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2013 CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS THE HOMELESS ASSISTANCE MODEL YOU KNEW IS HIST O RY

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT SUCCESS STORY:

THE PEOPLE’S BUDGET RE V I E W

THE LAND BANK OPTION: MAKING THE BEST DECI S I O N FOR YOUR PROG R A M

IN CELEBRATION OF SHIP

PERFORMANCE, TRANSPARE N C Y, & ACCOUNTAB I L I T Y


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Ed Busansky, CHAIR First Housing Development Corporation

Wight Greger, VICE CHAIR WsG and Partners, LLC Jaimie Ross, PRESIDENT 1000 Friends of Florida Ben Johnson, TREASURER Seltzer Management Group, Inc. Robert Von, SECRETARY Meridian Appraisal Group, Inc. Mark Hendrickson, AT LARGE The Hendrickson Company Jeff Kiss, AT LARGE Kiss & Company, Inc. Melvin Philpot, AT LARGE Progress Energy Florida George Romagnoli, Immediate Past Chair Pasco County Community Development

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Bob Ansley Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corp.

Suzanne Cabrera Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County, Inc. Charles Elsesser Florida Legal Services Bradford Goar Florida Power and Light Don Hadsell City of Sarasota Jack Humburg Boley Centers, Inc. Barbara Inman Habitat for Humanity of Florida Cecilia la Villa-Travieso Neighborhood Lending Partners, Inc. Deana Lewis SunTrust Bank Bill O’Dell Shimberg Center for Housing Studies Susan Pourciau Big Bend Homeless Coalition Aileen Pruitt PNC Lori Sandonato Homes for Independence

ADVISORY COUNCIL David Christian Regions Bank

Marilyn Drayton Wells Fargo Helen Hough Feinberg RBC Capital Market

STAFF ADMINISTRATION

Charlene Chen • Finance Manager Pam Davis • Workshop Coordinator Stan Fitterman • Chief Operating Officer Johnitta Richards Wells • Conference & Operations Manager

TECHNICAL ADVISORS Aida Andujar • South Florida Office Michael Chaney • North Florida Office Stan Fitterman • Central Florida Office Lisa Hoffmeyer • South Florida Office (sabbatical) Rose Phillips • Central Florida Office Gladys Schneider • Southwest Florida Office

IN THIS ISSUE: 1 From the Editor 2 Civic Engagement Success Story:

THE HOUSING NEWS NETWORK VOLUME 29, ISSUE 3

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The People’s Budget Review

3 The Homeless Assistance Model You Knew Is History 9 The Florida Nonprofit Housing Advocates Network

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10 The Florida Community Land Trust Institute 12 Building Performance: Cost Effective Ideas That Work

13 Surplus Lands for Affordable Housing

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16 Not Excited About Excel? Let’s Work on That

19 The Land Bank Option: Making the Best Decision for Your Program

24 Outreach to a Network of Community Resources: The Recipe For Helping Veterans

25 Principal Reduction and More Added to the Hardest Hit Program

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26 SHIP Clips 28 About the Florida Housing Coalition 29 Affordable Housing Consulting Services 30 Sometimes a National Expert is Living Right Next Door 32 Affordable Housing Conference Highlights 42 Save the Date

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FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION, INC. 1367 E. Lafayette Street, Suite C | Tallahassee, FL 32301 | Phone: (850) 878-4219 | Fax: (850) 942-6312

The Florida Housing Coalition is a nonprofit, statewide membership organization whose mission is to act as a catalyst to bring together housing advocates and resources so that Floridians have a quality affordable home and suitable living environment. The Housing News Network is published by the Florida Housing Coalition as a service to its members, housing professionals and others interested in affordable housing issues. Jaimie Ross, Editor, with assistance from Lynne Takacs, Communications Manager • Email: info@flhousing.org, Website: www.flhousing.org.

THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG


> FROM THE EDITOR

FROM THE EDITOR > Training and technical assistance with every conceivable type of affordable housing issue, from nurturing to fruition the seed of a start-up’s development idea to fine-tuning the program implementation of a seasoned housing administrator, is BY JAIMIE ROSS the everyday work of the Florida Housing Coalition. So, why is the statewide annual conference such an important event? Because it is the one and only time each year when housing professionals, from start-ups to seasoned administrators come together to share their experiences, to compare and contrast the differences in their respective corners of the housing world, and to move the state’s housing policy agenda forward. And so it was with the 2013 statewide annual conference. Approximately 600 housing professionals participated in public policy discussions including the future of the GSEs, substantive caucuses covering topics such as ending homelessness, and workshops addressing energy efficiency, land banking, housing homeless veterans, statewide housing finance programs, federal housing finance programs, avoiding and overcoming NIMBYism, financial literacy, social media for nonprofits, housing preservation, new market tax credits, community land trusts, the Community Reinvestment Act, and more. Our banking and other funder Partners for Better Housing are able to meet with the affordable housing devel-

opers and nonprofits throughout the state that they are working with. They are also meeting others whom they may be funding in the future. Give and take between and among all the conference participants is palatable; the air is energized with the excitement of what can be. The Florida Housing Coalition occupies a precious space in the affordable housing world, which is a responsibility we take seriously. We are the big tent that supports other statewide housing organizations, regional housing groups, local housing groups, and individuals. Our Partners for Better Housing know that when they support the statewide conference they are supporting the work of affordable housing from Miami to the Panhandle. The richness of the learning at the statewide annual conference is equal parts experts from the dais, and experience and expertise from the audience. Therefore, on behalf of the Florida Housing Coalition’s board and staff, I thank our Partners for Better Housing for without their financial support there could be no statewide conference. I also thank our entire membership for participating in the annual conference. Without all of you, there would be no there - there. I hope you enjoy the photos and articles highlighting the Florida Housing Coalition’s statewide annual conference 2013 and I hope you all mark your calendars to come together again on September 7-10th at the Hilton Orlando. HNN

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> CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT SUCCESS STORY: THE PEOPLE’S BUDGET REVIEW

Community organizing and civic engagement are fairly commonplace in the Northeast; places like Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, and where I practice law, in Miami. But civic engageBY CHUCK ELSESSER ment on behalf of low income issues in most of the southern states as a whole, including Florida, not so much. So I was delighted to learn in the session Community Organizing and Civic Engagement at the Florida Housing Coalition’s 2013 conference that we have more community organizing going on in Florida than I realized. Last year in St. Petersburg, a coalition of advocacy groups united to become the People’s Budget Review (PBR). The People’s Budget Review consists of members from SEIU Florida Public Services Union, the League of Women Voters, Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA), Agenda 2010 and Beyond, NAACP, Awake Pinellas, Suncoast Sierra Club, St. Pete Polls, as well as local business leaders and activists. They came together to make changes to the city’s budget. They understood that the city’s budget is the city’s priorities. And they wanted those priorities to include what mattered most to the hard working, lower income families in the community. After surveying the neighborhoods, they narrowed the “ask “to three priorities: money for reducing youth unemployment; money to work on

the plan for reducing poverty in South St. Petersburg by 30% in 7 years; and money for the new Sustainable Projects Program designed to empower residents to directly enhance the economy, environment, and equality of their neighborhoods. The total cost was $450,000.

Rick Smith, SEIU, presenting at the Community Organizing and Civic Engagement Workshop at FHC Conference.

Rick Smith, with other members of the PBR, testified in front of City Hall that “These budgets are political statements. You cannot have policy without them… the biggest voting day of the year won’t be on Nov. 5 — when registered voters choose their mayoral and city council candidates — but on Sept. 26, the night that the City Council will vote on a final budget for 2014”. And so it was. The PBR, through community organizing and civic engagement, was successful in getting their priorities into the City budget. It was September 9, 2013, when Smith explained the PBR work at the Florida Housing Coalition conference; at that time we were impressed by the effort; now we can marvel at the result. I hope this report provides inspiration to all those individuals and organizations who are trying to effect positive change in their communities. HNN Chuck Elsesser is an attorney with the Community Justice Project of Florida Legal Services, specializing in representing community organization involved in affordable housing litigation and policy advocacy.

LEFT: THE PEOPLE’S BUDGET REVIEW MEETS WEEKLY TO DISCUSS STRATEGY AND EXPLORE ORGANIZING OPPORTUNITIES AS THEY ARISE AROUND ISSUES OF QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE ST. PETERSBURG COMMUNITY. RIGHT: MORE THAN 300 RESIDENTS PACK A LOCAL RECREATION CENTER DEMANDING INVESTMENT FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS IN A COMMUNITY WHERE 1 IN 4 CHILDREN ARE LIVING IN POVERTY. 2

THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG


> HOMELESS ASSISTANCE

THE HOMELESS ASSISTANCE MODEL

YOU KNEW IS HISTORY INTRODUCTION

The past few years have seen a renewed fervor for addressing homelessness—and a new sense of confidence that we can successfully prevent and end it. We’ve BY ROSE PHILLIPS also heard some new terms circling around, including Housing First, Rapid Re-Housing, and Permanent Supportive Housing. These new approaches to homeless assistance are described as “evidence-based” and “data-driven” . . . but what does that mean? What is the evidence exactly? And what roles do transitional housing and supportive services play? This article describes the history of homeless assistance policy in the U.S. and the emergence of the best practices that now dominate federal policy.

HELPING PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS: A BRIEF HISTORY

Homelessness emerged as a national social problem in the early 1980s, driven by the perfect storm of deinstitutionalization, rising housing costs, and stagnating wages. In 1987, Congress passed the Stuart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, a landmark bill that created funding programs for emergency and transitional shelter, job training, health care, and other services for the homeless, and required that homeless children have access to public education. In 2001, it was renamed the McKinney-Vento Act 1,2. By 1992, four major HUD programs had been established under the McKinney Act, all of which still exist in modified forms. The Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG)

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> HOMELESS ASSISTANCE

provided funding to state and local governments on a formula basis for renovation of structures for emergency shelters, shelter operation, essential services, and limited prevention activities3. In addition, HUD offered three competitive grant programs. The Supportive Housing Program (SHP) was the most diverse, supporting development, operation, and service provision for Transitional Housing (TH), Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for people with disabilities, and safe havens4. Shelter Plus Care provided rental assistance for homeless persons with chronic disabilities; and the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) Program helped finance rehabilitation and rental assistance for SRO units for formerly homeless persons5.

The term “Continuum of Care” also refers to the linear model of homeless service provision that dominated through the 1990s and early 2000s. The archetypal client would enter emergency shelter for initial stabilization, be accepted into a Transitional Housing (TH) program after an initial period of sobriety, and “graduate” to permanent housing after completing the TH program and saving up enough money for relocation costs. McKinney-Vento-funded TH programs serve clients for up to 24 months, and many (though by no means all) are congregate facilities that require residents to accept mental health/substance abuse treatment, participate in life skills training classes, and abide by various house rules6.

HOMELESS ASSISTANCE AS WE KNEW IT: THE CONTINUUM OF CARE MODEL

Although the CoC model dominated homeless assistance policy and practice until recently, it did not hold a monopoly. In the late 1980s, Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) models were developed for homeless persons with disabling conditions, such as physical impairments, mental illness, and/or substance abuse. These individuals are often chronically homeless, a subgroup that comprises a minority of all those who experience homelessness in a given year, yet consumes a majority of homeless assistance resources. PSH providers offered these individuals full tenancy rights in “regular” units, and participation in supportive services was encouraged but not required as a condition of tenancy. Between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, several studies of PSH programs showed that large majorities of participants maintained housing stability for at least a year7,8.

Initially, housing and service providers applied individually for HUD’s competitive McKinney funds. In 1994, however, HUD introduced a process that is used to this day. Homeless service providers were required to organize themselves into geographically delineated “Continua of Care”, or systems for planning, coordinating, and delivering services to people in all stages of homelessness. Within the CoC, individual project applications for all three competitive programs are pooled into a joint application submitted by a designated “lead agency”. By collaborating on funding applications and year-round planning efforts, providers ideally avoid duplication of efforts, identify gaps, coordinate with mainstream services, and are able to seamlessly make client referrals.

