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HAC News: May 25, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

May 25, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 11

HUD changes course on 2015 fair housing regulation• Senate committee approves 2019 USDA funding bill • House begins work on 2019 HUD funding • Dodd-Frank provisions rolled back for banks, manufactured homes • GAO makes recommendations to USDA and Congress on preserving rural rentals • Revised bills propose changes to preserve rural rental housing • Advocate’s guide to rural housing preservation published • Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants offered • USDA seeks partnerships in the Section 502 direct loan program • More Opportunity Zones announced • Farm Bill fails in House • Tribal VASH notices updated • Inclusionary zoning map shows local and state programs • African Americans and Hispanics still far from equal with whites, National Urban League reports

HAC News Formats. pdf

May 25, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 11

HUD changes course on 2015 fair housing regulation.
In January, HUD suspended implementation of a 2015 regulation that required local jurisdictions to prepare Assessments of Fair Housing (AFHs) to help meet their obligations to affirmatively further fair housing. On May 8, civil rights groups sued HUD for suspending the rule. HUD has now canceled January’s suspension, and instead has withdrawn the Assessment Tool that local governments were using to develop their AFHs. Like the January notice, this one means local governments will keep using the older Analysis of Impediments rather than the AFH. HUD says it is planning a series of national listening sessions regarding the Assessment Tool. Comments on the Assessment Tool are due July 23. For more information, contact Krista Mills, HUD, 202-402-6577. HUD also announced recently that it plans to request public comment on whether its 2013 regulation on the use of disparate impact to identify housing discrimination is consistent with the 2015 Supreme Court ruling on the subject.

Senate committee approves 2019 USDA funding bill.
On May 24 the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its FY19 funding bill for USDA. Most of its rural housing funding amounts are the same as the FY18 levels, with slight increases for MPR and vouchers. The Senate bill provides slightly lower levels than the House bill – which passed the House Appropriations Committee on May 16 – for Section 514 and 516 farm labor housing, Section 533, MPR, and vouchers.

USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY17 Approp.

FY18 Approp.

FY19 Admin. Budget

FY19 House Bill

FY19 Senate Bill (S. 2976)

502 Single Fam. Direct
Self-Help setasidea

$1,000
5

$1,100
5

0
0

$1,000
5

$1,100
5

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

26.3

28

0

28

28

504 VLI Repair Grants

28.7

30

0

30

30

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.

35

40

0

40

40

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.

23.9

23

0

27.5

23.9

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.

8.3

8.4

0

10

8.3

521 Rental Assistance

1,405

1,345

1,331.4

1,331.4

1,331.4

523 Self-Help TA

30

30

0

30

30

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

5

10

0

15

10

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

230

230

250

230

230

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

22

22

0

25

24

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

19.4

25

20

28

26

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

4

4

0

4

6

  1. Figures shown represent budget authority, not program levels.

House begins work on 2019 HUD funding.
On May 23 the House Appropriations Committee passed its FY19 funding bill for HUD. The bill would provide more funding than the Administration’s budget, but some reductions from FY18 levels. It introduces a new mobility demonstration that would allow families with children to move to areas with greater opportunity. The Senate will begin considering HUD appropriations the first week of June.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY17 Approp.

FY18 Final Approp.

FY19 Admin. Budget

FY19 House Bill

CDBG

$3,000

$3,300

0

$3,300

HOME

950

1,362

0

1,200

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

10

10

0

10

Veterans Home Rehab

4

4

0

0

Tenant-Based Rental Assstnce.
VASH setaside
Tribal VASH

20,292
40
7

22,015
40
5

20,550*
0
4

22,476
40
5

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

10,816

11,515

10,952

11,347

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,942

2,750

0

2,750

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,400

4,550

3,279*

4,550

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

137.5

150

0

150

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grt.

