COVID-19 Affordable Housing Finance Resources
Technical Assistance, Resources & Training
Statewide Research & Coalition Work
LENDER/INVESTOR PANEL 4/30
On Thursday, April 30th from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm, the California Housing Partnership co-hosted a virtual lender/investor panel with NPH and other regional and state partners on the financial and operational impacts of COVID-19 (presentation slide deck). We will be posting information soon on more to come in the series.
We are continuing to provide housing finance technical assistance to partners statewide who are struggling to maintain production schedules in the midst of the turmoil in the financial and construction markets caused by COVID-19. These partners remain dedicated to the ongoing construction and preservation of affordable housing, an essential service.
The Partnership will soon be launching a new interactive “Housing Needs Dashboard” online to enable policymakers, planners, affordable housing providers, and advocates access to interactive data charts and exportable reports on statewide and county-level affordable housing metrics and indicators:
CALL FOR COVID-19 REGULATORY RELIEF
The California Housing Partnership and other housing organizations from across the state sent a letter to the Governor’s Office in early April detailing immediate actions necessary to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 on affordable housing developments in California.
The coalition has also been advocating with our Congressional delegation for the federal policy recommendations described below, including rent relief measures such as those in the proposed Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act.
In April, the Partnership provided the Governor’s Office with an initial proposed program “Keeping California’s Homeless Housed” to support long-term housing solutions for formerly homeless individuals and families that are being moved into hotel rooms and other short-term housing during the pandemic.
Given the additional needs of very low-income families no longer able to pay rent and in danger of becoming homeless or displaced once the eviction moratorium ends, the Partnership is also working with the California Housing Consortium to support the broader “Keep California Housed” initiative.
The Partnership’s Research Team is modeling scenarios to develop preliminary estimates of the impacts that COVID-19 income and rent reductions may have not just on tenants but also on the financial stability of the state’s portfolio of 380,000 existing affordable LIHTC homes. Read more: California Affordable Housing Providers Face Potential $1.7 Billion COVID-19 Loss
This research is derived primarily from our unique database of federal and state-assisted existing affordable housing in California (Affordable Rental Housing Benefits Map). It is supported by a grant from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
2020 State Recommendations
2020 Federal Recommendations
- Make permanent the $500 million annual increase to the California Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program to jump-start affordable housing production and provide an additional $100 million annually to rehabilitate existing affordable rental properties.
- Create a new Affordable Housing Preservation Tax Credit to preserve existing affordable housing at risk of conversion and to fight displacement pressures.
- Allow affordable housing to be built by right on land currently zoned for commercial or public uses and on church-owned lands.
- Streamline Department of Housing and Community Development rental housing funding programs through a single application and award process to reduce development costs.
- Reduce the threshold for voter approval of local funding of affordable housing and infrastructure from 67% to 55% as was done for educational facilities in 2000.
- Exempt supportive housing and affordable housing funded by MHP, HOME or CDBG from CEQA reviews.
1) Institute sweeping rental/debt relief for all households which are no longer able to pay their rents or mortgages as a result of COVID-19.
We strongly urge you the provision of additional swift and sweeping rental/debt relief for all households which are no longer able to pay rent or mortgages as a result of COVID, and emergency housing investments for those who are currently homeless.
- Support the inclusion of $100 billion in rental assistance funds in a vehicle that can meet the scale of rent relief needed to provide rent relief to millions of Californians and households nationally who can no longer pay their rents as a result of COVID. It is critical that this relief be made available to all households regardless of immigration status; every person’s health depends on everyone else’s, and we must ensure all of us can access the care we need.
- Provide $10 billion to support existing affordable housing developments with “break-even” rental assistance, so that affordable housing providers can keep their doors open and their tenants stably housed. New research by the California Housing Partnership finds that California’s affordable rental housing developments could face a $1.7 billion loss in rental income over the next year from the current economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, assuming a 50% reduction in tenant-paid rents. At this level of rent loss, 80% or 3,450 developments would face foreclosure, which wipes out deed restrictions that would otherwise last up to 55 more years. The research further shows that the aggregate financial need to keep these developments out of insolvency/default over the twelve-month period of April 2020 to March 2021 is approximately $1 billion in California alone. Affordable housing providers are already reporting 15%-20% loss in rental income for rent that was due on April 1st with even steeper declines expected in May.
- Establish a $75 billion homeowner assistance fund for low-income homeowners who can no longer afford to pay their mortgages. We also urge you to provide mortgage and other debt and regulatory relief specifically to non-profit affordable housing owners to support them throughout the crisis. We can ill afford to allow our already insufficient affordable housing stock to be lost due to economic strain.
- Provide $11.5 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and $3 billion for emergency section 8 vouchers for people experiencing homelessness.
- Implement a national, uniform moratorium on evictions and foreclosures that assures renters will not lose their homes during a pandemic where our collective health depends on each of us staying home. This moratorium should be coupled with the rental assistance to the tenant or debt relief to the property owner mentioned above to ensure that developments remain financially solvent and tenants and homeowners stay housed.
2) Designate affordable housing as essential infrastructure in any future Infrastructure Stimulus bill and invest $500 billion to ensure that everyone has a stable and affordable place to call home.
We urge support of a $500 billion federal Infrastructure Stimulus package that invests in communities, jobs, and housing that can restart our economic engine, get people back to work, and lead to a strong and sustainable recovery. These investments should:
- Expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, project-based section 8 vouchers, and the HOME and CDBG programs, as well as new programs that can also be used for the acquisition of homes off of the speculative market so that we can build and preserve the affordable homes Californians and households throughout the country desperatelyneed now and into the future.
- Make existing federal resources dedicated to affordable housing go further by reducing the current tax-exempt bond “50% test” to 25% permanently, this will ensure that states like California can build twice as many affordable homeswhile using existing resources our state already has available.
- Reconstitute the Tax Credit Exchange Program created by ARRA in 2009 to allow state agencies to approve the conversion of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit allocations to soft loans during 2020-21. This is an essential guaranty of tax credit value at a time of financial market uncertainty and investor pullback.
- Set the floor for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit 4% rate at 4% now before the rate drops any further than it already has to shore up the financial feasibility of tens of thousands of affordable homes in the pipeline.
AB 1907 | Streamlining Homeless Housing in California (Author: Santiago)
Exempts from CEQA shelters, permanent supportive housing, and affordable housing with MHP, CDBG, or HOME funds
- AB 1907 CA.gov Legislative Information
- AB 1907 Fact Sheet
- AB 1907 Sample Comment Letter (Word document)
AB 2058 | Affordable Housing Preservation Tax Credit (Author: Gabriel)
Creates an Affordable Housing Preservation Tax Credit to incentivize the preservation of existing affordable apartment properties and mobile home parks by experienced affordable housing organizations
- AB 2058 CA.gov Legislative Information
- AB 2058 Fact Sheet
- AB 2058 Sample Comment Letter (Word document)
AB 2406 | Rental Registry Data Collection (Author: Wicks)
Requires landlords with more than five units to register all units in a statewide database and include information on rents and evictions
- AB 2406 CA.gov Legislative Information
- AB 2406 Fact Sheet
- AB 2406 Sample Comment Letter (Word document)
AB 3144 | Housing Cost Reduction Incentive Program (Author: Grayson)
Encourages cities and counties to waive or reduce impact fees for affordable rental housing developments by creating the Housing Cost Reduction Incentive Program to reimburse them 50% of the value of fee waivers or reductions granted
- AB 3144 CA.gov Legislative Information
- AB 3144 Fact Sheet
- AB 3144 Sample Comment Letter (Word document)