Affordable Housing Category Archives

2018 Elections: Housing Ballot Measure Highlights

Housing was on the ballot in many communities last week.  Below are links to some notable highlights from around the country:

  • San Francisco voters approved a tax on big business to fund permanent housing, emergency shelters and mental health services for the city’s homeless people. Economists said it would raise $250 million to $300 million. 
  • Portland-area voters on Tuesday approved a $652.8 million bond measure to build thousands of homes affordable for low-income residents.
  • Charlotte voters approved  a $50 million affordable housing bond.
  • Austin voters approved a $250 million affordable housing bond.
  • California voters defeat ballot measure that would have expanded rent control.

Rep. Brady Announces Draft Tax Measure; Text to be Circulated Soon

House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has announced he has completed a draft tax measure to fix the “retail glitch” in the new tax law and address many tax extenders.  The draft measure is expected to be circulated in the next few days. It is unclear at time of press whether any affordable housing, historic rehabilitation or New Markets Tax Credit provisions are included in Chairman Brady’s draft, which is said to include between 70-80 alterations to last year’s the tax law, HR 1.  The measure is a potential vehicle for several NH&RA priorities including fixing the 4 percent LIHTC rate, basis adjustment provisions for the historic credit and an extension of the NMTC, which is set to sunset next year.  We will update this story as it develops.

2019 Qualified Census Tracts and Difficult Development Areas

HUD has released the 2019 lists of designated Difficult Development Areas (DDAs) and Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs). The designations, effective January 1, 2019, are made annually and are used for the purposes of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

An affordable housing project located in a DDA or a QCT and financed with LIHTC is eligible for a 30 percent increase in its tax credit basis. To qualify as a QCT, an area must have at least 50 percent of households with incomes below 60 percent of the Area Median Gross Income (AMGI) or have a poverty rate of at least 25 percent. QCTs are determined based on the three most recent sets of American Community Survey data. To be designated a DDA, an area must have high land, construction, and utility costs relative to AMGI. The designations of DDAs are based on modified Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Small Area Fair Market Rents (Small Area FMRs), FY2018 non-metropolitan county FMRs, FY2018 income limits, and 2010 Census population counts.

Visit the Qualified Census Tracts and Difficult Development Areas page on HUD User to access the lists, data, and documentation, as well as maps of both QCTs and DDAs. Documentation contains detailed explanations of HUD designation methodology. A geocoded dBase file is also available for 2019 QCTs.

Learn more at 

Economic & Fixed Income Insights, November 7, 2018

Mortgage applications dropped to a 4-year low as rising interest rates are now clearly taking their toll on potential homebuyers. Total mortgage application volume fell 4% last week from a week earlier and plunged 16% from a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Higher borrowing costs have come as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates eight times since December 2015, part of a strategy to keep a strengthening labor market from overheating.  Turning to the debt markets, yields trended upward along the curve. The benchmark 10-year UST finished 11 basis points higher while the 30-year UST yield was up 7 basis points.  Municipals also trended upward with the 10-year MMD 7 basis points higher to 2.77% and the 30-year MMD 12 basis points higher to 3.46%.

Interest Rate Observations

Source: Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg. The table above reflects market conditions as of November 6, 2018.

Important Disclosures

This material was prepared by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel”). This material is for informational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy discussed herein. The information contained is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by Stifel as to accuracy or completeness. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Stifel does not provide accounting; tax or legal advice and clients are advised to consult with their accounting, tax or legal advisors prior to making any investment decision.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated is a broker-dealer registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member FINRA, NYSE & SIPC. © 2018