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NACCED Holds Housing is Infrastructure Briefing

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 21, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – May 21, 2018 - The National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) hosted the first ever “Housing is Infrastructure!” briefing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, May 15th, as part of the official Infrastructure Week calendar of activities. The briefing featured a panel of national housing experts that discussed their various perspectives of housing as infrastructure. This briefing was the first affordable housing event featured during the official Infrastructure Week.

NACCED Executive Director Laura DeMaria said, “NACCED and our coalitions have been working hard to raise the profile of housing as infrastructure. Affordable housing investment is an essential piece of our country’s infrastructure strategy, and any infrastructure conversations happening on Capitol Hill – and especially those occurring during Infrastructure Week -  need to include a significant affordable housing component.”

The briefing kicked off with speaker Jim McDonough, County Commissioner from Ramsey County, MN. McDonough provided attendees with an overview on the importance of investing in the development and preservation of affordable housing resources in the country. McDonough additionally outlined the impact of these investments for local governments.

Sarah Mickelson, National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), Emily Cadik, Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC), Elizabeth Strojan, New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYCHDC), and Ellen Lurie Hoffman, National Housing Trust (NHT) served as panelists for the briefing. The panel covered topics including the economic impact of a housing shortage, the backlog of public housing maintenance, private activity bonds as a tool for a wide range of infrastructure needs—including housing, and the importance of enhancing affordable housing resources.

Emily Cadik, Executive Director of AHTCC said of the briefing, “While we often talk about the need for affordable housing and the success of the different programs that provide it, it's important during Infrastructure Week to also reflect on the benefits to local economies that result from building and preserving affordable housing. Through job creation and the stimulative effect on local economies, affordable housing has far-reaching benefits beyond just those who live in it."

A video summary of the briefing is available on NACCED’s YouTube channel here

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What is the NACCED summer meeting?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 10, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2018

What is the NACCED summer meeting?

With the hotter months fast approaching, the NACCED staff and Board are looking forward to our upcoming summer meeting, held in conjunction with the NACo Annual Conference. This year, on July 12-14, we’ll be headed to Nashville (Davidson County), TN for a weekend of networking and education in the Music City.

Some of our members, especially the newer ones, may be wondering what this meeting is all about. Is it a conference? What’s the focus? Should I attend? Read on to find out!

Who should attend?

The summer meeting is open to all NACCED members – counties, cities, nonprofits and private sector partners. Because the focus is on the work of our Committees and Board, many NACCED members mistakenly believe they cannot attend if they do not serve on a committee or Board. Wrong! In fact, we encourage all members to attend, even those not officially affiliated with a committee, in order to make your voice heard on association business and to learn more about the issues driving our organization, especially at the national level. Plus, you’ll get to network with other smart community development leaders from across the country. By the way, did you know that committee membership is open to all members? Our committees are Housing, Community Development, Economic Development, Education and Membership. And you can join as many as you’d like!

What does it cost?

Nothing! Nada! Zip! Zilch! There is no registration fee to attend this meeting.

What will I do there?

You can check out the draft agenda found on the registration page here. We’ll kick off Wednesday evening 7/11 with a networking event (fancy speak for beers and hanging out at a local pub) followed the next day, on Thursday, 7/12, by all the committee meetings and the Board meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. During the committee meetings, we review work plans and goals, as well as hear from speakers on relevant topics. The Board meeting is open to all attendees.

On Friday, 7/13, we have the distinct honor of participating in NACo’s Workforce, Economic and Community Development Steering Committee (WECD) meeting. NACCED has a seat on the WECD, which is responsible for “all matters pertaining to housing, community and economic development, public works, and workforce development including the creation of affordable housing and housing options for different populations, residential, commercial, and industrial development, and building and housing codes.” There, we put forth resolutions which are ultimately voted on and adopted by the NACo Board. There are always interesting presentations during this meeting, from Congressmen to local social sector leaders. NACCED’s President typically also makes a presentation during the WECD meeting.

Most people will probably try out the downtown Nashville scene Friday night, though that’s not on the official schedule.

