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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 home buyers.
  • 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.