South Florida Community Development Coalition, Inc.
2008 Priority Policy Recommendations
- GIVE QUALIFIED NONPROFIT DEVELOPERS SURTAX/SHIP LOAN COMMITMENTS FOR
THEIR BUYERS: During the predevelopment phase, provide nonprofit
developers of affordable homeownership units with commitments of
Surtax/SHIP financing for their low-income buyers. If buyers don't have
access to Surtax/SHIP, or similar funds, the units will not be
affordable. Without an up-front commitment from the County,
nonprofit developers will not be certain that their completed units can
be sold. This uncertainty will prevent these types of projects from
going into production.
- PRESERVE THE FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER
ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: This successful program has recently been
eliminated. It provided end-loans directly to buyers for existing
previously built units. Over the next year the average price
of housing will fall. Without access to County Surtax/SHIP loans an
opportunity will be lost
- DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE:
Restore funding for a down-payment assistance program for low-income
- LAND ACQUISITION FINANCING:
Make available to qualified nonprofit developers of affordable housing
forgivable financing to pay for a portion of the cost of land
acquisition. Under such a program the nonprofit developer
might be expected to procure private sector financing to pay for a
portion of the purchase price (the amount of the forgivable loan would
be based upon the project's demonstrated economic need). There are
thousands of vacant lots but the purchase price often exceeds the
development budget for an "affordable" project. The loans would be
forgiven only if all County affordability requirements were met.
- ENHANCED HOMEBUYER EDUCATION AND
ACQUISITION ASSISTANCE. Provide adequate and predictable funding for
homebuyer education programs. Encourage those programs to expand so as
to provide comprehensive hands on assistance to qualified low income
buyers in the following areas: (i) help finding a reasonably price
unit, (ii) help in accessing a package of affordable financing, (iii)
homebuyer training, (iv) hands on assistance to the buyer in
successfully closing on the purchase, and (v) giving buyers access to
affordable home repair loans to bring the unit up to minimum physical
standards when needed (units are often reasonably price only because
they need repairs).
- EXPIRING PROJECT BASED SECTION 8. The City of Miami and
Miami-Dade County can provide nonprofit developers lines of credit to
acquire privately held "project based section 8" apartment complexes
that are in danger of losing their subsidy. The lines of credit can be
structured so that they later can be taken out by permanent financing
coupled with tax credits and various types of subsidy.
- BETTER UNDERWRITING FOR TAX CREDIT DEALS - The City of Miami and Miami
Dade County should award only as much subsidy as is needed to tax
credit rental projects. There should be a better subsidy layering
review process to make sure that such projects are not over-subsidized.
- IMPROVE PERFORMANCE IN PAYMENT
PROCESSING: Improve the performance of local governments by making
payment process for affordable developers user-friendly and
responsive. Payments should be made in a shorter time frame
(in line with how private lenders make payments). Provide
direct payments rather than reimbursements.
- ENSURE GREATER LONG-TERM COMMUNITY
BENEFITS: It is imperative that restructure of local government include
policies to challenge our for-profit partners to do better.
In exchange for public land and dollars, for-profit developers must be
incentivized to cultivate relationships with nonprofit developer in a
manner that does better than the short-term benefit of a developer’s
fee. Local government must encourage creative
for-profit/non-profit relationships that are good business models for
both, building long-term capacity for community partners and greater
sustainability for our under-invested neighborhoods.