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HAC News: July 20, 2017

HAC News Formats. pdf

July 20, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 15

USDA RD leader encourages full use of 502 direct funds • USDA funding moves to Senate • House takes up HUD funding bill • House leaders proposes budget resolution • Congressional committee holds field hearing on NAHASDA • USDA requests comments on improving its regulations • Comment on new HUD veterans rehab and modification pilot • Committee reviews HUD nominations • Programs, including housing, help children succeed, report says

HAC News Formats. pdf

July 20, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 15

USDA RD leader encourages full use of 502 direct funds. With ten weeks remaining in the fiscal year, Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, has asked single-family program directors in RD state offices to “establish a high priority” for spending all available Section 502 direct funds. She encouraged RD staff to reach out to partners for assistance, and promised additional guidance on tools and resources. For more information, contact state office single-family program directors.

USDA funding moves to Senate. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved an FY18 spending bill for USDA on July 20. The bill has not yet been released to the public. Funding levels for a few of the rural housing programs are available in statements released by the subcommittee, and would keep most rural housing programs at current levels, somewhat higher than the levels in the House bill. The committee included a provision requiring USDA to have an Undersecretary for Rural Development at USDA. Watch www.ruralhome.org for updates on the Senate bill’s contents.
The House Appropriations Committee completed work on its FY18 USDA bill on July 12. It adopted one housing-related change to its subcommittee’s bill, making H-2A visa holders eligible for Section 514/516 farmworker housing.

USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY16 Approp.

FY17 Approp.

FY18 Trump Budget Proposal

House Bill

Senate Bill

502 Single Fam. Direct
Self-Help setaside

$900
5

$1,000
5

0
0

$900
5

$1,000d

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000d

504 VLI Repair Loans

26.3

26.3

0

24

e

504 VLI Repair Grants

28.7

28.7

a

a

e

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.

28.4

35

0

28.4

35d

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.

23.9

23.9

(-11)b

15

23.9d

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.

8.3

8.3

0

6

8.3d

521 Rental Assistance

1,390

1,405c

1,345

1,345

1,345d

523 Self-Help TA

27.5

30

(-4)b

25

e

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

3.5

5

0

a

e

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

150

230

250

230

e

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

22

22

(-4)b

15

e

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

15

19.4

16

20

19.4d

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

4

4

0

0

e

a. Would become part of Rural Economic Infrastructure Grant program.

b. Budget proposes to rescind unobligated funds from three programs: $11 million from Sec. 523 self-help, $4 million from Sec. 514/516 farm labor housing, and $4 million from MPR.

c. Includes $40 million in advance funding for FY18, so total available in FY17 is $1.365 billion and total available in FY18 would be $1.385 billion.

d. Preliminary, pending release of bill text.

e. Unknown as of press time, pending release of bill text.

House takes up HUD funding bill. On July 17 the House Appropriations Committee approved an FY18 HUD funding bill that would cut most HUD programs. HOME and CDBG would both be reduced. The bill also would eliminate the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. The National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimate that the House bill would eliminate at least 140,000 vouchers in FY18 because its funding levels for Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance are inadequate. The committee did adopt an amendment to the bill expanding the Rental Assistance Demonstration to include Section 202 Rental Assistance Contracts. The Senate has not yet begun work on its HUD bill.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY16 Approp.

FY17 Approp.

FY18 Trump Budget Proposal

FY18 House Bill

CDBG

$3,000

$3,000

$0

$2,900

HOME

950

950

0

850

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

10

10

0

10

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
VASH setaside
Tribal VASH

19,628
60
0

20,292
40
7

19,318
0
7

20,487
577a
7

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

10,622

10,816

10,351

11,082

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,900

1,942

628

1,850

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,500

4,400

3,900

4,400

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

125

137.5

0

20

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

654

600

654

Homeless Assistance Grants

2,250

2,383

2,250

2,383

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335

356

330

356

202 Hsg. for Elderly

432.7

502.4

510

573

811 Hsg. for Disabled

150.6

146.2

121

147

Fair Housing

65.3

65.3

65

65.3

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

110

145

130

130

Housing Counseling

47

55

47

50

a. The House bill specifies that its entire VASH appropriation is for renewals.

