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NACCED Meets for 2018 Annual NACo Conference in Nashville

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 23, 2018
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2018

NACCED met July 12-15 for its summer meeting in conjunction with the 2018 Annual National Association of Counties (NACo) Conference in Nashville/Davidson, County, TN. NACCED kicked off the event on July 12th with its board and committee meetings. Below is a summary of the meetings:

  • Economic Development Committee: Members heard from Kipp Kranbuhl, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Financial Institutions at Treasury and Dan Kowalski, Counselor to the Secretary at Treasury and were able to ask questions about the new Opportunity Zones program. 
  • Community Development Committee: The committee discussed the potential CDBG program move to Bureau of Economic Growth and reviewed the committee reports developed from the IDIS survey conducted earlier this year.
  • Membership Committee: The committee reviewed the latest membership report and outlined the rollout for the new student membership category.
  • Resolutions Committee: NACCED reviewed its new resolution on housing infrastructure being submitted to the NACo Community, Economic & Workforce Development Steering Committee. The group also received a legislative update from NACCED Policy Director, Heather Voorman reviewing the status of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget and appropriations process and an update on relevant federal legislation.

The NACCED Board of Directors wrapped up the day with their meeting reviewing the committee actions, a financial report, an update from Patricia Ward, NACCED representative to the NACo Board, and a report from NACCED’s Executive Director, Laura DeMaria.

On July 13th, NACCED members attended the NACo Community, Economic & Workforce Development Steering Committee’s resolutions meeting to support several resolutions sponsored by NACCED. In addition to NACCED’s newly proposed resolution on housing infrastructure, NACCED sponsored two resolutions being added to the committee’s platform including a resolution in support of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and another in support of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC). Other resolutions discussed during this meeting included protecting the health and safety of sober home residents, funding for HUD-VASH vouchers for homeless veterans in FY 2019 budget, FY 2019 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, preservation and expansion of affordable housing stock, FY 2019 appropriations for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), registered apprenticeships program flexibility, and the reauthorization and appropriations for the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. Click here for the full text of the resolutions. The Committee also hosted a variety of informational presentations on community, economic and workforce development tools being used by counties across the country.

The Large Urban County Caucus met on July 14th. This caucus represents many NACCED county members and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and solutions that help urban counties address their most pressing issues. The committee hosted Senator Lamar Alexander, the Senior U.S. Senator from Tennessee. Senator Alexander discussed the pressing legislative issues facing Congress. The meeting also featured an update on the implementation of the Opportunity Zones program from Jeremy Keele, Senior Advisor at Maycomb Capital, Donnie Charleston, Director of State and Local Fiscal Policy Engagement for the Urban Institute, and former NACCED Holistic Housing Podcast guest Ja’Ron Smith, Special Assistant to the President for the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

Finally, on July 15th, NACCED had the opportunity to participate in the NACo Affordable Housing Forum. This forum brought together counties and stakeholders to discuss cutting-edge solutions and available resources to address the worsening shortage of affordable housing in counties of all sizes. The event featured an address from Neal Rackleff, Assistant Secretary, Community Planning & Development (CPD), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rackleff discussed the work being done in HUD’s CPD office and the progress of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) 2017 funds rollout.

In the afternoon, county attendees were able to examine best practices and participate in “speed networking” with numerous housing focused groups including NACCED.

The following organizations also participated in the "speed-networking" session:

The Barnes Housing Trust Fund

Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)

Enterprise Community Partners

Housing Assistance Council

National Association of Home Builders

National Low-Income Housing Coalition

Rural Housing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development

The speed-networking event was a great opportunity for NACCED to connect with counties looking for new ideas and resources for their housing and community development programs.

The NACCED committees will next meet in person on Sunday, Sept. 23rd for the 2018 NACCED Annual Conference and Training. These meetings are open to all attendees, so mark your calendars for this opportunity to get more involved in NACCED!

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Meet with Your Lawmakers Over August Recess

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 23, 2018
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2018

The House of Representatives is currently taking its traditional August Recess from July 27 to September 3 and the Senate will have a week-long recess August 6-10. Take action over the congressional break by meeting with your Members of Congress in the communities they represent.