On Saturday, 7/14, the NACCED staff, Executive Committee and dedicated members stick around for the Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) meeting. The LUCC “is the premier forum for urban county leaders and is the voice for America’s metropolitan counties before Congress and the Administration. Comprised of county executives, governing board members and other senior elected officials, LUCC members focus on urban challenges and solutions, engage in peer-to-peer information exchanges and inform national policy discussions.” Many of NACCED’s member counties are large urban entitlements and are represented by their commissioners on the LUCC. Similar to the WECD, this (much larger) meeting always has interesting presentations from an arrange of speakers both locally, nationally and internationally on issues as diverse as prisoner reentry to infrastructure.

How do I sign up?

It’s easy! Check out the schedule and register here.

Where should I stay?

NACCED does not have a room block for this meeting, though we compiled a list of hotels you can choose from. Staff and Executive Committee will be staying at the Hyatt Place Nashville/Opryland Hotel. You can call the hotel to make the reservation and you can get the government rate of $162.00. The phone number is 615-872-0422.

What else?

That’s it! This is another opportunity for our members to have fun, meet other community development and housing professionals, and get their learnin’ on. And this year, we’ll be doing it surrounded by music, whiskey, something called hot chicken, and all the other things one finds in Nashville. You are welcome to wear a cowboy hat to any of the meetings, naturally. And if you still have questions, you can contact NACCED Executive Director Laura DeMaria at (202) 367-2364 or ldemaria@nacced.org.

We hope you will join us!

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What Can Communities Learn from HUD’s Assessment of Fair Housing?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
By Crystal LaTier, Housing & Community Development Senior Analyst,                        El Paso County, Colorado

Due to the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule, communities receiving federal housing and community development funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) were required to approach fair housing planning in a new way. The new way came in the form of a planning tool known as the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). This tool was implemented to assist communities with taking meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics.

The timing of the submission requirement for the AFH was directly tied to a community’s Consolidated Plan schedule. The AFFH Rule required that a community must have a HUD accepted AFH before HUD would review your next Consolidated Plan. This was a substantial change to how past fair housing planning- Analysis of Impediments (AI) - were administered and enforced. The new rule ensured that communities had local fair housing plans implemented with very specific components, before even considering how to plan and prioritize federal housing and community development funds from HUD. Furthermore, all communities nationwide had to complete the same planning template (AFH) and include analysis of HUD provided nationally uniform demographic, housing and mapping data. The AFH was very prescriptive and communities had to focus on four important components of the plan: a community participation process; assessment of past goals and actions; fair housing analysis to include: demographic summary, segregation and integration, racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty (R/ECAPs), disparities in access to opportunity, disproportionate housing needs, publicly supported housing analysis, disability and access analysis, and fair housing enforcement, outreach capacity and resource analysis; and fair housing goals and priorities. Like any new public policy, the AFH was met with much anticipation, political controversy, and confusion on the best way to implement.

El Paso County, Colorado was the first community in HUD Region VIII who was required to submit an AFH with a submission date of early October 2016. Our experience was unique in that we were part of the first nationwide group complying with the new rule and tool. While ultimately, El Paso County’s AFH was accepted by HUD in December 2016, there were challenges along the way that provided opportunities for learning, professional development, and a well informed fair housing plan.  Below you will note six of the most significant challenges El Paso County faced during the development of their Assessment of Fair Housing:

  • Public/Political Perception of the AFFH Rule and AFH Tool: Depending upon the political and demographic makeup of your community, you may need to have preemptive discussions with elected officials, community organizations, and residents.
  • HUD’s Involvement & HUD HQ’s encouragement to complete regional plans: Strong communication with your regional HUD FHEO Office is encouraged.  HUD also strongly encouraged communities to create regional plans. While this can produce well informed regional plans, there are a number of factors including political and legal issues (how will you structure MOUs, responsible program participants, local policies and investment, etc…) that can arise.
  • Resources Needed for Completion: HUD estimated 200 hours of staff time with no additional planning and administration funding. We tallied more than double the estimated hours.
  • Guidance with Supplied/Needed Resources: Mapping/Data Tool (nationally uniform data), Secured Systems Interface, AFFH Rule Guidebook (219 pages), AFH Tool Template, Access to Local Data. While the systems and templates were intuitive and prescriptive (in our opinion), the need to access a robust amount of other local data and the accuracy of rural data can prove to be problematic. Additionally, differing staff capacity levels with new resources may be problematic.
  • Public Participation/Community Involvement: The AFH Tool requires robust public participation/community involvement. How will that look for our community? This is imperative for developing an effective AFH, but it requires significant staff time being spent on creative planning efforts, consultations, and public meetings.
  • Effective and Realistic Ways to Turn Fair Housing Goals and Priorities into Meaningful Actions: This is a strong theme throughout both the AFFH Rule and AFH Tool and this is the step that most communities had the challenges with. Discussions about successful ways to implement goals would be very helpful to any and all communities. Components to consider are: goals; contributing factors; fair housing issues; and metrics, milestones and timeframe for achievement.

