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Policy News from Congress

Updated 7/16 – FY22 Funding Bill Moves Forward in House

Update, July 16, 2021 – The House Appropriations Committee has approved the Transportation-HUD funding bill. It is expected to be considered by the full House as part of a “minibus” package of several FY22 appropriations bills, which will also include the Agriculture bill.

 

On July 16, 2021 the House Appropriations Committee will consider a fiscal year 2022 funding bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The bill was approved on July 12 by the T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee.

The House bill would set funding levels for many HUD programs at or above the amounts requested in the President’s budget and would provide substantial increases above FY21 levels for almost all programs. Details are provided in the table below.

 

HUD Program

(dollars in millions)

FY20 Final Approp. FY21 Final Approp. FY22 Admin. Budget FY22 House Bill
CDBG $3,425 $3,475 $3,770 $4,688
HOME 1,350 1,350 1,850 1,850
Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP) 10 10 10 15
Veterans Home Rehab 4 4 4
Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce. 23,874 25,778 30,442 29,216
    VASH setaside 40 40 20
    Tribal VASH 1 5 5 5
Project-Based Rental Asstnce. 12,570 13,465 14,060 14,010
Public Hsg. Capital Fund 2,870 2,942 3,678 3,718
Public Hsg. Operating Fund 4,549 4,864 4,917 4,922
Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative 175 200 250 400
Native Amer. Hsg. 825 825 1,000 950
Homeless Assistance Grants 2,777 3,000 3,500 3,420
Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS 410 430 450 600
202 Hsg. for Elderly 793 855 928 1,033
811 Hsg. for Disabled 202 227 272 352
Fair Housing 70.3 72.6 85 85
Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl. 290 360 400 460
Housing Counseling 53 57.5 85.9 100

 

Updated Sept. 20: Senate Committee Votes to Keep Most Rural Housing Programs at FY19 Funding Levels

UPDATE September 20, 2019 – When HAC first posted about the bill, its text was not yet available and the information on this page was based on a summary from the Democratic members of the House Appropriations Committee. On September 20 the bill text was posted online. There are no changes to the information originally provided.

UPDATE September 19, 2019 – The full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the subcommittee’s bill.

On September 17, 2019 the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee approved a fiscal year 2020 spending bill that holds most USDA rural housing programs at 2019 levels, with increases for Section 521 Rental Assistance and Section 542 rural housing vouchers. This is far above the Administration’s budget proposal, but the bill approved by the House in June would increase funding for several other rural housing programs as well. If the full Senate approves the subcommittee’s bill, the differences between the House and Senate will have to be resolved by a conference committee.

USDA Rural Development Appropriations[tdborder][/tdborder]

USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY18 Approp.

FY19 Final Approp.

FY20 Admin. Budget FY20 House Bill
(H.R. 3055)
FY20 Senate Bill (S. 2522)

502 Single Fam. Direct
Self-Help setaside*

$1,100
5

$1,000
5

0
0

$1,000
0

$1,000
5

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000 24,000 24,000 24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

28

28 0 28 28

504 VLI Repair Grants

30

30 0 30 30

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.

40

40 0 45 40

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.

23

27.5 0 30 27.5

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.

8.4

10 0 10 10

521 Rental Assistance

1,345

1,331.4 1,375 1,375 1,375

523 Self-Help TA

30

30 0 32 30

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

10

15 0 15 15

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

230

230 250 250 230

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

22

24.5 0 40 24.5

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

25

27 35 35 32

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

4

6 0 8 6

Rental Prsrv. TA

1

1 0 0 1

* For the self-help setaside in Section 502 direct, the figures in the table represent budget authority, not program levels.

HAC News: September 2, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

September 2, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 18

• Administration asks for permission to spend more rural Rental Assistance early in FY16 • Some RA contracts running out of funds early cannot be renewed • House’s FY16 appropriations bills exceed caps set in budget deal • HUD offers ICDBG funds • Grants available for domestic violence HIV/AIDS housing • USDA reports on review of Section 523 self-help TA • Comment period reopened for RD economic and community development setaside • CDFI Program interim rule issued • HUD corrects errors in AFFH and voucher portability rules • Report reviews progress in Texas colonias

HAC News Formats. pdf

September 2, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 18

ADMINISTRATION ASKS FOR PERMISSION TO SPEND MORE RURAL RENTAL ASSISTANCE EARLY IN FY16. The White House has requested a number of “anomalies” – changes from FY15 appropriations – it wants Congress to include in a Continuing Resolution that would fund the government in early FY16. The list includes one rural housing item, asking that Section 521 Rental Assistance funds “may be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to pay ongoing debt service for the section 514 and 515 multifamily direct loan programs.” Noting that “the timing of contract renewals has shifted heavily to the first few months of the fiscal year,” the Administration wants to be able to spend a disproportionate amount of RA dollars at the beginning of the fiscal year. It does not ask for additional funding.

