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1 SEPTEMBER volume 2, umber 8 Forgig Parterships, Maximizig Resources Low- ad moderate-icome families, teachers, firefighters, police officers, govermet employees, ad service idustry workers throughout Virgiia are able to buy affordable homes because of iovative state, federal, ad local parterships that reduce housig costs ad icrease homeowership opportuities. This was certaily the case for a disabled couple i Wayesboro, who recetly moved ito their ew home thaks to a uique collaboratio ivolvig the Sposorig Parterships ad Revitalizig Commuities (SPARC) program, low-iterest costructio fiacig from the Wayesboro Redevelopmet ad Housig Authority, hads-o housig costructio by the cotets A Cityscape from the Office of Uiversity Parterships HUD Releases Study o Discrimiatio Agaist Persos with Disabilities Project Size Not a Strog Ifluece Teachers, firefighters, ad police officers with low ad moderate icome i Virgiia ca afford housig with the help of collaboratig local, state, ad federal agecies YouthBuild program, HOME dowpaymet assistace, ad last but ot least, a Housig Choice Voucher. Virgiia Housig Developmet Authority Brigs it All Together The facilitator of this collaborative effort is Virgiia s housig fiace agecy, Virgiia Housig Developmet Authority (VHDA). The Authority was established i 1972 to address the affordable housig eeds of lowad moderate-icome residets by ledig moey to first-time ad repeat homebuyers ad for the developmet ad preservatio of affordable housig. Sice its iceptio, VHDA has made fiacig available for approximately 131,000 sigle-family homes ad 96,000 multifamily apartmets. This high level of success is due to the support of may strategic parters, icludig private leders, developers, REALTORS, local govermets, huma service providers, ad commuity-based oprofit cotiued o page 2 w w w. h u d u s e r. o r g

2 Forgig Parterships, Maximizig Resources cotiued from page 1 orgaizatios. VHDA also works with federal ad state housig orgaizatios, local housig authorities, ad the idustry to meet the affordable housig eeds of Virgiia residets. VHDA issues both taxable ad tax-exempt mortgage reveue bods (MRBs) to support its ledig programs. The private sector purchases these bods, geeratig VHDA s priciple source of capital. Ideed, VHDA does ot use tax dollars to fud its ledig programs. Its cosumer-ledig products help remove barriers to homeowership, provide homeowership educatio, correct past credit problems, ad eable buyers to make accessibility modificatios. VHDA provides loas to cosumers for the purchase or reovatio of homes, as well as to developers who build, rehabilitate, ad reovate affordable retal apartmets. VHDA also admiisters programs that target low-icome households, such as the Low-Icome Housig Tax Credit program ad Housig Choice Vouchers. Spotlight o SPARC The SPARC program is fuded by the Virgiia Housig Fud from VHDA operatig fuds. Sice Jauary 2002, SPARC serves very low-icome idividuals with icomes of 50 to 60 percet of the local area media icome. Through SPARC, VHDA has provided close to $284 millio i fudig to 130 local govermets, redevelopmet ad housig authorities, oprofit housig advocates, ad for-profit developers to help produce affordable housig i their commuities. As a result, approximately 2,500 idividuals have purchased homes. I 2005 aloe, 38 orgaizatios received $113 millio i fiacig to provide affordable homeowership for approximately 1,000 people. We developed the SPARC program so that our housig parters could brig us customized programs that geerally are ot available from private leders or through VHDA s regular ledig programs, said Do Riteour, VHDA s maagig director of developmet. Our parters have the kowledge ad direct isight ito the umet eeds i their commuities. They are i the best positio to desig programs that combie the local, state, or federal fudig they receive with our SPARC moies to make every dollar cout. The mechaism for SPARC s homeowership program is a oce-a-year competitive allocatio. Proposals are scored, based o VHDA s focus o Icreased service to low-icome households; Iovative parterships make housig i Virgiia more affordable for low- ad moderate-icome families. Icreased service to miorities, ew immigrats, or persos with disabilities; Local revitalizatio efforts; Remedyig housig stock iadequacies; ad