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Posts Tagged ‘Harvard University’

NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence Program Teaches Leadership

July 29th, 2016 Comments off

Chris_Nicely_Next_Step_Network_credit postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsChris Nicely, CEO of Next Step Network, a nonprofit supporter of affordable housing based in Louisville, KY, is one of 50 national leaders to have been chosen to participate in NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence Program, conducted at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard university.

Partly funded by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the program hones executive skills to enhance their organization’s performance. Participants identify a specific challenge in their organization and then address that challenge with input from leaders and other attendees, as MHProNews has learned.

I am honored to have been selected to join this truly unique group of dedicated leaders,” said Nicely. “This personal challenge will not only stretch and expand my capacity, but allow me to experience a wide range of perspectives and adopt tools for increasing probabilities of goal attainment. I am very excited to be attending.”

Christina Deady, senior director of leadership and workforce development at NeighborWorks America, said, “The Achieving Excellence Program not only affects the organizations and communities but also results in a stronger pipeline of energized leaders throughout the nonprofit sector. ##

(Photo credit:Next Step Network–Chris Nicely, CEO)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Energy Efficient Manufactured Homes to Replace Dilapidated Units

October 7th, 2014 Comments off

mh_transportation___rileystransport_creditNoting that manufactured housing can provide affordable housing to many low and moderate income families, especially in non-metro areas, several nonprofits are working to reverse the negative image of factory-made homes and their occupants by establishing programs to replace the dilapidated homes with new, high efficiency models. According to Matthew Furman, an Edward M. Gramlich Fellow in Economic and Community Development at Harvard University, there are more than 25 manufactured housing replacement programs in fifteen states that have replaced between 500 and 750 units in the last decade. Writing in dailyyonder.com, he says there are hundreds of thousands of dilapidated manufactured homes that dot the national landscape, many constructed since the federal government established strict guidelines in June, 1976.

Furman says there needs to be sustainable subsidies, such as tax increment financing and revolving-door loan funds to help residents purchase new factory-built homes. Additionally, in order to improve the housing stock via a manufactured housing replacement program, housing professionals need to find creative solutions to problems that will come up, “because clear best practices have not yet emerged in this policy area,” he says. On Wed., Oct 15, Furman and NeighborWorks America’s Rural Initiative will lead a webinar on programs to replace substandard manufactured housing. MHProNews covered a New York project Dec. 12, 2011 that replaced dilapidated MH. ##

(Photo credit: Riley Transport–new manufactured home en route)

Where will the Baby Boomers Live as they Age?

September 9th, 2014 Comments off

question_mark_houses__fotosearchAccording to Harvard University’s Joint Center on Housing, the nation is poorly prepared to house aging Baby Boomers, especially those disabled. An added problem is one-third of those aged 50 and older spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing; some boomers who still have a mortgage on their homes, and renters, spend over 50 percent on housing. The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that only three percent of those 65 and older moved in the previous year, and despite all the talk abut empty-nesters downsizing, the opposite is true—boomers are remaining in their single-family homes, and will likely stay until age and/or infirmity forces them to leave, according to a study by Fannie Mae.

Options include moving to senior housing, but even the pre-boomers are reluctant, reflected in the fact the average age of new inhabitants in facilities for seniors is 84. Staying in their homes as they age will require renovations, and many older Americans will not have the resources to effectively convert their homes. But as fool.com reports, devoting public money to help seniors age in place would be money well spent. MHProNews knows another option would be manufactured homes built to accommodate the needs of seniors, a definite affordable housing alternative.  A guest OpEd on that very topic, including the full free download of Harvard’s Joint Center on Housing Study’s on seniors, is linked here. ##

(Image credit: fotosearch.com–question mark homes)

Mayor Julian Castro to Lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development

May 23rd, 2014 Comments off

President Barack Obama is moving Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donavan to be the Budget Director, and will nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to replace him. Now in his third term as mayor, Castro has focused on revitalizing the city’s urban core through a series of incentives to encourage inner city investment, according to politics.suntimes.com. Having earned a law degree from Harvard University in 2000, he set up a law practice in San Antonio and served on the city council for two terms. Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the U. S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, says Castro has done more than anyone in addressing the city’s housing needs, as MHProNews.com has learned from sfgate.com. Palomarez says, “With great consistency, Mayor Castro has set aside political partisanship in the name of good policy decision making. We hope his confirmation process will proceed with that same collaborative spirit.” Donovan is replacing Sylvia Mathews Burwell who is moving to head the Department of Health and Human Services. ##

(Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Canadian Firm Seeking Manufactured Home Communities

March 25th, 2014 Comments off

Toronto-based Tricon Capital Group, Inc. (TCN), which bought 3,500 rental units in the U. S. following the housing meltdown, is now seeking to invest up to $670 million (US) in manufactured home communities (MHCs) in Florida, California and Arizona, reports businessweek.com. Chief Operating Officer (COO) Gary Berman says, “If you look at the U.S. population, it’s definitely growing, it’s definitely getting older, and it’s probably getting poorer. What single-family rental and manufactured housing do is they provide very affordable housing for people.” He says manufactured housing is a $400 billion business within the overall single-family U. S. market worth $2 trillion to $3 trillion.