654

655

600

655

Homeless Assistance Grants

2,383

2,513

2,383

2,546

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

356

375

330

393

202 Hsg. for Elderly

502.4

678

563

678

811 Hsg. for Disabled

146.2

230

132

154

Fair Housing

65.3

65

62.3

65.3

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

145

230

145

230

Housing Counseling

55

55

45

55

* Includes amounts added by an Administration addendum to its budget request.

Dodd-Frank provisions rolled back for banks, manufactured homes.
On May 24 President Trump signed into law S. 2155, which passed the House on May 22 and the Senate in March. The measure does not affect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but it removes some oversight for smaller banks, exempts 85% of lenders from some HMDA reporting, allows manufactured home retailers to make financing recommendations, and expands the ability of smaller lenders to make “Qualified Mortgages.” It also provides permanent authorization for HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program.

GAO makes recommendations to USDA and Congress on preserving rural rentals.
The Government Accountability Office reviewed RHS’s efforts to address the possible loss of affordable rural rental housing due to maturing mortgages and made six recommendations. Rural Housing Service: Better Data Controls, Planning, and Additional Options Could Help Preserve Affordable Rental Units suggests that Congress consider authorizing Section 521 Rental Assistance and vouchers for tenants in properties whose mortgages have matured. Its recommendations for RHS include improving data accuracy, updating online preservation information regularly, and setting, monitoring, and reporting on preservation goals.

Revised bills propose changes to preserve rural rental housing.
Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) have introduced new versions of the Rural Housing Preservation Act, introduced in 2016 in the previous Congress but not acted upon then. This year’s H.R. 5352 and S. 2574 would authorize vouchers for tenants in maturing mortgage properties, decouple Rental Assistance from Section 515 and 514 mortgages so it could be available for tenants in maturing mortgage properties, require uniform standards for transfers of Section 515 properties with LIHTCs, and permanently authorize USDA’s Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization Program. Committee action has not been scheduled for either bill.

Advocates’ guide to rural housing preservation published.
The National Housing Law Project has released An Advocate’s Guide to Rural Housing Preservation: Prepayments, Mortgage Maturities, and Foreclosures. Intended for advocates and legal services attorneys, the guide provides information, strategies, references, and sample pleadings and case materials. For more information, contact Jessica Cassella , NHLP.

Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants offered.
Local and tribal governments, PHAs and IHAs, and owners of HUD-assisted housing may apply by September 17 for grants to implement Transformation Plans that address distressed housing, improved household outcomes, and reinvestment in neighborhoods. For more information, contact HUD staff.

USDA seeks partnerships in the Section 502 direct loan program.
USDA RD wants to increase participation with intermediaries, qualified nonprofit packagers, and self-help grantees across the U.S. to raise their packaging of Section 502 loans from the current 18% to 25% in FY19. In May RD will begin publishing a quarterly newsletter for loan packagers and self-help grantees. For more information, contact Tammy Repine, USDA, 360-999-0251.

More Opportunity Zones announced.
As of May 18, the Treasury Department had designated Opportunity Zones in 46 states, as well as in DC and five U.S. territories. Designations for Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Utah are pending.

Farm Bill fails in House.
On May 18 the House voted on H.R. 2, the 2018 Farm Bill, but it did not pass. The Senate is expected to release its draft Farm Bill in June.

Tribal VASH notices updated.
A new HUD notice consolidates previous Federal Register notices from October 21, 2015 and December 6, 2016 on the Tribal HUD-VASH program and adds procedures for issuing renewal funding. For more information, contact Heidi J. Frechette, HUD, 202-402-7914.

Inclusionary zoning map shows local and state programs.
The Grounded Solutions Network has developed an interactive map that shows the characteristics of inclusionary housing programs as well as state laws regarding adoption of such local programs. It also offers an interactive Inclusionary Housing Calculator, designed to explore the relationship between local incentives and the development of mixed income housing.

African Americans and Hispanics still far from equal with whites, National Urban League reports.
The annual State of Black America report shows the 2018 “Equality Index” is 72.5% for African Americans and 79.3% for Hispanics. Full equality with whites would be 100%.