House leaders propose budget resolution. The House resolution released by the House Budget Committee on July 18, would set caps for FY18 spending at the levels the House is currently using as it develops its versions of FY18 appropriations bills. That limit is below the cap required by the Budget Control Act. In later years, funding for domestic programs – both discretionary and mandatory – would drop sharply. The budget resolution also includes significant tax cuts and may become the vehicle for tax reform legislation.

Congressional committee holds field hearing on NAHASDA. On July 21, the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance will hold a hearing in Wisconsin titled “NAHASDA: 20 Years On.” HAC will submit written testimony for the record.

USDA requests comments on improving its regulations. The department requests ideas on modifying, streamlining, expanding, or repealing regulations, guidance documents, or any other policy documents. Comments are due July 17, 2018. USDA will review comments in four batches: those submitted by September 15, 2017, then by November 14, 2017, then February 12, 2018, and finally July 17, 2018. For more information, contact Michael Poe, USDA, 202-720-5303. The Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity is also still accepting comments on legislative, regulatory, and policy changes (see HAC News, 6/22/17).

Comment on new HUD veterans rehab and modification pilot. HUD requests input by September 11 on the design of a new pilot program that will make grants to nonprofit organizations that provide nationwide or statewide programs serving primarily veterans or low-income individuals. The grants may be used to modify or rehabilitate eligible veterans’ primary residences or to provide grantees’ affiliates with technical, administrative, and training support in connection with those services. Email comments to rhed@hud.gov. For more information, contact Sylvia Y. Purvis, HUD, 877-787-2526 (toll-free) or 202-708-2290.

Committee reviews HUD nominations. On July 18 the Senate Banking Committee considered several nominations, including three for HUD positions: J. Paul Compton, Jr. as General Counsel; Anna M. Farias as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; and Neal J. Rackleff as Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development. The Committee has not yet voted whether to recommend Senate confirmation of these nominees.

Programs, including housing, help children succeed, report says. “Economic Security Programs Help Low-Income Children Succeed Over Long Term, Many Studies Find,” from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, summarizes the findings of numerous researchers. Economic security programs such as housing subsidies, food assistance, and working-family tax credits not only help families afford basic needs, but also help children do better in school and increase their earning power as adults.

HAC News: February 6, 2013

HAC News Formats. pdf

February 6, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 3

• February is African American History Month • Series of federal funding decision points looms • Senate committee requests input on its budget resolution • Hurricane Sandy funds approved • HUD offers grants for Native American construction research • Downpayment sources for FHA mortgages addressed • USDA expands Section 502 refinance pilot • RD will continue to accept third-party inspections for 502 direct • Post-closing servicing requirements for MPR properties reiterated • RD addresses servicing for 515 borrowers who received damages • CFPB seeks comments on ability-to-pay rules • CFPB expands HOEPA coverage and housing counseling requirement • CFPB requires copies of appraisals • HUD requests ideas on AHS changes • 44% of U.S. households are “liquid asset poor” • History of rural housing programs summarized in HAC blog post


February 6, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 3

FEBRUARY IS AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH. President Obama’s proclamation is posted online.

SERIES OF FEDERAL FUNDING DECISION POINTS LOOMS. March 1: Automatic, across-the-board spending cuts in discretionary domestic programs (5.1%) and defense will occur unless Congress acts to avert them. March date unknown: The Administration will release its FY14 budget proposal. March 27: The continuing resolution that has provided FY13 funding ends and the government will shut down unless Congress takes action. April 15: Legislators’ salaries will begin to be escrowed as required by the debt ceiling increase bill signed into law by President Obama on February 4, unless/until Congress passes a concurrent budget resolution for FY14. A budget resolution is not binding, so the appropriations committees can begin considering FY14 funding bills without it. May 18/August date unknown: The debt ceiling is suspended through May 18 and then it increases by a formula that is expected to enable the federal government to continue meeting its debts until sometime in August.

