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Statutory Clarification for CLTs in the FY16 THUD Appropriations Bill

Senate Appropriations Committee Incorporates Statutory Clarification for CLTs in the FY16 THUD Appropriations Bill

The Network advocated for the incorporation of a statutory clarification relating to CLTs and the HOME program in the Senate’s FY16 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. The statutory clarification ensures that community land trusts (CLTs) are able to maintain the right of first refusal on HOME-funded projects. This includes the right of first refusal upon resale or foreclosure. The need for this statutory clarification was brought to our attention by HUD staff who interpreted existing statutes as only granting the right of first refusal to Participating Jurisdictions.

This clarification was included in the THUD Appropriations bill passed by the full Senate Appropriations committee on June 25th. Under the section pertaining to the HOME program, it reads:

Community Land Trusts.—The Committee recognizes the importance of preserving affordable homeownership opportunities, especially when change in ownership is initiated. The Committee includes a provision to clarify existing authority to continue allowing Community Land Trusts to exercise purchase options, rights of first refusal, or other preemptive rights to purchase housing on their trusted land to ensure affordability is maintained through ownership changes. (pp. 124-125).

View the full Senate THUD bill here: https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/srpt75/CRPT-114srpt75.pdf

We would like to thank the members of the Senate’s THUD subcommittee, full Appropriations committee, and their staff for addressing this critical issue, which—in effect— ensures that nonprofits using the CLT model are eligible to receive HOME funds. We would also like to thank our members who contributed to this advocacy.

Beyond the statutory clarification, the Network continues to work with HUD on a number of regulatory issues in the HOME program that affect CLTs. For more information, see our letter submitted to HUD in February 2015.

While the incorporation of the statutory clarification is positive for our members, unfortunately, the Senate’s FY16 THUD Appropriations bill cut HOME funds by 92%. We will continue to advocate for the HOME program with our national allies and send calls to action to our members when appropriate. Ultimately, the FY16 THUD allocation was low due to caps set by the Budget Control Act. We are hopeful that Congress will take action to address the spending caps, which contributed to cuts in the HOME program in the House and Senate THUD Appropriations bills.

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