NOMINATE LOCAL AND NATIONAL LEADERS FOR HAC AWARDS..
HAC is now accepting nominations for its 2018 Cochran/Collings National Service and Skip Jason Community Service Leadership Awards. Nominations are due Friday July 13. The awards will be presented at the 2018 HAC Rural Housing Conference in December. Past awardees are listed on HAC’s site. Complete the online nomination form. For more information, contact Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600.

NEED CAPITAL FOR YOUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT?
HAC’s loan funds provide low interest rate loans to support single- and multifamily affordable housing projects for low-income rural residents throughout the U.S. and territories. Capital is available for all types of affordable and mixed-income housing projects, including preservation, farmworker, senior, and veteran housing. HAC loan funds can be used for pre-development, site acquisition, site development, and construction/rehabilitation. Contact HAC’s loan fund staff at hacloanfund@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.
Please note: HAC is not able to offer loans to individuals or families. Borrowers must be nonprofit or for-profit organizations or government entities (including tribes).

HAC News: March 16, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

March 16, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 6

Senate passes Dodd-Frank revisions • Negotiations continue on FY18 funding • Affordable Housing Program rule changes proposed • USDA proposes reorganizing its civil rights management • Housing and community facilities sites encouraged to host Summer Meals Program • Housing included in Senate Democrats’ infrastructure plan • Perdue testifies on rural infrastructure • CFPB invites applications for advisory boards, requests input on rulemaking and reporting • Sen. Cochran announces resignation • Proposed change to HUD’s mission statement draws criticism • Shortage of 7.2 million homes documented by NLIHC • CFPB issues 2018 list of rural or underserved counties • Roundtables scheduled on rural opioid misuse • HAC to host American Indian Housing Symposium: Brainstorming New Strategies for Systemic Housing Challenges, Rapid City, SD, May 2-3.

HAC News Formats. pdf

March 16, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 6

Senate passes Dodd-Frank revisions.
On March 14 the Senate passed S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which would lift some restrictions on smaller banks. Among other provisions, the bill would reduce HMDA lending data reporting requirements and give HUD new discretion to label small PHAs (those with fewer than 550 total public housing units and vouchers) as troubled. It would also renew the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, which had expired, and reauthorize and expand HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency program. The House Financial Services Committee has considered numerous bills that would change the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) indicated he hopes to add their provisions to the Senate bill.

Negotiations continue on FY18 funding.
Members of Congress are negotiating an omnibus appropriations bill that would include funding for most of the federal government (Department of Defense FY18 appropriations were included in the most recent continuing resolution). The current CR ends March 23. At press time, the text of the omnibus was not yet available. HAC will post updates on its web site.

Affordable Housing Program rule changes proposed.
Comments are due May 14 on a Federal Housing Finance Agency proposal to make numerous changes in the Affordable Housing Program, including allowing each Federal Home Loan Bank to design its own application scoring and authorizing the Banks to establish special competitive funds targeting specific affordable housing needs. For more information, contact Ted Wartell, FHFA, 202-649-3157.

USDA proposes reorganizing its civil rights management.
To improve and strengthen its civil rights functions, the department plans to consolidate positions, eliminate some divisions within the civil rights office, and change the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights to an Associate Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. Comments are due March 25. For more information, contact Winona Lake Scott, USDA, 202-720-3808.

Housing and community facilities sites encouraged to host Summer Meals Program.
USDA urges RD-financed housing properties and community facilities to participate in the Summer Meals Program, which provides low-income children with healthy meals at no cost during the summer when school is out. A March 20 webinar and a February 27 Unnumbered Letter provide more information.

Housing included in Senate Democrats’ infrastructure plan.
The proposal, released on March 7, would repeal recently enacted tax changes and provide $1 trillion in federal spending, including $62 billion for neighborhood revitalization, lead remediation, and affordable housing, and $40 billion for universal high-speed internet. The plan would distribute housing and revitalization funds through existing channels, including USDA’s rural housing programs and HUD’s public housing, HOME, and Indian Housing Block Grant programs.

