As Kaitlyn Snyder reports in this Member Brief, HUD released a legislative proposal that would change work requirements and rents for HUD-assisted households. HUD’s legislative proposal, Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018, does not have a sponsor in the House or Senate. However, the proposal is similar to a discussion draft from Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.). Rep. Ross’s proposal was the subject of a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing last week. I encourage those of you who are interested in this subject to view the hearing. It does a good job of laying out a range of opinions on this issue, free of the rancor that has come to typify most congressional debates.
NHC’s Policy Committee will discuss the issue of rent reform during its next meeting on Friday of this week, and next week, I’ll be sitting down with HUD’s senior leadership to hear their thoughts and share our initial observations. This week we will also hold the first meeting of our Opportunity Zones Task Force, and next week a group of us will meet with Treasury’s Opportunity Zones team to hear from them and share our initial views, prior to writing a formal comment letter. We will also visit with the staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency later this week to discuss their timeline for the release of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Community Reinvestment Act. You can view the webinar we held on the Treasury Department’s CRA report here.
So there’s a lot going on at NHC, and as a member, your views on these issues are critically important to our ability to impact housing policy. Our membership is a rich source of experience and perspective on complex housing issues and the wide range of views that we have is valued by Washington policy makers of both parties. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me on all of these important issues and send along any research that you found particularly valuable. I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible and will be sure that we consider everyone’s perspective as we chart our course. Our board chair, Ted Chandler, often says that our membership is our greatest asset, and every day I am here I appreciate that more fully.
One final note: We laid my friend and colleague Bob Pohlman to rest today. Bob was awarded the Carl A.S. Coan, Sr., Award for Public Service in a private ceremony at his home last month, and there will be a formal award presentation at the Annual Housing Visionary Award Gala on June 14. Bob led the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development and is a past director of D.C.’s Department of Housing and Community Development. Bob was a pivotal figure in organizing a citywide housing advocacy campaign to gain dedicated funding for the D.C. Housing Production Trust Fund, the largest of its kind in the country, which has already created over 10,000 units of affordable housing in Washington.