ALL HOMELESS PERSONS IN US 2012 POINT-IN-TIME COUNT (TOTAL = 633,782) Unsheltered persons in HHs with at least one adult and one child - 8%

Unsheltered persons in HHs w/o children 30%

Sheltered persons in HHs with children only - 0%

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THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG

Unsheltered persons in HHs with children only - 1%

Sheltered persons in HHs w/o children 31%

Sheltered persons in HHs with at least one adult and one child - 30%

THE ASCENDANCY OF “HOUSING FIRST”

ALL HOMELESS PERSONS IN FLORIDA 2012 POINT-IN-TIME COUNT (TOTAL = 55,170) Unsheltered persons in HHs with at least one adult and one child - 21%

Unsheltered persons in HHs w/o children 42%

Sheltered persons in HHs with children only - 1%

Unsheltered persons in HHs with children only - 1%

Sheltered persons in HHs w/o children 22% Sheltered persons in HHs with at least one adult and one child - 13%


> HOMELESS ASSISTANCE

The term “Housing First” was probably coined in 1988 by Beyond Shelter, a nonprofit in Los Angeles, CA, that offered “rapid re-housing” services to homeless families9. The premise was that stable housing is a basic right and serves as a platform for other interventions to succeed. Much of the research on Housing First, though, addresses PSH programs for single adults with severe mental illness. The first such program—and the most heavily studied—was Pathways to Housing, founded in New York City in 1992. Homeless persons are referred to Pathways by outreach teams, shelters, drop-in centers, jails, and hospitals, and Pathways maintains relationships with a network of private landlords willing to lease to its clients. Each participant is linked with a staff team of professionals in fields such as medicine, psychiatry, and vocational rehabilitation. Program participants are required only to pay 30% of their income for rent and meet regularly with a case worker, although their staff teams strongly encourage them to use available services. Many Housing First programs around the country have developed variations of the same basic model that Pathways pioneered10. The spread in popularity of HF was driven by several lines of evidence, in addition to the success of PSH. First, most people who enter emergency shelters exit homelessness without formal assistance and do not return within the study horizons. As a result, a disproportionate share of homeless assistance resources are consumed by the minority of people who are chronically or episodically homeless. Second, the public costs incurred by the

chronically homeless in hospitals, jails, shelters, and other institutions may be largely offset by providing PSH11,12,13. And third, surveys found that homeless people themselves prefer permanent housing to transitional housing14. In 2002, these findings motivated the Bush administration to set a national goal of ending chronic homelessness in ten years, largely by developing PSH. In the last half-decade, studies of HF programs other than Pathways proliferated, and most have found that participants have high rates of housing stability and reductions in use of costly public services. Not all studies have control groups (e.g. Transitional Housing participants), but those that do generally show better housing outcomes for HF participants. However, the evidence is mixed on whether HF reduces mental illness and substance abuse15,16,17. Research on Housing First approaches for homeless families is more limited, but several studies show that receipt of a housing subsidy is a major predictor of housing stability for families exiting homelessness18. Preliminary studies of family PSH programs have also found some successes19. One study in Upstate New York found that PSH programs for families are more expensive than TH, but have better outcomes20. Additionally, a landmark study in four cities found that families who stayed in emergency and transitional shelters the longest did not have higher social service needs than those who exited shelter and did not return21. As a result, many advocates have promoted a “Rapid Re-Housing” (RRH) model for families (as well as individuals) with relatively few barriers to housing stability. RRH programs provide

Percent of Total Homeless Population in 2012 PIT Count

2012 POINT-IN-TIME COUNT: PERCENT OF HOMELESS PERSONS IN SELECTED SUBPOPULATIONS

CHANGES IN HOMELESS SUBPOPULATIONS IN US POINT-IN-TIME COUNTS 2007-2012

25%

0%

20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

y s e f ly th ied all s nc an re l s o ic wi DS an 18) ve lly Il bsta use eter s nic les m t i I p s e n o t b V r e r A S ta c e e Su A rso V/ Vi om lenc ccomnde Ch om en nic H Pe HI D io na (U M o V r U uth Ch Yo

-5%

(UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

Homeless People in Families -3.7%

Total Homeless Population Homeless -5.7% Individuals -10% US -6.8%

FL

-15% -20% -25%

Chronically Homeless -19.3%

Homeless Veterans -17.2% *2009 to 2012

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> HOMELESS ASSISTANCE

just enough assistance to quickly stabilize these families in permanent housing—outreach to landlords, security and utility deposits, moving costs, temporary rental subsidies, and temporary case management addressing behaviors that directly affect a client’s housing stability22. In early 2009, HUD created a Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), a 3-year demonstration. In the second year, nearly 90% of the participants who exited the program went to permanent housing, and HUD classified about two-thirds of exit destinations as “stable” housing23. Several communities also report that RRH programs have lower costs, higher rates of exits to permanent housing, and lower rates of return to homelessness after 12 months than TH programs24. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CATCHES UP: THE HEARTH ACT, OPENING DOORS, AND BEYOND

The growing emphasis on Housing First and prevention culminated in the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, which reauthorized and updated the McKinney-Vento Act for the first time since 1992. The definition of homelessness was expanded to include households that will lose their housing in 2 weeks25, as well as unaccompanied youth and families with children who are living unstably. The definition of “chronic homelessness” was expanded to include families as well as unaccompanied individuals26. The Emergency Shelter Grant, meanwhile, was renamed the “Emergency Solutions Grant”, and its share of HUD’s McKinney Vento funds doubled from 10% to 20%. Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) was added as an eligible component, and the 30% cap on homelessness prevention activities was removed and replaced with a 60% cap on street outreach and emergency shelter. The competitive grant programs were consolidated into a single, more flexible “Continuum of Care” program, and RRH was added as an eligible activity. The application and scoring process was revised to em-

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THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG

phasize outcomes, including reductions in total homeless populations and in rates of return to homelessness. The HEARTH Act also created a new Rural Housing Stability Program (RHSP), in which rural communities can compete more effectively for funding. RHSP allows a broad array of activities (including repairs needed to make homes habitable) that reflect the unique nature of rural housing instability27,28. The Obama administration followed up in 2010 with Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, the first comprehensive planning document for federal homeless assistance policy. Chronic homelessness had declined by one-third in the preceding five years, and Opening Doors built on the momentum by pledging to end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2015, and family and youth homelessness by 2020. Similar to the HEARTH Act, Opening Doors embraced Housing First, and provided guidance for homeless assistance providers to coordinate more effectively with mainstream social services29. It drew on emerging federal programs, including HPRP and HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH). In the latter program, the VA provides social services to qualified veterans while HUD provides a Section 8 voucher30. Around the same time Opening Doors was released, Congress authorized the VA to create the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, which provides homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing assistance to veteran families who might not qualify for other VA benefits31. The HEARTH Act, Opening Doors, and recently released HUD rules all promise to change the process of homeless assistance as well as the substance. In particular, HUD’s interim Continuum of Care rule requires CoCs to implement “Coordinated Assessment” programs for intake and referral of homeless clients. In many communities, the homeless assistance network is fragmented, and homeless

“PRELIMINARY STUDIES OF FAMILY PSH PROGRAMS HAVE ALSO FOUND SOME SUCCESSES. ONE STUDY IN UPSTATE NEW YORK FOUND THAT PSH PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN TH, BUT HAVE BETTER OUTCOMES.” “IN THE SECOND YEAR, NEARLY 90% OF THE PARTICIPANTS WHO EXITED THE PROGRAM WENT TO PERMANENT HOUSING, AND HUD CLASSIFIED ABOUT TWOTHIRDS OF EXIT DESTINATIONS AS “STABLE” HOUSING. SEVERAL COMMUNITIES ALSO REPORT THAT RRH PROGRAMS HAVE LOWER COSTS, HIGHER RATES OF EXITS TO PERMANENT HOUSING, AND LOWER RATES OF RETURN TO HOMELESSNESS AFTER 12 MONTHS THAN TH PROGRAMS”


> HOMELESS ASSISTANCE

persons must approach multiple providers before finding one who will accept them. The services a client receives may be based more on which provider is able or willing to admit them than on their actual needs. With coordinated assessment, clients enter the homeless assistance system through well-defined entry points. Providers collectively assume responsibility for matching clients with the right programs, and agree on a set of intake questions and referral criteria32,33. REMAINING CHALLENGES

With Housing First approaches and massive emphasis on system coordination, our generation’s push to end homelessness might just be the one that works. As one example, the 100,000 Homes Campaign has already housed over 70,000 people. A national grassroots effort led by a New York-based nonprofit, 100,000 Homes targets the most vulnerable individuals experiencing chronic homelessness34. However, challenges remain at all levels, from federal policy to local implementation. As always, federal funding is stretched and uncertain. Although Congress has been relatively generous with McKinney-Vento funding in the past few years, the current funding is not enough to cover renewals for projects that have already been developed35,36. Some of the “mainstream” resources we need to create paths out of homelessness, such as public housing, CDBG, and community health centers, have seen significant cuts37. Others, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid, receive non-discretionary federal funds and can grow with demand. However, the recently proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”), show that even these programs are vulnerable. INVENTORY OF BEDS FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE IN THE US

Source: National 2012 Point-In-Time Count

The new federal approach to homelessness is also pushing communities to diminish the role of Transitional Housing (TH). The downsides of TH have been somewhat exaggerated—the limited scholarly research finds that most TH clients who complete their programs are satisfied with their experience and find permanent housing, and programs do not generally “cream” the easiest-to-serve clients. However, “screening out” and attrition of the hardest-to-serve clients are common, especially for single adults38,39. And, as noted above, some communities have had better results with Rapid Re-Housing. TH providers can stay competitive and protect their investments by “retooling” their programs. Some providers may wish to tailor their programs to populations that need them most, such as domestic violence survivors and recovering addicts. Programs may increase retention and avoid having empty beds by easing admission standards, such as requirements for sobriety and treatment compliance40. Some programs are even shifting their service models toward emergency shelter, interim housing for people awaiting a PSH or RRH unit, or permanent supportive housing, depending on the physical structure of their units41. Advocates for the homeless have also struggled with the role of supportive services and how to pay for them. In Permanent Supportive Housing programs, McKinneyVento grants are a critical funding source for support services. However, beginning in 1999, HUD established requirements and incentives for CoCs to shift spending from supportive services toward housing. The HEARTH Act shifts funding priorities even further toward housing. Medicaid is another vital funding source, but not all services are eligible for reimbursement, and not all people exiting homelessness would necessarily qualify for it. PUBLIC SHELTER USE AMONG SUBPOPULATIONS OF HOMELESS SINGLE ADULTS IN PHILADELPHIA DURING A 3-YEAR PERIOD

Source: Kuhn and Culhane 1998, in Culhane and Metraux 2008.*Note: “Transitional shelter users” means users who had just one brief shelter stay within the study period. “Episodic users” cycled in and out of shelters repeatedly, and “chronic users” stayed for months or years at a time. HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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> HOMELESS ASSISTANCE

While other federal funds exist, particularly from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), none has been sufficient to fill the gap left by shifting McKinney funds42. The greatest risk, though, may be for families who need ongoing services that Rapid Re-Housing programs do not provide, yet may not have severe enough impairments to qualify for PSH. Some analysts accept the principles of Housing First, but worry that families will lose access to services as Transitional Housing programs decline43,44. Although previous research suggested that families with long shelter stays do not have higher service needs, some needs may have flown under the radar. For example, PTSD and depression are widespread among homeless mothers, and may be major predictors of long-term housing stability. However, they seldom require hospitalization and often remain undiagnosed45,46. Of course, internal issues of program design are just as important as external funding sources. The issue of serving higher-need families is closely tied to that of designing eligibility criteria for RRH programs. Even RRH’s staunchest advocates recognize that a program with broad eligibility criteria may become much more expensive than anticipated, by drawing many unstably housed families out of the woodwork. Moreover, if RRH programs accept families who need longer-term support, they may have a high and politically damaging rate of return to homelessness47,48. Similarly, despite the documented success of

100% 90% 80%

PSH, a substantial minority of tenants leave within two years for less favorable living arrangements. It can be difficult to predict which tenants will “fail”, so PSH programs should strive for constructive tenant-staff relationships, an ability to detect the early warning signs of a relapse, and attractive units in neighborhoods that tenants like49. CONCLUSION

In recent years, homeless assistance has received unprecedented political support, largely because of documented successes in housing the chronically homeless. Without a doubt, the supply of affordable housing may put an upper limit on our efforts to prevent and end homelessness. But if we can successfully help the populations targeted by the HEARTH Act to regain stable housing with the resources we do have, we can make a stronger case than ever that affordable housing prevents homelessness, saves taxpayer dollars, and helps people live more productive lives. With policy makers watching closely, we have to do it right. Providers of housing for the homeless should carefully define their target populations and help them connect to mainstream resources. Support service agencies who want to venture into housing development should recognize how it will change their capacity needs and organizational culture. And all players should communicate early and often, bringing new stakeholders to the table, educating themselves about best practices, and retooling local programs based on what works for their communities. HNN

SIGNIFICANT IMPAIRMENTS FOUND IN STUDY OF HOMELESS MOTHERS 93%

70% 70%

60% 50%

49%

40%

49%

30% 20%

21%

10% 0%

History of Trauma

Physically Assaulted

Sexually Assaulted

PTSD

Taking Depression Medicine

26%

AA/NA Attendance

Citations for this article can be found online at FLhousing.org. Select this article in the Journal under the Publications Tab.

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THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG


> THE FLORIDA NONPROFIT HOUSING ADVOCATES NETWORK

THE FLORIDA NONPROFIT HOUSING ADVOCATES NETWORK At our in-person meeting (which takes place annually at the statewide conference) we reviewed our successes from last year, including: 1. Sadowski Education Efforts (ongoing) www.sadowskicoalition.com 2. Inclusion of affordable housing as a cross cutting issue in the Governor’s (DEO) 5 year strategic plan: http://bit.ly/PBhxIE; 3. Progress on financing for community land trusts (see article on page10); 4. Recommendations to FHFC to improve the process for tax credit allocation; 5. Repeal of the section of 196.1978 that was threatening the future of affordable housing; 6. Ensuring that the AG Settlement monies were used for housing; 7. Progress in preventing and ending homelessness; 8. Fighting NIMBYism and Promoting Fair Housing; 9. Working on implementation of surplus land statute and land banking (See articles on pages 13 and 19) 10. Educating local and state elected officials on the importance of affordable housing (ongoing).

Three new items for 2013-14 put on the plate of the Florida Nonprofit Housing Advocates Network, are: 1. Making the case for increasing operating and administrative support for nonprofits; 2. Additional capacity building trainings, including webinars, from the Florida Housing Coalition specifically targeted to nonprofits; 3. Providing regular updates on federal housing issues. We will take on these issues and we will attend to issues that need to be readdressed. Most notably, the bulk of the work the FNHAN did last year on the Universal Application is no longer meaningful. The FHFC made a change this year from the Universal Application to a Request for Application process. The system put in place for tax credits has effectively turned tax credits back into a lottery in which for-profit developers can and have submitted multiple applications. Florida’s community based nonprofits are again left without a reasonable opportunity to participate in the tax credit program. The FNHAN meets the second Wednesday of every month from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. It is open to all nonprofit members of the Florida Housing Coalition. There is no charge. If you want to join the FNHAN, just email ross@flhousing.org or call the Florida Housing Coalition at 850-878-4219 to have your name added. You will receive call-in information and the draft agenda for each monthly meeting by email. We also have ad-hoc subcommittees to address issues on our strategic plan. We welcome your participation! HNN < Florida Housing Coalition Board Member, Suzanne Cabrera, led the Florida Nonprofit Housing Advocates Network Caucus at the 2013 Affordable Housing Conference in Orlando, Florida.

THE FLORIDA NONPROFIT HOUSING ADVOCATES NETWORK (FNHAN) WAS LAUNCHED IN FALL 2010 TO FURTHER THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION’S VISION THAT FLORIDA HAVE AT LEAST ONE COMMUNITY-BASED NONPROFIT HOUSING PROVIDER WORKING IN EVERY JURISDICTION.

