. Such automatic stabilizers can be tailored to fit the needs of all stakeholders in the ecosystem while side-stepping the often arduous congressional approvals needed for fresh legislation to address individual crises. 4. Enhance Capital Support, Crucial to Addressing Need Survey participants generally considered the most effective programs to be those that focused on increasing the supply of affordable homes. These policies have taken the form of capital support, such as the TCAP and credit exchange and the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) programs. The former, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 and helped stabilize tax credit-financed housing developments whose future was in jeopardy due to frozen capital markets, was the highest-ranked program implemented during the Great Recession. 7 While TCAP and Exchange was a short-term program designed specifically for a moment of crisis, RAD, which still bears a “demonstration” moniker, has scaled significantly over the past decade, a testament to the value of the program. RAD facilitates private investment in public housing developments, helping to preserve their affordability and habitability for the long term. The program encourages partnerships between public housing agencies, who contribute land to the deals, and mission-aligned nonprofit and for-profit developers, who provide the necessary capital to rehabilitate or redevelop affordable homes on the land.

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“ The RAD program creates vibrant places for people to live that are affordable. ”

Mayor Justin Elicker City of New Haven, Connecticut

Going forward, we encourage enhanced funding of LIHTC, the Capital Magnet Fund, National Housing Trust Fund and other programs that facilitate the development and preservation of more affordable rental units.

5. Make Local, Flexible Policy Shifts to Enable Increased Production and Preservation While federal and state governments provide many of the subsidies necessary for affordable housing to be economically viable, local decisions often determine where and how much such housing can be developed. Zoning and building codes are central to the twin questions of availability and affordability. Effective supply-focused initiatives have eased regulatory burdens, such as by modifying land use policies to allow for greater density.

Among the changes respondents would like to see increased:

Change

Description

Accessory dwelling units on existing single-family lots

Those requiring new residential developments to contain a minimum number of affordable units (i.e., inclusionary zoning) Changing suburban land use patterns, in particular, is seen as a critical step in facilitating a more equal distribution of affordable homes across regions. These local funds are often designed to address housing affordability challenges in a manner reflective of how the issues present themselves locally. In many cases, the pools are funded through dedicated tax revenues or bond issuances approved by voter referenda. Some localities have been particularly innovative. In Miami, Florida, the mining of a local cryptocurrency (MiamiCoin) has already generated a $7.5 million revenue stream that potentially can be used for affordable housing, among other uses.

Changes to zoning density limits enabling multifamily properties. 8

Generating local affordable housing funds to augment state and federal resources for the purpose of developing or preserving affordable rental housing.

Use of creative funding sources.

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Addressing the affordability crisis requires different solutions in different markets. In some high-cost markets, it may make sense to raise the income thresholds for eligibility; even many moderate-income households in these areas find themselves housing cost-burdened. Similarly, both very strong and very weak markets may require deeper subsidy for developments to be both affordable and economically viable. In such areas, the public and philanthropic sectors may have to take a larger financial role than they have in the past. Expecting the private, for-profit sector to play as substantial a role may be unrealistic without the ability to leverage other sources of subsidized capital. Tailoring programs to respond to local conditions also requires policy makers to consider more than just the current housing stock and resident incomes. Because investments in housing infrastructure are intended to last for decades, homes and communities must meet both current and future needs while taking considerations of greater resilience and equity into account. “ We have begun to implement higher standards for the types of homes that we build and are leveraging the

resources we have to keep us prepared. It isn’t just resilient infrastructure, but we are providing opportunities to people who will then be able to weather the storm better because they have been able to expand their own experience and expertise. ”

Mayor Sylvester Turner City of Houston, Texas

6. Break Down Barriers to Increase Collaborative Efforts Most respondents believe that the public, private, and philanthropic sectors have key roles to play in expanding and preserving the supply of affordable housing. Yet too many existing programs are designed in ways that make collaboration difficult. Programs do not necessarily have similar affordability thresholds, and some prioritize certain types of capital over others. Tweaking regulations to enable programs to augment each other in a relatively seamless way would help considerably, as would revisiting some regulations to make them more consistent across programs. Aligning program rules can make it easier for private-sector actors to work in partnership with the public sector; these joint efforts tend to have greater impacts when the two sectors draw upon their respective strengths and capacities.

