Neighborhood Transformation
Neighborhood Transformation

South Florida Community Development Coalition

2009 Priority Policy Recommendations

This document reflects the consensus of the South Florida Community Development Coalition on policies that will strengthen affordable housing and community development in Miami-Dade.

Advocating for resources that support Coalition members in their effort to more effectively serve families and communities is a priority for the Coalition. We will use this document to direct our work with local government. When implemented, these policy recommendations will enable the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing, both rental and ownership; promote economic development; and encourage public/private partnerships that foster and sustain community development.

NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM (NSP): Make available the federal NSP funds that will be distributed to local jurisdictions available to developers of affordable housing for the acquisition and redevelopment of foreclosed properties, rather than purchasing these properties directly from banks.

SURTAX RENEWAL: Renew the State legislation that enables Miami-Dade's Documentary Surtax Program.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Increase the allocation of funding by local governments for affordable housing, by developing additional mechanisms for generating and maximizing funding. Establish a reasonable balance of distribution of these funds between rental and homeownership programs, and between end loans to buyers (spot loans) and allocations for specific projects.

PROPERTY ACQUISITION FINANCING: Make available forgivable financing to pay for a portion of the cost of land acquisition, for both existing housing (including rental) and vacant land.
LAND: Distribute local government-owned land more effectively.

STIMULUS PACKAGE: Establish a County stimulus package for comprehensive community development in the urban core with dedicated funding sources, including not only those from any federal stimulus programs, but also locally generated financing (e.g. new bond financing, new value-added taxes, and financing from existing CRAs, TIFs, etc).

DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE: Improve the operation of the down-payment assistance program.

HIGH PERFORMANCE: Streamline and improve the efficiency and performance of both nonprofits and local government regarding contract formation, fund disbursement, and service delivery.

BANK FORECLOSED APARTMENT BUILDINGS: Create a new bank partnership initiative that will engage lenders in a cooperative effort to recycle foreclosed multifamily buildings, with incentives for the banks to convey foreclosed properties to nonprofits at a reduced price.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY HOMEBUYER ASSISTANCE: Return to the prior practice of using Surtax and Ship funds as deferred mortgages to secure funds needed to write down the appraised value to an affordable amount. Use the restrictive covenant (which may provide for equity sharing) to write down the difference between the cost of building the home and the appraised value.

ENHANCED HOMEBUYER EDUCATION: Provide adequate and predictable funding for homebuyer education programs, and encourage those programs to include: (i) homebuyer training, (ii) assistance in finding a reasonably priced unit, (iii) assistance in accessing a package of affordable financing, (iv) hands-on assistance in successfully closing on the purchase, and (v) access to affordable home repair loans.

MANAGEMENT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS: Create condominium associations by working with capable nonprofit property management companies to provide services to subsidized condominium projects.

PREDEVELOPMENT LOAN PROGRAM FOR NON-PROFITS: Provide financing to fund expenses incurred during the early development stage of important affordable housing projects. Such a program could be used in conjunction with the State's PLP program or independently (to cover expenses not allowed by the State's program).

LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDITS: Give the highest priority to projects that are 100% by nonprofit developers, and lower priority to projects with minimal non-profit participation.

ENSURE GREATER LONG-TERM COMMUNITY BENEFITS: 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. In exchange for public land and dollars, for-profit developers must be incentivized to cultivate relationships with nonprofit developers beyond the short-term benefit of a developer's fee.

LAND BANKING: Create a land bank as a vehicle to make strategic acquisitions of land or buildings, which can then be developed as affordable housing.

BETTER UNDERWRITING FOR TAX CREDIT DEALS: Improve the subsidy layering review process to ensure that tax credit rental projects are not over-subsidized.