SENATE COMMITTEE REQUESTS INPUT ON ITS BUDGET RESOLUTION. Senate Budget Committee chair Patty Murray (D-WA) invites comments and suggestions online.

HURRICANE SANDY FUNDS APPROVED. On January 29 President Obama signed into law a $50.5 billion supplemental appropriations bill that includes $16 billion in disaster CDBG funding for jurisdictions impacted by Hurricane Sandy or any other presidentially declared disaster in 2011, 2012, or 2013.

HUD OFFERS GRANTS FOR NATIVE AMERICAN CONSTRUCTION RESEARCH. Tribes, nonprofits, foundations, and institutions of higher education can apply by March 25 for the Transformation Initiative: Sustainable Construction in Indian Country Small Grant Program. Contact Mike Blanford, HUD, 202-402-5728.

USDA EXPANDS SECTION 502 REFINANCE PILOT. Fifteen states and Puerto Rico are added to the original 19 states (see HAC News, 2/8/12) where Section 502 direct and guaranteed borrowers who are current on payments can refinance to guaranteed loans with lower interest rates. Administrative Notice 4707 is available online or from USDA offices. Contact a USDA office or Kristina Zehr, RD, 309-452-0830, ext. 111.

RD WILL CONTINUE TO ACCEPT THIRD-PARTY INSPECTIONS FOR 502 DIRECT. An Unnumbered Letter dated January 7, 2013 repeats an October 27, 2011 UL.

POST-CLOSING SERVICING REQUIREMENTS FOR MPR PROPERTIES REITERATED. An Unnumbered Letter dated January 22, 2013 repeats a June 21, 2011 UL.

RD ADDRESSES SERVICING FOR 515 BORROWERS WHO RECEIVED DAMAGES. A UL reminds field staff that owners who received damages after settling prepayment litigation are not eligible for incentives or for prepayment.

CFPB SEEKS COMMENTS ON ABILITY-TO-PAY RULES. Comments are due February 25 on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau amendments to its ability-to-pay/qualified mortgage regulation (see HAC News, 1/23/13). Possible changes include exemptions for nonprofits, HFAs, and NFP grantees, and qualified mortgage status for small lenders. HAC will try to make its comments available before the deadline. Contact Jennifer B. Kozma, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

CFPB EXPANDS HOEPA COVERAGE AND HOUSING COUNSELING REQUIREMENT. A final rule expands the types of high cost mortgage loans that are subject to the Home Ownership and Equity Protections Act; imposes new requirements on HOEPA-covered mortgages, including a pre-loan counseling requirement; and exempts reverse mortgages (which were previously exempt), initial construction loans, loans originated and financed by housing finance agencies, and USDA Section 502 direct loans. Contact Richard Arculin, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

CFPB REQUIRES COPIES OF APPRAISALS. Another final rule implements a requirement for lenders to provide applicants with copies of appraisals in connection with applications for first lien mortgages, rather than providing copies only when applicants request them. Contact Owen Bonheimer, CFPB, 202-435-7000.

HUD REQUESTS IDEAS ON AHS CHANGES. HUD seeks input by April 2 on concerns related to redesigning the American Housing Survey sample, content that should be added or dropped, and ideas for data dissemination. Contact Shawn Bucholtz, HUD, 202-402-5538. HAC will try to make its comments available before the deadline.

44% OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS ARE “LIQUID ASSET POOR” and 26% are “net worth asset poor.” The Corporation for Enterprise Development’s 2013 Assets and Opportunities Scorecard reports that most of these low-asset households have below-poverty level incomes, and a disproportionate number are minorities. Additional data, including state figures, are available online.

HISTORY OF RURAL HOUSING PROGRAMS SUMMARIZED IN HAC BLOG POST. HAC’s latest post on Shelterforce magazine’s Rooflines blog is “So Why Are Those Rural Housing Programs at USDA Anyway?”