SOME RA CONTRACTS RUNNING OUT OF FUNDS EARLY CANNOT BE RENEWED. Under the FY15 appropriations act, Section 521 RA contracts dated December 16, 2014 or later cannot be renewed early if they use up their funding before their full 12-month terms (see HAC News, 12/10/14). USDA RD estimates that in FY15, 50 properties will run out of RA money before their terms end, and that in early FY16, 700-800 projects will be affected. Owners can ask RD for the mitigation measures offered at the end of FY13, such as deferral of RD payments (see HAC News, 10/1/13), but when those changes are not enough to cover operating costs RD staff reportedly are telling property owners they can request permission to raise rents. The National Housing Law Project has informed RD that raising rents in this situation is illegal. HAC is offering to share information among owners and others; please send contact information to Leslie Strauss, HAC, leslie@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600, and identify any specific properties in this situation.

HOUSE’S FY16 APPROPRIATIONS BILLS EXCEED CAPS SET IN BUDGET DEAL. The Office of Management and Budget calculates that, if the spending limits enacted in the 2011 Budget Control Act are not raised, the House’s funding levels for FY16 would result in sequestration of $1.8 billion in non-defense spending and $3 million in defense. The Senate’s bills would require sequestration of $1 million in defense spending.

HUD OFFERS ICDBG FUNDS. Indian tribes and tribal organizations can apply by October 14 for Indian Community Development Block Grants. Contact Gloria N. Green, HUD.

GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HIV/AIDS HOUSING. October 23 is the deadline for states, units of local government, and nonprofits to request funds to provide housing assistance and supportive services to low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS who need housing assistance as a result of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, and for whom emergency shelter services or other crisis intervention services are unavailable or insufficient. Contact Amy Palilonis, HUD, 202-402-5916.

USDA REPORTS ON REVIEW OF SECTION 523 SELF-HELP TA. A recent internal review of the Section 523 Mutual Self-Help Technical Assistance Grant Program, summarized in AN 4789 (August 13, 2015), found that overall the program performed well. Some of the “areas of concern” that “must be addressed” are self-help homes built with limited homeowner sweat equity due to factors other than reduced property values; grant extensions for reasons the agency believes should have been within the grantee’s control; and grantee failure to use construction contracts for subcontracted work that clearly identify the work to be completed, specifications, price, and payments. Contact a Regional Technical and Management Assistance contractor.

COMMENT PERIOD REOPENED FOR RD ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SETASIDE. Comments are due September 18 on an interim rule setting aside 10% of funds from some RD non-housing programs for projects that help implement development plans (see HAC News, 5/27/15). Contact Farah Ahmad, RBS, 202-245-1169.

CDFI PROGRAM INTERIM RULE ISSUED. Comments are due October 30 on changes implementing the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards published in December 2014 (see HAC News, 12/22/14) and making technical corrections and other updates. Contact Amber Kuchar, CDFI Fund.

HUD CORRECTS ERRORS IN AFFH AND VOUCHER PORTABILITY RULES. There was a typographical error in the final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (see HAC News, 7/8/15) and some text was missing from the Housing Choice Voucher portability process regulation (see HAC News, 8/19/15).

REPORT REVIEWS PROGRESS IN TEXAS COLONIAS. Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress along the Texas-Mexico Border, published by the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, focuses on infrastructure, housing, economic opportunity, education, and health in the six Texas counties with the highest concentrations of colonias. The vast majority of residents (96%) characterize themselves as Hispanic or Latino, almost two-thirds are U.S. citizens, and more than 40% are poor. A shortage of decent, affordable housing remains, but the report highlights housing successes by community-based nonprofits.

HAC News: August 5, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 5, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 16

• Americans with Disabilities Act turns 25 • FY16 appropriations stall • USDA offers debt deferral for maturing mortgages as well as MPR preservation funds • HUD has funding for fair housing, Jobs Plus, and Main Street • Rural broadband loans and loan guarantees available, new rule published • Tenants displaced by maturing mortgages eligible for LOPEs • USDA proposes changes to multifamily owners’ financial reporting • Promise Zone comments requested • HUD suggests changes to faith-based organizations regulations • Inspector General recommends reducing number of overincome families in public housing • HAC explains federal funding and sequestration • Two HAC trainings offered September 15-16

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 5, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 16

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT TURNS 25. A presidential proclamation recognizes July 26, 2015 as the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Additional information is online from HUD and the Justice Department.

