Government Affairs Corner
State Update:
Tennessee Housing Development Agency
Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) testified before the Tennessee House of Representatives Finance Ways and Means Committee on November 15th. The Executive Director of THDA, Ralph Perry, gives testimony on COVID relief funds and other programs THDA provides. THDA received around $800 million for rental relief during the height of the pandemic. THDA’s rental relief funds service 91 counties in Tennessee.
Shelby/Memphis, Davidson, Knox, and Rutherford counties are responsible for providing rental relief funds in their jurisdiction. Executive Director Perry summarizes the lack of applications for rental relief assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. States have not seen the number of applicants they expected at the beginning of the pandemic, including Tennessee. The testimony relieved that the rejection rate for rental relief assistance has been very low, in the single digits, another factor that indicates low applicants.
Affordable housing is another problem throughout the state; if the federal government guidance would allow potentially using federal dollars- those monies could alleviate some of the costs barriers to affordable housing.

THDA has multiple programs available to Tennesseans; programs can help with down payments and closing costs for home buyers, foreclosure prevention, and affordable rental assistance.



Federal Update:
NAR Applauds HUD’s Release of Guidance and Continued Efforts to Narrow the Racial Homeownership Gap

National Association of Realtors® President Leslie Rouda Smith issued the following statement after the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Tuesday that lending programs known as Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs) further the goals of the Fair Housing Act:

“The National Association of Realtors® is committed to eliminating the racial homeownership gap, which today stands at nearly 30 percentage points between Black and White Americans. Special Purpose Credit Programs are an innovative approach to addressing a problem that has persisted for decades. We look forward to learning more about these programs and how they can potentially benefit homebuyers around the country. Realtors® applaud HUD for its efforts to help Americans of every background build wealth through homeownership.”

SPCPs allow lenders to create special lending programs that focus on a particular group in order to remediate for past discrimination. Authorized already under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and utilized by the Department of Justice in resolution of cases of discrimination, HUD’s opinion that such programs are also consistent with the Fair Housing Act may encourage lenders to explore SPCPs as a means of opening up credit opportunities to groups that have been historically shut out of the credit market.


RPAC Corner
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