Treasury Announces New Steps to Increase Affordable Housing Supply and Lower Long-Term Housing Costs for American Families: The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced new guidance to increase the ability of state, local, and tribal governments to use American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to boost the supply of affordable housing in their communities. Raleigh first time home buyers priced out despite financial assistance programs: Raleigh’s Homebuyers Assistance Program would typically assist about 50 to 60 people a year before the pandemic and housing boom. So far in 2022, only five people were able to close on their homes with assistance through the program. Evictions begin to creep back up in parts of central North Carolina: As federal pandemic relief money runs out, evictions across North Carolina are again beginning to increase. While eviction rates are currently lower across a majority of the counties, some counties historically report almost double the rates elsewhere in the state. Greensboro voters approve $135 million in bond measures: $30 million in housing bonds will go toward affordable housing, making homeownership easier, and making some neighborhoods more attractive to buyers. Houses were once plentiful across the U.S. Now half of cities don’t have enough homes: More than half of the nation’s metropolitan regions had an undersupply of homes in 2019, a sharp increase from one-third of cities in the 2012. The nation is short 3.8 million homes to meet its housing needs. Health Equity:
NC Legislature Idles for Now on Medicaid Expansion Agreement: General Assembly leaders acknowledged on Tuesday that a compromise for North Carolina to finally embrace Medicaid expansion likely won’t come quickly and pinned success for a near-future agreement in part on buy-in from a key health care interest group. NC overdose deaths increased more than the national average in 2020: Drug overdose deaths surged by 30% nationally and 40% in North Carolina during the first year of the pandemic. Across the country, Black and Native American communities saw higher rates of overdose deaths and those disparities are worsening. Uterine cancer cases rising, outcomes worsening especially for Black women: Researchers at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center are investigating the why Black women die of uterine cancer at twice the rate of white women and are looking at factors of tumor biology, access to care, lifestyle, and behavior to improve outcomes and close the racial disparity gap. Vanderbilt, UNC and Duke Nurse-Midwives Join Forces to Reduce Black Maternal Health Risks: Nurse-midwives and educators from three prominent research universities form the Alliance of Black Doulas for Black Mamas to improve pregnancy outcomes in Black communities by providing specialized training for doulas. NC Health Center Aims to Reduce Mental-Health Stigma Among Latinos: Camino Health Center is spreading the word about Spanish-speaking therapists and counselors available to residents in the Charlotte area, addressing the stigma and lack of Spanish language resources in the community. Economic Development:
Biden-Harris Administration Advances Equity And Economic Opportunity Through Federal Procurement And State And Local Infrastructure Contracting: Administration Announces Record Contract Spending on Small Disadvantaged Businesses and New Steps to Create Contracting Opportunities for Disadvantaged Businesses through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law U.S. Senate passes bipartisan bill to boost Cybersecurity Job Training at HBCUs: The Cybersecurity Opportunity Act requires that 50% of grant funds must go to HBCU’s, tribal, and minority serving institutions in order to support greater diversity and equality of opportunity in the cybersecurity field. Lenovo and Panthers partner to support NC small businesses: Lenovo and the Carolina Panthers have announced the return of the Empowering the Carolinas contest to celebrate and uplift small businesses – especially those that are women and minority-owned – across North America through grant and product donations, mentorship, and community engagement activities. US sees union boom despite big companies’ aggressive opposition: Wins for Amazon and Starbucks workers shows labor movement surging after years of decline – but pushback has been fierce, and has come amid allegations of union-busting. UNC Charlotte alum paving the way for diverse developers: Jane Wu, founder of Panorama Holdings LLC, has donated $50,000 to UNC Charlotte to fund a scholarship for students from under represented backgrounds studying commercial real estate. Educational Equity:
NC legislative proposal would dramatically overhaul how North Carolina governs its public schools: GOP sponsors push for an elected state school board, but Democrats warn against further politicizing public education. 144 organizations sign onto brief asking Supreme Court to order compliance with school funding plan: Attorneys filed an amicus with the North Carolina Supreme Court this week in the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit contending the state has consistently failed to provide every child in North Carolina with access to the educational opportunities to which they are constitutionally entitled under the previous ruling. New report delves into state of early childhood education in Western NC: Early childhood education opportunities and challenges across the state’s 18 westernmost counties have decreased since 2019 and put a cost burden on families, leaving many to enroll in lower-quality programs. Half of NC’s community colleges not within walkable transit: In North Carolina, more than 500,000 people attend community colleges annually. Without consistent and easily accessible transit options students that lack access to a car could be discouraged from seeking higher education — a significant driver of economic mobility in the state. NCAE opposes plan to pay NC teachers based on performance instead of their experience: A state commission is working on a new licensure and compensation model that would pay teachers based on their ratings on student test scores.