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> COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS

THE FLORIDA COMMUNITY LAND The Florida Community Land Trust Institute has been working on the issue of financing for CLT homebuyers since May 2012 when we first met with HUD in Washington DC to address the problem caused by having FHA as the only practicable BY JAIMIE ROSS home loan product for low income homebuyers. Prior to the housing recession, community land trust homebuyers were using Fannie Mae, with the CLT lease rider to obtain loans that were saleable on the secondary market. That progress for the community land trust movement was put in reverse when Fannie Mae’s lending guidelines removed it as a reasonable option for first time homebuyers. And while FHA provides a saleable product for first time homebuyers, it does not have a lease rider for community land trust properties and an FHA mortgage letter ruling contains vague and confusing language regarding deed restrictions, making FHA financing unworkable for lenders looking to sell the CLT loans on the secondary market. The result is that community land trust homebuyers need to find lenders willing to portfolio the CLT homebuyer loans. In June, 2013, Florida Community Land Trust Institute members, including the South Florida CLT, the Hous-

ing Leadership Council of Palm Beach, Adopt-A-Family, Delray Beach CLT, and the Palm Beach County CLT held a lender forum to educate and rally support. The event, dubbed Community Land Trusts: Partners You Can Bank On, had over 60 people in attendance, including representatives from 12 financial institutions. With testimonials like those of former banker, Marcia Barry-Smith, who took the microphone to say, “ I was entirely against community land trusts when I first heard about the idea. But then I learned about CLTs and now I can’t think of a better way to provide affordable homeownership” and from CLT homebuyers brought to the forum by Palm Beach County CLT executive director, Cindee LaCourse Blum, kept from CLT homeownership “only because of the lack of lending”, hearts and minds were opened. Right now, South Florida (especially Palm Beach County) is a hotbed of community land trust activity. Indeed, but for the lending problem outlined above, the Florida CLT Institute estimates that more than 250 homes would have been put into permanent affordable stewardship. Mandy Bartle, executive director of the South Florida CLT deserves a great deal of credit for pulling the lender forum together. It drove home to local lenders that investment in community land trusts is the safest community reinvestment

Earlier this Summer, the South Florida Community Land Trust, along with the National CLT Network, Florida CLT Institute, the South Florida CLT Network and other CLT’s hosted a forum for lenders to learn about the benefits of community land trusts to prospective homeowners as well as lenders. Over 60 people attended the event including representatives from 12 financial institutions, local leaders, and CLTs.

The event was

covered by network news outlets and in Tallahassee on the Capital Soup Blog.

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> COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS

TRUST INSTITUTE lending that a financial institution can make. And to that end, we honor Nancy Merolla, of Florida Community Bank, the first one to step up at the forum. “We are excited to be the first lender in South Florida to engage in CLT related transactions. With the real estate market on the rebound, it is more important than ever that local banks are able to offer worthwhile homeownership solutions to every resident. NANCY MEROLLA This is just one important example of FCBs profound commitment to the communities we serve.” - FCB VP, CRA Officer, Nancy L. Merolla

Florida Housing Coalition President and founder of the Florida CLT Institute, Jaimie Ross, among those interviewed for televised coverage of the Forum.

FLORIDA COMMUNITY BANK Stepping Up in South Florida In a sustained effort to continuously identify unique and innovative ways to evoke positive change in the community and foster economic development, Florida Community Bank (FCB) is leading the way by becoming the first Bank in South Florida to participate as a lender in Community Land Trust (CLT) transactions. CLT’s provide individuals and families with access to affordable land and housing whom otherwise due to financial circumstance would not have this opportunity. FCB, the 5th largest independent Bank in Florida with over $3.2 billion in assets, has built a model in which constructive, impactful Community Involvement and Development activities are incorporated into every aspect of its business. FCB is relentless in its quest to continuously pinpoint critical areas of need within each of the communities it operates and determine the most effective methods to act upon them. Throughout its history, FCB has exhibited an equal commitment to strengthening the economic health and improving the lives of its communities the Bank serves, as it has to providing valuable personal and business banking solutions to its clients.

“As a testament to the lender forum’s success, on October 30, 2013, the Community Land Trust of Palm Beach County’s first homebuyer closed on a beautiful home in Oakland Park, Florida. Florida Community Bank provided the mortgage.” - Cindee La Course Blum, Executive Director Palm Beach County CLT

COMMUNITY LAND TRUST SESSION HELD AT THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONFERENCE IN SEPTEMBER

THE FLORIDA COMMUNITY LAND TRUST INSTITUTE IS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN TWO STATEWIDE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, 1000 FRIENDS OF FLORIDA AND THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION. IT WAS ESTABLISHED IN JANUARY 2000 AND HAS BEEN PROVIDING EDUCATION, TRAINING, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, AND LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY ON BEHALF OF CLTS IN FLORIDA SINCE THAT TIME.

HNN

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> ENERGY EFFICIENCY

BUILDING PERFORMANCE COST EFFECTIVE IDEAS THAT WORK BY BILL LAZAR

Many of us are looking forward to better news in 2014. It’s a good time to look around at some of the good work we saw at the FHC annual conference and think about using those ideas. Hopefully with more SHIP funding on the horizon, it’s time to dust off our housing documents and improve on old plans. It’s always good to be looking ahead in construction, especially with new energy code upgrades. Florida’s Energy Codes changed in 2012 and another increase in efficiency is predicted in two years. In new construction, those changes can be important to a healthy home. Back in the 80’s, air sealing efforts were more manual. Many times they weren’t that scientific, and unintended consequences were too tight sometimes unhealthy conditions.

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a white paper on “Deep Energy Retrofits” http://fsec.ucf. edu/en/publications/pdf/FSEC-RR-444-13.pdf on less expensive ways to conserve. The Florida Green Building Coalition has produced a handout of inexpensive ways to achieve green “Cost Effective Actions for Greening Your Home.” The Florida Dept. of Agricultural and Consumer Services has created a web tool for consumers on energy consumption. http://www.myfloridahomeenergy.com/ There are great new tools to help define building performance. Blower doors can tell you how tight or leaky our homes are, an important detail in properly sizing air conditioning systems. Once we started using them we were able to reduce sizing on most AC systems by half a ton.

With new building materials and construction techniques many homes are built more airtight than before. When you hear improved building performance, just think best building practices. We want to see the improved performance reflected in the sales price. When you make improvements and there is no corresponding change in appraisal, that’s a dis-incentive. If the changes increase marketability, then at least there is a positive trade off. If the costs are not immediately reflected in increased value, we need to design changes as cost effectively as possible.

A blower door finds leaky ducts, which can bring dust, pollen or humidity into your home. On a leaky mobile home with mold and mildew problems, one of the ducts had separated from the register below the floor and was pulling in cool damp air. The blower door took us right to it. Do you wonder why certain rooms feel warmer than others? An infra red camera can see behind the drywall and confirm if there is missing insulation, a common problem with trey ceilings or hard to insulate attic spaces. A duct test will find a leaky duct. We recently used an IR camera to pinpoint a slab leak.

If you have a building partner who is not that familiar with energy efficiency, reach out to them. Most builders know they have to adapt to changes, but they want to understand why, not just because “you have to.” Most would appreciate cost effective ideas that work.

There are business partners in every county who can help you showcase these best practices and convince others of the value in improved building performance. Look for green building professionals, weatherization inspectors or energy raters and ask them to meet with you. HNN

Especially in affordable housing, we know that costs are critical. Designing performance can be a less expensive way to achieving efficiency than buying products. There is a lot of good work and research from some of our partners here in Florida. The Florida Solar Energy Center has produced

BILL LAZAR is the Executive Director of St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP), providing affordable housing for 24 years in Duval, St. Johns, and Clay Counties. Using ARRA weatherization funds, SJHP weatherized over 1200 single family homes and 36 multi-family properties, creating a direct economic impact of over $14 million. SJHP is committed to increasing the quality of services throughout the affordable housing industry. Lazar serves on the boards of the Florida Green Building Coalition and the Florida Weatherization Network.

THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG


> SURPLUS LANDS

SURPLUS LANDS for Affordable Housing INTRODUCTION

In 2006, at the height of the housing boom, the Florida Legislature passed requirements for counties and municipalities to identify lands they owned that were BY ROSE PHILLIPS suitable for affordable housing. The requirements are found in two statutes: §125.379 for counties, and §166.0451 for municipalities. The Florida Nonprofit Housing Advocacy Network (FNHAN), composed of nonprofit housing providers in FHC’s membership, has been researching the extent to which communities have used the statutes to promote affordable housing development. This article describes the results of an informal survey of local governments conducted in late summer 2013, and discusses challenges and opportunities for disposing of surplus lands for affordable housing. OVERVIEW OF THE STATUTES

The two statutes have identical requirements for counties and municipalities. Beginning in 2007, each of these local governments was required to prepare an “inventory list” of properties to which it holds fee simple title, and which are “appropriate for use” as affordable housing.

After reviewing and possibly revising the list, the governing body adopts it in a resolution. The lists must be updated every three years. The statutes do not actually require that local governments dispose of the identified properties for affordable housing, but three disposition methods are explicitly authorized: 1. A property “may be offered for sale [without use restrictions] and the proceeds used to purchase land for the development of affordable housing or to increase the local government fund earmarked for affordable housing,” 2.“. . .Sold [to a developer, low-income homeowner, etc.] with a restriction that requires the development of the property as permanent affordable housing,” 3.“. . . Donated to a nonprofit housing organization for the construction of permanent affordable housing.” HOW DO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ACQUIRE SURPLUS LANDS?

If a local government has no current or future use for a property it owns—such as for a right-of-way, a park, or a public building—it has a strong incentive to dispose of the property as quickly as possible. The property pro-

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> SURPLUS LANDS

vides no tax revenue or direct public benefit, and the local government must pay for its maintenance and upkeep. Some surplus properties are acquired when the local government forecloses on code enforcement liens. In other cases, the city or county may have purchased a property long ago for some future use, but may no longer have a use for the property. Properties acquired by these means may not have clear title—that is, they may have liens that must be paid before the local government can transfer title to new owner. One particularly important process by which cities and counties acquire land is known as “escheatment”. The term sometimes refers to the conveyance of land ownership to a local government after the owner’s death, if no inheritor or next of kin can be found. However, it also applies to tax-delinquent properties that revert to a local government. As Figure 1 shows, escheatment of tax-delinquent properties takes five years in Florida. Escheatment essentially clears the title to a property; F.S. §197.502(8) states that “all tax certificates, accrued taxes, and liens of any nature against the property shall be deemed canceled.” If an escheated property is located within the boundaries of a municipality, the county must either use it for purposes specified in F.S. §197.592(3), or convey it to the municipality. County-held liens of record on the property are eliminated by conveyance to a municipality.

known or suspected to have numerous vacant lots in subdivisions platted in the 1960s and ‘70s, and ten communities that were otherwise considered relevant. The 29 respondents had a wide range of population sizes, and their quantitative responses are shown in Table 1. Despite FNHAN’s concern that many communities would be unaware of the “surplus lands” statutes, 80% of respondents have in fact developed lists of surplus properties that are suitable for affordable housing. Four of the five jurisdictions without lists were aware of the statutes, but are too small to have the need or capacity to dispose of surplus lands for affordable housing. Two of these four communities use other practices to promote affordable housing development on surplus lands, such as development code incentives, and the other two communities are built out. In communities that did have lists, the number of properties varied widely, from none to over 100. The number of properties disposed for affordable housing also varied. Although the highest disposition rate was 50 properties since 2007, overall disposition was low (median = 9%). The most popular disposition method was donating land to a nonprofit (Figure 2). Several qualitative responses suggested that this is the simplest of the three specified methods. In contrast, marketing a property to a willing buyer and hosting a competitive bid process requires considerable staff time and resources.

SURVEY DESIGN AND QUANTITATIVE RESULTS

We sent e-mail surveys to 41 local governments (20 counties and 21 cities). These jurisdictions included the state’s five largest cities and counties, twenty-one communities

COMPLIANCE AND DISPOSITION CHALLENGES

Some respondents reported that the process of identifying surplus properties and screening them for suitability

FIG. 1. ESCHEATMENT OF TAX-DELINQUENT PROPERTIES. COUNTY TRIES TO SELL CERTIFICATE FOR DELINQUENT TAXES ON A PROPERTY NO ONE PURCHASES TAX CERTIFICATE — STRUCK TO COUNTY

A PRIVATE PARTY BUYS THE TAX CERTIFICATE FOR A HOMESTEADED PROPERTY

2 YEARS — NO ONE PURCHASES TAX CERTIFICATE

2 YEARS

COUNTY APPLIES FOR TAX DEED AT PUBLIC SALE— NO ONE BIDS

CERTIFICATE OWNER APPLIES FOR TAX DEED, NO ONE BIDS AT PUBLIC TAX DEED SALE, APPLICANT REFUSES DEED

3 YEARS — NO ONE PURCHASES TAX DEED

3 YEARS — NO ONE PURCHASES TAX DEED

PROPERTY ESCHEATS TO THE COUNTY (NOTE: If a private party buys the tax certificate, the property is much more likely to escheat if it is homesteaded than if it is not. If no one bids on a homesteaded property at a tax deed sale, the tax deed applicant must pay an extra sum to take possession of the property.)