After going public in 2010 Tricon gained 35 percent; its adjusted net income rose to C$34.7 million ($31 million US) in 2013 from C$6.76 million ($6 million US) in 2012. Eighty percent of its assets are in the U. S., with 20 percent in Canada. Berman says they are seeking the higher end MHCs.

Private-equity firms, hedge funds, and other investors spent more than $20 billion buying about 200,000 rental homes in the last two years, as MHProNews.com has been informed. According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, demand for more affordable housing is high in the U. S. as federal subsidies have not kept pace with the growing need.##

(Photo credit: plantationonthelake.com–manufactured home community in Calimesa, Calif.)

NAHB Supports Harvard’s Affordable Rental Initiatives

December 10th, 2013 Comments off

In response to Harvard University’s Joint Study on Housing documenting the shortage of affordable rental housing in the U. S., as MHProNews covered earlier, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Rick Judson issued a statement emphasizing the importance of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) in constructing affordable multifamily housing. Noting that efforts to reform the housing finance system need to include a federal backstop, especially during downturns in the economic cycle, Judson agrees with the Joint Center report that the Tax Credit needs to be retained, instead of being eliminated as some in Congress would have it, and even strengthened. He also suggested the government provide gap financing to reduce building costs, remove regulatory barriers to construction, and streamline LIHTC program rules.

(Photo credit: bloombergbusinessweek)

Study: More Renters Being Hit Hard

December 10th, 2013 Comments off

Bloomberg businessweek reports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has determined the availability of less expensive apartments has not kept up with demand. This has lead an added 2.5 million people in four years to pay over 50 percent of their income for housing—28 percent of all renters, as rents have increased and real income has declined. MHProNews has been informed the vacancy rate fell from 10.6 million in 2009 to 8.4 million this year. If Congress sheds the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit the situation will worsen. The study also states one in five manufactured homes have left the housing stock from 2001 to 2011.

(Photo credit: zimbio.com)

Housing Finance Expert will speak at Penn State

October 29th, 2013 Comments off

With more than 30 years of experience as a housing scholar and expert in the field of mortgage finance and housing policy, Kent Colton, president of The Colton Housing Group & Senior Scholar at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, will present “Framing the Future of Housing Finance: A Practical Guide to Reforming the System,” a lecture on the future of the nation’s housing finance. He says the recovery is limping along because there has not been housing finance reform, according to statecollege.com. Noting the importance of absolutely qualified borrowers, he adds the private sector should be primary but it also needs to contribute to a fund to cover risk. MHProNews has learned his talk will be held Nov. 6 at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania.

(Photo credit: statecollege.com–Kent Colton)

Mortgage Debt: Problematic for Retirees

September 27th, 2013 Comments off

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says 30 percent of homeowners over 70 have mortgages to pay off. A study for 2001 reports eight percent of owners over 75 were carrying mortgage debt. More homeowners over 65 continue to pay on their homes into their retirement years, and that may make it more difficult for them to remain in their homes long term. Health care costs, property taxes and home maintenance will likely rise against incomes that rise little, if at all. Eric Belsky, managing director for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, states the number of households with persons over 65 will rise by 11 million over the next ten years. As nytimes.com reports, reverse mortgages may become more prominent. The homeowner borrows against home equity, but must have enough resources to maintain insurance and taxes, or they could lose the home. Most reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), MHProNews has learned. A study of 32,000 people who sought information about reverse mortgages from 2006 to 2011 will be released in Nov. 2013.

(Image credit: caudium.com)

Support for Governmental Backstop for Mortgage Financing Remains

September 18th, 2013 Comments off

A “future-of-housing” forum sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in Washington, D. C., with housing industry experts and Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) indicated most participants agree the private sector should play a greater role in mortgage financing, but with some level of government support to ensure stability and liquidity. Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute says lowering the conforming limits of the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) will make a path for the private sector to take that business. “If you simply made those changes and authorized the withdrawal of the GSEs, you would find we would gradually move to a completely private system, which is where I think we should be going,” he states. Others say during a tough time for the housing industry private credit would simply disappear, and that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) saved the day during the recent crisis. Sens. Corker and Tester are among ten bipartisan sponsors of the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act (S. 1217), which provides a federal backstop to mortgage lending. Isakson says every provision in the Tax Code must be thoroughly examined to determine if it is viable in the long term. Eric Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University says household formation is particularly slow, as many over 30 children remain with their parents due to economic necessity. NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe says the housing market is about half-way back, as credit remains tight and buildable lots are scarce. On the topic of tax reform, several housing experts agree the mortgage interest deduction plays an important role in shaping housing demand. NAHB Economist Robert Dietz says, “The nonpartisan Tax Foundation found that if we repealed the mortgage interest deduction and lowered marginal tax rates then GDP would decline by $100 billion annually,” plus it would cause home values to decline. AS MHProNews learned, he added, “Considering it only takes a 6 percent drop in home values to wipe out $1 trillion in household wealth, the economic consequences could be significant.”

(Image credit: firstbanktrust.com)