In January 2018, HUD issued a notice extending the deadline for submission of the Assessment of Fair Housing for Consolidated Plan Participants. This notice explained that program participants would not be required to submit an AFH until after 2020, but that they must continue to comply with existing obligations to affirmatively further fair housing and update their AI. According to the FAQs released from HUD the extension occurred because:

To date, 49 Assessments of Fair Housing (AFHs) have been submitted to HUD using the new format established by the AFFH Final Rule and the Assessment of Fair Housing Tool for Local Governments. HUD’s analysis of these AFHs shows that more than one third (35%) of all AFH submissions were non-accepted by HUD on first submission.

HUD’s analysis identified several reasons that merit a delay of AFH submission deadlines, including program participants’ need for additional technical assistance. HUD determined that many program participants struggled to meet the regulatory requirements of the AFFH rule, such as developing goals that could be reasonably expected to result in meaningful actions to overcome the effects of contributing factors and related fair housing issues. Further, program participants struggled to develop metrics and milestones that would measure their progress as they affirmatively furthering fair housing. HUD determined that program participants’ frequent misunderstanding of how to set clear goals, metrics, and milestones that addressed their identified contributing factors and related fair housing issues often resulted in non-accepted AFHs.

With the release of the extension notice many communities have been left wondering: What is next? Numerous communities were already months into the AFH planning process and many had already hired consultants to help them meet the requirement of the AFFH Rule. As of now, communities are encouraged to complete an updated Analysis of Impediments while continuing to affirmatively further fair housing. As a community which has completed both the Analysis of Impediments and an Assessment of Fair Housing (in-house), we see areas of overlap and would recommend that communities closely examine the following components of the fair planning process regardless of the plan template they are using:

  • HUD’s Mapping and Data Tool- with special attention given to racially/ethnically concentrated areas of poverty (R/ECAPs)
  • Embrace the Robust Public Participation/Community Involvement Guidance
  • Implement Fair Housing Goals (which directly tie to identified fair housing issues and include metrics/milestones and timeframe for achievement)

Links included within the article

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule

A Notice Extending the Deadline for Submission of the Assessment of Fair Housing

FAQs: Federal Register Notice: Extension of Deadline for Submission of Assessment of Fair Housing for Consolidated Plan Participants

HUD’s Mapping and Data Tool

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CDBG: A Tool for Local Government Solutions

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 19, 2018

The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) was created in 1974 to provide communities with the resources to address a wide range of local community development needs. The program funds workforce development, homelessness prevention programs, public works and facilities improvements, and services for the elderly, at-risk youth, and low- and moderate-income families across the country. NACCED members have been utilizing this important tool since its inception to solve a number of local housing, infrastructure, public facilities, and service needs. March is NACCED’s Community Development Month, so to celebrate, below are several NACCED member projects that utilized CDBG funds for a variety of essential local projects. 

DuPage County, IL “Home is Where the Heart is” Group Home Project

DuPage County, IL recently utilized CDBG funds to support the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Seguin of Greater Chicago “Home is Where the Heart is” Group Home Project. The county provided UCP Seguin with $300,000 in CDBG funds to acquire land to build an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant Integrated Living Arrangement group home for six extremely low-income adults with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. Located in a welcoming Villa Park residential neighborhood of single-family homes, the facility is close to main streets and arteries, with easy access to multiple community sites, such as shopping venues, restaurants, the library and churches. Residents are only a mile from their main day program site for UCP Seguin, the Rubloff Center for Employment & Life Skills Training where a range of individually-tailored services are offered. The CDBG funds helped provide the residents of this group home with much-needed housing as well as life skills training, enabling them to achieve their potential, advance their independence and act as full members of the community. 