Perdue testifies on rural infrastructure.
The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on March 14 to hear from five Cabinet secretaries, including USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, regarding the Administration’s infrastructure proposal.

CFPB invites applications for advisory boards, requests input on rulemaking and reporting.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau invites interested people to apply by April 23 for appointment to its Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, and Credit Union Advisory Council. For more information, contact Julian Alcazar, CFPB, 202-435-9885.
CFPB requests comments and information by June 7 to assist it in assessing its rulemaking processes and considering whether changes would be appropriate. For more information, contact Kristine M. Andreassen, CFPB, 202-435-7700.
CFPB also requests public input by June 4 on potential changes to its public reporting of consumer complaint information. For more information, contact Darian Dorsey, CFPB, 202-435-7268.

Sen. Cochran announces resignation.
Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) will resign April 1 because of health issues. He has long supported USDA’s rural housing programs, including in his current role as Chair of the Appropriations Committee. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is expected to become chair of the committee.

Proposed change to HUD’s mission statement draws criticism.
The Huffington Post reported on March 6 that HUD officials were considering shortening HUD’s mission statement, leaving out words including “build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.” Public reaction led HUD Secretary Ben Carson to assert there were no changes in HUD’s commitment to fair housing. As of March 15, the old mission statement remained on HUD’s website.

Shortage of 7.2 million homes documented by NLIHC.
The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes reports a shortfall of 7.2 million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renter households, those with incomes at or below the poverty level or 30% of their area median income. There are just 35 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 of these lowest income renter households nationwide. No state has an adequate supply of affordable rentals for these tenants. As a result, 71% of the lowest-income renters spend more than half their incomes on housing. The National Low Income Housing Coalition calls for increasing investments in affordable housing programs for the lowest-income households.

CFPB issues 2018 list of rural or underserved counties.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published its 2018 list of rural and underserved counties, where some regulatory requirements do not apply. It has also updated its rural and underserved areas tool.

Roundtables scheduled on rural opioid misuse.
Regional roundtables will help raise awareness and better understand what support rural communities need to address opioid misuse. Key topics will include challenges associated with substance use disorder; strategies for prevention, treatment and recovery; and how these measures can be replicated. Future sessions will be on April 11 in Utah, May 9 in Kentucky, June 6 in Oklahoma, and July 11 in Maine.

HAC to host American Indian Housing Symposium: Brainstorming New Strategies for Systemic Housing Challenges, Rapid City, SD, May 2-3.
Presented by the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation and Fannie Mae, this symposium will explore data trends, innovative projects, funding opportunities, and strategies for addressing systemic housing challenges for tribes across the country. For more information, contact Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824.

NEED CAPITAL FOR YOUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT?
HAC’s loan funds provide low interest rate loans to support single- and multifamily affordable housing projects for low-income rural residents throughout the U.S. and territories. Capital is available for all types of affordable and mixed-income housing projects, including preservation, farmworker, senior, and veteran housing. HAC loan funds can be used for pre-development, site acquisition, site development, and construction/rehabilitation. Contact HAC’s loan fund staff at hacloanfund@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.
Please note: HAC is not able to offer loans to individuals or families. Borrowers must be nonprofit or for-profit organizations or government entities (including tribes).