Closig housig affordability gaps ot beig addressed by traditioal leders. Proposals that leverage fuds from federal, state, ad local etities receive higher scores. SPARC fuds are also disbursed with a high degree of flexibility. Tax-exempt, permaet mortgage fiacig of local homeowership iitiatives carries a iterest rate 0.5 to 1.0 percet below VHDA s regular first-time homebuyer s rate. The mortgage fuds are allocated o a competitive basis to ecourage local iovatio ad maximize the use of o-vhda fuds. Buildig New Affordable Homes New, affordable housig uits i extremely difficult, high-cost markets are proof of SPARC s success. SPARC supports costructio of ew affordable homes i three ways. First, it provides icetives ad supports local govermet ad housig authority parterships with homebuilders. For example, Arligto Couty plas to assist 50 low- ad moderate-icome families to become homeowers through iovative parterships. Coupled with VHDA/SPARC fiacig, the couty cotributed $1.25 millio through its Moderate Icome Purchase Assistace program, i the form of a forgivable loa of $3,700 per uit for borrowers participatig i its Live Near Your Work iitiative. The couty works with local developers to build affordable dwellig uits, subsidized at $75,000 cotiued o page 3

3 A Cityscape from the Office of Uiversity Parterships r How do people choose where to live? How do people livig i poor urba areas feel about homeowership, savig, ivestig, ad eighborhood ivolvemet? Does the fiacial outlook of families who use Sectio 8 subsidies to relocate to better eighborhoods improve as a result of the move? As these research questios imply, fidig solutios to some of the more pressig affordable housig problems requires detailed, accurate iformatio about people, their values, their habits, ad their attitudes. More importatly, we eed to kow what does ad does ot work, which brigs us to aother, more challegig lie of iquiry: What is the best way to help a eighborhood revitalize itself? Ca aythig really be doe about urba uderemploymet? Ca commuity-based orgaizatios (CBOs) become better advocates by usig iformatio techology? How does federal policy ad regulatio shape local political decisios? Researchers sought aswers to these tough questios i preparig a special editio of Cityscape, a joural of policy developmet ad research published by HUD s Office of Policy Developmet ad Research. Released last year, this issue of Cityscape (Volume 7, No. 1) offers a kid of Whitma s Sampler of housig research takig place o uiversity campuses today. Despite the diversity of topics, approaches, ad fidigs, the articles are strikigly complemetary. A recurrig theme throughout the issue is that, to be effective, policy relatig to housig ad commuity developmet must take a umber of factors ito accout ad be tailored to specific target groups or locatios. cotiued o page 5 r e s e a r c h e w s Forgig Parterships, Maximizig Resources cotiued from page 2 per uit to offset the high cost of housig i the Norther Virgiia suburbs. SPARC also leverages a full array of affordable housig resources ad tools (HOME ad CDBG fuds, local trust fuds, zoig/lad use icetives, fee waivers, etc.) to create homebuyig opportuities that would ot otherwise be available usig oly mortgage reveue bods. Alexadria, Virgiia, has committed $200,000 toward its Employee Homeowership Program, which provides up to $5,000 to govermet ad public school employees purchasig their first homes. Alexadria is also expadig homeowership opportuities for residets of public housig ad holders of Housig Choice Vouchers. SPARC fiacig, coupled with federal HOME ad CDBG fuds, makes up to $20,000 per uit available for persos participatig i the Moderate Icome Homeowership Program ad up to $50,000 per uit for the Homeowership Assistace Program. Alexadria also established a Idividual Developmet Accout (IDA) program that will match participats savigs up to $4,000. I additio, SPARC provides icetives for removal of regulatory barriers. SPARC fudig facilitates the use of local Affordable Dwellig Uit (ADU) ordiaces that allow developers to make use of desity bouses. The Fairfax Redevelopmet ad Housig Authority uses SPARC fiacig to support its Neighborhood Revitalizatio Fiace Program that targets ew ad existig homes adjacet to seve revitalizatio areas. By combiig SPARC s low-iterest Couties work with local developers to grow the