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> SURPLUS LANDS

was not straightforward. Challenges included making time in busy staff schedules and coordinating among multiple departments (e.g. Housing, Planning, Real Estate etc.). Some respondents found that developing and refining a data set from which to identify properties is time-consuming. For instance, the real estate department of one community is still working with the property appraiser to copy a backlog of property records into the real estate department’s computer system. Additionally, the statutes do not specify suitability criteria, and several respondents found it difficult to create their own criteria. However, most of these respondents said that the screening process became easier once the criteria were established. The title research process for properties with liens poses another administrative challenge. Several factors accounted for the low disposition rates. The most commonly mentioned challenge was that properties are in undesirable areas. As one respondent said, “There’s a reason the private sector hasn’t taken an interest in them.” Other respondents reported that elected officials remove desirable properties from the list if they can be sold to raise general fund proceeds, or may want to sweep the proceeds from surplus lands that are sold under these statutes. Further challenges include tightened mortgage lending standards for would-be buyers of affordable homes, and reductions in SHIP and CDBG funding. Finally, two municipalities reported legal restrictions on their disposition activities. One city’s charter requires that when land is offered for sale on the private market, it must be sold to the party that makes the best offer, making it difficult to sell redeveloped lots with affordability restrictions to low-income home buyers. Another city reported that its county imposes affordability restrictions on escheated properties that it conveys to mu-

nicipalities, ruling out the option of selling properties for other uses and earmarking the proceeds for affordable housing. CONCLUSION AND NEXT STEPS

Communities that can reasonably implement the surplus lands statutes are doing so in good faith, even though there is no real enforcement mechanism. A majority of respondents also agreed that the statutes are a supportive tool in their overall efforts to develop affordable housing, although their role is very modest. Because of the challenges that local government agencies face in identifying and disposing of surplus properties, it would not be appropriate to make the statutes substantially more prescriptive. Smaller changes might be worth considering— for example, requiring that local governments publicize the criteria by which they evaluate surplus lands. This could enable affordable housing advocates to block efforts by governing bodies to remove suitable surplus properties from the lists. Changes to other statutes could also improve the surplus land disposition process. For example, the 5-year escheatment process could be expedited to allow counties and cities to return the lands to productive use as soon as possible. Even without legislative changes, the statutes may become more useful as the housing market improves, and private demand increases for some surplus properties. If nonprofit housing providers and other advocates are aware of the statutes, they can work with elected and administrative officials in their communities to obtain surplus lands that would otherwise be sold on the open market, or to advocate for a share of the revenue from land sales. In communities that are dedicated to providing affordable options, the surplus land statutes may be a powerful tool in a vibrant housing market. HNN

TABLE 1. IDENTIFICATION AND DISPOSITION OF SURPLUS LANDS FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING BY STUDY RESPONDENTS.

RESPONDENTS WITH INVENTORY LISTS 24 of 29 PROPERTIES IDENTIFIED Median: 47.5 Range: 0-102 PROPERTIES DISPOSED Median: 2 Range: 0-50 PERCENT DISPOSED Median: 9% Range: 0-74% DISPOSITION RATE (PROPERTIES/Y) Mean: 1.4 FIG. 2. NUMBER OF RESPONDENTS USING DISPOSITION METHODS EXPLICITLY AUTHORIZED BY STATUTES. 6 16

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Sold, Proceeds Earmarked Sold with AH Restrictions Donated to Non Profit (Note: Some respondents used more than one disposition method.)

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> CAPACITY CORNER

CAPACITY CORNER >

NOT EXCITED ABOUT EXCEL? LET’S WORK ON THAT Excel is everywhere you look. Its popularity lies in its ability to provide users with enormous capacity to do quantitative analysis combined with its intuitive interface that lets you see what happens to the BY STAN FITTERMAN data as you manipulate them. In Florida, many local government SHIP administrators use the Excel based tracking sheets developed by the Florida Housing Coalition to aggregate the information needed to complete their SHIP annual report. In addition to data organization and basic arithmetic, Excel contains a collection of supplied functions to answer statistical, engineering and financial needs. Excel’s features make it a very handy tool for managing and implementing affordable housing programs, but if the user isn’t careful, the program’s design can lead to some costly mistakes. This article provides a discussion of some famous Excel errors as well as some tips on how to avoid Excel problems in your own work.

THE MOST DANGEROUS SOFTWARE ON THE PLANET?

In a recent article, Forbes contributor Tim Worstal declared that Excel based models used in financial markets have become so complex and handled in ”such a slapdash manner that no one is really on top of it anymore”. Author James Kwal takes it a step further, “anyone can create an Excel spreadsheet,-badly”. He continues “because it’s so easy to use, the creation of even important spreadsheets is not restricted to people who understand programming and do it in a methodical, well-documented way.” While the analytical potential of Excel can seem limitless, the spreadsheets that people create with it come with some notable restrictions. For example, in Excel there is not an easy way to show where your data come from. Excel doesn’t have the ability to show an audit trail – that is the user cannot identify cells whose value was changed, nor is it possible to see a history of what numbers were in a cell

Citations for this article can be found online at FLhousing.org. Select this Journal under the Publications Tab.

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> CAPACITY CORNER

prior to the current value. As a result, numbers can be accidentally overtyped without the user even realizing it. MATH ERRORS AREN’T NEW

While math errors are as old as, well, math, some have led to catastrophic events. The Quebec Bridge, connecting the south shore of the St. Lawrence River to the river’s north shore, was originally designed for a 1600 foot span. The span was later lengthened to 1800 feet, enabling the pilings to be built for a lower cost closer to the riverbank. Unfortunately, there was no recalculation of assumed weights for the bridge given the longer span. On August 29, 1907, the bridge collapsed killing 75 workers. In 1999, NASA’s Mars orbiter crashed into the Red Planet. An investigation revealed that program engineers forgot to convert from English to metric measurements.

“London-based quantitative expert, mathematician and model developer” to design it. This new model “operated through a series of Excel spreadsheets which had to be completed manually by a process of copying and pasting data from one spreadsheet to another.” This lack of automation resulted in substantial room for human error -not copying all of the required rows, copying too many rows, overwriting formulas when pasting, etc. The report found other problems in the model as well, including a formula error that, after subtracting an old rate from a new one, divided by their sum instead of their average. The report states that this error “likely had the effect of muting volatility by a factor of two and of lowering the value at risk.” In other words, a lack of automation combined with formula errors in an Excel spreadsheet contributed to the loss of billions of investor dollars. EXCEL AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

More recently, Excel spreadsheet problems have been front and center in some high profile news stories. In 2010, two Harvard economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, circulated a paper demonstrating that once a country’s debt exceeds 90 percent of gross domestic product, economic growth drops off sharply. This research was widely cited in policy debates over the U.S. deficit. Subsequent researchers had trouble replicating Reinhart and Rogoff ’s results. Eventually, the authors allowed researchers at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) to review their original spreadsheet. In an article published in 2013, the three UMass researchers found that the original research omitted some data, and, in creating the formula to calculate average economic growth rates, Reinhart and Rogoff left off several rows of data in their spreadsheet. In other words, an Excel formula error led to conclusions that may not have been supported by the data.1

So, we don’t design bridges or handle billions of dollars in investments, but we do use Excel to make a number of decisions and policy recommendations. When working with home buyers most affordable housing programs use Excel to determine how much of a monthly mortgage payment an applicant can afford, and then use that amount to calculate a maximum mortgage amount for which the applicant can qualify. When evaluating a rental deal, Excel is used almost exclusively to calculate income, expenses, and debt coverage ratios. So how can we minimize, or at least make it more likely we catch, errors in our Excel formulas and spreadsheets? EXAMPLE 1

In 2012, JPMorgan lost tens of billions of dollars in the now infamous “London Whale” case. An internal investigation of the loss found that an Excel model understated the risk of the investments. According to the report, JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office needed a new value-at-risk model for the portfolio and assigned a Reinhart and Rogoff acknowledge the errors but dispute many of the other findings in the UMass study, Reinhart and Rogoff stand behind their original conclusions.. 1

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SHOW YOUR WORK

Input errors in Excel formulas are easy to make, but can be hard to find. In designing a spreadsheet, it is best to have a cell for each variable, with the formula referencing each variable. For example, to calculate a monthly payment, the user could just enter the variables into a formula: The variables for the formula are in the tiny type in the formula bar near the top of the screen. A typo in the interest rate or term would have a different answer but the error would not be easily found by the user. On the other hand, if the variables are listed on the screen, an input error would be more easily found by the user, or by someone reviewing the spreadsheet for accuracy:

In this example, changing the interest rate in cell “B2” automatically changes the rate in the formula, yielding the correct answer for the new rate. By automating this process we have reduced the chances of a data entry error not being caught. CHECK YOUR WORK

Yes, I know it’s boring, and yes I know this isn’t Algebra 2, but double checking your formulas (or better yet, having someone else do it), is one of the best ways to catch spreadsheet errors. For example, when you click on a cell that contains the formula for summing rows of numbers, Excel outlines the rows that are included in the total. A simple double check can help you locate any totals that don’t include all of the appropriate cells:

AUTOMATE, AUTOMATE, AUTOMATE

The formula in Example 2 takes advantage of Excel’s automation features. One of Excels best attributes is how it lets you see what happens to your data as you manipulate them. For example, a well-designed rental operating pro forma allows the user to instantly see how an increase in an interest rate affects net operating income. However, some spreadsheet designs rely too much on the user having to change an amount in multiple cells throughout a spreadsheet. The formula in Example 2 could have been written the same as in Example 1, where even though the variables are shown in their own cell, the user still had to manually input each variable: =PMT(0.05/12,30*12,-85000) Instead, this formula uses Excel’s cell referencing feature: =PMT(B2/12,C2*12,-A2)2 EXAMPLE 2

Excel is a great tool and your worst enemy all rolled into one. Used correctly it can increase efficiency and provide the data analysis you need to make sound decisions. Used incorrectly, well, let’s just say bad things can happen. However, a carefully crafted, automated spreadsheet that clearly shows the data being used in a formula can help you minimize errors. NEED HELP LEARNING MORE ABOUT USING EXCEL IN MANAGING AND IMPLEMENTING YOUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAMS?

The Florida Housing Coalition can provide Webinars or on-site training for you and your staff. Call (850)8784219 or e-mail Stan Fitterman at fitterman@flhousing. org for more information. HNN EXAMPLE 3

2 When calculating a monthly payment, both the annual interest rate and the term must be converted to months. By default, Excel shows payments as a negative number. To show it as a positive number, the formula must contain a “negative” sign in front of the cell that references the principal amount.

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> LAND BANKING

THE LAND BANK OPTION: MAKING THE BEST DECISION FOR YOUR PROGRAM Many Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) grantees have arrived at a crossroads now that expenditure deadlines have been met and most, but not all, NSP-assisted properties have been comBY GLADYS SCHNEIDER pleted. Decisions need to be made about those remaining properties that will require more time, money and effort before finding a suitable end use. The portfolios are in effect, already an informal land bank. The most pressing question is how to decide if a more formal land bank program needs to be implemented or if the remaining properties can be disposed of in a relatively short period of time without further actions. This article discusses some of the more critical areas to consider and how to make sure the land plan will comply with NSP regulations.

Most NSP grantees did not initially envision the need for a land bank program that would survive long after the NSP grant funds had been expended. For many grantees, NSP projects have been completed or will be within 12-18 months after expenditure deadlines. But some grantees or their partners are holding a portfolio of NSP-assisted properties that have been stubborn to be sold or developed. There could be many reasons for this, including lagging homebuyer markets, the purchase of more properties than there are no funds to rehabilitate, or completed projects that remain vacant due to location or demand problems. Perhaps marketing efforts have not been successful in the disposition of the homes. It may have been the specific intention to hold these properties for the long term as part of a comprehensive program. Realizing that maintaining vacant or improved land

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> LAND BANKING

takes time and funding, communities are spurred to make a decision and get a plan sooner rather than later. Once the reasons for remaining inventory have been examined, it is important to address these factors in considering the land bank option. Land bank programs must be carefully tailored to meet the specific goals envisioned for transferring properties to a use that supports neighborhood stabilization. In Florida, communities considering land banks typically have less than a couple dozen vacant lots that were acquired with NSP funds and cleared of blighted buildings. It may be necessary to wait for the market to improve for new construction and buyer demand. In some cases the neighborhoods continue to experience challenges and buyer demand is weak for that area. A good first step is to classify the inventory at this point into properties that can be moved quickly, versus properties that will require more time. For example, if there are properties that will clearly be used for infrastructure, retention, or another public utility use, make the transfer as soon as possible to get it off the list. For others, re-evaluate the marketing strategy and adjust if needed. Check the validity of homebuyer waiting lists and make sure pricing is attractive. Strong marketing efforts can prevent long term holding expenses. If the overall design is part of a long term strategy or it is unlikely that the properties will be disposed of in 18-24 months, it may be wise to consider activating the NSP Eligible Use C Strategy to form and operate a Land Bank. The main benefit to this is time- doing so will gain a holding period of up to 10 years. If other NSP activities have been completed, designating the properties for land banking will allow the grantee

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to begin the close out process for the NSP grant. After 10 years have passed from the date the Closeout Agreement is executed, if the properties have still not yet met a national objective and eligible activity, NSP funds will need to be repaid, in part or in full, or the property will revert immediately to the CDBG program. *See information on right for more information on NSP Closeout. After examining the inventory and the anticipated horizon for completion, the next major consideration is cost. The cost of implementing either a simple temporary land bank or a formal program can be fairly predictable but funding sources are limited. As the custodian of the properties, the land bank must have funds available for maintenance, legal and title actions, and marketing. It is important when establishing the land bank to first dispose of the obviously simple transfers such as utility easements, parks, or conservation. This will transfer maintenance costs to other departments or agencies and will help the land bank focus on its primary mission of neighborhood stabilization and affordable housing. Remaining properties may need to undergo legal work to quiet title or planning procedures such as re-zoning or re-platting. The land bank will need to develop an outreach and marketing plan to aggressively seek buyers or developers. Another concern is environmental reviews. When the NSP program was initiated, environmental clearances were completed. A property that will later undergo a change in use may require a second review if for example, the property was originally commercial but will be redeveloped as residential. This is a future expense that is not always anticipated. Understanding what each property will require will help to build a more reliable budget.

*NSP Closeout For more information on NSP Closeout, see FHC article http:// www.flhousing. org/wp-content/ uploads/2013/02/ NSP-ExpenditureDeadlines-andCloseout-RollForward.pdf. See also the NSP Closeout Notice, Federal Register November 27, 2012 (288 FR 70799). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Land Bank Plan - If the grantee has assisted a land bank, the grantee must submit a plan detailing how the land bank will meet the 10year maximum land holding requirement of Section II.E.2.d of the Unified NSP Notice and Appendix I, Section E.2.d of the NSP2 NOFA. A list of any real property held in the land bank should be included in the plan along with addresses for these land-banked properties.â&#x20AC;?