Los Angeles County, CA ADA Sidewalk and Public Facility Program

The County of Los Angeles Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Sidewalk and Public Facility Program (Program) has addresses the enormous need throughout the County to improve sidewalks, parks, and other public facilities so they are ADA accessible. While sidewalk improvements don’t seem like a high priority need, the county has many sidewalks in unincorporated areas not designed and built with accessibility features. This lack of access could result in isolation, safety hazards or even injury for the over 960,000 people in the county with a disability—half of which have a physical disability that may limit their mobility.

There are also an estimated 433,073 disabled elderly residing in Los Angeles County.   Due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, the number of elderly residents will increase by 90% by 2023.  Given that high growth rate, the number of disabled elderly in Los Angeles County may reach almost 800,000 persons and the overall disabled population will reach 1.4 million in just six years.  This dramatic increase requires a committed investment of public funds to ensure that sidewalks, parks, libraries, community service and other civic centers are accessible to these citizens.  

CDBG funds are a key financing source utilized by many participating cities throughout Los Angeles County as a solution to address this need.  CDBG-funded ADA sidewalk and public facility improvements have allowed persons with disabilities to move around their neighborhoods safely and more efficiently and to have accessible parking, public buildings, restrooms, and other facilities in their communities.  The Program has been very successful in making infrastructure and public facilities accessible to meet this growing need.  During the past three years, over $4.7 million was expended to complete 32 sidewalk improvement projects and 9 public facility improvement projects that improved accessibility to 24 parks and other municipal facilities for nearly 51,000 disabled persons. 

City of Torrance, ADA Park Improvements at Torrance Park, Before and After

City of Spokane, WA Single Family Rehabilitation Program utilizing HOME & CDBG (Entitlement and Revolving Loan) Funds

In 1977, the City of Spokane used the relatively new CDBG program to start a Single Family Rehabilitation program.  This early program provided health and safety home repairs to a concentration of low-income homeowners in Spokane’s East Central neighborhood.  Since that time, the Single Family Rehabilitation program has expanded throughout Spokane neighborhoods where there are concentrations of low-income families and older homes needing costly upkeep and repair.  These repairs commonly include replacing roofs, updating electrical systems, and installing energy-efficient furnaces.  To date, Spokane has used CDBG and some HOME funds to rehabilitate 1,193 low-income homeowner homes. 

The City has also created a CDBG Revolving Loan Fund where loan repayments fund new home repair loans.  In calendar years 2015 – 2016, these revolving funds repaired 45 homes included 30 female head-of-household and 10 senior homeowners. The Single Family Rehabilitation program continues to provide unique and irreplaceable funding that allows low-income families the opportunity to raise families and age-in-place inside warm, safe, and healthy homes. 

Celebrate Community Development Week April 2-6, 2018!

Do you have great HUD projects to showcase? Share them during the 2018 National Community Development (CD) Week, April 2-6! This is a great time for grantees to meet with their members of Congress, showcase projects and programs, and involve the local community including businesses, citizens, and community groups in the week-long celebration. For more information on CD Week or to share your community's success stories, please contact NACCED Policy Director Heather Voorman at hvoorman@nacced.org or by phone at 202-367-2405.

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NACCED Holds Annual Spring Meeting in Conjunction with NACo Legislative Conference

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 6, 2018

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.

For more photos from NACCED's Spring Legislative Meeting, visit us on Facebook! 

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. 

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Accessory Dwelling Units: Yes in My Backyard!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What Salt Lake City is Doing to Get ADUs Back in the City

In-law units, tiny homes, granny flats, or an apartment over your garage: accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have been around for a long time. The basic idea is to have a second, smaller dwelling attached to or on the same grounds as your single-family home. This model has been gaining traction over the last few years with the growing popularity of tiny homes and the rising costs of housing across the county, but in many communities they might not be legal to build. Although the idea of a secondary dwelling unit is an old concept, the model slowed in popularity around the middle of the 20th century. Now communities are fighting to change the outdated ordinances that prevent homeowners from building and using these units. 

