HAC News

HAC News: August 8, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 8, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 16

• Leaders agree on continuing resolution, Congress recesses • House members plan letter requesting rural definition extension in CR • OMB tells agencies to continue spending, advises Congress to change sequestration • Fees for some Section 502 loan guarantees to increase October 1 • FEMA requests comments on emergency housing assistance • Interim Continuum of Care rule issued • IRS proposes rule on submetered utilities in LIHTC properties • Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement for 2012 available • Federal regulators release 2012 list of distressed or underserved tracts for CRA • Senate subcommittee considers changes to HUD’s rental assistance programs • Job growth slower in rural places than urban ones • Different skills result in different wages in rural and urban places, study concludes • Study examines potential for increasing energy efficiency in manufactured homes

August 8, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 16

LEADERS AGREE ON CONTINUING RESOLUTION, CONGRESS RECESSES. In late July Republicans and Democrats in Congress, along with the White House, announced they will develop a continuing resolution to fund the government for the first six months of FY13, starting October 1, 2012. Most programs will remain at FY12 funding levels. Congress has recessed until September 10, so the CR will be considered in September.

HOUSE MEMBERS PLAN LETTER REQUESTING RURAL DEFINITION EXTENSION IN CR. The National Rural Housing Coalition reports Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and others will send a letter to House leadership asking that the FY13 CR include an extension of language keeping growing rural communities eligible for USDA rural housing programs. Background information on this issue is posted on HAC’s website.

OMB TELLS AGENCIES TO CONTINUE SPENDING, ADVISES CONGRESS TO CHANGE SEQUESTRATION. A July 31 memo from OMB’s Acting Director tells heads of federal departments and agencies to continue normal spending and operations since Congress has over five months to change the January 1 spending cuts required by the Budget Control Act. On August 7 President Obama signed into law the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, which requires an Administration report within 30 days estimating sequestration’s impact on programs.

FEES FOR SOME SECTION 502 LOAN GUARANTEES TO INCREASE OCTOBER 1. An email has notified stakeholders that, while the upfront fee for purchase transactions will remain at 2%, the upfront fee for refinances will rise from 1.5% in FY12 to 2% in FY13. Annual fees for both purchases and refinances will rise from 0.30% in FY12 to 0.40% next year. Contact Debbie Terrell, RD, 918-534-3254.

FEMA REQUESTS COMMENTS ON EMERGENCY HOUSING ASSISTANCE. Comments are due September 28 on proposed revisions to regulations on FEMA’s housing repair, replacement, and construction assistance. The changes are intended to clarify eligibility criteria and implement legislative changes enacted in 2006, not to create new eligibility requirements or add burdens for applicants. Contact Lumumba T. Yancey, FEMA, 202-212-1000.

INTERIM CONTINUUM OF CARE RULE ISSUED. The regulation takes effect August 30 and comments are due October 1. Contact Ann Marie Oliva, HUD, 202-708-4300.

IRS PROPOSES RULE ON SUBMETERED UTILITIES IN LIHTC PROPERTIES. The change would clarify that utility costs paid by a tenant based on actual consumption in a submetered rent-restricted unit are treated as paid by the tenant directly to the utility company. IRS will hold a public hearing on November 27 in Washington, DC. Comments are due October 9. Contact David Selig, IRS, 202-622-3040.

CIRCULAR A-133 COMPLIANCE SUPPLEMENT FOR 2012 AVAILABLE. The supplement provides guidance on audits of federally funded nonprofits and government entities. Comments are due October 31.

FAIR MARKET RENTS PROPOSED FOR FY13. Comments are due September 4 on FMRs that will take effect October 1. Contact local HUD program staff or HUD User, 1-800-245-2691.

FEDERAL REGULATORS RELEASE 2012 LIST OF DISTRESSED OR UNDERSERVED TRACTS FOR CRA. Lender activities in these distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies can receive credit in Community Reinvestment Act evaluations.

SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE CONSIDERS CHANGES TO HUD’S RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. On August 1 the Banking Committee’s Housing Subcommittee held a hearing titled “Streamlining and Strengthening HUD’s Rental Housing Assistance Programs.” Witnesses discussed provisions of several reform bills introduced in Congress.

JOB GROWTH SLOWER IN RURAL PLACES THAN URBAN ONES. The Daily Yonder examined changes in counties’ numbers of jobs from June 2011 to June 2012. Jobs increased by 1.77% in urban counties and by 0.86% in rural counties. One-third of rural and exurban counties lost jobs during this 12-month period.

DIFFERENT SKILLS RESULT IN DIFFERENT WAGES IN RURAL AND URBAN PLACES, STUDY CONCLUDES. “Workforce Skills across the Urban-Rural Hierarchy,” by New York Federal Reserve Bank staff and others, is a preliminary report on research that examined job skills and income levels across a spectrum of places from urban to rural. Researchers found that jobs clustered in urban areas require higher levels of skills than those clustered in rural areas, and that these differences help explain the higher wages in urban areas. Contact Kevin Stolarick

STUDY EXAMINES POTENTIAL FOR INCREASING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN MANUFACTURED HOMES. Noting that energy efficiency in manufactured homes lags behind that of site-built homes, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy reports that improvements can be made in new construction and existing homes. Contact Patrick Kiker, ACEEE, 202-507-4043.