affordable housig stock. fiacig with additioal resources for dowpaymet ad closig cost assistace ad with Housig Choice Vouchers, Fairfax Couty has come up with a creative package for fiacig affordable homes. Local orgaizatios who receive SPARC fuds like the program because it gives them more of a say i meetig local eeds. It has positioed VHDA as a parter with localities, a mobilizig force for affordable housig, says Toi Ostrowski, Seior Commuity Housig Officer at VHDA. The otice of fudig availability for the fifth aual roud of SPARC is scheduled for release i October Applicatios are due i mid-december, ad allocatios will be aouced i Jauary For additioal iformatio about VHDA ad SPARC, visit or cotact Toi Ostrowski at (804) or SEPTEMBER 05 3

4 r r e s e a r c h e w s HUD Releases Study o Discrimiatio Agaist Persos with Disabilities O July 25, 2005, HUD Secretary Alphoso Jackso released the study Discrimiatio Agaist Persos with Disabilities: Barriers at Every Step. He also released a compaio report, Discrimiatio Agaist Persos with Disabilities: Guidace for Practitioers, that uses the lessos from the research study to offer guidace to practitioers o how to coduct disability discrimiatio testig. These are the last i a series of reports assiged to HUD by Cogress to use paired testig to measure the level of discrimiatio i the Uited States. The three previous reports showed the level of discrimiatio experieced by Africa Americas, Hispaics, Asias, ad Native Americas whe they iquired about a uit advertised for sale or ret. As a body of work, the series of reports is commoly referred to as the Housig Discrimiatio Study 2000 (see the April 2005 ResearchWorks for additioal iformatio). I paired testig, two equally qualified homeseekers, oe with a disability, the other o-disabled, iquire about a uit advertised for ret. They the idepedetly record their treatmet ad aalysts make comparisos based o such idicators as whether or ot they were told the uit was available. The ew report, Barriers at Every Step, shows the level of discrimiatio faced by two groups i the Chicago metropolita area: persos who are deaf ad use a telephoe relay service to iquire about a retal uit, ad persos usig wheelchairs who visit retal providers i perso. The aalysis of 200 paired tests yielded three key fidigs: I oe of four calls, ladlords who advertised uits for ret refused to speak to deaf persos while o-disabled callers were give iformatio. For people who are deaf, the telephoe relay service is a primary meas of commuicatig with hearig persos. Whe ladlords refuse to use the relay system, the uits are effectively uavailable to those who are deaf. I a quarter of the tests, whe deaf persos ad wheelchair users were able to obtai iformatio, they did ot receive the same level of ecouragemet as o-disabled persos. Uder the Fair Housig Act, if a ladlord asks o-disabled persos to complete a applicatio or ivites o-disabled persos to come ad visit the property, they eed to do the same for customers with disabilities. Beyod equal treatmet, the Fair Housig Act calls for ladlords to agree to reasoable requests from persos with disabilities to make it possible for them to ejoy their housig. A reasoable accommodatio might be givig a residet with a mobility impairmet a parkig spot ear their uit. Aother might be permittig istallatio of a ramp paid for by the teat. The study shows that the majority of ladlords agree to these types of requests. Noetheless, about 19 percet of ladlords refused a request for a reasoable accommodatio ad 16 percet said they would ot permit a reasoable modificatio. The study breaks ew groud i usig paired tests to idetify discrimiatio agaist persos with disabilities. Paired testig is a feasible ad effective tool for detectig ad measurig discrimiatio by retal housig providers agaist persos with disabilities. It ca be used to capture both differetial treatmet discrimiatio ad refusal to make reasoable accommodatios or permit reasoable modificatios, ad the paired testig methodology ca be adapted to suit a wide variety of disabilities ad housig circumstaces. Prior to the study, very little paired testig had bee coducted for measurig differeces i treatmet for persos with disabilities. I releasig the report, Secretary Jackso commeted, We would all like to thik we have made more progress i educatig ladlords about the Fair Housig Act, but this study paits a differet picture of the problems faced daily by people with disabilities. It is imperative that ladlords provide people with disabilities the same attetio ad respect afforded all other potetial reters. cotiued o page 7 4

