Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/25/1994 08:35 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 467 An Act relating to housing programs of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and of regional housing authorities, and permitting regional housing authorities to make, originate, and service loans for the purchase and development of residential housing in the state's small communities. HB 467 was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a fiscal note by the Department of Revenue dated 3/16/94. HOUSE BILL 467 "An Act relating to housing programs of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and of regional housing authorities, and permitting regional housing authorities to make, originate, and service loans for the purchase and development of residential housing in the state's small communities." Co-Chair MacLean explained that HB 467 would make changes to the Rural Loan Program of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) in order to increase the availability of loan services and to encourage more investment in rural housing. She added that current law does not specifically authorize regional housing authorities to originate or service loans in areas where AHFC has a regional office. This action prevents housing authorities in Fairbanks, Kotzebue, Nome, Bethel, Dillingham and Juneau from generating and servicing loans for AHFC. Co-Chair MacLean advised that the bill would encourage greater investment in rural housing by allowing owner- occupants to finance up to four units in a complex and by allowing owners to inhabit larger rental complexes. HB 467 would also allow AHFC to increase its participation in projects with unusually high water and sewer installation costs without reducing the amount of the federal contribution to such projects. ROBERT BREAN, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), DIRECTOR, RURAL HOUSING, ALASKA HOUSING FINANCE CORPORATION, ANCHORAGE, commented that AHFC supports HB 467 and sees it as a positive pro-active bill that would provide for flexibility and consideration of the rural housing programs providing service to rural Alaska. He pointed out the main points of the legislation: [Copy on file]. 1. The regional housing authorities statewide would be authorized through HB 467 to originate and service residential loans in small communities in their respective regions. The provision further empowers the regional housing authorities to provide service in their region with the support of AHFC. 4 2. AHFC's Rural Housing Programs would be authorized through HB 467 to increase the allowable match of the Housing and Urban Development Grants to the Regional Housing Authorities from 20% to 30% on a case by case basis. Presently, the Supplemental Housing Grant Program provides 20% match to HUD's total development cost of housing units in rural Alaska. This provision of the bill would allow a match to go up to 30% on a case by case basis for water and sewer features. 3. AHFC's Rural Housing Programs would be authorized through HB 467 to expand the definition of "rental housing" from eight units to sixteen units and allow the owner to occupy the complex in order to provide for on site operation, maintenance and protection of the development opportunities throughout rural Alaska. 4. AHFC's Rural Housing Programs would be authorized through HB 467 to expand the definition of "housing" to mean a dwelling containing up to four units as opposed to a dwelling containing up to two units. The definition allows for the enhancement of local economic development opportunities throughout rural Alaska. Mr. Brean stated that the program would not be a grant program, but would establish a loan program. Discussion followed among House Finance Committee members regarding the program and modifications of the word "rental", Page 4, Line 18. Mr. Brean stated that definition changes would be to rural residential housing and owner occupied housing. Representative Martin noted his concern with the low quality of the HUD homes built elsewhere in the United States. Mr. Brean advised that AHFC's Rural Loan Program must meet specific conditions as established by the national building code standards and added, that thermal standards must be met by any loan provided through AHFC. Discussion followed regarding "ownership" of large unit complexes and where that owner would be required to live during the owner occupied program. Representative Brown asked for further clarification of the "housing" language and the effect it would have. Representative Hanley pointed out that language would not include residence unless the residence is occupied by the owner. 5 Representative Martin questioned why it would be necessary to by-pass the traditional lender in favor of the regional housing authority. Mr. Brean responded that AHFC will work through local banks, however, there are some rural locations where banks are reluctant to build. He emphasized that AHFC is involved in all areas and there would not be a conflict between the banks and AHFC financing. (Tape Change, HFC 94-87, Side 1). Representative Hoffman MOVED to report HB 467 out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal note. Representative Martin OBJECTED. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION. IN FAVOR: Parnell, Therriault, Brown, Foster, Grussendorf, Hanley, Hoffman, MacLean, Larson. OPPOSED: Martin. Representative Navarre was not present for the vote. The MOTION PASSED (9-1). HB 467 was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a fiscal note by the Department of Revenue dated 3/16/94.