FY16 APPROPRIATIONS STALL. All 12 spending bills have passed the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, but further progress seems unlikely. Legislators do not agree whether to continue sequestration, and the Administration has written a series of letters asking Congress to reverse sequestration and make “commonsense” cuts for FY16, focusing most recently on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s USDA appropriations bill. The House is in recess and the Senate goes out of session after this week, with both houses returning on September 8. A Continuing Resolution is likely for at least the early part of FY16.

USDA OFFERS DEBT DEFERRAL FOR MATURING MORTGAGES AS WELL AS MPR PRESERVATION FUNDS. The Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization demonstration can be used for existing Section 515 and Section 514/516 properties. No additional Section 521 Rental Assistance is available. Properties with USDA multifamily mortgages maturing on or before December 31, 2018 are eligible for debt deferral to extend the affordable use of the housing and continue its RA eligibility. Applications that request debt deferrals and also other MPR funding tools are due December 1. Applications requesting only debt deferral are due December 31. Contact a Housing Programs Specialist at a USDA RD State Office.

HUD HAS FUNDING FOR FAIR HOUSING, JOBS PLUS, AND MAIN STREET. Fair housing organizations and other nonprofits can apply by August 26 for Fair Housing Initiative Program funds; contact Myron P. Newry, HUD, 202-402-7095. Applications from PHAs are due September 28 for the Jobs Plus Pilot; contact HUD staff, jobsplus@hud.gov. Small communities’ governments are eligible for the HOPE VI Main Street Grant Program with an August 27 deadline; contact Lawrence Gnessin, HUD.

RURAL BROADBAND LOANS AND LOAN GUARANTEES AVAILABLE, NEW RULE PUBLISHED. Get an application guide online or request one from Shawn Arner, RUS, 202-720-0800. Deadline is September 30. Comments are due September 28 on an interim rule that implements changes made by the 2014 Farm Bill. Contact Kenneth Kuchno, RUS, 202-720-9554.

TENANTS DISPLACED BY MATURING MORTGAGES ELIGIBLE FOR LOPEs. Tenants who cannot stay in their Section 515 apartments because of rent increases after the mortgage expires are now entitled to receive Letters of Priority Entitlement giving them priority on the waiting lists of other Section 515 properties. Contact a USDA RD State Office.

USDA PROPOSES CHANGES TO MULTIFAMILY OWNERS’ FINANCIAL REPORTING. To reduce the burden on owners, RD suggests removing engagement requirements and unit-based requirements for annual financial reporting on Section 515 and 514/516 properties and replacing them with risk-based audit requirements based on HUD’s. Comments are due in early October. Contact Stephanie White, USDA, 202-720-1615.

PROMISE ZONE COMMENTS REQUESTED. The third and final round of the Promise Zones Initiative will select five urban communities, one rural, and one tribal. Comments on the proposed selection process, criteria and submissions are due September 28. Contact Bryan Herdliska, PromiseZones@hud.gov, 202-402-6758.

HUD SUGGESTS CHANGES TO FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS REGULATIONS. The revisions would implement an Executive Order that clarifies religious providers are welcome to compete for federal funding and provides protections for program beneficiaries, including a referral process for those who object to an organization’s religious character. Comments are due in early October. Contact Paula Lincoln, HUD, 202-708-2404.

INSPECTOR GENERAL RECOMMENDS REDUCING NUMBER OF OVERINCOME FAMILIES IN PUBLIC HOUSING. HUD OIG Audit Report Number 2015-PH-0002, Overincome Families Residing in Public Housing Units, says over 25,000 families in public housing have incomes over the eligibility limits because HUD gives public housing authorities discretion to set policies that would require overincome families to move and some PHAs allow them to stay. The study included PHAs of all sizes. OIG recommends that HUD direct housing authorities to establish policies to reduce the number of overincome families in public housing, so more eligible low-income families can receive housing assistance.

HAC EXPLAINS FEDERAL FUNDING AND SEQUESTRATION. The Federal Budget, Appropriations, Sequestration and Rural Communities: Expanding the Conversation, a new HAC policy note, tells how spending caps impact housing programs.

TWO HAC TRAININGS OFFERED SEPTEMBER 15-16. The cost is $75 each for these courses in North Charleston, SC. Register online for Sharpening Your Skills: Financial Management for Rural Nonprofits or Utilizing the LIHTC Program: Creating and Preserving Affordable Housing. Contact Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824.