> LAND BANKING

NSP program income may be used to maintain the NSP-assisted properties in the inventory. These expenses are considered disposition costs and must be tracked by the property. NSP does not permit disposition costs for land banking to be passed on to future homebuyers. If NSP funds are not available, the local government will face using general revenue to maintain the land bank properties. It is possible to find a creative solution, such as teaming up with neighborhood improvement projects. Along with costs and future proposed uses, the inventory should include a target date for completion. This will guide the budget process as well as ensure that the 10 year NSP time frame will be met. The inventory should be examined for types and locations of properties, adjacent uses and special characteristics. The origination should be noted to make sure any restrictions on future uses are known. The Plan should identify the long term goals for not only each property by the land bank program itself. The inventory and the budget are two of three main sections of a land bank plan. The third is policies and procedures for acquiring and disposing of the properties. By now it is advisable to seek input from representatives from other departments such as utilities or parks that will be affected as well as neighborhood advocates and housing providers. An oversight committee will help guide the future planning process and help to build consensus. The land bank plan is starting to take shape. The oversight committee should agree on the primary mission and longevity of the land bank. The plan should identify the agency or organization responsible for the land bank operation. The plan needs to define the specific policies and procedures that will be followed in the acquisition and disposition of the

properties. This is important as the community and funders will expect reasonable and consistent performance. It will also prevent land grabs or end-runs by others who may not want to follow the mission of the land bank. Acquisition policies should clearly define the types of properties that have the potential to meet neighborhood stabilization goals. The acquisition policies are intended to prevent the land bank from becoming a dumping ground for environmental cleanup sites or obtaining properties that will be too expensive to maintain such as buildings whether vacant or occupied. The policies should identify the process for requesting properties, and selection criteria and priorities. The policies and procedures should describe how they will be transferred to result in affordable housing or other uses that support neighborhood stabilization and what enforcement mechanisms will be employed. Long term affordability requirements must be met for land banked properties in accordance with the NSP program. Transfer policies and procedures should be clearly drafted for unbuildable properties or parcels best suited as side lots (sale or donation to adjacent property owner), pocket parks, open space, or community gardens.

HUD DEFINITION OF A LAND BANK: A LAND BANK IS A GOVERNMENTAL OR NONGOVERNMENTAL NONPROFIT ENTITY ESTABLISHED, AT LEAST IN PART, TO ASSEMBLE, TEMPORARILY MANAGE, AND DISPOSE OF VACANT LAND FOR THE PURPOSE OF STABILIZING NEIGHBORHOODS AND ENCOURAGING RE-USE OR REDEVELOPMENT OF URBAN PROPERTY. FOR THE PURPOSES OF NSP, A LAND BANK WILL OPERATE IN A SPECIFIC, DEFINED GEOGRAPHIC AREA. IT WILL PURCHASE PROPERTIES THAT HAVE BEEN FORECLOSED UPON AND MAINTAIN, ASSEMBLE, FACILITATE REDEVELOPMENT OF, MARKET, AND DISPOSE OF THE LANDBANKED PROPERTIES.

While the land bank may be administered by a local government, is not uncommon for nonprofit organizations to serve as the land bank. Land banking may be the sole purpose of the organization or its main purpose is affordable housing development. A nonprofit partner may already hold title to NSP-assisted properties but market conditions or a lack of available funding has stalled the completion of developments. The local government can authorize the nonprofit to serve as a land bank and develop a Land Bank Plan to guide in the eventual disposition of the properties. This will not only buy time, but re-establish policies

IF THE LAND BANK IS A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY, IT MAY ALSO MAINTAIN FORECLOSED PROPERTY THAT IT DOES NOT OWN, PROVIDED IT CHARGES THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY THE FULL COST OF THE SERVICE OR PLACES A LIEN ON THE PROPERTY FOR THE FULL COST OF THE SERVICE.

HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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> LAND BANKING

and a schedule for the completion of the projects. It is important to identify who will be responsible for maintenance of the properties and what the consequences will be for failure to keep properties mowed and free from debris. Additional properties can be added to the land bank as available if the mission of the land bank is to grow and be an ongoing provider of land. The Land Bank program can provide a comprehensive approach to not only manage the disposition of NSP properties but to establish a working mechanism for other surplus properties that may have transferred to the local government. Unlike Midwestern or Northern cities where thousands of houses have come into municipal ownership through lien and tax foreclosure, Florida’s cities and counties are more likely to acquire vacant platted lots through foreclosure or escheatment. The Land Bank program can provide a solid policy framework for managing this inventory and ensuring that they are a resource for affordable housing or neighborhood enhancing uses. The land bank can serve as the core of an affordable housing development program. Along with NSP assisted

properties, surplus lands that are suitable for affordable housing may be listed in publicly owned property rolls. Florida’s surplus land statute adopted in 2006 requires local governments to prepare and maintain an inventory of publicly owned properties that are suitable for affordable housing. (see Surplus Lands article) The implementation of this requirement along with NSP land banking has the potential to become a valuable resource for current and future efforts. A comprehensive land banking program with sufficient inventory can be a base for leveraging resources and partners both within and outside of NSP target areas. The decision to land bank and whether to dismantle it when the initial inventory is exhausted or to build a vibrant long term program around the land bank will require careful consideration. Like any bank account, the rate of return will depend on what is invested and how the deposits are used. Land banking may play a greater role in the future, at first seeded with NSP properties, but expanded over time with other surplus land additions. A well-crafted land bank plan with a detailed inventory can become the centerpiece of housing and neighborhood stabilization efforts.

THE TABLE BELOW LISTS ACTIVITIES THAT WILL TAKE PLACE WHILE PLANNING FOR LAND BANKING AND OPERATING THE LAND BANK ONCE NSP HAS BEEN CLOSED OUT.

PREPARING THE LAND BANK PROGRAM

POST NSP CLOSEOUT LAND BANK ACTIVITIES

• DEVELOP AND REFINE LAND BANK PLAN

• MANAGE REDEVELOPMENT PLANS TO

• DEVELOP AND REFINE LAND BANK INVENTORY

PREPARE FOR DISPOSITION (REZONING, RE-

• REVIEW ACQUISITION POLICY- ENSURE

PLATTING, SITE PLANNING, PERMITTING)

PURCHASES MEET GOALS AND MISSION • DEVELOP INITIAL STABILIZATION PLAN- INCLUDE BOARDING UP, FENCING, SIGNAGE • DEVELOP MAINTENANCE PLAN- INCLUDE LAWN CARE, TRASH PICKUP, SECURITY • DEVELOP MAINTENANCE BUDGET- INCLUDE

POLICIES • REPORT DISPOSITION ACTIVITIES AT LEAST ONCE ANNUALLY TO HUD, IF APPLICABLE • CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN INVENTORY INFORMATION

MAINTENANCE COSTS FOR LABOR, MATERIALS

• MAINTAIN REGULAR SITE INSPECTIONS

AND EQUIPMENT, UTILITIES, INSPECTIONS

• CONTINUE TO MONITOR SURPLUS LAND

• DEVELOP DISPOSITION PLAN AND BUDGETINCLUDE RE-ZONING, RE-PLATTING, LIEN OR CODE ENFORCEMENT FINES, LEGAL EXPENSES,

INVENTORY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ASSIST WITH 3-YEAR UPDATE • CONTINUE TO MARKET PROPERTIES, ADJUST

TRANSFER COSTS, MARKETING, TAXES OR

STRATEGIES TO MEET CHANGING MARKET

ASSESSMENTS

CONDITIONS

• DEVELOP MARKETING PLAN

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• DISPOSE OF PROPERTIES ACCORDING TO

THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG


> LAND BANKING

NSP LAND BANK PROPERTIES AND MEETING NATIONAL OBJECTIVES It’s impossible to talk about an NSP Land Bank without talking about meeting a national objective. HUD has held many webinars and published guidance on this, but understanding it often requires putting the specific situation to the test to see if the end use of the land banked property will meet a national objective. In order to meet NSP requirements, the end use for NSP-assisted properties must meet one of the following national objectives: • HOUSING ACTIVITIES (LMMH): Providing or improving permanent residential structures that will be occupied by a household whose income is at or below 120% of area median income (or at or below 50% for units that satisfy the 25% Set-aside Requirement). • AREA BENEFIT ACTIVITIES (LMMA): Benefiting all the residents of a primarily residential area in which at least 51% of the residents have incomes at or below 120% of area median income. Most frequently, demolition as part of a comprehensive clearance program is an area benefit. Activities assisting businesses serving a target area, such as providing goods and services in a target area can also be considered an area benefit.

• LIMITED CLIENTELE ACTIVITIES (LMMC): Serving a limited clientele whose incomes are at or below 120% of area median income, for example, funding for a homeless shelter or group home. • JOBS ACTIVITIES (LMMJ): Creating or maintaining jobs for persons whose incomes are at or below 120 percent of median income (LMMJ), for example funding for a home-based day care center (NSP1 only). This objective was added through the NSP Closeout Notice. For HUD Guidance on National Objectives, go to: https://www.onecpd.info/news/hud-issuesguidance-on-nsp-national-objectives-uses-andactivities/

Extensive information on the formation and operation of an NSP Land Bank can be found in the HUD Toolkit located at this link: https://www.onecpd.info/nsp/toolkits/land-banking/ The Florida Housing Coalition can provide assistance. Call (850)878-4219 or e-mail Gladys Schneider at schneider@flhousing.org for more information. HNN NEED HELP MAKING THE DECISION TO LAND BANK OR DEVELOPING THE LAND BANK PLAN?

THANK YOU, PARTNERS The Florida Housing Coalition appreciates all our Partners for Better Housing. We are particularly grateful for our Platnium Sponsors.

HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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> HELPING VETERANS

OUTREACH TO A NETWORK OF COMMUNITY RESOURCES:

THE RECIPE FOR HELPING VETERANS When the Florida Housing Coalition hosted two symposiums in Tampa last year sponsored by Wells Fargo and the Home Depot Foundation, Askia Aquil, a participant in the forums, shared his BY LORI SANDONATO brand for getting the job done: Askia makes connections via email between anyone and everyone who might be able to help Veterans in need. It was my great pleasure to be one of the people who was able to answer the call for help he made on behalf of a disabled Vietnam Veteran in need of housing.

homes was available. The house is fully wheelchair accessible and energy efficient. Rent is $550 per month, nearly $200 per month less than he and his wife Cindy had been paying for a smaller and inaccessible apartment. And this home is close to shopping and transportation, a big plus for the Lettelliers, as they have no vehicle. “I am so excited to know I can reach the kitchen and bathroom sinks, roll right into a shower and I will have a yard!” says Don, “This is a dream come true!” It wasn’t just the City of St. Petersburg that helped Homes For Independence acquire this house and make this deserving Veteran’s dreams come true. The Home Depot Foundation through the Abilities Foundation and the Northside Christian School pitched in to do some yard clean up, painting and other activities to help keep costs down at the time of purchase.” An American flag waves proudly from the front porch.

Homes for Independence, Inc. learned of the request for help through an email blast from Askia. It was sent to him from Marlene Ware, the Director of Financial Stability at Warrior Askia Aquil, President of Support Services and laid out the cir- Community Housing Solutions, Inc., explaining the importance of cumstances. Don Lettellier, a disabled reaching out to as many potential veteran, and his wife Cindy, were no resources in the community as longer able to pay their basic bills, such possible to help prevent and end veteran homelessness. as utilities. The landlord had raised the rent on their apartment significantly above their abilGroup efforts provide such significant rewards to all inity to pay; an apartment which provided a great deal of volved. It is always heartwarming to see the look of relief challenge for the disabled veteran even if it were affordmixed with excitement on the faces of people who have able, as it was not wheelchair accessible. needed help for so long. HNN The City of St. Petersburg has a program for Veterans to live in accessible, affordable homes and one of those

THE HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION THROUGH THE ABILITIES FOUNDATION AND THE NORTHSIDE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL PITCHED IN TO DO SOME YARD CLEAN UP, PAINTING AND OTHER ACTIVITIES TO HELP KEEP COSTS DOWN AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE.

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THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG

Florida Housing Coalition Board Member, Lori Sandonato is the Vice President of Homes for Independence, Inc., and Director of Housing for Service Source, d/b/a Abilities, Inc. of Florida.

LT. COMMANDER USN DON LETTELLIER CANNOT BELIEVE THE HELP HE HAS BEEN OFFERED. HE HAS BEEN DISABLED SINCE JANUARY 19, 1969. HE HAS NEEDED HELP IN THE PAST, BUT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME HE REQUESTED IT. HE IS VERY GRATEFUL.


> THE HARDEST HIT PROGRAM

PRINCIPAL REDUCTION AND MORE ADDED TO THE

HARDEST HIT FUND PROGRAMS Funded with $500 million of Florida’s Hardest Hit allocation, the Principal Reduction program will assist a minimum of 10,000 homeowners. BY MICHAEL CHANEY It provides up to $50,000 for principal reduction in connection with a recasting or refinancing of loans for severely underwater homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments. The website for receiving applications closed after 25,000 applications were received. The applications are now being assessed and processed by Hardest Hit advisors. MORE PROGRAMS ON THE HORIZON The Modification Enabling Pilot program

This program allocates $50 million in Hardest Hit Funds to be used to modify certain mortgages purchased by National Community Capital, using private sector funds. These mortgages were purchased through a HUD Distressed Assets sale. The maximum per household HHF assistance amount is $50,000 to reduce the existing first mortgage loan to an amount with a net present value that does not exceed the lessor of: • A loan amount equal to 100% of the current market value of the property; or

• A loan amount with a net present value which results in a monthly total housing payment that does not exceed 35% of the borrowers adjusted gross monthly income. The Elderly Mortgage Assistance Program. aka“ELMORE”

This program assists senior homeowners facing foreclosure due to the inability to pay their taxes, insurance and/or association dues after their reverse mortgages have been paid all the equity that they were due. It is expected that outreach and implementation of this program will be completed through already established call centers. HHF advisors are receiving training to prepare for the beginning of the program.

David Wescott, FHFC Director of Homeownership Programs, leads the discussion.

