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NAACP Supports Community Development that Addresses the Needs of All American Neighborhoods


WHEREAS, our nation's cities and metropolitan areas are not only places in which tens-of-millions of Americans live, work and raise our families, but vital engines for economic growth, innovation, and opportunity; and 

WHEREAS, stable and secure homeownership is the cornerstone of community development and remains as one of the strongest predictors of wealth accumulation; and 

WHEREAS, many low-wealth communities and historically African-American homeowners have been disproportionately harmed and ravaged as a result of the foreclosure catastrophe that is currently destabilizing our nation's economy; and 

WHEREAS, while Congress and the President Obama Administration are hard at work trying to stabilize the housing market and keeping people in their homes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are implementing policies that are going in the opposite direction – charging fees that will increase the cost of homeownership and effectively price many borrowed, especially African-Americans, elderly and female heads of households out of the housing market; and 

WHEREAS, the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are levying two kinds of fees on borrowers; an Adverse Market Delivery Charge (AMDC) that adds an extra .25% to all loans without regard to risk characteristics, borrower credit or property value, and a series of Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs) that vary based on a complicated and cumulative matrix of factors; and 

WHEREAS, our nation's housing market continues to need support and economic stimulus and homeowners and prospective buyers cannot be burdened with extra costs that could potentially put homeownership even further out of reach for many Americans who traditionally have been closed out of fair and just mortgages and homeownership including African-Americans, elderly, and female head of households; and 

WHEREAS, federal policy must reflect the new metropolitan reality — that strong cities are the building blocks of strong regions, which in turn, are essential for a strong America; and 

WHEREAS, a comprehensive, aggressive and effective community development plan must take an interdisciplinary approach that appreciates the interdependent nature of issues affecting urban, suburban, and rural communities; and 

WHEREAS, any proposal for community development must include a regional approach that disregards traditional jurisdictional boundaries, setting policy that takes into account how cities, suburbs, and exurbs interact; and 

WHEREAS, each individual community plan should focus on enhancing economic competitiveness, sustainability, and equity in our cities and metropolitan areas; and 

WHEREAS, development in the city should create jobs that pay fair wages families can live on. One of the arguments for development is that it creates jobs and helps lift communities out of poverty. However, to be truly effective at lifting communities out of poverty, the jobs created both in the construction and in the operational phases of a project must pay wages that people can live on and take care of their families; and 

WHEREAS, while state and local legislation cannot require employers to provide benefits regulated by federal law (Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA), the city can and should encourage employers to provide adequate health care, retirement and other benefits by creating appropriate incentives to do so; and 

WHEREAS, in communities with high unemployment levels, development is often justified by citing the need for jobs. For this justification to be meaningful, at least a set percentage of construction and operating jobs at the development need to be filled with people from the neighborhood; and 

WHEREAS, employers often respond to local hiring requirements by arguing that there is a lack of job candidates with the right skills in the neighborhood. A practical remedy that benefits both employers and the community is a job training program (with an apprenticeship component if applicable) funded by the employers and conducted in conjunction with a local non-profit, for both the construction and the permanent jobs created by the development; and 

WHEREAS, development with a housing component must include a set percentage of housing that low income households can afford; and 

WHEREAS, retail and other commercial development must have space that is suitable for local small businesses to operate in. Any local small business displaced by development needs to have the right of first refusal for renting space in the project; and 

WHEREAS, development above a certain size should have space set aside for community-serving non-profits; and 

WHEREAS, developers should be required to mitigate adverse traffic and environmental impact of development on neighborhoods; and 

WHEREAS, dense urban neighborhoods are often lacking in adequate open public space. Developments above a certain size should be required to set aside open space for public use. Depending on local needs, such space can be used for parks, playgrounds, etc.; and 

WHEREAS, urban development should serve the goal of maximizing use of public transportation, bicycling and walking, and should reduce automobile dependence. This is both an equity issue (maximizing access for low-income people who may not own personal vehicles) and an environmental issue (reducing automobile emissions); and 

WHEREAS, for our nation to thrive, the federal government must make and promote coordinated and strategic investments in our regions, cities, and neighborhoods that result in inclusive economic growth. 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP stands opposed to and wants the Federal Housing Financing Agency and or the GSEs to rescind Fannie Mae's Adverse Market Delivery Charge and Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPA) by Credit Score/LTV and Freddie Mac's Post Settlement Delivery Fees Market Condition and Indicator Score/LTV and will work through the local, state, and federal legislative process to make sure that such fees will be immediately and permanently rescinded; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP support a comprehensive, aggressive community development plan that includes requirements for: living wages, health care, retirement and other benefits, local hiring, job training, affordable housing creation, space for small businesses, space for neighborhood non-profits, traffic and environmental mitigation, open public space, and transit- oriented development.