INDUSTRY NEWS

Financing Rural CAHs

Safety Matters: Ins and Outs of Financing Rural CAHs

Thu, Jan 17, 2019

The large number of rural hospital closures in the late 1980s and early 1990s had Congress in a scramble for a solution. This is where Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) came into play. With CAHs in town or nearby, these small towns have a better chance of succeeding in the long run, as a hospital provides the necessary care, jobs and sense of peace from multiple angles.

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Davis-Bacon Act

Reinterpreting the Past and Changing the Future

Mon, Jan 21, 2019

How the Davis-Bacon Act Affects Affordable Housing

The Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) was passed by Congress in 1931, reinterpreted in June 2014, and is currently a topic of discussion among affordable housing advocates. Indeed, there’s a policy disagreement about a reinterpretation of DBA, especially regarding its applicability toward Section 8 PBVs, RAD transactions, and any 221(d)(4) rehab or construction.

The DBA was enacted in 1931 to provide wage protection for construction workers. According to the United States Department of Labor, “DBA provides a wage floor that protects construction workers’ pay, and sets a level playing field for contractors who are bidding on federally funded projects.” Establishing this standard then, prevents other contractors from under-bidding for the projects.

 

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GAO Issues Report

GAO Issues Report on HUD Enforcement Efforts*

Mon, Jan 21, 2019

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a new report titled, “Department of Housing and Urban Development: Better Guidance and Performance Measures Would Help Strengthen Enforcement Efforts.” The GAO found that the three program offices of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that GAO examined have a process in place for referring cases of potential noncompliance to the Departmental Enforcement Center (DEC), but two of the offices do not provide their staff with specific guidance on when to make referrals. The Office of Multifamily Housing makes referrals to DEC based on defined thresholds for noncompliance, such as for properties that do not pass physical inspections. In contrast, the Offices of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and Community Planning and Development (CPD) have broad guidelines but not specific thresholds for when to refer an entity to DEC. These two offices do not provide field staff with specific guidance to help determine which housing agencies or grantees to refer to DEC for possible enforcement action.

 

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LIHTCs Information

LIHTCs Helping Youth in Need

Mon, Jan 21, 2019

By Georgia Coffman and Cash Gill

As the affordable housing crisis continues to develop, there’s a large group in need of housing assistance that requires our attention—our nation’s youth aging out of foster care. According to the National Foster Youth Institute, more than 23,000 young adults age out of this system every year. After reaching the age of 18, 20 percent of them will become homeless, only 1 out of 2 will have some form of gainful employment by the age of 24, and 7 out of 10 girls will become pregnant before the age of 21. This major problem has caught the attention of many advocates and continues to gain traction. One group in particular who’s fighting for them is the Vecino Group.

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Next for LIHTC

What is Next for the Four Percent LIHTC?

Mon, Jan 21, 2019

By Georgia Coffman and Cash Gill

 

It’s no secret that affordable housing has been cascading down a slippery slope in the last few years. And for a long time, the doom at the bottom of that slippery hill was more and more visible—high construction costs, competitive tax credit sources and limited funding have all made the future seem inauspicious. However, in the midst of the glum picture I just painted, this industry earned some relief after relentless hard work from many organizations and political leaders like Maria Cantwell. With the Omnibus Spending Bill passed in March, a few days after St. Patrick’s Day, it seems the leprechauns stuck around to share their pots of gold. A 12.5% increase in nine percent low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) was allocated for the next four years. This is a big win for affordable housing and the current crisis it’s in. With this increase, thousands of affordable homes and jobs will be created nationwide. Additionally, and more importantly, many low-income families will have peace of mind with roofs over their heads.

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New Markets Tax Credit Saving

To the Rescue: New Markets Tax Credit Saving Rural Communities

Mon, Jan 21, 2019

By Georgia Coffman and Cash Gill

In Fall 2017, many were on edge about the possible elimination of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. Low-income and rural communities held their breath as they awaited the verdict of the House Ways and Means Committee in December. And lucky for them, Christmas came early. On December 20, 2017, the NMTC was preserved through 2019. What’s more, this past February, the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund awarded 73 Community Development Entities (CDEs) $3.5 billion in NMTC for calendar year 2017. This award will be invaluable to rural communities in particular, as this will significantly boost much-needed economic growth.

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