HAC News: June 25, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

June 25, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 13

• House subcommittee keeps most USDA spending at FY15 levels • Senate committee advances HUD bill with large cut in HOME • Supreme Court approves use of disparate impact for fair housing claims • Indian Country needs capital, witnesses tell Senate panel • Funds for housing and health research offered • Reminder: USDA has email lists for single-family housing loan programs • RD alters multifamily reserve account countersignature requirements • HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration changed • Federal homelessness plan revised • Homeownership down, renters’ cost burden rates increasing, Harvard reports • Partnership opportunities expand for housing and health providers

HAC News Formats. pdf

June 25, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 13

HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE KEEPS MOST USDA SPENDING AT FY15 LEVELS. Approved by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on June 18, the FY16 agriculture appropriations bill holds funding for Section 523 self-help at $27.5 million and increases Rental Assistance funds slightly to $1.167 billion, the amount the Administration said will be needed to keep up with inflation. It does not include minimum rent for tenants and does not provide vouchers for tenants in maturing mortgage properties. Details are on HAC’s website. The full House Appropriations Committee postponed a June 25 markup, and the Senate has not yet released an agriculture funding bill. [tdborder][/tdborder]

USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Approp.a

FY14
Approp.

FY15
Approp.

FY16 Budget Proposal

FY16 House Subcmte. Bill

502 Single Fam. Direct
Self-Help setaside

$900
5

$900
5

$900
5

$900
0

$900
5

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

28

26.3

26.3

26.3

26.3

504 VLI Repair Grants

29.5

28.7

28.7

26

28.7

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.

31.3

28.4

28.4

42.3

28.4

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.

20.8

23.9

23.6

23.9

23.9

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.

7.1

8.3

8.3

8.3

8.3

521 Rental Assistance

907.1

1,110

1,089

1,172

1,167

523 Self-Help TA

30

25

27.5

10

27.5

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

3.6

3.5

3.5

0

3.5

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

150

150

150

200

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

17.8

20

17

19

17

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

10

12.6

7

15

7

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

6.1

6

4

4

4

a. Figures shown do not include 5% sequester or 2.5% across the board cut.

SENATE COMMITTEE ADVANCES HUD BILL WITH LARGE CUT IN HOME. On June 25 the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a HUD funding bill for FY16 (not yet available online). The measure cuts the HOME program by 93%, from $900 million in FY15 to $66 million. An amendment to restore HOME funding was offered by Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE) but was defeated. The bill does not make changes to the National Housing Trust Fund.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Approp.a

FY14
Approp.

FY15
Approp.

FY16
Budget
Proposal

FY16
House Bill
(H.R. 2577)

FY16 Sen. Approps. Cmte. Bill

Cmty. Devel. Fund
CDBG

3,308
2,948

3,100
3,030

3,066
3,000

2,880
2,800

3,060
3,000

2,900
2,900

HOME
SHOP setaside

1,000
b

1,000
b

900
b

1,060
10

767
b

66
b

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

13.5

10

10

b

10

10

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
VASH setaside

18,939.4
75

19,177.2
75

19,304
75

21,123
c

19,919

19,934
75

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,339.7

9,516.6

9,330

10,360

10,254

10,426

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,886

1,875

1,875

1,970

1,681

1,743

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,262

4,400

4,440

4,600

4,440

4,500

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

120

90

80

250

20

65

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

650

660

650

650

Homeless Assistance Grantsd

2,033

2,105

2,135

2,480

2,185

2,235

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

334

330

330

332

332

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

377

385.3

436

455

416.5

420

811 Hsg. for Disabled

165

126

135

177

152

137

Fair Housing

70.8

66

65.3

71

65.3

69.5

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

120

110

110

120

75

110

Housing Counseling

45

45

47

60

47

47

Local Housing Policy Grants

300

a. Figures shown do not include 5% sequester. b. In FY13, FY14, and FY15 SHOP was funded under the Self-Help & Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program account. Recent Obama budgets have proposed making the program a setaside in HOME. Congress has rejected that proposal. c. VASH vouchers for homeless veterans would be part of a new $177.5 million account of incremental rental vouchers for families, veterans, and tribal families experiencing homelessness and for victims of domestic violence. d. Includes the Rural Housing Stability Program, which is not yet operational.

SUPREME COURT APPROVES USE OF DISPARATE IMPACT FOR FAIR HOUSING CLAIMS. On June 25 the court ruled in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. that a Fair Housing Act claim may be based on a disproportionately adverse impact on minorities even where there is no discriminatory intent.