Salt Lake City, Utah is one of the communities working to make ADUs legal in more areas around the City. Like many communities in the country, vacancy rates in the City for rental units have plunged to below 3 percent. Salt Lake City also expects its population to increase by 30,000 residents over the next few decades. ADUs were widely legal in Salt Lake City until 1995 when the City Council decided to try to restore and preserve single-family neighborhoods in the City by limiting their use. Last year, the City Council introduced an ordinance that would broaden where ADUs can be built and how many will be permitted in the City. There are still proponents of preserving traditional single-family neighborhoods however, leaving the council with the tough job of determining the best path forward.

After several public meetings and discussions about ADUs, the Council decided on December 5, 2017 to send the proposals to change the City’s ADU regulations back to the City’s Planning Division for a renewed discussion. The proposed ordinance will undergo additional planning review and come back to the council for consideration this spring. Current regulations only allow for new ADUs to be built a ½ mile or less from a fixed transit stop for the local Front Runner, TRAX, and S-Line systems. These restrictive requirements have greatly reduced the number of eligible properties and only one ADU permit has been granted by the City since 2012.

In the meantime, NACCED members Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County are working on the additional research and discussion needed to further the ADU debate. The Planning and Transportation Division recently sent out a survey to all the cities in the state regarding ADUs to gather more information about how ADUs are being used in housing plans across the state. There are a few cities in Utah that have more generous ADU regulations and Salt Lake City is hoping to learn from these models.  

In a recent survey, over 54 percent of Salt Lake County residents identified housing opportunities as one of the biggest needs for the county. Additionally, respondents to the survey said that affordable housing was the single largest housing need in the county. ADUs could provide additional affordable housing options and are much less expensive when compared to new construction. The cost of new construction housing in Utah is estimated at $200,000 per unit. The cost of an average ADU is estimated at under $60,000 per unit.

At a time when every city, county and state in the nation is facing an affordable housing crisis, ADUs could provide truly affordable housing on underutilized properties. Additionally, homeowners could create another source of income or a more flexible living arrangement for their family by installing an ADU on their property. Does your community have flexible ADU regulations? Email us at info@nacced.org and tell us how these units function in your community. To learn more about ADUs, visit www.accessorydwellings.org.

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Guest Blog Post: LCPtracker Case Study

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 1, 2017
Updated: Friday, December 1, 2017


The Challenge

After Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans in 2005, the City found themselves in the midst of the costliest natural disaster to ever hit the United States. The storm wreaked havoc on both private and public places, leaving much to repair and rebuild, with many citizens out of work and homes. Today, streets, parks, hospitals, public buildings, airport terminals, bridges and other infrastructure make up just some of the 70+ active projects underway. "We are building a city for the future and we are committed to moving New Orleans forward." said Ashleigh Gardere, Network for Economic Opportunity Executive Director. The City of New Orleans has since developed programs to reinvest in the local community in an effort to not only recreate the metropolis with new, modern infrastructure, but to also reinvigorate the local economy. In October of 2015, Hire NOLA, a local worker participation ordinance, was passed. Hire NOLA seeks to ultimately employ 50% local workers on all City-funded projects by the year 2020, which means there is a colossal amount of tracking and reporting that needs to happen. Starting in 2016 the graduated Hire NOLA goals took effect; with an initial goal of 30% local worker participation city-funded projects, 10% disadvantaged local workers and 10% disadvantaged local apprentice goals. The City needed a way to report their progress. 

The Solution

Through the use of the LCPtracker Professional solution, the City has been able to process the certified payrolls (CPRs) for over $157 million worth of public works construction projects. The collection of these CPRs allows for in-depth, employee demographic data to be collected and reported on, giving the needed ability to track and observe progress on Hire NOLA goals. In 2015 alone, 2,091 CPRs passed through the system. "One of the best things we can do is check all of our projects in one afternoon. There are huge time savings. I cannot imagine how long it would take to do certified payroll without LCPtracker." said Gardere. With LCPtracker, the City is able to know where the workers are coming from, if they qualify as disadvantaged, what classifications they work, as well as the amount of hours worked. Most importantly, they can confirm instantly that all workers are paid the proper prevailing wage and the late report feature ensures contractors are not able to slip under the radar. The information entered into these reports also allows them to do goal tracking. Thus, the City can recognize and fix issues as they arise. 

