NACCED held its Annual Spring Legislative Meeting in conjunction with the NACo Legislative Conference March 1st-4th. NACCED members from across the country came to Washington, DC for a meeting at the White House for housing policy discussions, a Hill day to learn about the newly created Opportunity Zones program and visits with Congressional staff, Board and Committee meetings and participation in the NACo Workforce, Economic and Community Development Steering Committee. It was a week packed with information gathering, networking, and sharing the story of all the great work counties are doing with community, housing and economic development.
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White House Meeting
The Legislative Meeting got off to a great start with a meeting with Ja’Ron Smith, Director of Urban Affairs and Revitalization Policy with the Executive Office of the President. Several members of NACCED’s Board of Directors met with Smith to talk about the elimination of CDBG and HOME in the President’s budget request to Congress, Opportunity Zones, and local insight into affordable housing issues. A deep discussion on community involvement in the Opportunity Zones dominated the conversation as Smith is a former staffer of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), and was closely involved in the drafting of the Investing in Opportunity Act. The Administration is looking for comments on how to best implement Opportunity Zones, so if you have any suggestions, please contact NACCED Policy Director, Heather Voorman as soon as possible. Check out NACCED's conversation with Ja'Ron on the Holistic Housing Podcast here.
Capitol Hill Day
New to the Spring Legislative Meeting this year was a day on Capitol Hill for several educational sessions and meetings with Congressional staff. The morning kicked off with a legislative update from Heather Voorman covering topics ranging from the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing implementation delay to the budget and appropriations process. Voorman also unveiled the NACCED 2018 Advocacy Toolkit, now available on NACCED’s website. Attendees also heard about Opportunity Zones from Rachel Reilly Carol, Associate Director of Impact Investing for Enterprise Community Partners. The morning wrapped up with a Telling Your Story Workshop featuring Emily Cadik, Director of Public Policy, Enterprise Community Partners, Jeremy Nordquist, Chief of Staff, Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), and NACCED’s own George Serio from Essex County, NJ.
In the afternoon, attendees had the opportunity to attend the session Telling Your HUD CPD Grants Story Using IDIS, presented by ZoomGrants, or attend meetings with Congressional staff. Several NACCED members met with Congressional offices including Senators Cruz (TX), Durbin (IL), Klobuchar (MN), Murray (WA), and Merkley (OR) and Representatives Doggett (TX) and Kaptur (OH). Members discussed the importance of increased funding for CDBG and HOME and shared information on the success of these programs in counties across the country.
Board and Committee Meetings
On Friday, the NACCED board and committee meetings were held, starting with an update from Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) staff. Presenting from HUD were Jessie Handforth Kome, Deputy Director, Office of Block Grant Assistance, Peter Huber, Deputy Director, Office of Affordable Housing Programs, and Steve Johnson, Director, Entitlement Communities Division. The update included information about:
- CDBG-DR funds
- Updating dashboard and other capabilities in IDIS
- Creating consistency among HUD field offices
- Grant-based accounting and bulk grant close-outs
- Upcoming HOME and revolving loan fund guidance
- Issuance and re-issuance of important notices including lump sum draw-down requirements, IDIS matrix codes, CDBG-DR and more
- The release of online modules for Basically CDBG and IDIS training
- CHDO deobligations, and
- The HUD Inspector General’s focus on properties purchased with CDBG funds.
The afternoon was packed with NACCED committee meetings. Each committee is focused on specific goals for the year, which helped guide the meetings. The major goals for each committee include:
Community Development Committee: Create an IDIS survey to help gather information from members about what improvements will help counties better utilize IDIS. The information gathered in this survey will be used to create a report that will be shared with HUD. The survey was approved by the committee at this meeting. Click here to take the survey today!
Economic Development Committee: Providing NACCED members with enhanced economic development tools and resources, including on the newly created Opportunity Zones, to be featured on NACCED’s website.
Education Committee: Create a 2018 education calendar with themed months. A blog post, podcast, and webinar will be created each month highlighting different aspects of the theme.
Housing Committee: With the changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule implementation, this committee is working to gather helpful documents and resources to help NACCED members put together their Analysis of Impediments (AI). Additionally, the committee is working to organize a briefing on Capitol Hill for Congressional staffers to help make the link between infrastructure and housing.
Membership Committee: Create a student membership category and begin recruiting students to NACCED.
The day wrapped up with the NACCED Board of Directors meeting which included reports from the committees, NACCED’s Executive Director, Laura DeMaria, NACCED’s Representative to NACo, Patricia Ward, and the 2018 Conference Planning Committee.
NACo Community, Economic & Workforce Development Steering Committee
On Saturday, NACCED members attended the NACo Community, Economic & Workforce Development Steering Committee. The meeting began with a discussion of the resolutions being considered by the committee. Up for consideration were resolutions on the permanent extension of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC)—proposed by NACCED, 2019 HUD appropriations, and the expansion of affordable housing resources. All the resolutions passed with overwhelming support from the committee. The day also included presentations on workforce development, Opportunity Zones, and the Economic Development Administration. You can learn more about the committee on NACo’s website here.
Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) Meeting
The week wrapped up with NACCED members attending the Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) meeting on Sunday morning. Topics of discussion during this meeting included cultivating inclusive growth and development in urban counties, increasing urban counties’ preparedness for disasters through federal-local partnerships, and an overview of the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plan. LUCC is a forum for urban county leaders comprised of county executives, governing board members and other senior elected officials. Click here to learn more about LUCC.
Save the Date!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the next NACCED event! We’ll be in Nashville this July for the Summer Board and Committee Meetings in conjunction with NACo’s Annual Conference, July 12-15, 2018.