by Sarah Jawaid, National Housing Conference
NHC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today on a proposed rule to improve the HOME Investment Partnerships program. (NHC previously testified in support of HOME, which has created more than one million affordable homes). This rule, which will rewrite some of HOME’s compliance requirements, aims to improve the program’s overall performance.
In summary, NHC offered five recommendations to HUD, each presented in more detail in the comment letter:
- Align the rental conversion requirement to market realities extending it to 12 months and allowing sale of properties when markets recover. Empower PJs to comply with guidance on setting project-specific milestones.
- Recognize costs of long-term monitoring and stewardship of affordable properties by allowing reasonable fees on homeownership and rental HOME units.
- Maintain the requirement that all HOME-assisted homebuyers receive counseling.
- Retain the new lease-purchase provisions allowing flexibility to use them with tenant-based rental assistance.
- Maintain the requirement for written policies on underwriting standards, anti-predatory lending measures, and refinancing standards without unduly restricting credit.
In addition, the Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force led by NHC, Enterprise Community Partners, and NeighborWorks America submitted comments signed by local and national organizations.