Federal Housing Policy – Let Your Voice Be Heard

Copy of The State of Federal Housing Policy for South Florida Community Development Partners

After the President’s proposed budget was released, several people asked – How can I get involved and what can I do to support affordable housing and community development?

Affordable housing and community development needs your support and voice, now more than ever. Critical federal resources may be significantly reduced or completely eliminated under the current proposal. The $6.2 billion (13.2% reduction) proposed cut to HUD in FY 2018 would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), Section 4 Capacity Building for Affordable Housing and Community Development and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program. Also proposed for elimination is the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund as well as agencies such as NeighborWorks America, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

In Miami-Dade, these cuts would further reduce the ability to develop or preserve affordable housing, assist small businesses and microenterprises, serve children and the elderly on fixed incomes, make infrastructure improvements and more. There are 7 entitlement jurisdictions that receive a direct allocation of CDBG funds from the federal government, (Miami-Dade County, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, North Miami, Hialeah, Homestead). In the 2016 program year, their combined CDBG allocation of funding totaled over $21 million – an amount that already isn’t enough.

Behind these numbers are actual stories of people and communities being helped. These stories must be shared.

Member organization, Enterprise Community Partners, has provided suggestions and guidance on how to stay informed and take action on federal housing policy.

  1. Call, write or (meet) with your Members of Congress. See Enterprise’s blog for contact information. You can contact your federal Senators and Representatives via their contact pages as well. Not sure who your Rep is? Find your Representative here.
  2. Write a letter to your local paper or use social media to advocate for federal investments in housing and community development. Find sample articles and tweets from CHCDF.
  3. Get involved with the #CDFIsInvest Campaign. See Enterprise’s blog for more details.
  4. Join the ACTION Campaign, a coalition of over 2,000 national, state, and local organizations and businesses working to address the nation’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing by protecting, expanding and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

We will keep updating this blog with more information. Please continue to voice your support for investing in affordable housing and community development.

We encourage you to join or renew your membership in SFCDC, stay connected, and meet organizations and people in other sectors that are also working to improve the quality of life for the residents of Miami-Dade. Let’s work together to save these programs and increase funding.

Report: Miami and the State of Low- and Middle-Income Housing

The Urban Institute  published a study on March 30, regarding the State of low-and middle-income housing in Miami and presented strategies to preserve and develop more affordable housing.

Some of the Key Findings from Urban Institute:

  • Population and housing stock trends indicate that Miami-Dade County grew tremendously from 2000 to 2015, especially in the city of Miami. Miami’s downtown area has gone through rapid transformation, as have other neighborhoods, such as Edgewater and Wynwood. The following findings describe where Miami’s LMI families live and how their housing has changed:
  • Opa-locka, as well as Miami neighborhoods Allapattah, Liberty City, Little Haiti, Little Havana,and Overtown, are areas where more than 8 in 10 households are very low income and low- to middle-income. These neighborhoods have high proportions of renters and below-average rent relative to the rest of the area. In these neighborhoods, creating and preserving affordable housing for LMI families remains feasible and much needed.
  • Renter cost burdens have increased all over the county and city. In 2000, 27 percent of LMI renter households were cost burdened (i.e., spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs). By 2015, three-quarters of LMI renter households in Miami were cost burdened.
  • In Coral Way, Downtown, Edgewater, and West Flagler, more than 8 in 10 LMI renters were cost burdened. The most dramatic shift may be in Wynwood, where just 15 percent of LMI renter households were cost burdened in 2000, which increased to 74 percent by 2015.
  • Downtown, Edgewater, and Wynwood saw substantial development of new housing units, with new units dominating by 2015, in contrast to a majority pre-1980 stock in 2000. This reflects tremendous development in these areas, which is replacing older and previously affordable housing with newer and more expensive units, leaving less housing for LMI families.
  • Allapattah, which is near Downtown, Edgewater, and Wynwood, may be on the precipice ofsignificant change and gentrification. The Miami arts community has extended beyond Wynwood, and land and buildings are being purchased to establish art galleries in Allapattah.
  • Homeowners report being approached directly by real estate investors to purchase their homes, and area renters are concerned they may be at risk of displacement. Without prioritization from county or city leadership, Allapattah may be at risk of losing its Dominican community heritage, multi-generational LMI families, and affordable housing.
To read the full report and policy interventions Urban Institute