- POLICY ACTIVATIONS
Heirs’ property occurs when a property owner dies intestate or with a will that leaves property to multiple beneficiaries, resulting in a fractured or entangled title. Left unresolved, this becomes a barrier to the ability to sell, collateralize, improve, or otherwise transfer the property. Because heirs’ property is disproportionately found in racial and ethnic minority, low-wealth, rural, and distressed urban communities, it is a critical barrier to minority homeownership and the creation of generational wealth and racial equity. As a significant contributor to blight and unrealized equity in poor neighborhoods throughout the country, the scale and pervasiveness of this challenge is shocking. For example, in the state of Georgia, $34 billion worth of tax appraised property is probable heirs’ property according to a 2017 USDA study. In 1980, the Emergency Land Fund estimated that 41 percent (3.8 million acres) of all Black-owned land in the Black Belt region was heirs’ property.
On December 2, 2021 in Atlanta, GA, the Funders’ Forum will seek to bring together potential funders with dozens of nonprofit and other organizations from 22 states and the District of Columbia. The intended outcome of this forum is to establish a capital, human, and organizational support basis for heirs’ property resolution and prevention pilot initiatives in the following areas: education and awareness; pro-bono legal services; academic research; local government innovation; and developer/contractor driven affordable housing initiatives. Potential funders, including philanthropic and other grant and resource providers, law firms, financial institutions, and builder and realtor trade groups, will have the opportunity to hear from nonprofits and other organizations as they pitch scaled pilot solutions to this group in an in-person and virtual environment. The forum has been designed to allow funders and organizations with initiatives in their market to connect and determine their mutual interest in funding a proposed solution.
In June, Kaiser Permanente sponsored a Regional Forum on Homelessness to foster collaboration among cities and counties in Greater Baltimore, suburban Maryland, DC, and northern Virginia to reduce the prevalence of homelessness. This regional collaboration is Kaiser’s answer to homelessness since people experiencing homelessness often cross city and county boundaries. In an effort to continue working to provide solutions to end homelessness, Kaiser Permanente intends to award at least two grant awards of $50,000 each before the end of 2021 to nonprofit organizations that are working to address homelessness in more than one city or county. The grant term will be from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. The deadline for applications is September 9, 2021. The Request for Proposals is here, and you can also access the project budget template and logic model template, referenced within the RFP.
Even in the midst of the growing housing affordability challenge, black and brown real estate developers are still facing the obstacle of accessing the capital needed to execute their plans to revitalize communities. HAND is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Greystone to launch Equity in Action, a debt and equity platform designed to increase opportunity for black and brown real estate developers who seek to create communities where all can thrive. Participating developers and investors will gain direct access to advisory and financing solutions for affordable housing construction, refinancing, recapitalization, and acquisition, including Greystone’s #1 ranked FHA lending platform.
Keeping with our commitment to center racial equity, HAND is intentional in embedding these values into our operations, creating solutions that drive just and equitable outcomes for communities of color. We know there is a vested interest in doing more of the same, and we strive to model for our members what it means to address the longstanding barriers that are woven into the very fabric of our society – benefiting a few at the expense of others.
The platform is open to current HAND members, and developers of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
Learn more about Equity in Action here.
You can access the full press release here.
The Department of Energy and Environment is still accepting applications for its no-cost benchmarking data verification initiative! If you have a building over 50,000 square feet that is currently covered by the District’s benchmarking law, then you are eligible for free data verification. Data verification is a new benchmarking requirement established in the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018 and will need to be conducted by a third-party licensed professional in future reporting years. However, DOEE is offering a one-time no-cost data verification for your 2019 benchmarking data. With the upcoming Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS),having accurate and verified benchmarking data is especially crucial, as this data will be used to set the performance standards for the first BEPS cycle starting in 2021, as well as determine which properties fall above or below those standards.
If you are interested in receiving free data verification of your 2019 benchmarking data, you can access the application portal here. In order to receive data verification, you must completely fill out the application, answer all required questions, and provide all requested documents. If you would like to have more than one property verified, you will need to fill out an application for each unique property within the portal.