INDIAN COUNTRY NEEDS CAPITAL, WITNESSES TELL SENATE PANEL. “Accessing Capital in Indian Country,” an oversight hearing by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, focused on business financing, but touched on housing as well. Witnesses spoke favorably of HUD’s Section 184 program, CRA, and the Native American CDFI program. One recommended allocating Low Income Housing Tax Credits directly to tribes.

FUNDS FOR HOUSING AND HEALTH RESEARCH OFFERED. Nonprofits, for-profits, tribes, PHAs, state and local govern-ments, and others can submit preapplications by July 16 for Healthy Homes Technical Studies grants. Contact Dr. Peter Ashley, HUD, 202-402-7595.

REMINDER: USDA HAS EMAIL LISTS FOR SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING LOAN PROGRAMS. Sign up for a list that distributes information about Section 502 direct, 504, and 523, or for others covering the Section 502 guarantee program, at https://www.rdlist.sc.egov.usda.gov/listserv/mainservlet.

RD ALTERS MULTIFAMILY RESERVE ACCOUNT COUNTERSIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS. A final rule provides that when a property has both a Section 515 or 514 loan and also a Section 538 loan, USDA’s countersignature will not be required to draw funds from the reserve account. (See HAC News, 8/20/14.) The rule also requires guarantee fees to be paid from operating accounts, not reserve accounts. Contact Tammy S. Daniels, RD, 202-720-0021.

HUD RENTAL ASSISTANCE DEMONSTRATION CHANGED. A notice in the June 26 Federal Register will expand and amend RAD, which allows some public housing to convert to long-term, project-based Section 8 rental assistance. Comments will be due in 30 days. Contact rad@hud.gov.

FEDERAL HOMELESSNESS PLAN REVISED. The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness updated its “Opening Doors” strategy and added an operational definition of ending homelessness: “An end to homelessness does not mean that no one will ever experience a housing crisis again. . . . [It] means that every community will have a systematic response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible or is otherwise a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.” USICH also says chronic homelessness can be ended in 2017 (rather than the original 2015 goal) if Congress funds new permanent supportive housing.

HOMEOWNERSHIP DOWN, RENTERS’ COST BURDEN RATES INCREASING, HARVARD REPORTS. In its annual State of the Nation’s Housing study, the Joint Center on Housing Studies says that in 2013, almost half of all renters had housing cost burdens, including more than a quarter who were paying more than 50% of income for housing). The report notes that cuts in federal funds and increases in subsidy costs add to the problem, and that expiring affordability requirements will be a serious issue over the next decade.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES EXPAND FOR HOUSING AND HEALTH PROVIDERS. Affordable Housing’s Place in Medicaid Reform: Opportunities Created by the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Reform examines how changes in health care law create the potential for affordable housing providers to collaborate with health care providers and others. The report, published by the National Housing Conference, includes examples of programs already underway.

HAC News: June 10, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

June 10, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 12

• House passes THUD spending bill • Lead hazard funding offered • RD seeks 502 packaging intermediary applications, delays rule’s effective date • New comments invited on Emergency Solutions Grants • HUD considers small area FMRs • Meetings set on Section 538 guarantees • People with disabilities receiving SSI cannot afford housing • Materials available on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule • CFPB consumer advisory warns about reverse mortgage advertising • Americans believe housing crisis ongoing, many still aspire to homeownership • HAC to present Practitioner’s Guide to Meeting Energy Star 3.0 Part B • HAC offers Section 502 Packaging Training for Nonprofit Housing Developers

HAC News Formats. pdf

June 10, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 12

HOUSE PASSES THUD SPENDING BILL. On June 9, the House passed the FY16 Transportation-HUD spending bill(H.R. 2577) with only one change in HUD funding levels (see HAC News, 4/29/15): $2.5 million was added for Section 202 elderly housing, offset by reduced funding for HUD’s Policy Development and Research office. The bill directs National Housing Trust Fund funding to the HOME program. Amendments adopted by the House prohibit funding the private enforcement initiative under HUD’s Fair Housing Initiative Program, and enforcing HUD’s affirmatively furthering fair housing rule (see HAC News, 7/17/13) and disparate impact rule (see HAC News, 2/20/13). Last week, the House passed an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill barring the Department of Justice from enforcing the disparate impact rule. A Supreme Court decision on a disparate impact case is expected later this month. The Senate has not begun action on its THUD bill.

LEAD HAZARD FUNDING OFFERED. Governments of states, counties, cities, townships, and tribes can apply by June 23 for HUD’s FY15 Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program and the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program. Contact Eric Hornbuckle, HUD, 202-402-7599.

