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DS News December 2022

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Page 81 of 99

80 80 80 INVESTMENT GOVERNMENT PROPERTY PRESERVATION Journal REP. WATERS ADDRESSES HUD'S HOUSING ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS Congresswoman and Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters has expressed concern over the U.S. De- partment of Housing & Urban Development's (HUD) draft solicitation for Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contract Support Services. In a letter to HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, Rep. Waters voiced concern over the negative impact the draft solicitation could have on mission-driven Performance Based Contract Administrators (PBCAs), like LA LOMOD Corporation (LA LOMOD). Her letter also asks Fudge to ensure the final solicitation prioritizes the needs of HUD-assist- ed residents. "Under HUD's current draft solicitation for HAP Contract Support Services, mission-driv- en entities, such as Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) and Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), including LA LOMOD, would be at a disadvan- tage and potentially precluded from bidding to remain PBCAs. For instance, HFAs that provide financing to PBRA properties for construction or rehabilitation are expressly prohibited from serv- ing as PBCAs under the draft solicitation," said Rep. Waters in her letter. "e federally assisted stock of affordable housing is aging and now is not the time to reduce the number of PBCAs, which may diminish the quality of oversight and response to tenants' needs." Rep. Waters added that PBCAs are "critical" in assisting HUD in its oversight of the Project-Based Section 8 (PBRA) program, including processing contract renewals, conducting property inspections, providing tenant complaint intake, and managing ongoing subsidy payments to owners. "Given the sensitive nature of the respon- sibilities of PBCAs, it is important to ensure the participation of mission-driven entities that often reinvest contract funds into affordable housing preservation and development as well as supportive services," Rep. Waters said. Housing affordability nationwide is still front and center as 2022 ends. A new study from LendingTree found home values grew by more than 10 percentage points, on average, than incomes across the nation's 50 states. On average, LendingTree reported that median home values increased by 17.36% from 2019 through 2021, while median household incomes grew by an average of 6%—a difference of 11.36 percentage points.

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