Bill Summary for S 423 (2021-2022)
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AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO PROGRAMS AND PROCEDURES WITHIN THE NORTH CAROLINA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM EVALUATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.Intro. by Edwards, Corbin, Davis.
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Directs the NC Housing Finance Agency (Agency) to examine and implement modifications to the Community Partners Loan Pool, the Self-Help Loan Pool, the Urgent Repair Program, and the Essential Single-Family Rehabilitation Loan Pool to ensure statewide access to the programs, especially counties with fewer resources. Requires the Agency to report to the specified NCGA committee and division by July 1, 2022. Directs the Agency to discontinue the $200,000 per-partner cap for the Urgent Repair Program.
Amends GS 122A-5.1 to establish a new requirement for the Agency to develop a strategic plan with goals, objectives, and an environmental assessment and update the strategic plan at least every five years. Additionally requires the Agency to establish a performance management system with annual objectives and established performance measures.
Requires the Agency to contract with an independent entity to assistant in developing the initial strategic plan. Requires the initial strategic plan to be completed and implemented by June 1, 2022.
Requires the Agency to transition to the incorporation of cost-benefit analysis for the allocation of programmatic resources and develop its strategic plan to produce the collection of outcome data for that purpose. Further, requires the Agency to incorporate cost-benefit analysis into its allocation of programmatic resources and in requests for legislative funding by January 1, 2026.
Makes changes to the reporting requirements set out in the following statutes and session laws to require the Agency to include the specified reports in the annual report required by GS 122A-16: GS 45-104(f) (concerning the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project and Fund); GS 122A-5.14(d) (concerning the Home Protection Program and Fund); GS 122A-5.15(d) (concerning the Workforce Housing Loan Program); and Section 20.1(a) of SL 2005-276 (concerning the federal HOME Program). Amends GS 122A-16 regarding oversight of the Agency. Now charges the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government, rather than the Finance Committee of the each chamber, with continuing oversight of the Agency. Requires the Agency to submit an annual comprehensive report by December 1, rather than by the close of each fiscal year. Adds the Fiscal Research Division to the entities the Agency must submit its annual report to. Establishes six components the annual reports must include and details required components of the operating and financial statement of the Agency (the statement is already required by existing law, but with no guidance as to content). Makes conforming changes.
Directs the Agency to discontinue its funding for the Construction Training Partnership and redirect funding for that program to fund existing affordable housing programs administered by the Agency.
Amends GS 122A-4 to explicitly state that the Agency and all funds established under GS Chapter 122A are subject to the State Budget Act, GS Chapter 143C. However, provides that unexpended surpluses do not revert to the General Fund. Additionally requires the Board of Directors (Board) to establish a policy governing the contribution of funds to nonprofit entities. Requires the Board to establish criteria to limit contributions of Agency funds to nonprofit entities and require each individual contribution to a nonprofit entity to be approved by the Board. Adds that the Board must provide a copy of the initial policy and subsequent updates in the annual report required by GS 122A-16, as amended.
Directs the Board to submit a copy of the contribution policy to the specified NCGA committee and division within six months of the date the act becomes law.
Directs the Agency to transfer any remaining funds to the NC Housing Trust Fund (Trust Fund) and close the following five funds, with any future monies credited to the closed funds instead credited to the Trust Fund: the Housing Mortgage Insurance Fund; the Homeownership Assistance Fund; the Adult Care Home, Group Home, and Nursing Home Fire Protection Fund; the Home Protection Program Fund; and the Multi-Family Residential Assistance Fund. Makes conforming statutory repeals.
Amends GS 122E-3 to explicitly state that funds reserved to the Trust Fund are available only upon legislative appropriation.
Amends GS 122E-4 to establish the NC Housing Partnership (Partnership) as an advisory board to the Agency, rather than an entity within the Agency removing the power to establish policy, promulgate rules and regulations, oversee the operation of the Trust Fund, and coordinate private enterprise and investment with public efforts. The Partnership is now to assist the Agency. Modifies membership of the Partnership. No longer provides for the appointment of an Executive Director. Adds the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services or a designee as an ex officio member. Allows for a designee of the Secretary of the Department of Commerce and the State Treasurer to serve as ex office members rather than the Secretaries. More specifically provides for member expenses by statutory cross references. Modifies the powers of the Partnership to include advising the Agency on the promulgation of rules and regulation governing implementation of programs for uses of the Trust Fund, assisting in the development of the housing plan, and obtaining necessary housing information (currently, the Partnership is charged with rule and regulation promulgation, promotion of a housing plan, gathering housing information, and allocation of monies in the Trust Fund). Makes language gender neutral and makes technical changes.
Amends GS 122A-5, regarding the Agency’s powers, to explicitly require compliance with the guidelines of the State of North Carolina Budget Manual in its employment of fiscal consultants, engineers, attorneys, real estate counselors, and appraisers.
Directs the Agency to determine the necessity of retaining outside general counsel to serve the Board. Requires compliance with procurement processes and the State Budget Act in selection of outside counsel if the Agency determines that continued use of outside counsel is necessary.
Directs the Agency to study potential modifications to its administration of the Low-Income Housing Credit program to develop a strategy to maintain the affordability of projects that exit the program. Details five components the study must examine, including establishing longer affordability period requirements for the program and adjusting the amount of credits allocated to nonprofit developers. Also requires tracking incidence of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units in the State that remain affordable after exiting the affordability period and those that are no longer affordable. Requires submission of the study results and a proposed affordability strategy to the specified NCGA committee, the NC Federal Tax Reform Allocation Committee, and the Fiscal Research Division within one year from the date the act becomes law.
Directs the Agency to study potential modifications to its amenities policies in the Qualified Allocation Plan it uses to establish selection criteria and application requirements for housing credits to allow for siting in high-opportunity neighborhoods and other areas. Details four components the study must examine, including establishing a threshold score to include amenities and measures of opportunity. Requires submission of the study results and proposed modifications to the amenities policies in the Qualified Allocation Plan to the NC Federal Tax Reform Allocation Committee and the Fiscal Research Division within one year from the date the act becomes law. Directs the Tax Allocation Committee to propose any recommended modifications resulting from the study as part of the 2022 Qualified Action Plan.
Directs the Agency to develop policies and procedures that complement existing policies and procedures governing the awarding of Rental Production Program loans to ensure a uniform process for awarding the loans, regardless of whether the project conforms to the parameters of the Qualified Allocation Plan. Requires the Agency to publish the policies online and submit the policies to the specified NCGA committee and division within one year from the date the act becomes law.
Directs the Agency to examine and update the criteria used to administer the Workforce Housing Loan Program to ensure that the income designations in use are specific, measurable, transparently stated, and uniformly applied. Requires the Agency to update the criteria within six months of the date the act becomes law.