5 The OUP Cityscape cotiued from page 3 Oe author seeks to demostrate how it s ecessary to leverage specific eighborhood stregths ad assets with other resources, such as federal fuds, to successfully revitalize those eighborhoods. I aother article titled The Struggle for Housig Equality, the researcher demostrates how the priciples of the Fair Housig Act ad the Commuity Reivestmet Act come to life through local commuity activism ad political processes i the uique urba cotexts of Dever ad Mieapolis. The author observes that, If a atioal policy is to work, it is usually local groups that must respod to it. Therefore, To reduce housig discrimiatio it is ecessary to thik about how ad whether policies geerate, sustai, ad stregthe local advocacy. I aother thoughtful examiatio of the various factors that ca ifluece policy formulatio, the researcher demostrates how crucial a accurate ad thorough eeds assessmet ca be i the formatio of housig policy. Whe facig displacemet due to demolished public housig, 41 low-icome Philadelphia families chose to use Sectio 8 subsidies to relocate to better eighborhoods. The author follows up with these families two years after their move to see how thigs tured out. Had their overall fiacial situatios improved as a result of leavig a eviromet of cocetrated poverty? Ufortuately, few of the families had yet bee able to capitalize o opportuities preset i their ew eighborhoods. They had ot built ew social ties, or itegrated with the existig social structure. Obviously, these relocatig families eeded additioal help i adaptig to, ad becomig a part of, their ew eighborhoods. Oe asset that s worth explorig i ay effort to improve coditios i poor urba eighborhoods is the set of values ad attitudes held by the residets of these areas. Oe Cityscape researcher discovered a wealth of positive attitudes ad behavior regardig homeowership, savig ad ivestig, ad eighborhood ivolvemet amog the urba poor i Chicago i the late 1980s. This author foud that The importace of optimism, religio, thrift, ad household cotext suggest hidde resources, if teamed with private-sector support, ca stimulate ecoomic growth. Projected outcomes of ay policy iitiative, such as affordable housig, must also cosider structural factors, as we see i oe researcher s ivestigatio of low-icome employmet. This article suggests that uderemploymet is largely due to structural factors, which are far more ifluetial tha persoal or family characteristics. The author fids the flatteig ad spreadig of a heretofore hierarchically structured busiess cofiguratio carries ew expectatios about labor. Workers are icreasigly redistributed across a array of small busiesses i a ew divisio of labor that pries apart, elevates, ad subordiates workers, eve as it reders them icreasigly iterdepedet. This restructurig is a idustry pheomeo felt most keely by the vulerable worker at the lower ed of the wage scale. Who are the researchers whose work appears i the Office of Uiversity Parterships editio of Cityscape? Most are ow teachig ad researchig o uiversity campuses across the South, Midwest, ad Northeast, but they were doctoral studets whe they first set about aswerig the questios posed above with grat assistace from HUD. They have sice eared their Ph.D.s ad are furtherig the cause of buildig a body of kowledge ad competece to etrust HUD sposors eighborhood revitalizatio workig at the grassroots level, literally. to future geeratios. Oe researcher observed that, HUD doctoral dissertatio grat fudig afforded me the opportuity to quickly complete my dissertatio research. It also helped spur my iterest i likig scholarly research i plaig ad ecoomics to public policymakig at the local, state, ad atioal levels. The author is ow a Assistat Professor of Public Policy ad Political Ecoomy at the Uiversity of Texas at Dallas, where her research is expadig a relatively ew frotier cocerig the effects of private govermets (e.g., homeower associatios) cotiued o page 6 SEPTEMBER 05

