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MHDC forgoes Prevailing Wage for more housing

MHDC largely approves QAP draft

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) met Thursday afternoon to discuss a draft of the rules the committee was going to use to accept or deny applications to their programs. The MHDC largely accepted the 2018 Draft Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), which included the approval of seven of ten individual requests, while the rest were tabled for discussion. All approved requests will be put in the final draft to be approved in October.

At the meeting, held at the Holiday Inn Executive Center, former state senator Jason Crowell was sworn into the MHDC. Crowell has been a part of the Missouri Legislature, after spending years in the House and the Senate. Currently an attorney at Osborn, Hine, & Yates, LLC in Cape Girardeau, he was appointed by Gov. Eric Greitens Wednesday. After he was sworn in, the MHDC heard and approved the minutes of the previous meeting on June 29th, without questions, comments, or corrections. Chairman Jeffrey Bay was then asked to give a report on the Audit Committee, but since they had not met yet, he had no report to give.

The first item for the report of staff was to give a financial report on the fiscal year that ending on June 30. It was brought to the MHDC’s attention that the total assets at a cost basis had increased by 2.7 percent, from $1.808 billion to $1.858 billion in the last year. Over the course of that year, the MHDC’s asset base maintains a consistently high-quality and low-risk profile, with 45 percent of their assets were guaranteed mortgage-backed securities. The MHDC closed four Single Family homeownership bond series, which totaled $217.4 million. The commission was also reviewed by Standard & Poor’s and had an AA+ rating with a stable outlook.

Since the 2011 QAP, the MHDC has mandated that all laborers and mechanics used in the construction of new low-income housing must be paid at least the federal prevailing wage. The draft of the 2018 QAP eliminates the prevailing wage requirement. The MHDC predicts by removing the prevailing wage statute it will be able to deliver 78 additional units of low-income housing for the state of Missouri.

Jon Hensley, legal proxy for Treasurer Eric Schmitt, proposed an amendment to the definition of who qualified for “special needs.” Currently, the term encompasses a broad scope of vulnerable groups like the physically, mentally, or emotionally impaired, the developmentally disabled, the homeless, victims of human sex trafficking, and youths aging in foster care. Hensley advocated the definition be narrowed and in its place have multiple smaller classifications. The amendment was never formally taken up and Hensley was advised the issue should be presented at the final draft QAP meeting in October.

The tax exempt bond credit was not discussed.

The MHDC heard and approved the following to be put into the final draft:

  • The National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) and its Notification of Funding Availability (NOFA)
  • The Missouri Housing Trust Fund (MHTF) and its NOFA
  • The 2018 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Allocation Plan and its NOFA
  • Missouri Housing Innovation Program (MoHIP)
  • Resolution No. 1058
  • HeRO Notice of Funding Availability

The only two amendments that were made involved the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Single Family Market Rate Program Administrator. These types of applications will now require a summary of investigations from any state or federal agency made in the past five years. Previously, applications only had to mention if they had been investigated by federal or Missouri agencies in the past three years.

The MHDC decided to table discussions for Bond Resolution No. 1056, the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program, and the RFP for Single Family Market Rate Program Administrator in October.

The MHDC has a pending audit committee meeting on September 13 and an Emergency Solutions Grant Program Public Meeting on September 15.