Benefits

The use of LCPtracker allows the City of New Orleans to broaden their horizons for public works project reporting. "We were able to increase the types of projects monitored. It had been mostly federally-funded projects that we tracked, but we realized city-funded jobs were missing. So now we capture a whole new source of projects." explained Gardere. The agency’s goals are well-underway and being tracked in the LCPtracker system, which enables City decision makers and the community to consider the impact each project is having. The City has benefited most from the prevailing wage compliance features, which allows them to load in wage rates and classifications to ensure employees are classified and paid properly. The most notable project to be run through the system to date is the New Orleans East Hospital. This $130 million project had 75 different contractors working on it and over 2,000 CPRs that needed to be submitted and monitored. LCPtracker Professional helped the City to easily review this tremendous amount of payrolls, and gave prime contractors access to the same information, thereby providing seamless communication and transparency on one of the biggest projects the City has undertaken in recent years. Moving forward, the City has come to appreciate what a valuable tool the system can be to their strategies and urban planning. The extensive workforce reports available provide a wide range of data to allow for an in-depth analysis of project impact and goal tracking. New Orleans has big plans for the future of rebuilding both the city and the community. 

About The City of New Orleans

The City of New Orleans, led by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, is a local municipality with 4,600 employees. Located in the state of Louisiana, New Orleans has a vibrant culture that is well-known around the world. With a population of nearly 400 thousand, it is the largest metropolitan area in the state. Founded in 1718 by French Colonists, the city reflects a mixture of French and Creole influence that makes it one of the most unique cities in the nation.
 

 

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NACCED Member Spotlight: Fresno County

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

HOME an Essential Component to Public-Private Partnership Project

When it comes to public-private partnerships in affordable housing, public funds such as the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program help communities leverage important private investment.  One example of such a partnership can be found in the Cueva de Oso at William Shockley Plaza, a HOME-funded affordable housing development project in the Fresno County city of Selma, CA.  The development is a new 48-unit tax credit project that replaced a former deteriorated 25-unit public housing apartment project called Shockley Terrace located on the same site. 

The total project cost was $14.5 million, of which $700,000 was provided via HOME funds from NACCED Member Fresno County’s Urban County HOME grant program.  Gigi Gibbs, a community development manager with Fresno County, praised the use of the HOME program in this project and stressed its importance to affordable housing development. “Without this program, there aren’t a lot of resources available from governments to get involved in the development of affordable housing,” she said. “It’s really important to know these projects are a public-private partnership in funding. That’s what makes it work. It’s not all one source that can make these quality buildings happen.”

The development consists of 8 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units, 16 three-bedroom units, and 2 four-bedroom units, making it attractive to both small and large families.  The project is affordable to families earning between 30% to 60% of area median income, and was fully leased before it was completed in August, 2017. 

Eleven families that previously resided in the former public housing project onsite chose to move into in the new development, and are thrilled with the new amenities.  In addition to providing more affordable housing units, the new project contains new amenities for residents, including a large outdoor grassy play/picnic area with BBQ’s, a children’s playground, community garden space, and a community center including a community room complete with a large flat-screen television for viewing parties, a large fully-equipped kitchen, fitness center, computer lab and management offices.

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NACCED Webinar: Washington Update

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 10, 2017
NACCED Webinar: Washington Update
NACCED is pleased to hold a webinar providing an update about the latest happenings in Washington. This webinar is free for members only on Friday, October 13th from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET. NACCED’s webinars are a special member benefit, so make sure to register today!

This year has brought many changes for Washington from a new administration to a shifting tone in Congress. Are you wondering what’s happening with the federal budget process or if tax reform will happen? Do you want to know what changes are happening at HUD? Join NACCED Policy Director, Heather Voorman, to explore these questions and get an update on the latest activities in Washington that may have an effect on what you do at the local level.
Cost: FREE to members. $50 for nonmembers. Registration is required before briefing.
Questions? Please send an email to  info@nacced.org or call (202) 367-1149

Visit us at  www.nacced.org

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NACCED Recognizes Outstanding Counties with Awards of Excellence in 2017

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 28, 2017
Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2017

NACCED Recognizes Outstanding Counties with Awards of Excellence in 2017

The National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) honored several members for outstanding work in the field of affordable housing and community and economic development during its 42nd Annual Educational Conference and Training in Portland, OR. Each year, NACCED recognizes the many achievements of America's counties through the Annual Awards of Excellence program.