Now is a great time to contact your local House and Senate offices and invite them to tour your projects. NACCED is happy to help in providing you with the tools you need to engage your elected officials during the extended break. Check out our 2018 advocacy toolkit here

When you do make your appointments make sure to let us know, and after the meeting please send your pictures to

We encourage NACCED members to focus their outreach on the following areas:

FY2019 HUD Appropriations: President Trump proposed deep cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in his budget this year with over $8.8 billion in cuts to HUD’s funding. The cuts closely resemble the budget request put forward by the President for 2018, including the elimination of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program, the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, and the Public Housing Operating Fund. The White House claims these programs are ineffective and outdated, a claim that was also made in the President’s FY 2018 budget request.

The budget proposal would also reduce Housing Choice Vouchers to $19.3 billion, and provide $17.b billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) contract renewals, merge the Public Housing Capital Fund with the Public Housing Operating Fund, and reduce funding for public housing to $2.8 billion, reduce funding for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities to $132 million, reduce funding for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS to $330 million, and slightly increase Project-Based Rental Assistance to $10.952 billion.

These cuts would have detrimental effects on affordable housing availability across the country, but the President’s Budget is just one part of many in a complex negotiation process.

Congress has shown they are willing to provide adequate resources to HUD’s housing programs through the FY 2019 THUD Appropriations bills recently passed at the committee level in both the House and the Senate. The bills that came out of the Appropriations Committees provide funding levels far beyond the President’s requested budget levels to these programs that combat homelessness, house low-income families, and provide crucial services and facilities to under-served populations.

  • The HOME Investment Partnerships and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs were level funded from FY18 at $1.362 and $3.3 billion respectively in the Senate.
  • The HOME program received a small decrease in the House going from $1.36 billion to $1.2 billion, and CDBG was level funded at $3.3 billion.
  • The Senate bill provides the increases necessary to continue assistance to all families and individuals currently served by rental assistance programs. These numbers include: $22.8 billion for tenant-based Section 8 vouchers; $7.5 billion for public housing; $11.7 billion for project-based Section 8; $678 million for Housing for the Elderly; and $154 million for Housing for Persons with Disabilities.
  • There is concern in the House bill that the Housing Choice Vouchers ($20.1 billion) and the Project-Based Rental Assistance ($11.35 billion) would fall short of renewing all existing contracts. This shortfall could mean fewer families will be served by the program over the next year. Housing for the Elderly ($632 million) and Housing for People with Disabilities ($154 million) funding levels would renew existing contracts.
  • The Homeless Assistance Grants program saw a modest increase to $2.5 billion in the House and $2.6 billion in the Senate and includes several provisions to better serve vulnerable populations including veterans, youth, and survivors of domestic violence.

The Senate version of the legislation provides more robust funding for HUD programs, so NACCED is urging members of Congress to support this version of the legislation.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Legislation: Although LIHTC was preserved in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the lower corporate tax rate along with other provisions will make the tax credit less valuable. An analysis done by Novogradac estimates the final version of the tax reform legislation would reduce affordable rental housing production by nearly 235,000 homes over the next decade. There have been efforts to include the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (or also known as the Cantwell-Hatch legislation) into various legislation throughout 2018. This legislation would increase LIHTC allocation by 50 percent, establish a minimum 4 percent rate, and include other provisions that would strengthen and enhance the LIHTC program. The 50 percent allocation increase alone would finance approximately 400,000 more affordable homes over the next decade that otherwise would not be possible. NACCED urges Congress pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act or to include the legislation in the next tax legislation that Congress advances in the 115th Congress.

Private Activity Tax Exempt Bonds are vital to the success of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program, helping to finance approximately 40 percent of all Housing Credit production. Preserving the tax exemption on housing bonds is critical to tackling the affordable housing crisis, as the elimination of the bonds would mean 38,000 fewer affordable homes created every year. Additionally, the cap on the amount of private activity tax exempt bonds is a major limiting factor for a growing number of states and localities as they seek to preserve existing affordable and public housing and create new housing to meet the growing need. NACCED urges Congress to preserve all tax-exempt housing bonds and seek opportunities to increase private activity tax-exempt bond volume cap so that local HFAs can better meet the needs for affordable housing creation and preservation.

