HAC News

HAC News: August 1, 2013

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 1, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 15

• House pulls HUD funding bill, Senate version stalls • House committee passes housing finance reform bill • USDA informs owners about Rental Assistance shortfall in September • USDA encourages use of Section 504 loans • New Markets Tax Credits offered, Rural CDE definition changed • HOME final rule published • CFPB amends some mortgage rules • Map shows part of sequestration’s impact on housing • Study finds housing discrimination against Latinos • Most HUD-assisted renters are elderly, disabled, or attached to the labor market • Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission to hold regional forums • Register now for training on seniors and veterans housing

August 1, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 15

HOUSE PULLS HUD FUNDING BILL, SENATE VERSION STALLS. The House began considering H.R. 2610, but leadership removed it from the floor on July 31 when it became clear there were not enough votes to pass it. The Senate also began discussing its bill, S. 1243, but on August 1 an effort to end debate and take a vote failed. Floor consideration of USDA funding bills has not been scheduled. Congress will be in recess for the month of August.

HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSES HOUSING FINANCE REFORM BILL. H.R. 2767, the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homebuyers (PATH) Act, approved by the Financial Services Committee on July 24, could be considered by the full House after August recess. Focusing on private finance, it would eliminate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Housing Trust Fund. A different bill, S. 1217, sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA), has not yet been marked up by the Senate Banking Committee.

USDA INFORMS OWNERS ABOUT RENTAL ASSISTANCE SHORTFALL IN SEPTEMBER. HAC has learned that on July 31 letters were mailed to owners of about 600 Section 515 and 514/516 properties with Section 521 Rental Assistance contracts that expire in September, explaining that because of a shortage of FY13 RA funding, due in part to sequestration, those RA contracts cannot be renewed until FY14 begins in October. (See HAC News, 5/1/13 and 5/22/13.)To fill the funding gap, owners can defer payments of interest or principal to USDA, use funds in project reserve accounts, or obtain loans from other sources. The letters say they may not raise rents or evict tenants. A sample letter and a list of properties affected should be posted on USDA RD’s website soon.

USDA ENCOURAGES USE OF SECTION 504 LOANS. USDA has over $14 million available for Section 504 loans, more than half the program’s FY13 appropriation. Loan funds not obligated by September 30 will be lost. All states will have access to loan funds, after RD pools and redistributes the unused funds. To learn more or to apply, contact a local RD office.

NEW MARKETS TAX CREDITS OFFERED, RURAL CDE DEFINITION CHANGED. The CDFI Fund will allocate NMTCs to Community Development Entities that will offer tax credits to investors providing private capital for economic and community development. Rural CDEs must receive allocations proportionate to the number of applicants that serve nonmetro areas. This year the definition of a Rural CDE is revised to require direct investments in three of the past five years rather than in all five. Deadline is September 18. Contact NMTC staff, 202-653-0421.

HOME FINAL RULE PUBLISHED. The final rule largely adopts the provisions in the proposed rule (see HAC News, 1/11/12); it also updates and adds definitions, modifies CHDO eligibility requirements, establishes deadlines, strengthens conflict of interest provisions, and clarifies language. Contact Virginia Sardone, HUD, 202-708-2684.

CFPB AMENDS SOME MORTGAGE RULES. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued changes to some of its January 2013 final mortgage rules. Contact Marta Tanenhaus, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

MAP SHOWS PART OF SEQUESTRATION’S IMPACT ON HOUSING. An interactive map on Bill Moyers’ website was compiled from news stories nationwide. Most refer to HUD programs in cities.

STUDY FINDS HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LATINOS. In Puertas Cerradas: Housing Barriers for Hispanics, the National Council of La Raza and Equal Rights Center report that Latinos experienced at least one type of adverse, differential treatment in 42% of paired tests in three cities, and two or more types in 16% of tests.

MOST HUD-ASSISTED RENTERS ARE ELDERLY, DISABLED, OR ATTACHED TO THE LABOR MARKET. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that 88% of renters using housing choice vouchers, public housing, and project-based rental assistance in 2010 were “elderly, disabled, working (or had recently worked) or likely have access to work programs under the Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF) program.” Almost half of the other households included a preschool child or an individual with a disability.

BIPARTISAN POLICY CENTER HOUSING COMMISSION TO HOLD REGIONAL FORUMS. Free and open to the public, the events on August 13 in Dallas, August 22 in Ketcham, ID, and August 27 in Columbus, OH, will feature panels discussing issues including the state of the housing market, affordable rental housing, rural housing, and reform of the U.S mortgage system. Register online at https://bipartisanpolicy.org/events/upcoming.

REGISTER NOW FOR TRAINING ON SENIORS AND VETERANS HOUSING. HAC will host “Housing Seniors and Veterans in Rural America: Preservation, Development, and Services” in Council Bluffs, IA on August 28-29. Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) will speak on August 28. Visit HAC’s website, www.ruralhome.org.