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Most survey participants (59%) contend that neither the public nor the private sector currently does enough to support affordable rental housing. A smaller majority (54%) feels that, going forward, the two sectors should bear equal responsibility in supporting such housing. Yet a substantial minority of respondents (43%) believes that the responsibility should lie primarily with the public sector in that regard. There is broad agreement that each of the major actors in the affordable housing space should be more active than it is currently. More than 80% of survey participants want various public sector actors—each level of government, as well as mayors and city councilmembers—to take a more active role in furthering the development and preservation of affordable housing. Housing Agency Partners who took part in The NHPF Symposium voiced several ways that they break down barriers and increase collaboration, such as creating renter education efforts in conjunction with realtors and other stakeholders and partnering with CDFIs like LISC and others to bring technical assistance and pre-development funds to municipalities that are trying to build capacity. “ We work with local government to use their powers in terms of land use and zoning decisions to provide density bonuses and preserve affordable rental housing, and increase the density available for redevelopment. ” —MICHAEL HAWKINS Managing Director, Community Outreach, Virginia Housing At the same time, 83% of respondents believe that the philanthropic sector also needs to take a more active role in promoting residential affordability than it has in the past. Those questioned contend that virtually all the major actors have taken a progressively greater role in facilitating affordable housing in the past decade plus, and all were seen as doing more during the pandemic era than during the 2010s. 7. Be Open to Bold, New Funding Ideas It could be argued that the most creative way to finance affordable housing is also one of its most enduring. The LIHTC program, created over 30 years ago, recently survived the chopping block and is included in the current Build Back Better Reconciliation Legislation and serves as inspiration to develop more creative financing tools for affordable housing. According to the survey, respondents generally considered the most effective programs to be those that focused on increasing the supply of affordable homes, including through preserving the ones that are most at risk of loss.

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One municipality taking this recommendation seriously is Miami, where its introduction of a local cryptocurrency, MiamiCoin, is already showing promising results. “ In just under 60 days, MiamiCoin

has already generated about $7.5 million for the city and can be used for affordable housing. I think that’s something that would be an amazing new revenue source to continue to build affordable housing in a city that so desperately needs it. ”

Mayor Francis X. Suarez City of Miami, Florida

It was also recommended by participants in The NHP Foundation Symposium that the U.S. look to other countries to learn from policies which support stable, affordable rental housing. For example, Jenny Schuetz at Brookings wrote a series of case studies on rental housing specifically in six developed countries. And the U.S. stands out as “having spent the least amount of GDP on housing compared to other rich countries.” With 89% of those surveyed believing that housing is a basic human right, we challenge everyone in the equation to seek innovative solutions to fund such housing going forward.

In Conclusion

We are currently living in a cautionary tale. In his new book, The Contagion Next Time, Sandro Galea, Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health, draws a straight line from failures in public health and the legacy of Jim Crow legislation to the devastation wreaked on society by the Pandemic. “Investing in the healthiest population possible is an act of national security against a future pandemic”—and it begins with an investment in providing housing that will help ensure healthier, more resilient communities. It is incumbent not simply upon all of those in the affordable housing equation—but society in general— to step up and take a commanding interest in effecting substantive change. As long as inequities and vulnerabilities remain in some parts of society, all of society is vulnerable.

A Decade of Rental Housing Vulnerability

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About the Survey

Enterprise Community Partners and Econsult jointly developed the survey in the summer of 2021 in consultation with The NHP Foundation. The survey contained a series of primarily closed-end questions relating to various policies and events that have influenced the residential marketplace during the past 15 years and asked normative questions about perceived inequities in the affordable housing marketplace and the extent to which different actors have a responsibility to address them. Enterprise and Econsult sought to obtain a wide range of perspectives from those working within the affordable housing industry. To that end, they sent the survey to approximately 700 individuals involved as for-profit or nonprofit developers, lenders, elected officials, other public officials, researchers, and advocates. They identified potential respondents through lists of contacts developed by Enterprise, NHPF, and other key informants, many of whom subsequently completed the on-line survey. During the approximately four weeks that the survey was open, we received valid responses from 103 separate individuals.