RD SEEKS 502 PACKAGING INTERMEDIARY APPLICATIONS, DELAYS RULE’S EFFECTIVE DATE. July 9 is the deadline for experienced nonprofits and state HFAs to apply to be intermediaries for the Section 502 direct packaging process. Pilot program intermediaries must reapply. (The April application invitation reported in the HAC News, 4/15/15, was for the pilot program.) A separate notice defers effectiveness of the final packaging rule to October 1, 2015 rather than July 28. Contact Brooke Baumann, RD, 202-690-4250.

NEW COMMENTS INVITED ON EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANTS. HUD requests comments by August 3 on the ESG interim rule published December 5, 2011 (see HAC News, 12/14/11). Contact Norm Suchar, HUD, 202-708-4300.

HUD CONSIDERS SMALL AREA FMRS. HUD requests comments by July 2 on the use of small area FMRs for the Housing Choice Voucher program in some metro areas. Small areas FMRs vary by ZIP code and support a greater range of payment standards than can be achieved under existing regulations. Contact Marie L. Lihn, HUD, 202-402-5866.

MEETINGS SET ON SECTION 538 GUARANTEES. USDA will discuss the rental guarantee program with stakeholders. To register for email notices when calls or web meetings are scheduled, contact Monica Cole, 202-720-1251.

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES RECEIVING SSI CANNOT AFFORD HOUSING. Priced Out in 2014, released by the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force, reports that the national average rent for a one-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent is greater than the entire Supplemental Security Income payment of a person with a disability. Data are provided for states, metro areas, and the total nonmetro part of each state.

MATERIALS AVAILABLE ON AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING RULE. Anticipating a final AFFH regulation soon, the National Fair Housing Alliance has compiled links to information about the proposed rule. NFHA and The Opportunity Agenda also offer suggestions for talking about AFFH and fair housing with a range of audiences.

CFPB CONSUMER ADVISORY WARNS ABOUT REVERSE MORTGAGE ADVERTISING. Ads targeting senior homeowners can be misleading, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says. The agency’s website provides facts and a guide.

AMERICANS BELIEVE HOUSING CRISIS ONGOING, MANY STILL ASPIRE TO HOMEOWNERSHIP. The 2015 How Housing Matters survey for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation also found 80% believe housing affordability is a problem, a majority (55%) believe the federal government is more involved in housing-related issues today than in the past two decades, and most (53%) say that addressing housing affordability is not its responsibility (39% say it is.)

HAC TO PRESENT PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE TO MEETING ENERGY STAR 3.0 PART B. The HVAC Raters Checklist and Water Management System Builder Checklist will be covered in this free webinar on June 24 at 2:00 eastern time. Follow the discussion online at #ruralgreen.

HAC OFFERS SECTION 502 PACKAGING TRAINING FOR NONPROFIT HOUSING DEVELOPERS. This advanced course will be held July 7-9 in Denver. Learn how to assist potential borrowers and work in partnership with RD staff, as well as other nonprofit organizations and regional intermediaries to deliver successful Section 502 direct loan packages. Following the course, participants are encouraged to take the online certification exam. The registration fee is $400. Follow the discussion online at #rural502.

CONTACT Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824.

HAC News: May 28, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

May 28, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 11

• USDA funding bills advance without major cuts • House committee approves FY15 T-HUD bill • Senate committee passes housing finance reform bill • Donovan nominated for OMB, Castro for HUD • Section 538 guarantees for rental housing loans are available • Lead hazard funding NOFA issued • USDA offers Intermediary Relending Program funds • HUD allows alternative accessibility standard • HUD allows alternative accessibility standard • Housing counseling pilot proposed by FHA • 2014 OMB Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement available • National Standard for Healthy Housing released • Research briefs link housing with education, employment, health, and other outcomes • Advocates’ Guide to Housing and Community Development Policy available online and in print • Draft handbook for Section 502 guaranteed loans posted • Homelessness decreased slightly from 2012 to 2013, research finds • Rural Data Portal updated with 2008-2012 ACS Data

May 28, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 11

USDA FUNDING BILLS ADVANCE WITHOUT MAJOR CUTS. The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee passed its FY15 agriculture appropriations bill on May 20, and the full House committee will consider the measure on May 29. The full Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version, S. 2389, on May 22. Both bills reject many of the Administration’s budget proposals and retain funding for Section 502 direct loans, Section 523 self-help, and the capacity-building Rural Community Development Initiative. Neither house adopted the Administration’s request for minimum rents. Both bills include language prohibiting renewal of Section 521 Rental Assistance contracts that use up their funding before their full 12-month terms. The House bill supports expansion of the demonstration packaging program for Section 502 direct loans, while the Senate bill is silent on the matter.[tdborder][/tdborder]

USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Approp.a

FY14
Approp.

