In collaboration with the Shriver Center and the Chicago Area Fair Housing Center, we mapped and located city owned vacant lots that can be used for subsidized housing.
EXPANDING MOBILITY - IMPROVING THE HCV TO HOMEOWNER PROGRAM
Earlier this year, the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance (CAFHA) requested our input on a report examining the HCV to Homeownership Program. CAFHA sought to understand the program basics and identify opportunities to strengthen outcomes. In doing so, they conducted extensive research and interviewed local housing authority staff and contracting agencies, as well as other housing industry experts both locally and across the country. They also conducted interviews with seven Housing Choice Voucher holders and administered surveys to 438 Cook County and City of Chicago voucher holders and public housing residents.
Over several months, Kathleen and Damon provided resources and recommendations. We also convened a group call with Sarah Gerecke who served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing Counseling at HUD during the Obama Administration. Those group discussions yielded additional input to inform CAFHA's report.
The report was recently finalized and includes key lending ideas and policy recommendations from the Institute. It also represents a critical opportunity for the Institute to help provide advocacy capacity support to scale up meaningful recommendations that help address the homeownership gap and generational wealth building opportunities.
PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAMS: SCALING UP A POWERFUL,YET UNDERUTILIZED TOOL TO RESTORE WEALTH BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES.
RECOMMENDATIONS DIRECTLY FROM THE CHICAGO AREA FAIR HOUSING ALLIANCE REPORT:
Federal and state legislators must open the gates to reform.
- Recommendations include allocating increased funding to HUD for program expansion and pursuing property tax reform at the state level
Public housing authority program fidelity and administration must be improved.
- Recommendations include strengthening program outreach and recruitment, auditing current programming and mitigating any infractions with federal regulations
Public housing authority partnerships should be created and expanded.
- Recommendations include partnering with community land trusts and land banks to expand opportunities (especially in high cost areas), engaging philanthropy to fund a homeowner peer mentorship program, and promoting the program more rigorously to lenders as a way to meet Community Reinvestment Act goals.
Lenders and real estate professionals should expand access to address past harms.
- Recommendations include using alternative credit assessment methods in lending to voucher participants, the creation of low-to-no-interest maintenance loans, and developing a real estate restitution fund for Black homeowners through levying yearly fees on real estate association memberships.
NEXT STEPS IN TERMS OF THE INCLUSIVITY INSTITUTE'S ADVOCACY, PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND CONVENING TO SCALE UP IMPACT:
- Assist in advocacy to increase funding for the programs on the hill, identifying legislative champions, and helping with bill language, and meeting requests and materials.
- Assist in advocacy in development recommendations for specific administrative changes within HUD, including helping with meeting requests and materials.
- Coalition building among fair housing organizations and tenant advocates as well as state and local voucher administering agencies to raise the profile of these issues and build support for funding increases and administrative updates.
- Work to help pilot the creation of low-interest maintenance loans for HCV homeowner clients.