During the annual Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon, member counties were recognized for their notable initiatives in seven categories:

Affordable Housing

Allegheny County Economic Development: Dave Wright Apartments

The Dave Wright Apartments, built through a partnership between the ACTION-Housing and the Autism Housing Development Corporation of Pittsburgh (AHDCP), is Pennsylvania’s first community comprised of quality housing for adults with autism integrated together with typical families, and to link both to employment opportunities and supportive services. The project was funded through tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and with development funds from Allegheny County Economic Development.

Community Development

Housing Authority of Los Angeles County: The Growing Experience in Environmental Resource

The Growing Experience (TGE) is a seven-acre facility located in North Long Beach, California, within the Carmelitos public housing development, operated by the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles.  TGE is a resource serving the residents of Carmelitos as well as the greater Los Angeles-Long Beach community. Programs and activities showcase environmental sustainability, such as the aquaponics system which produces three to four times more fresh produce than traditional growing methods with a smaller footprint. Additionally, the facility strives for water and resource conservation, and the research and implementation of new technologies to increase productivity. 

Economic Development

Salt Lake County Housing & Community Development: Columbus Secure Shredding Facility Upgrade: Creating Jobs for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

The Columbus Community Center has been creating meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities for over 5 decades. The Columbus main campus has a secure document shredding business that employs 50 individuals with severe disabilities, helping these individuals overcome the obstacles they face to become employed. Salt Lake County Housing & Community Development helped make capital upgrades to their facility including a new air filtration system. These improvements help create a healthy and safe environment for employees and accommodate the expansion of the business, providing more jobs for individuals with severe disabilities.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program

County of Essex Division of Housing and Community Development: Essex County HOME Program - Downtown Partners Mixed Income

When the opportunity arose for the redevelopment of vacant land adjoining an abandoned post office terminal by the RPM Development Group and its project affiliate, Downtown Partners Mixed Income, LP, Essex County provided additional HOME funding to augment the investments from the City HOME program and other public/private lenders to fully fund the project. As a result of this public/private partnership, an underutilized land parcel located in the downtown area just blocks from Newark City Hall, which previously communicated blight and decay, is now a newly constructed mixed use/mixed income 87-unit complex. The complex is contributing to the invigoration of downtown Newark while providing improved housing options for current residents and attracting outsiders seeking to relocate from higher rent areas.

Homeless Coordination/Assistance

Community Development Commission of County of Los Angeles: Families Coming Home Together

In 2014, the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission (CDC) and Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) collaborated to create the Families Coming Home Together pilot program. The pilot program consisted of 25 identified DCFS families where homelessness was the sole barrier to the return of the children. The families that met program requirements were reunited with their children after receiving approval from the Dependency Court. The pilot was successful in enrolling 23 of the 25 identified families and housed 14 families.

Innovation

County of Fairfax, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA): Residences at the Government Center

The Residences at Government Center “Residences” is an affordable workforce housing development created by a unique public-private partnership between the County of Fairfax, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA), Jefferson Apartment Group, Stratford Capital Group, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). What makes the “Residences” so unique is the innovative public-private partnership that was formed to address such a critical need in the community. By leveraging county land, the community was built at no cost to the local taxpayer. It was the first project in Virginia to employ a hybrid financial structure utilizing both 9 percent and 4 percent Low- Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to fund its development.

Planning/Policy/Program Management

Twin Cities Section 3 Collaborative: An Innovative Regional Certification and Referral System for Contractors and Section 3 Resident Employees, Businesses and Contractors

In the Twin Cities area there are numerous city and county entitlement communities and several public housing authorities. In the past, individuals and businesses had to apply to each individual jurisdiction to obtain Section 3 Eligibility certification. A certification received in one jurisdiction was not accepted in another. Over the past 7 years, program managers have been meeting to formulate a better, more efficient way to engage Section 3 workers and businesses by working collaboratively. HUD's national register was not of benefit. In 2010, the City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County created an online worker registration and database to share Section 3 data registrations. With the technology in place, the other entitlement jurisdictions were able to see how a central regional database could work and began formalizing a cooperative structure that included compromise in order to standardize. This is the first local initiative of its type in the US.

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