FY15
Admin. Budget

FY15 House Subcmte. Bill

FY15 Senate
Cmte. Bill
S. 2389

502 Single Fam. Direct
Self-Help setaside

$900
5

$900
5

$360
0

$1,042
5

$900
5

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

28

26.3

26.3

26.4

26.3

504 VLI Repair Grants

29.5

28.7

25

27

28.7

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.

31.3

28.4

28.4

28.3

28.4

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.

20.8

23.9

23.9

23.6

23.8

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.

7.1

8.3

8.3

8.3

8.3

521 Rental Assistanceb

907.1

1,110

1,089

1,089

1,094

523 Self-Help TA

30

25

10

30

25

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

3.6

3.5

0

0

3.5

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

150

150

150

150

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

17.8

20

20

20

20

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Lns.

0

0

0

0

0

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

10

12.6

8

8

8

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

6.1

6

0

5

6

a. Figures shown do not include 5% sequester or 2.5% across the board cut. b. None of the FY15 documents propose RA setasides for preservation or for new Section 514/516 housing. The final FY13 appropriation included a $3 million 514/516 setaside, and the final FY14 appropriation has no setasides.

HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVES FY15 T-HUD BILL. On May 21 the full House Appropriations Committee passed the Transportation-HUD spending bill as reported by its T-HUD subcommittee and summarized in the May 14 HAC News. The Senate subcommittee is expected to consider its bill on June 3.

SENATE COMMITTEE PASSES HOUSING FINANCE REFORM BILL. S. 1217, the Johnson-Crapo Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act, was approved by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on May 15. The full Senate is not expected to vote on the bill, however, and it has not been introduced in the House. It is likely to provide a starting point for finance reform efforts in the next Congress.

DONOVAN NOMINATED FOR OMB, CASTRO FOR HUD. President Obama has nominated HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to head the Office of Management and Budget, and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to replace Donovan at HUD. Both positions require Senate confirmation.

SECTION 538 GUARANTEES FOR RENTAL HOUSING LOANS ARE AVAILABLE. Funds can be used for new construction or acquisition with rehabilitation of affordable rural rental housing, including USDA-financed properties. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Contact Monica Cole, USDA, 202-720-1251.

LEAD HAZARD FUNDING NOFA ISSUED. States, local governments, and tribes can apply by June 27 for HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grants or Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grants. Contact Michelle Miller, HUD, 202-402-5769.

USDA OFFERS INTERMEDIARY RELENDING PROGRAM FUNDS. Intermediaries that relend funds for business facilities and community developments in rural areas can apply by June 30 for IRP loans. Contact a USDA RD state office.

HUD ALLOWS ALTERNATIVE ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD. HUD funding recipients may comply with accessibility requirements by using either the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design (with specific exceptions) or the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. This instruction is effective from May 23 until HUD completes an update of its accessibility regulations. Contact Cheryl Kent, HUD, 202-402-7058.

HOUSING COUNSELING PILOT PROPOSED BY FHA. The Federal Housing Administration requests comments by July 14 on a four-year housing counseling pilot to be called Homeowners Armed With Knowledge (HAWK) for New Homebuyers. In exchange for participating, first-time homebuyers will get “substantial reductions” in the pricing of their FHA insurance. Email questions to housing.counseling@hud.gov with “HAWK Notice Question” in the subject line. Contact Arlene Nunes, HUD, 202-402-2532.

2014 OMB CIRCULAR A-133 COMPLIANCE SUPPLEMENT AVAILABLE. Comments on this year’s supplement are due October 31. Contact a federal awarding agency.

NATIONAL STANDARD FOR HEALTHY HOUSING RELEASED. The National Center for Healthy Housing and the American Public Health Association have issued a standard intended to be used by property owners, elected officials, code agency staff, and others. Written in code language for easy adoption, the document covers existing owner-occupied and rental housing. Contact NCHH, info@nchh.org, 410-992-0712.

RESEARCH BRIEFS LINK HOUSING WITH EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, HEALTH, AND OTHER OUTCOMES. Produced by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s “How Housing Matters to Families and Communities Initiative, “ the briefs present findings from longer research pieces and are intended to help inform policy discussions.

ADVOCATES’ GUIDE TO HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT POLICY AVAILABLE ONLINE AND IN PRINT. The 2014 guide published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition provides brief overviews of housing programs and advocacy tools. To purchase a print copy, contact Christina Reyes, 202-662-1530 x224.