Ways to Take Action During August Recess:

  1. Invite your elected officials on tours of projects in the district. This is a good time to highlight successful projects that have already been completed, but also projects that are still in development.
  2. Plan meetings with your members of Congress at their district offices. Invite stakeholders and other individuals who can help tell your story. Elected officials like to see the humanity side of these projects, so it is very helpful to bring along families and individuals who have been helped by your programs.
  3. Attend a town hall or other local event hosted by a member of Congress. These meetings may not be heavily attended and are another way for you to speak with your elected officials.   


Template Letters:

Don't have time to connect with your Members of Congress in person? Use these template letters to send to them via email or to their district offices while they're in town. Feel free to personalize these and include local projects and success stories.

 Have questions or need help in making appointments?

Contact NACCED’s Policy Director, Heather Voorman at 202.367.2405 or email at  


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Member Spotlight: NACCED’s Economic Development Chair on Navigating the New Territory of Opportunity Zones

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2018
By Cheryl Markham, Strategic Policy Advisor, Department of Community & Human Services, King County, WA

I have to admit I was initially surprised to hear that a provision of the new tax act (Public Law 115-97, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017), commonly referred to as “Opportunity Zones Program” could potentially be a benefit to distressed communities in the United States. And I was not alone – as I started talking to local colleagues and national NACCED colleagues about the news – most people responded with “Say what?”

I was further surprised – and not alone here either - to learn that there had been some pretty impressive bi-partisan cooperation beginning in 2015 to develop the Opportunity Zone concept and to advance bi-partisan legislation called the “Investing in Opportunity Act” (IIOA) during the 114th Congress. Lead sponsors included Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Time Scott (R-S.C.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio). A number of the elements of the IIOA are present in the Opportunity Zones Program adopted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, however a number of strong protective provisions were not included. A number of colleagues have expressed concerns regarding the potential for negative consequences without protective program elements.

What are the concerns for potential negative consequences you may ask? In a nutshell the Opportunity Zone Program provides a tax relief incentive to persons and corporations who have enough wealth to be required to pay capital gains taxes. In exchange for making investments in Opportunity Zones (OZs), capital gains tax payments may be deferred or reduced for up to ten years and the investor is allowed to keep any returns made on their investments in OZs over the investment period. Therein lies the conundrum – there is potential for investments to provide benefits and opportunities for both current community residents and future residents, and there is also potential for investments to maximize investor return, leave existing community residents and businesses behind and cause displacement. Finally, there is potential for little effect if investors decide that the risks of investment are too great in some areas and/or zones.

In King County, the potential for negative consequences weighed heavily on the minds of one our community partners, and we did not include their community in the OZ designation because they were strongly opposed to it.  The community is very vulnerable to displacement near a new high capacity transit station, had not yet made progress on securing property and were concerned that the OZ benefit to investors would fuel the snapping up of properties in the vicinity of the station. We will continue to support this particular community’s strategy for inclusive development outside the OZ program, while we work to support other communities that desired to be an OZ to make the best of the program.

NACCED’s Economic Development Committee (EDC) is helping our members share and understand OZ information and resources so that we may realize as many positive benefits for communities in our OZs as possible, and mitigate potential negative consequences. In late May the EDC took up the issue of providing a NACCED comment letter to Treasury regarding the rules for “Opportunity Funds”, which are the private investment vehicles that will aggregate and deploy capital in OZs for eligible investments. The letter encouraged the development of: 1) rules that define “abuse” of vulnerable communities; 2) rules that require protections in the form of community benefits for existing residents of the zones, including community and local jurisdiction engagement; and 3) rules that require annual reporting of specific metrics by each Fund. The letter further encouraged that the recommended rules be required for continued certification of all Opportunity Funds. The Committee also created a template comment letter for counties and others to add local context information and send to Treasury (see template letter at the end of this post.)

In the Seattle/King County region (King County, Washington) we have begun coordinating across jurisdictions, with our Economic Development Council, with our regional Enterprise Community Partners’ office and other CDFI’s and with our state to employ a number of strategies that support our existing residents and community partners in OZs to thrive in place. Strategies include acquiring and land banking properties for future community benefit and affordable housing projects to the extent possible, and actively encouraging the adoption of inclusionary zoning in jurisdictions with OZs that don’t currently have it. We are considering other strategies for local and state partnership such as certification and incentives for the creation of local and socially responsible Opportunity Funds that can be aligned with our other funding sources.