While the focus at the Florida Housing Coalition’s Foreclosure Counselors caucus was the details of the new Principal Reduction Program, the discussion also went into depth on the challenges, current trends, and best practices for the administration of a foreclosure counseling program. Florida Housing Finance Corporation staff provided updates on the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMAP) and the Mortgage Loan Reinstatement Program (MLRP). Over 11,000 homeowners have received assistance and approximately $100 million remains available for these programs.

CAUCUS PARTICIPANTS DISCUSSED A NUMBER OF FORECLOSURE COUNSELING TOPICS, INCLUDING: NEXT STEPS AFTER ROLL OFF: Options to pursue if more help is

needed when a household has exhausted HHF benefits or rolls off of another assistance program. TRANSITIONING AFTER FORECLOSURE: Helping transitioning clients to find affordable rental house. FORECLOSURE COUNSELING PROGRAM (FCP): Florida Housing’s new program to support homeowners through their delinquency resolution negotiations. MARKETING AND OUTREACH: Participants talked about new ways they are having success with increasing community awareness of counseling services. HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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> SHIP

SHIP CLIPS >

FREQUENTLY ASKED SHIP QUESTIONS State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program These SHIP Clips focus on the SHIP special

providing rental or homeownership assistance to house-

needs requirements. A minimum of 20 per-

holds that include one or more household members with

cent of the 2013-2014 SHIP funding allo-

special needs.

cated under SB 1852 must be used to serve BY MICHAEL CHANEY

persons with special needs as defined in

SHIP staff is encouraged to network with service provider

420.0004(13) of the Florida Statutes. Ad-

agencies in the community.

ditionally, the first priority of this 20 percent is to serve homeowners with development disabilities by providing home modifications, including technological enhancements and devices which will allow homeowners to remain independent in their own homes and maintain their homeownership.

fordable rental housing, accessibility modifications, home repairs and other housing assistance. Each SHIP jurisdiction has received emailed lists of agencies working with individuals with developmental disabilities, persons with disabling

Although there is a priority for homeowners with Devel-

conditions, survivors of domestic violence, and youth aging

opmental Disabilities, the fundamental requirement is to

out of foster care. You may request these contacts from the

document that 20 percent of the 13/14 allocation is spent

Florida Housing Coalition at 850 878-4219.

Q. What types of strategies are SHIP jurisdictions using to comply with the special needs requirement?

A. Prior to receiving 13/14 funds, each city and county SHIP office was required to provide Florida Housing with a summary of its special needs plan. A review of these plans reveals that the most common approach involves an owner-occupied rehabilitation strategy. SHIP administrators are offering applicants with special needs priority placement on their waiting lists for general repairs as well as accessibility modifications like widened doorways and accessible bathrooms. Some jurisdictions have proposed other special needs plans. A handful of jurisdictions are working with existing strategies in their local housing assistance plans designed to support local agencies that are housing providers for individuals with special needs. The 13/14 SHIP allocation may not be expended on new construction activity, but some SHIP offices are repairing or expanding existing special needs housing in their areas.

26

These agencies maintain waiting lists of clients needing af-

THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG

In at least 8 instances, SHIP jurisdictions are offering rental assistance. Some are offering a rent deposit strategy and others are using existing strategies that offer rental rehabilitation and accessibility modification.

Q. How should I document that an applicant has one or more household members with a special housing need? Should a household member obtain a doctor’s letter?

A. Add a ‘yes or no’ question to your SHIP application about whether any household member has a special need according to the statutory definition. A doctor’s letter is not required. Instead, Florida Housing will allow SHIP staff to rely on the records of other agencies that are providing applicants with services based on their special needs. In general, SHIP staff will accept signed statements from state and local agencies including the Department of Children and Families, local offices of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Centers for Independent Living and Arc offices. The statement should in-


> SHIP

dicate if the SHIP applicant is eligible for services from the agency and should be signed by an agency staff person. SHIP staff should request that applicants with developmental disabilities (DD) provide written documentation from the agency from which they have been determined eligible to receive services. An applicant not currently receiving services may provide written documentation that he or she has been “determined eligible” to be placed on a waiting list. For all others not receiving services and not on a waiting list, request written documentation that the person was referred by an agency that serves persons with developmental disabilities. Individuals with disabling conditions are another category of persons who have special needs. In some cases, you may simply obtain an award letter that documents that the person receives disability benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or the Veterans Administration. Count this financial assistance when calculating total household income. Individuals with disabling conditions—defined in 420.0004(7) Florida Statutes may have a mental illness, a substance abuse disorder, or a chronic physical illness or disability. In all cases, their special needs status may be documented with a signed letter from an agency providing them with services. Young adults formerly in foster care are an additional category of persons who have special needs. These applicants are discharged from foster care at the age of 21— recently increased from 18—but may receive aftercare and transitional support services until they are 23. The Florida Department of Children and Families contracts

with 18 community-based care lead agencies across the state that manage and deliver services to those aging out of the foster care system. The only way to document that an applicant is a member of this category is for SHIP staff to collect a signed statement that the applicant was referred by an agency that is providing support. The written proof provided by agency staff should list the transition services the applicant is receiving, which may include participation in the Road to Independence Program, which provides financial funding for youths formerly in foster care to continue their education.

Q.

What documentation is required for survivors of domestic violence?

A. SHIP staff

should request written documentation in the form of a letter from a victim service provider, attorney, or medical professional. The letter must state that the professional has helped the applicant address incidents of domestic violence. The professional must state in the letter that he or she believes that the incidents of abuse are real. Both the applicant and the professional must sign, and the statement must declare that both the applicant and the professional are signing “under penalty of perjury.” This simple signed statement will suffice to document applicants who are survivors of domestic violence. Some survivors are currently receiving services that include emergency shelter, safety planning, counseling, case management, and child assessments. SHIP staff may obtain the signed statement from agencies providing these services. The Florida Department of Children and the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence have provided SHIP offices with contact information for 42 certified centers in Florida. HNN

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE SHIP PROGRAM? Free telephone technical assistance is available to help you successfully implement your SHIP funded work. Call the Florida Housing Coalition’s SHIP hotline at (800) 677-4548, M-F 8:30-5:00.

HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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> THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION

Our mission is to bring together housing advocates and resources so that everyone has a quality affordable home and suitable living environment.

A BOUT THE

OUR VISION

COALITION

a community ethic reflecting a belief that access to housing that is decent, safe, affordable and of a person’s own choosing, is a fundamental right and that at least

ABOUT THE COALITION The Florida Housing Coalition, Inc., is a

one active, viable community-based organization plays

Florida nonprofit and 501(c)(3), statewide

an important role in delivering affordable housing and

membership organization whose mission

related services in each community.

is to act as a catalyst to bring together housing advocates and resources so that all Floridians have a quality affordable home and suitable living environment. The

Coalition

provides

professional

consultation services through training and technical assistance on affordable housing and related issues to nonprofit organizations, local governments, and their

private

sector

partners.

We

support community-based partnerships in leveraging resources; and advocate for policies, programs and use of funding resources that maximize the availability and improve the quality of affordable housing

in

Florida.

The

Coalition

carries out this mission recognizing that decent and affordable housing is a human necessity and an integral part of community revitalization and economic development.

IF IT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING, CALL THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION. IF WE CAN’T HELP YOU, WE’LL LET YOU KNOW WHO CAN. 850-878-4219.

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Every Florida community, large and small, practices

THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG

OUR TEAM

The administrative office for the Florida Housing Coalition is housed in Tallahassee, with seven professional technical advisor offices throughout Florida. Our technical assistance team consists of a highly skilled and geographically dispersed network of full-time professional staff providing technical assistance in all areas of affordable housing planning, finance, and development. Our professional technical assistance team also includes the expertise of our 25 member Board of Directors. The FHC Technical Assistance Team can help with every aspect of locallyadministered housing programs, from internal controls to capacity building for nonprofit partners. We can work with you one-on-one at your office or arrange larger workshops to assist you with implementation of your housing programs.


> THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION

AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONSULTING SERVICES The Florida Housing Coalition Helps Local Governments, Nonprofits, and their Developer and Financial Partners.

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

NON-PROFITS

SPECIAL PROJECTS

We Can Assist Local Government With: • Affordable Housing Program Design and Implementation •Preparation of Policies and Procedures Manuals • Project Development • Developing Underwriting Practices for Rental and Homeownership Projects • Long-Term Affordability Mechanisms • Energy Efficiency Housing • Predevelopment, Development, and Rehabilitation Process for Rental and Homeownership Programs • Meeting Low-Income SetAsides for Extremely Low Income and Special Needs Housing • Income Compliance and Eligibility Determination • Compliance with Regulations and Administration • Implementation of systems to maintain records, tracking, reporting, and monitoring of programs • Rehabilitation Policies and Strategies • Design of RFPs and RFQs

We Can Assist Nonprofits With: • How to form a CHDO or a CDC • How to write grants and proposals • Board and Staff Training/Organizational Capacity Building • Strategic and Business Plans • Best Practices for Operating Manuals • Project-Level Assistance in Financing, Development, and Asset Management • Strengthening Partnerships and Joint Ventures • Community Land Trusts • Accessory Dwelling Units • Energy Efficient Housing • Strategies for Changing Markets • NIMBY issues

Everything from Needs Analysis to Document Preparation: • Shared Equity Models • Lease Purchase Programs • Housing Element Strategies and Implementation • Regulatory Reform Markets • Inclusionary Housing Policies • Education/presentations to Advisory Groups and Elected Bodies • Facilitation of Community Meetings • Community Land Trusts

CONTACT Contact the Florida Housing Coalition at 850-878-4219 or info@flhousing.org.

DISCUSS Discuss what services would be most helpful for your local government, nonprofit, or developer and financial partners.

PROPOSAL In return, we will quickly tailor a proposal that meets your needs within your budget.

HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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> THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION

SOMETIMES A NATIONAL EXPERT THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION IS RECOGNIZED NATIONALLY AS AN EXPERT IN THE AREAS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLANNING, FINANCING, DEVELOPMENT, AND ADMINISTRATION.

THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION HAS ASSISTED: Arizona

Massachusetts

Arkansas

Mississippi

California

Missouri

Colorado

Nevada

Florida

New York

Georgia

North Carolina

Illinois

South Carolina

Kansas

Tennessee

Kentucky

Texas

Louisiana

ARE YOU AN ACCIDENTAL LANDLORD? Do you have some properties that you purchased with NSP that you thought

you’d be able to sell but are now realizing that you have to rent? Are you interested in developing a property management business line? In many communities around the country, nonprofits are finding themselves in a position where they need to rent properties they thought they would be able to sell. Stan Fitterman has been working with nonprofits to evaluate and develop a property management business line for scattered site and small scale rental developments. This work has ranged from helping owners make sure that their portfolio cash flow, to understanding the steps in establishing a property management business line to writing property management policies and procedures. MANY CITIES AND COUNTIES ARE FINDING THEMSELVES AWASH IN VACANT LOTS. Fallout from the foreclosure crisis

or acquired with NSP, the properties are a quandary in a market that isn’t ready for redevelopment just yet. To keep these portfolios from becoming a money pit or source for local debate, some communities are planning ahead with the formation of a Land Bank. Gladys Schneider has helped develop land bank strategies that outline community specific strategies for maintaining and eventually disposing of the properties. Establishing a land bank plan may expedite closing out an NSP grant if all that is left from the program are remaining lots. If you think more time is needed to dispose of vacant lots or if a permanent solution is desired to guide the acquisition and disposition of land for future affordable housing, contact the Coalition to discuss land banking strategies.

30

THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG


> THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION

IS LIVING RIGHT NEXT DOOR DID YOU KNOW THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE CHANGES UNDER THE HOME RULE TOOK EFFECT ON AUGUST 23, 2013? There were many changes that require immedi-

ate action by local governments to ensure compliance. If you are not sure if you’re current program complies or what actions you need to take to bring your program into compliance, you can contact the Florida Housing Coalition to assist you in making the necessary changes to program policies and procedures, written agreements or provide staff and sub recipient training in understanding the new requirements. GOOD HOUSING POLICY COMES FROM GOOD HOUSING DATA. Research and analy-

sis is the foundation for local policy decisions. There are never enough housing resources. This means decisions need to be made about which programs are most effective and how best to target limited resources. Are you trying to make the case for affordable housing to elected officials? The Florida Housing Coalition has a new member of the technical assistance team specializing in housing research and analysis. Rose Phillips is currently working on Home Matters, a statewide report which will be published in the Spring. She can work with local communities to conduct in-depth and timely research and analysis that builds the bridge between the world of housing data and the world of housing policy. Good housing research and analysis helps you determine the populations most in need of affordable housing in your community (for example, elderly and disabled persons), and identify local impediments or opportunities for meeting those needs. With local data in hand, you can target your time and funds to be most effective, and put your affordable housing programs on the path to success. IS YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT INTERESTED IN THE “HOW TO” FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF HOUSING POLICIES THAT SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCE AND PRESERVE PUBLIC INVESTMENT, SAVING TAX DOLLARS WHILE PRODUCING A PERMANENT STOCK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING? There are a number of housing policies that can

help you meet the housing needs of residents from the extremely low income to moderate income. Jaimie Ross, Florida Housing Coalition board president, is an expert in using smart growth tools for affordable housing. Three of those tools are Inclusionary housing policies, community land trusts, and accessory dwelling units. Inclusionary housing policies are a land value recapture mechanism for local governments to use in conjunction with land use changes at the local level. To avoid a windfall to the recipients of the homes created pursuant to inclusionary housing policies, long term or permanent affordability is imperative. A CLT can remove this burden from local government by providing the administrative vehicle to ensure that all subsequent purchasers or renters of the affordable home are income eligible. ADUs can provide housing for extremely low income individuals working in the community. These very small homes situated on the property of a primary residence can also provide housing for seniors or for the caregivers for the disabled or elderly in the primary residence, which allows the elderly to remain in their homes rather than in institutional settings.

HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

26TH ANNUAL STATEWIDE AFFORDABLE

PRE-CONFERENCE SHORT COURSE >

TOP ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): GLADYS SCHNEIDER, FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION TECHNICAL ADVISOR; KEVIN TATREAU, DIRECTOR OF MULTIFAMILY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS, MARILYN DRAYTON, TD BANK REPRESENTATIVE AND FHC ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBER, AND WIGHT GREGOR, PRESIDENT & CEO OF WSG & PARTNERS, LLC AND FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION BOARD VICE CHAIR

THE FHC PRE-CONFERENCE SHORT COURSE SPONSORED BY TD BANK WAS ATTENDED BY OVER 75 PARTICIPANTS REPRESENTING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, AND OTHER HOUSING PROVIDERS.

Technical Advisor, Gladys Schneider, and Florida Housing Coalition Vice Chair, Wight Greger, presented a walloping amount of information covering the waterfront from finding housing dollars, preparing proposals, and beefing up organizational capacity. Wight Greger split the room into groups, led them in a detailed examination of a real response to a Florida Housing Finance Corporation Request for Applications and had the teams score the application on their own. The suspense was that the groups did not know if the application they were scoring had been successful or not. To the surprise of many, the scoring that took place in this exercise was even tougher than Florida Housing Finance Corporationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scoring.

32

THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION | FLHOUSING.ORG

Participants were also relieved to learn that the application they were scoring was indeed a top scoring proposal. Kevin Tatreau, Florida Housing Finance Corporation Director of Multifamily Development Programs, provided tips and advice for successful outcomes in financing and developing affordable housing. Marilyn Drayton, representing TD Bank, enthusiastically expressed her sentiment that capacity building workshops drawing on the experience of the participants and the expertise of the Florida Housing Coalition staff and its partners are invaluable for moving community development forward. HNN


> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

HOUSING CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS NAN ROMAN GIVES KEYNOTE> Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission Caucus

FAHRO and FRA Caucus Florida Nonprofit Housing Advocates Network Caucus

NAN ROMAN, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS IN WASHINGTON D.C., EMPHASIZED THAT HOMELESSNESS IS AN AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROBLEM; THE MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING WE CREATE AND PRESERVE, THE CLOSER WE COME TO ENDING HOMELESSNESS.

Foreclosure Counselors Caucus

HOUSING LEADERSHIP AWARD> COALITION MEMBER, DONNA CARMAN, WAS RECOGNIZED AT THE 2013 AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSING LEADERSHIP AWARD FOR THE POSITIVE DIFFERENCE SHE HAS MADE IN THE LIVES OF LOW-INCOME FLORIDIANS IN INDIANTOWN AND THE STATEWIDE IMPACT SHE HAS MADE THROUGH THE EXAMPLE SHE MODELS FOR OTHERS.

Habitat for Humanity

Caucus

Continuum of Care/ Homeless Caucus Utility Companies and Green Partners Caucus SPONSORED BY:

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> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

PUBLIC POLICY PLENARY SESSION >

Florida Housing Coalition Board Member, Mark Hendrick- released in 2013. The Report provides a blueprint for an enson (pictured bottom right), led a lively exchange among tirely new system of housing finance for the nation’s ownermembers of the Bipartisan Housing Commission, (from ship and rental markets. top left, Robert Couch, Renee Glover, and Barry Zigas) as they drew on the recommendations contained in Housing View the full report here: http://bipartisanpolicy.org/sites/default/files/ America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy report, BPC_Housing%20Report_web_0.pdf

CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS > ENDING VETERANS HOMELESSNESS FOCUS ON HUD VASH AND SSVF PARTNERSHIPS In 2009, the federal government announced the goal of ending veterans’ homelessness by the end of 2015 through the Homeless Veterans Outreach Initiative. Florida has the third largest population of homeless veterans in the country. The Home Depot Foundation sponsored these sessions to underscore the imperative of bringing together the necessary community partnerships to meet the goal of ending Veteran Homelessness. The Home Depot Foundation Field Manager Joe Wimberley (far right), moderated the first session as presenters, Nikki Barfield from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (far left), Kali Bell from the Housing Authory of the City of Fort Myers (third

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from left), and Jake Maguire from the 100,000 Homes Campaign (second from left), led a lively discussion focused on HUD Vash opportunities. In the second session, Jake Maguire joined Jill vanHeel from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (left), and Marti Johnson from Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of Northeast Florida (right), to discuss the impact of SSVF Partnerships on ending veteran homelessness. Both sessions provided participants with a great deal of insight on the challenges, possible solutions and ideas on how organizations can play a role in solving this veteran homelessness in America.


> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

AVOIDING & OVERCOMING NIMBYISM Communication and legal tools used to overcome NIMBYism were the rallying points for this session. City Commissioner Robert Stuart (second from left) shared his perspective as an elected official who has had to deal with NIMBYism first hand. Jaimie Ross, author of the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Advocates Resource Guide on NIMBYism (far right), explored the steps organizations may take to avoid neighborhood opposition and what steps can be taken to overcome neighborhood opposition to win approval of for affordable housing developments, with the help of Florida-specific laws. Meridith Levy, Deputy Director for the Somerville CDC (third from left), shared an innovative strategy used by her organization to develop in partnership with a market rate developer; a story that was recently showcased in Shelterforce Magazine. Chuck Elsesser, from Florida Legal Services (far left), moderated this session.

MULTIFAMILY BOND STRATEGIES FOR HFA’S With Ed Busansky, FHC Board Chair, from First Housing, as moderator (third from left), Frank Bowman from Pinellas County HFA (far right), John Sabatier from RBC Capital Markets (second from left), and Tony Del Pozzo from Related Urban (far left), participants explored the exciting world of HFA’s: how they work with local governments and developers to upgrade their existing stock of affordable housing through acquisition and rehabilitation or new construction of affordable housing. They discussed what kind of multifamily bond deals are being closed at HFA’s across the state and what kind of subsidy is needed. Real examples of how these multifamily deals have been structured were discussed along with what kind of rehabs need to be completed. This session also focused on how to increase the quality of affordable housing by using bond monies with non-competitive tax credits.

NSP DISPOSITION STRATEGIES Florida’s NSP grantees have met and exceeded expenditure deadlines and leveraged program income in the millions. All good things must come to an end, and closing out NSP grants is upon us. With a team of experts, (pictured from left to right), John Laswick, NSP Team Leader for HUD, Joan Olivia, Executive Director of the Lake Worth CRA, Gladys Schneider, Florida Housing Coalition Technical Advisor and George Romagnoli, FHC Board member and moderator, Florida’s NSP grantees learned how to prepare for closeout, what the closeout process will be, and how to ensure compliance. Post closeout responsibilities for eligible uses, low income set asides, and the land bank plan were also reviewed.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR NON-PROFITS Online Community on the web is no longer solely designated to your website’s forum or email list. Organizations must now learn how to address and engage with their community in many locations across various social media channels. Florida Housing Coalition staff Lynne Takacs and Johnitta Wells (pictured left to right) provided an overview of the basics of the must-have tools and introduced a few lesser-known tools that can help organizations more efficiently manage their communities of volunteers and supporters. Also explored were common pitfalls and ways to avoid them. This interactive session allowed participants to share their own organization’s best practices and experiences in navigating this new media. HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

UNDERSTANDING THE HOUSING MARKET RENTAL & HOME OWNERSHIP During the 2013 legislative session, there was a great deal of push back for appropriating the state and local housing trust funds for housing. It was grounded on the notion that “half the state was on sale” due to the foreclosure crisis and that “we have much too much inventory to be building new affordable housing.” With the help of Bill O’Dell, from the Shimberg Center (center), John Tuccillo, economist from the Florida Realtors (right), and moderator and Coalition Board Member Robert Von (left), this workshop looked at the facts using the latest data on Florida’s housing market and what the true need is for affordable homeownership and rentals. Participants left armed with information to dispel the myths encountered from those who are less informed.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZING & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT Florida Housing Coalition Board Member, Chuck Elsesser, moderated this session with community organizing experts, Rick Smith, Chief of Staff at the SEIU St. Petersburg, Florida, and Meridith Levy, Deputy Director from the Somerville CDC in Massachusetts. Grassroots organizing and civic engagement at the local level works. It takes leadership, energy, and an investment of time. Local elected officials, local government staff, and the community at large need to hear the voices of the entire community, especially those who are struggling to make ends meet. How do you go about doing that? In this workshop, participants heard from community organizers working to improve the lives of lowincome families by working on issues such as a living wage ordinance, and affordable housing. See article on page 2.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY & BUILDING PERFORMANCE IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING Affordable housing should be constructed or rehabilitated to create the most energy efficient unit possible. Donna Carman, executive director of Indiantown Nonprofit, and Bill Lazar, executive director of the St. Johns Housing Partnership, addressed public and private resources, including utility company programs, for energy efficiency, the current standards required for energy efficiency and building performance for new, rehabilitated, and retrofitted affordable housing, and the need to verify energy conservation work and create healthy indoor environments. Participants learned about cost effective ideas that achieve green certification. This session also underscored that energy efficient and accessible housing is a must to help Floridian’s very low-income seniors age in place. Pictured at left is FHC Board Member Brad Goar, Program Manager for FPL’s Residential Conservation Services and Low Income Weatherization programs, who moderated the session.

FAITH-BASED HOUSING Florida Housing Coalition Board Member, Ben Johnson, moderated this session on faith-based nonprofit housing providers. With a mission to serve those most in need, faith based organizations have been a tenacious force; they have been able to deliver an impressive number of affordable housing services. This workshop highlighted some recent successes from faith-based groups. Sister Cathy Buster (left) shared the successes achieved at Casa San Juan Bosco by Catholic Charities and Mylika Morton (right) presented an inspirational overview of the developments achieved at the Villages of Orlando by The Hope Church. 36

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> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

FHFC - HOW TO APPLY FOR NEW FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES Moderated by Coalition Board Member, Jeff Kiss (left), this workshop explained the new system being implemented in 2013 by the FHFC to administer all the pots of money described in the preceding workshop, as well as the federal tax credit program. Discussion leaders, FHFC Executive Director Steve Auger (right), Director of Multifamily Programs Ken Reecy (second from left), and Kevin Tatreau, Director of Multifamily Development Programs (third from left), explained the “Universal Application” is now a thing of the past. The FHFC is now using a system of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or Requests for Applications (RFAs.) Participants learned what those changes meant for those applying for funding. The entire process was explained and attendees had an opportunity to offer their suggestions and recommendations to the FHFC.

NSP PREPARING FOR CLOSEOUT Florida’s NSP grantees have met and exceeded expenditure deadlines and leveraged program income in the millions. All good things must come to an end, and closing out NSP grants is upon us. In this session, presenters John Laswick, NSP Team Leader for HUD (left), Gladys Schneider, Florida Housing Coalition Technical Advisor, and George Romagnoli, FHC Board member and moderator (right), discussed how to prepare for closeout, what the closeout process will be, and how to ensure compliance. Post closeout responsibilities for eligible uses, low income set asides, and the land bank plan were also reviewed.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FOR NON-PROFITS/ SCATTERED SITE RENTAL Nonprofits who may have been solely in the homeownership business are now finding that they have become landlords because of unsalable inventory or because they are expanding their line of business to include rental housing, perhaps through acquisition and rehabilitation to preserve project based properties or smaller multifamily developments that may have no tenant subsidy. Property management is now a necessity. In this workshop, participants received a comprehensive overview of the world of property management and guidance in asset management from Debra Koehler, President of Sage Partners (right), and Mike Kent, President of Progressive Management of America (center). FHC Board member, Aileen Pruitt, Florida Market Manager for PNC (left), moderator for the session.

THE URGENCY & COMPLEXITY OF HELPING PEOPLE MOVE FROM HOMELESSNESS TO HOUSING No one has a more pressing and immediate housing need than someone living on the streets, in the woods, or in a shelter. In this session, moderated by FHC Board Member, Susan Porciau, Executive Director of the Big Bend Homeless Coalition (center), participants heard from Cindy Funkhouser, IM Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless (right), and Sandra Newson, Carrfour Supportive Housing (left), about how to target resources to the most vulnerable, and using Housing First, Rapid Rehousing and permanent supportive housing models. Helping people move from homelessness to housing is a complex business that often involves making data driven decisions, strong collaborative efforts with defined performance measures, and a rich blend of support services for wellness, mental health care, employment services and education opportunities. This session provided an overview of Florida’s most effective models and inspired participants to get involved. HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS The Florida Community Land Trust Institute was launched in January 2000 to promote and support the use of community land trusts to create a permanent supply of affordable housing through land stewardship. Twenty-five community land trusts have since been created. Florida Housing Coalition board member, Barbara Inman, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Florida (right), moderated this session in which Anthony Jones, the Director of Community Development and the Executive Director of the Pinellas HFA (center), explained the government and nonprofit models of community land trusts in Pinellas County and Cindee LaCourse- Blum, the founding executive director of the Community Land Trust of Palm Beach County (left), addressed why CLTs are more relevant in today’s housing market; evaluated the challenges that arise with implementing the CLT model; and underscored the value to lenders for making CLT homebuyer loans.

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS & RECOVERY Melvin Philpot, FHC board member, moderated this session with experts Bob Dennis, Community Program Manager from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (pictured), and Stan Fitterman from the Florida Housing Coalition. Dennis emphasized that in a state susceptible to severe storms, it is important to consider how to manage posthurricane federal disaster recovery money, in addition to state and local resources. Fitterman has been assisting Community Development Block Grant -Disaster Recovery grantees in New York, Connecticut and Oklahoma. He shared his insight into how federal funds have helped these communities rebuild, what activities are being undertaken and what we can likely expect when it’s Florida’s turn. Participants also learned how CDBG-DR differs from its non-DR cousin, the different ways communities prioritized their needs, and the policy decisions that are made before recovery activities can begin.

FHFC NEW FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FHC Board Member Jeff Kiss (left) moderated a panel of the key staff from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, including FHFC Policy Director Nancy Muller (third from left), Director of Multifamily Development Programs Kevin Tatreau (right), and Director of Multifamily Programs Ken Reecy (second from left). The 2013 Session brought with it an array of new funding pots to be administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. In addition to the tax credit program, this session covered the new funding for SAIL, the Homeless, Special Needs populations, and the Developmentally Disabled. Each of these funding opportunities was explained in terms of the amount of money available, the target populations, and what rules apply to each pot of money, as well as what opportunities there are to influence rulemaking or the ways in which these monies are used.