DRAFT HANDBOOK FOR SECTION 502 GUARANTEED LOANS POSTED. The handbook accompanies the program’s interim final rule, which was issued in December 2013 and will take effect on September 1, 2014. Contact USDA RD’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division, 202-720-1452.

HOMELESSNESS DECREASED SLIGHTLY FROM 2012 TO 2013, RESEARCH FINDS. Nevertheless, nationally there are about 184,000 more homeless persons than beds available to assist them, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness’s State of Homelessness in America report for 2014.

HAC’s RURAL DATA PORTAL now features the most recent 2008-2012 American Community Survey (ACS) data. Visit www.ruraldataportal.org to start “taking stock” of your community today.

The RURAL DATA PORTAL is a simple, easy to use, on-line resource that provides essential information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of communities in the United States.

The RURAL DATA PORTAL is targeted toward rural communities, but a wide range of information is presented for the nation, states, and counties for rural, suburban, and urban areas.

HAC News: May 14, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

May 14, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 10

• House subcommittee approves cuts for FY15 HUD spending • Lisa Mensah nominated as USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development • CDFI Fund offers bond guarantees • CFPB proposes mortgage rule amendments • Manufactured housing label fee increase proposed • FHFA Director addresses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s future • VA proposes changes, including homeless definitions, for two programs

May, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 10

House subcommittee approves cuts for FY15 HUD spending. On May 7 the House Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee passed a spending bill that reduces HOME by 30% from 2014 and cuts fair housing, HOPWA, lead-hazard control, public housing capital, and project-based rental assistance. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates the bill’s funding probably would not be enough to renew all Housing Choice Vouchers. The bill includes HUD’s SHOP program as part of HOME, following a recommendation in the President’s budget. The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to act during the week of May 19. [tdborder][/tdborder]

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Approp.a

FY14
Approp.

FY15
Admin. Budget

FY15
House Bill

Cmty. Devel. Fund
CDBG
Sustainable Commun. Init.
Rural Innovation Fund

3,308
2,948
0
0

3,100
3,030
0
0

2,870
2,800
0
0

3,060
3,000
0
0

HOME
SHOP setaside

1,000
b

1,000
b

950
10

700
10

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

13.5

10

c

c

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
VASH setaside

18,939.4
75

19,177.2
75

20,100
75

19,356
75

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,339.7

9,516.6

9,346

9,346

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,886

1,875

1,925

1,775

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,262

4,400

4,600

4,400

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

120

90

120

0

Housing Trust Fund

d

d

1,000

0

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

650

650

Homeless Assistance Grants

2,033

2,105

2,406.4

2,105

Rural Hsg. Stability Prog.

e

e

e

e

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

334

330

332

303

202 Hsg. for Elderly

377

385.3

440

420

811 Hsg. for Disabled

165

126

160

135

Fair Housing

70.8

66

71

46

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

120

110

120

70

Housing Counseling

45

45

60

45


a.
Figures shown do not include 5% sequester. b. Funded under separate Self-Help & Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program. c. Funded as a setaside in HOME. d. National Housing Trust Fund is “mandatory” funding, not discretionary, so does not need to be funded through appropriations legislation, although the Administration did include it in the budget request. e. Funded under Homeless Assistance Grants.

Lisa Mensah nominated as USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development. Mensah, currently executive director of the Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security, needs to be confirmed by the Senate. Deputy Under Secretary Doug O’Brien is currently Acting Under Secretary.

CDFI Fund offers bond guarantees. Certified CDFIs can apply by June 23 to become Qualified Issuers in the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program and by June 30 to receive bond guarantees. Email bgp@cdfi.treas.gov.

CFPB proposes mortgage rule amendments. Comments are due June 5 on suggested changes including some new nonprofit exemptions and July 7 on other specified topics. Contact Pedro De Oliveira, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

Manufactured housing label fee increase proposed. Comment by June 2 on HUD’s request to raise the fee for each new section from $39 to $95-$105. Contact Pamela B. Danner, HUD, 202-708-6423.

FHFA Director addresses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s future. In a May 13 speech, Mel Watt presented a strategic plan for ongoing conservatorship. He mentioned increasing activity in small multifamily properties and manufactured home communities, and did not address the not-yet-implemented duty to serve underserved markets including rural areas, or the National Housing Trust Fund.

VA proposes changes, including homeless definitions, for two programs. Comments are due June 23 on Supportive Services for Veteran Families (contact John Kuhn, 877-737-0111) and in July on Health Care for Homeless Veterans (to be published in the May 15 Federal Register; contact Robert Hallett, 781-687-3187).