References

1 F ischer, Will, Douglas Rice, and Alicia Mazzara. “Research Shows Rental Assistance Reduces Hardship and Provides Platform to Expand Opportunity for Low-Income Families,” 2019 n.d., 12. 2 D erby, Elena. “Does Growing Up in Tax-Subsidized Housing Lead to Higher Earnings and Educational Attainment?” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, March 11, 2020. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3491787 . 3 F ischer, Will, Douglas Rice, and Alicia Mazzara. “Research Shows Rental Assistance Reduces Hardship and Provides Platform to Expand Opportunity for Low-Income Families,” 2019 n.d., 12. Research review published by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities 4 https://ncrc.org/60-black-homeownership-a-radical-goal-for-black-wealth-development 5 T he other 12% have the ability to address the inequalities but do not consider doing so to be a primary area of focus. 6 Interestingly, while at least 90% of respondents in all other categories believe that the public sector should bear primary responsibility for addressing racial and ethnic inequities in affordable housing, among residential owners and developers, the figure drops to 68%. 7 Interestingly, the TCAP and credit exchange programs received much stronger support from those in the finance sector (an average 4.36 rating) than those respondents from the public sector (3.44). 8 R espondents’ views toward changes to land use policies were the most similar of all the policy responses surveyed, with a variation of only 0.2 across the subgroup averages.

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Multi-Housing News, September 2, 2021 Remaking Resident Services in a Time of Social Change by Kevin Lewis, Assistant VP, Resident Services & Deputy Executive Director, Operation Pathways

Current conditions require a concerted effort to address inequities in affordable housing, says Kevin Lewis of Operation Pathways. The success that residents in affordable housing achieve is even more pronounced now, in a time when our country is increasing its awareness and acknowledgment of historical social and racial disparities.

For example, on-site coaches (Resident Services Coordinators— RSCs) learn to redouble efforts to ensure residents feel seen, heard, valued and supported. Best practices call for preparation ahead of working with residents. Ideally, staff work to ensure that coaches not only understand the practical applications of the coaching, but more importantly, appreciate why and how using a new approach would benefit them and residents. One of the essential aspects of coaching programs for contracted service providers like FCC or Mathematica’s Goal4 It!™ is an understanding of the impact that historical racial inequity has played in how human services organizations have offered services to people of color. One of the shifts that such training encourages is how to move from sustaining people to transforming people. These practices enable participants and residents to better believe in themselves, gain strength from support and achieve goals. This is especially important at this time of societal consciousness and action to address and combat our country’s racial, social and economic disparities. “Coaching alone can’t resolve years of goals suppressed by systemic racism and social inequity,” said coach Carla Reid, RSC at St. Luke’s Plaza and a lead trainer. “But it can provide tools that people can use to transform aspects of their lives and kindle a flame to make empowering choices. We train our team and residents to embrace this mindset.”

Kevin Lewis

2020 was marked by several incidents that made us examine the impact of years of systemic racial oppression, and it has worn heavy on our hearts. Like many in our country, we asked how and why we have allowed inequity in important systems like education, criminal justice, employment, health care, housing, etc.—to become as integral to our American experience as baseball and apple pie.

These current conditions require a concerted effort to address inequities in affordable housing communities.

COACHING RELATIONSHIPS How can those in resident services tackle many of the key elements of systemic racism residents face? Experience shows that partnering with those in housing communities via a coaching relationship is key. An approach such as Family- Centered Coaching developed by The Prosperity Agenda with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, or EMPath’s Mobility Mentoring, work to meet the interconnected needs and desires of a participant’s life while working to dismantle educational disparities, underemployment, health care, financial literacy, food access, neighborhood safety, etc. A few years ago, we evaluated our programs and services and realized we needed to do more to create an environment where the desires of residents were at the forefront of our work. The genesis of any equitable relationship is hearing, seeing and actively listening to someone else. The next step is taking action to tangibly put resources and systems in place to address inequity in a real and sufficient way. The best coaching approaches provide a set of strategies, tools and resources that help human service organizations reinvent how they engage with families experiencing poverty. Coaching programs, by definition, offer ways for practitioners to create and sustain robust holistic services and programs that are only fully realized by partnering with families to address their needs and make progress on their goals. This kind of inclusive approach increases the likelihood of long-term success and transformational outcomes.

INSPIRING STAFF INSPIRES RESIDENTS, LEADING TO CHANGE

Model personal growth and connection Personal development is a big part of an organizational culture shift. Allow staff the time and space to grow and connect as individuals and embrace new methodologies. When leaders model these behaviors, they invite the same in staff, who in turn offer that security and comfort level to participants. Box-checking is never enough Initially, we noticed that the people we trained weren’t fully invested, opting to check boxes for an aspect of the training without fully embracing the “why” behind it. We moved away from the nuts and bolts of the training into understanding the FCC role and helping staff understand how this would make staff and residents feel. Use powerful questions to encourage reflection One of the core coaching skills is asking powerful questions. We inspire true buy-in by asking meaningful, open-ended questions. Everyone—from staff to leadership to participants—has hopes

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