I am excited to be chairing the NACCED Economic Development Committee this year as we collaborate in a national partnership to learn from each other and help to steer this program towards the production of outcomes that are inclusive of direct and sustained benefits for existing residents of OZs. Please feel welcome to join NACCED and our monthly Economic Development Committee calls focused on the Opportunity Zone Program this year.

For more information on Opportunity Zones, visit NACCED's Advocacy Toolkit page here. You can also access NACCED's template comment letter to Treasury here. 

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Member Spotlight: DuPage County, IL Uses CDBG-DR to Build Resilient Communities

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, June 13, 2018
By: Chris Ragona, Community Development Manager, DuPage County, IL

On April 18, 2013, the lives of thousands of DuPage County, Illinois residents were affected by devastating flooding that was caused by a record setting thirteen inches of rain occurring in less than twenty-four hours.  Homes were flooded, roads were made impassable, numerous residents were rescued, and damage was estimated in the millions.  For the next several weeks some residents were forced to live in shelters, salvage what remained of their possessions in basements, and wondered if their lives would ever be the same.  Natural disasters affect the lives of millions every year and the devastation can occur without warning.  Hurricanes, wildfires, flooding, blizzard, earthquakes, and even volcanic eruptions can devastate populations across the U.S.


In response to this disaster, DuPage County was declared a Presidentially Declared Disaster Area and received $31,526,000 in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds from the Federal Government due to the flooding that took place throughout the County in April 2013. In order to determine the best use of funds and meet the regulations of the CDBG-DR program, the Community Development department initiated a comprehensive needs assessment for input from residents, business owners, and elected officials. Staff also looked for opportunities to leverage dollars in order to maximize the impact of the disaster recovery funds received and identified two main objectives. These were to remove residential structures and residents from flood prone properties, and to focus on long term recovery by constructing new infrastructure to prevent flooding in future events, all with a focus on areas and residents qualifying as low-income. Project costs ranged from $150,000 to $9.4 million dollars. Due to the changing needs of the County, a total of five amendments have been completed to incorporate additional activities and to conform to meet the regulations of the CDBG-DR program.

Armstrong Park Stormwater Facility, Carol Stream Illinois – Project Cost -  $9,400,000

Improvements made to store stormwater by adding two reservoirs and then slowly siphoning the water back to Klein Creek, while preventing flooding in residential neighborhoods. This neighborhood experienced flooding and has been impacted by multiple storm events over the past several years.

Neighborhood Flooding – April 18, 2013

Completed Stormwater Facility – Armstrong Park – Carol Stream, Illinois

George St. Culvert Replacement Project, Bensenville Illinois – Project Cost - $200,000

The Village of Bensenville replaced an approximately 45-year-old Corrugated Metal culvert, which had significantly deteriorated over the years and was on the verge of collapsing. The Village removed and replaced the old culvert with a new Portland Cement Concrete culvert.  This project is also part of a larger long term to solution to localized flooding in the Village.

Neighborhood Flooding – April 18, 2013


Completed Culvert Replacement – Bensenville, Illinois


An estimated forty-four residential flood-prone properties will be purchased by DuPage County, demolished, and returned to open space to prevent future flooding of residential properties. DuPage County Stormwater Management identified properties that were located in floodplains or were classified as flood-prone, and an estimated $5.6 million in CDBG-DR funds will be invested into these properties.


Additionally, ten infrastructure improvements have been completed and a number of activities are scheduled for completion in the spring of 2019 with an estimated investment of $24,000,000.  DuPage County Community Development will continue to look for investment opportunities and identify needs if additional funds become available.


Finally, three planning documents were completed as part of long term recovery efforts for future flood mitigation projects including a partnership with the Army Corp of Engineers.  A total of $600,000 was invested into these planning documents.


For a complete review of the DuPage County CDBG-DR and other grant programs, please visit the following link below:

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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

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 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 and tell us how these units function in your community. To learn more about ADUs, visit

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