6 p Project Size Not a Strog Ifluece p r a c t i t i o e r s t i p s I recet years, people ad orgaizatios servig persos with disabilities have sought to expad maistream housig opportuities for those they serve. I keepig with this effort, i 2000, Cogress madated a evaluatio of Sectio 811 ad 202 housig projects for persos with disabilities. This study which focuses o project size fids that size does ot strogly ifluece either cost or supportive service availability ad that meetig residets eeds for these services is more importat to their satisfactio tha project size. Programs Evolve to Meet Needs The federal govermet bega fudig housig programs for persos with disabilities i the mid-1960s through the Sectio 202 Direct Loa Program for the Elderly. People with developmetal disabilities became eligible for the program i 1974, ad eight years later, people with chroic metal illess became eligible. By 1990, HUD had fuded more tha 2,100 projects, with over 36,000 uits completed uder Sectio 202. Over the years, these projects have evolved from primarily large, cogregate projects to smaller, commuitybased complexes. Startig i 1990, Sectio 202 chaged from a direct loa program with Sectio 8 retal assistace to a capital-advace program with project retal assistace cotract fuds, ad was limited to elderly people with very low icomes. The Sectio 811 Supportive Housig for Persos with Disabilities Program was also developed to meet the housig eeds of very low-icome adults with disabilities mostly through small, idepedet-livig projects ad small group homes, with supportive services available o- or off-site to help residets live as idepedetly as possible. Sectio 811 ad 202 sigificatly expad housig opportuities for disabled persos. Va Osdol.com, Uited Cerebral Palsy of Texas, Tekoa Boulevard Parters. Throughout the programs histories, the tred has bee to reduce Sectio 811 ad 202 project size, maily i respose to recommedatios from atioal disability advocacy orgaizatios ad chages i state policies. Sice 2003, most idepedet-livig projects are limited to 14 persos with disabilities, ad all group homes are limited to 6 persos. A lively debate cotiues about the optimal size of housig commuities for idepedet livig. Some advocate small developmets that fit ito surroudig eighborhoods, while others argue that larger projects are less expesive to build ad operate. Still others suggest that housig vouchers would better serve the eeds of persos with disabilities. HUD s recet study has useful implicatios for resolvig these issues, i that it explores five mai questios: What are the characteristics of projects ad their residets? cotiued o page 7 6 The OUP Cityscape cotiued from page 5 o local govermets, housig prices ad quality of life. Aother author/office of Uiversity Parterships grat recipiet is a Associate Professor of Sociology at Tulae Uiversity, who otes that HUD support played a critical role i my professioal developmet as studet of urba chage ad social iequality. He metors several graduate studets with similar iterests i urba iequality, who have see how much HUD support has helped me, ad they are eager to pursue similar opportuities. This is but a brief glimpse of academic research o housig ad commuity developmet that is flourishig i the academic commuity. To dowload this issue, go to vol7um1/idex.html or cotact HUD USER at to obtai a prited copy for a omial fee. To lear more about HUD s doctoral research grat program, see HUD s Office of Uiversity Parterships website,

7 Discrimiatio Study cotiued from page 4 The compaio report, Guidace for Practitioers, provides much more detail about the fair housig law as it relates to persos with disabilities, provides a step-by-step approach to testig ad issues of special cocer whe coductig tests for disability discrimiatio, explais the details of the testig procedures used i the study, ad discusses how fidigs might be used i carryig out eforcemet. The guidace for practitioers will be provided to fair housig agecies ad groups atiowide, ad will be used at HUD s just-opeed Natioal Fair Housig Traiig Academy. Project Size Not a Strog Ifluece cotiued from page 6 What role does project size play i the types ad locatios of services provided to residets? How does project size affect eighborhood relatios, both before the project is developed ad after it s occupied? What are the ecoomic ad social relatioships betwee projects ad their immediate eighborhoods? What are residets experieces i Sectio 811 housig? What is the role of project size i project