NETWORKING RECEPTION

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> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

FAIR HOUSING IS NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY During the summer, HUD finalized the rule for affirmatively furthering fair housing. In this workshop, President and CEO David Baade and Deputy Director C.J. Miles, both from the Fair Housing Continuum, Inc., joined moderator Lori Sandanato, President of Homes for Independence, Inc., to discuss the implementation of the new rule and focus on the connection between fair housing and affordable housing and the broad reach of the Federal Fair Housing Act, including who is subject to its requirements, what activities are prohibited, and what are the penalties for failing to comply with the law. The Florida Fair Housing Continuum, presented its plans for how it will use the settlement money in Florida to partner with others to provide home ownership and rental opportunities in areas where bank REO properties failed to be maintained.

NEW MARKETS TAX CREDIT The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program was created by the federal government in December 2000 to encourage investment and job creation in very lowincome communities. In this workshop, participants learned from Susan Leigh, one of the scorers for the NMTC, what it takes to win NMTC directly from the Treasury. Nelson Black, FCLF Director of Lending, explained the process of accessing NMTC funds from the Florida Community Loan Fund, and Brian Evjen,Vice President of Strategic Development from Metropolitan Ministries, a nonprofit who used New Markets Tax Credits from the FCLF shared his experience. Examples of opportunities for non-profits were larger projects, non-profit community facilities, such as health centers; green projects, such as renewable or solar energy; and economic development projects that catalyze neighborhoods, such as grocery stores in food deserts.

THE POLICY DEBATE OVER HOUSING FOR PERSONS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Jack Humburg, FHC Board Member (right), facilitated a discussion among advocates and developers of affordable housing for people with special needs, and in particular, for those with developmental disabilities who are grappling with the issue of providing the least restrictive/most independent housing opportunities within the community at large, and the benefits of an â&#x20AC;&#x153;intentional community,â&#x20AC;? that provides substantial support services in a community setting. The consequences of this debate are being felt in the changes to the 811 program and the future decisions regarding Medicaid Waiver eligible housing. The debate is at the federal, state, and local level. Jim DeBeaugrin, from Opportunity Works (left), Bernadette Moran, with Arc of Jacksonville (second from left), and Shannon Nazworth, from Ability Housing (third from left) participated the roundtable forum, presented the issues , and opened the floor for discussion.

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> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

SURVEY OF FEDERAL RESOURCES Linda Couch, Senior Vice President for Policy from the National Low Income Housing Coalition in Washington D.C. (pictured to left of moderator, Suzanne Cabrera, FHC Board Member), scanned the waterfront of resources that come to Florida from the federal government, from HUD’s public and assisted housing, homeless assistance and community development programs, to programs that target special populations like the seniors and people with disabilities. She provided the latest news on the United for Homes campaign to fund the National Housing Trust Fund. Participants looked at how Congress has reacted to HUD’s priority requests for fiscal year 2014 and what’s hot on the authorizing side of the ledger, from rental assistance reform legislation to housing finance reform.

AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING PRESERVATION - THE OUTLOOK FOR 2013

In 2005, the Florida Affordable Housing Study Commission called for the state to build “a comprehensive multifamily state preservation policy” to address “the aging and escalating loss of affordable multifamily housing” for Florida’s extremely low income seniors, families and people with disabilities. With the help of moderator Bill O’Dell from the Shimberg Center (right), Michael Bodaken, President of the National Housing Trust (left), Nancy Mueller, FHFC Director of Policy and Special Programs (third from left), and Anne Ray, Florida Housing Data Clearinghouse Manager from the Shimberg Center (second from left), participants heard about the continuing need for affordable housing for Florida’s lowest income tenants, the state of Florida’s subsidized housing inventory, the national perspective on preservation policy and practice, and an update on Florida’s preservation programs, including the new Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s Multifamily Energy Retrofit Program.

COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT FOR NON-PROFITS Janet Hamer, the Community Development Manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (right), provided a “CRA 101,” an overview of the Community Reinvestment Act regulation for nonprofit, government, and community and economic organizations that want to learn more about the requirements under CRA for financial institutions and how to work more effectively with banks on CRA-eligible activities and projects. FHC Board Member Deana Lewis, from SunTrust Bank (left) moderated the session. Participants learned what criteria must be met to make a bank loan, service, or investment CRA-qualified and how initiatives and programs can be developed to meet CRA eligibility standards. Better understanding the community development objectives under CRA, data reporting requirements, and specific CRA terminology can help banks and community-based organizations identify shared goals and objectives that support funding requests.

FINANCIAL LITERACY Dawn Lockhart, a national expert in financial literacy and asset building (left), presented industry best practices organizations can implement to ensure families and individuals are prepared and savings-ready to leverage critical financial literacy tools, skills, support and solutions necessary to build wealth. From early education for our children on what money is and how to responsibly use it to planning for long-term sustainable financial health for individuals and families and taking a corrective course when things go off track, this session covered what to incorporate into a comprehensive Financial Literacy Program. FHC Board Vice Chair, Wight Greger, from WsG and Partners (right), moderated the session.

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> CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING THE FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK OF ATLANTA The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta offers flexible and innovative products that can help manage interest-rate risk and meet your community investment needs. In this workshop, Arthur Fleming, Senior Vice President, Director of Community Investment Services from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (left), reviewed the programs offered by the Bank, including the Affordable Housing Program Competitive. The AHP Competitive is a flexible source of funding designed to help community partners develop affordable owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income families and individuals. FHC Board Member Don Hadsell (right) moderated the session.

THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS Kent Spuhler, Executive Director of Florida Legal Services (left), and Jaimie Ross, Affordable Housing Director for 1000 Friends of Florida and the facilitator of the Sadowski Coalition (center), explained how the Florida Legislature works and how advocates can most effectively influence the process. Jeff Bagwell, Executive Director of Keystone Challenge Fund (right), moderated and shared his experiences as an advocate from Polk County on behalf of SHIP funding. Participants were put at ease about their right to advocate on behalf of their own interests and given tips about how and when it is best to contact legislators, which legislators to should contact for what issues; how to communicate with the Legislature; and how to work with the local legislative delegation. Participants also learned about the budget process and the role that the Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office plays in appropriations.

SURPLUS LANDS AND LAND BANKS The Florida Nonprofit Affordable Housing Advocates Network (FNHAN) undertook a research project in 2013 to evaluate the effectiveness of the law enacted in 2006 (Sections 125.379 and 166.0451, Florida Statutes), which requires an inventory of available lands for affordable housing to be published every three years beginning in 2007. Rose Phillips, from the Florida Housing Coalition (pictured), conducted that primary research and analysis and shared her findings about land donation for affordable housing with the participants. See article on page 13. Gladys Schneider, from the Florida Housing Coalition, is a nationally recognized expert in land banks and shared her ideas for opportunities for land banking in Florida. See article on page19.

USING SHIP TO SERVE SPECIAL NEEDS POPULATIONS This workshop was an opportunity for SHIP administrators and staff to learn from stakeholders and supportive services organizations that serve persons with disabilities, including developmental disabilities, about the housing needs of their consumers. Presenters Deborah Linton, Executive Director of the Arc of Florida (center), Don Pirozzoli, Program Director for the Center for Independent Living in Central Florida (right), and moderator Bill Aldinger, FHFC Supportive Housing Coordinator (left), discussed how to meet state funding requirements; approaches to reach and inform persons with special needs about SHIP resources; plus identifying and developing working relationships with community-based lead agencies and networks that provide services for persons with disabilities and other special needs. HOUSING NEWS NETWORK | VOLUME 23, ISSUE 3 | NOVEMBER 2013

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IN CELEBRATION OF SHIP Awards Highlight the Tremendous Impact of the SHIP Program in Providing Special Needs Housing Assistance, Purchase Assistance and Rehabilitation of Existing Housing Stock

2013 SHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS AT THE FLORIDA HOUSING COALITION ANNUAL CONFERENCE 6

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GROUP PHOTO (LEFT TO RIGHT) : AMY YEARSLEY, JAMES ROBBINS, SHERI ALBRIGHT, MIKE KENT, GEORGE ROMAGNOLI, ROB DEARDUFF, PHYLLIS MOORE, MITCHELL GLASSER, AND JAIMIE ROSS

1. OUTSTANDING PURCHASE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AWARD PASCO COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT George Romagnoli, Community Development Director 2. SPECIAL NEEDS HOUSING ASSISTANCE AWARD ABILITY HOUSING OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA & THE CITY OF JACKSONVILLE Dayatra Coles, Housing Services Manager, City of Jacksonville 3. OUTSTANDING HOUSING ASSISTANCE AWARD CITY OF CAPE CORAL Amy Yearsley, Housing Coordinator

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4. OUTSTANDING SHIP ADMINISTRATOR AWARD PHYLLIS MOORE, SHIP ADMINISTRATOR Gadsden County Community Development 5. PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR AWARD OKALOOSA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION Mike Kent, Board Treasurer; James Robbins, Executive Director; Sheri Albright, Director of Finance 6. OUTSTANDING REPAIR/REHABILITATION PROGRAM AWARD ORANGE COUNTY HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Mitchell Glasser, Manager


> SHIP

IN CELEBRATION OF SHIP:

Performance, Transparency, & Accountability The State Housing Incentives Partnership program (SHIP) is Florida’s nationally acclaimed model for using a dedicated revenue source to effectively and efficiently meet local housing needs. It has a proven track record for performance, transparency and BY JAIMIE ROSS accountability, and is the subject of appropriations in the upcoming legislative session. A quadriplegic is now able to live independently in a fully accessible home; thousands of families became first-time homebuyers, hundreds of extremely lowincome renters are living in a redeveloped, formerly dilapidated apartment building. These are among the half dozen SHIP success stories chosen to receive awards at the Florida Housing Coalition’s 2013 statewide annual conference. PERFORMANCE:

Unfortunately, most of these SHIP success stories are from long ago because it has been years since the SHIP programs were adequately funded to meet community needs. Florida’s workforce, from the very lowest end of the income spectrum to those earning up to 140 percent of the average income in high-cost areas, are within the eligible category of people served by SHIP. Typically, the SHIP funds are used as a catalyst to highly leverage private-sector investment. For example, down-payment and closingcost assistance is provided as a loan to enable a working family to enter into sustainable and responsible homeownership with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage from a bank.

statutory mandates that require the funds to be encumbered and expended rapidly without using more than 10 percent for administration. A three-year plan, typically informed by a local advisory group predominantly representing the interests of the private sector, is adopted by the local governing body after public hearings. The plan includes advisory committee recommendations for regulatory reform, which is adopted pursuant to public hearings. The SHIP plan is approved by the state after determining that it complies with all statutory criteria for expenditure of funds and regulatory reform. ACCOUNTABILITY: As the SHIP program is administered,

the governing body is tracking the use of its SHIP funds on a spreadsheet that has data fields for the “who, what, when, where and why” of every dollar spent. These reports are filed annually with the state and reviewed for compliance. Accountability is further ensured through the use of private-sector compliance monitors engaged by the state to periodically inspect the local SHIP office. In Fiscal Year 2013-14, Florida will have approximately $260 million available for appropriation in the state and local housing trust funds. Seventy percent of those monies are for SHIP. SHIP TODAY:

If the Florida Legislature appropriates those housing trust fund monies for housing, it will create over 26,000 jobs and more than $2.7 billion in positive economic impact for Florida.

Elders, youth aging out of foster care and those with special needs or disabilities are also within the eligible category of Floridians served by SHIP. Preventing homelessness, foreclosure recovery, emergency repairs and disaster recovery — these are among the eligible uses of SHIP funds. For more than 20 years, the SHIP program has been used for all of the above, providing a safety net for our most vulnerable populations and saving taxpayers’ money by avoiding unnecessary use of government institutions.

Using housing trust fund money for housing is supported by a diverse and wide range of interests from industry groups, including the Florida Realtors and Florida Home Builders Association, to advocates of low-income Floridians and faith-based organizations such as the Florida Housing Coalition, Florida AARP and Florida Catholic Conference. If the housing trust funds are used for housing, we will be able to celebrate SHIP success stories that are no longer a thing of the past, but of the present and future. HNN

Topping off the exemplary performance record of the SHIP program is its adherence to

This article originally appeared in the Miami Herald’s Opinion section on September 28, 2013.

TRANSPARENCY:

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SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 2014

EDUCATION AND NETWORKING WITH HOUSING EXPERTS, ADVOCATES, AND PRACTITIONERS

2013 Winner of the $1,000 Prize from Wells Fargo

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“Every year I think this is the very best conference, and then you make it better the next year; I don’t know how you do it!” - David Hollis, Hillsborough County HFA


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CAPITAL CITY BANK COALITION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVIDERS COHNREZNICK

COMERICA BANK CONSECRA HOUSING NETWORK FLORIDA COMMUNITY LOAN FUND NATIONAL HOUSING TRUST/ ENTERPRISE PRESERVATION CORPORATION

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NEIGHBORHOOD LENDING PARTNERS RAYMOND JAMES BANK RBC CAPITAL MARKETS REGIONS BANK RELATED URBAN

IDP HOUSING JAIMIE ROSS JONES WALKER LLP KEYSTONE CHALLENGE FUND MERIDIAN APPRAISAL GROUP

SAGE PARTNERS SEACOAST NATIONAL BANK SELTZER MANAGEMENT GROUP

MULTI FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY

SHIMBERG CENTER FOR HOUSING STUDIES

NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSING SERVICES OF SOUTH FLORIDA

STEARNS, WEAVER, MILLER, WEISSLER, ALHADEFF, & SITTERSON, PA

PICERNE DEVELOPMENT CORP.

THE NRP GROUP

PRESERVATION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING (POAH)

TRUSTCO BANK


Florida Housing Coalition's Housing News Network Fall 2013  

Florida Housing Coalition's Housing News Network Fall 2013 2013 Conference Highlights The Homeless Assistance Model You Knew is History Civ...

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