developmet ad operatig costs? To aswer these questios, researchers visited 50 projects i 10 metropolita areas, iterviewed residets ad project sposors, ad spoke with state policymakers. Researchers foud that priorities for the projects iclude: locatios i safe, attractive residetial or mixed residetial ad commercial eighborhoods; a emphasis o idepedet livig; the provisio of commuity-based (rather tha o-site) support services; ad good relatioships with local eighbors ad busiesses. The physical appearace of a project, icludig small size, is a sigificat factor i promotig local acceptace, ad a project that architecturally bleds ito the eighborhood is see as most desirable. The study reports a umber of key fidigs cocerig the actual delivery of housig ad supportive services i existig Sectio 811 ad 202 projects. These fidigs fall ito four categories: the role of project size i housig ad service delivery; project size ad eighborhood relatios; residet experieces i Sectio 811 projects; ad project size i relatio to developmet ad operatig costs. Let s look at a few highlights. First, with respect to project size i housig ad service delivery, the study fids that these projects... are importat sources of affordable housig i their commuities [ad that] vacacies are rare. Secod, with respect to project size ad eighborhood relatios, for the most part, the projects visited for this study fit i well with... the surroudig eighborhoods. Site selectio ofte icludes such Supportive service availability comes factors as proximity to with more housig opportuities for the public trasit, supportive ad commercial elderly, thaks to Sectio 811 ad 202. services, ad other eighborhood ameities. Yet, i about a third of the projects, site visitors oted that the developmets were isolated from shoppig ad services, ad i some istaces, crimial activity was observed i the eighborhood. With respect to project size ad developmet i relatio to operatig costs, the study fids evidece of ecoomies of scale i some regios. The effect is strogest i lower cost regios of the coutry (the Midwest ad South) compared to the Northeast ad West. Because project size does ot strogly affect either costs or the availability of services, the study suggests that HUD should cotiue to ecourage the developmet of projects with fewer uits, which are easier to site, ad whose residets express high rates of satisfactio. The study also suggests that HUD eeds to maitai flexibility to permit sposors to develop larger projects where suitable sites are available ad sposors ca demostrate the demad for the housig. For more iformatio, please see Implicatios of Project Size i Sectio 811 ad Sectio 202 Assisted Projects for Persos with Disabilities, available as a free dowload at sec html or i prited form for a omial cost by callig SEPTEMBER 05

8 U.S. Departmet of Housig ad Urba Developmet HUD USER P.O. Box Washigto, DC Official Busiess Pealty for Private Use $300 Retur Service Requested PRESORTED FiRST-ClaSS Mail POSTagE & FEES PaiD HUD PERMiT NO. g 795 I the Next Issue of w w w. h u d u s e r. o r g Reverse mortgages are gaiig i popularity i America. HUD s Home Equity Coversio Mortgage Program (HECM) is a form of reverse mortgage wherei the homeower receives paymets from the leder. May seiors use it to supplemet social security, meet uexpected medical expeses, make home improvemets, ad more. We ll describe the HECM program, provide examples of how it s used, ad examie program updates ad refiemets. Four years ago, HUD bega a cocerted research effort to discover ways to automate the home costructio process, improve costructio workflows, ad coordiate costructio sites. So far, we ve looked at the status of residetial costructio idustrializatio, models of iformatio flow used i productio, ad prefab framig processes used by builders. The most recet phase features developmet of a computerized simulatio model of framig processes based o curret field practices. We ll discuss key fidigs ad implicatios. Workig families are experiecig icreasig difficulty i achievig homeowership. May of the affected workers are i service occupatios, such as firefightig, law eforcemet, emergecy medical services, ad teachig. We look at the kids of assistace that are eeded, ad icreasigly made available, to workers by their employers ad through publicly fuded programs.

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