HAC News: February 16, 2017

HAC News Formats. pdf

February 16, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 4

HUD and USDA nominations moving slowly • HAC offers rural creative placemaking funds • Administration and Congress begin changing Dodd-Frank • Pence economic advisor supports reforming mortgage interest deduction • House subcommittee considers “The Geography of Poverty • USDA RD encourages summer meal program again • Lead control funds offered • Climate and cultural resilience grants available • RD sets FY17 area loan limits for Sec. 502 direct, continues pilot alternative • ACF extends deadline for Native American input • USICH offers suggestions on opioid use and homelessness • Nominations open for HUD awards on healthy homes, historic preservation • Rural housing is infrastructure, says HAC blog post • Students and communities benefit from art, including creative placemaking

HAC News Formats. pdf

Februrary 16, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 4

HUD and USDA nominations moving slowly. The Senate unanimously confirmed David Shulkin as VA Secretary on February 13 and is expected to confirm Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) as OMB director on February 16. The time taken to approve Mulvaney may delay the administration budget request for FY18 beyond the February 28 date previously predicted (see HAC News, 2/2/17). The Senate has not yet voted on Dr. Ben Carson as HUD Secretary and the Senate Agriculture Committee has not scheduled a hearing on Sonny Perdue’s nomination to be USDA Secretary. Congress will be on President’s Day recess the week of February 20.

HAC offers rural creative placemaking funds. HAC is partnering with the buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]) to offer grants of up to $7,500 each for two short-term arts and community building projects in communities with populations under 50,000. Housing or community development organizations are eligible and may apply in partnership with an artist or arts organization. HAC and [bc] can also facilitate selection of a partner artist/organization. A recorded webinar about this initiative is available on HAC’s site, and a second webinar is tentatively scheduled for late March or early April. Apply by March 10. For more information, contact Michaela Accardi, [bc].

Administration and Congress begin changing Dodd-Frank. President Trump’s Executive Order 13772 sets out Core Principles for regulating the U.S. financial system, which include “rationalizing” the federal financial regulatory framework. It orders the Treasury Secretary and Financial Stability Oversight Council to report on laws, treaties, regulations, and policies that promote or inhibit the Core Principles. The EO has been described as a request for a review of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which made changes to oversight of the U.S. financial system, including housing finance. Separately, on February 14 President Trump signed H.J.Res. 41 into law, canceling an SEC regulation required by the Dodd-Frank Act (not related to housing).

Pence economic advisor supports reforming mortgage interest deduction. Vice President Mike Pence has hired Mark Calabria, former Director of Financial Regulation Studies at the conservative Cato Institute, as his chief economist. A few days before changing jobs, Calabria co-authored an opinion piece titled “Time to reform the mortgage interest deduction” with Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. They suggested that MID reform could “generate significant savings” which, “in turn, could provide some combination of tax cuts, deficit reduction, and reinvestment in critical affordable rental housing programs that serve people with the greatest needs.”

House subcommittee considers “The Geography of Poverty.” The Human Resources Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing February 15, which included testimony and discussion of differences in rural, suburban, and urban poverty. Written testimony and the recorded hearing are available online.

USDA RD encourages summer meal program again. An Unnumbered Letter suggests that USDA-funded multifamily properties, community facilities, and self-help communities provide sites where meals can be served when school is out. Contact an RD state office.

Lead control funds offered. Local and state governments, tribes, and consortia of those entities can apply by March 23 for HUD Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grants to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards in privately owned rental or owner-occupied housing. Those entities are also eligible for Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grants, with the same deadline, if they have at least 3,500 pre-1940 occupied rental housing units. For more information, contact Shannon Steinbauer, HUD.

Climate and cultural resilience grants available. Enterprise Community Partners will make five $100,000 grants to CDCs, CHDOs, and tribal housing entities for projects in which residents, artists, and others collaborate to address a local climate resilience challenge. The deadline is March 31. An informational webinar will be held February 22. For more information, contact design@enterprisecommunity.org.

RD sets FY17 area loan limits for Sec. 502 direct, continues pilot alternative. An Unnumbered Letter dated February 3, 2017 explains how RD state offices can establish limits for Section 502 direct loans, and extends an FY15 pilot that uses an alternative method for a number of states. Georgia and Indiana are added to the pilot this year. For more information, contact an RD State Office.

ACF extends deadline for Native American input. The Administration for Children and Families will accept comments until May 9 rather than March 10 on issues, challenges, and recommendations related to American Indian and Alaska Native populations. (See HAC News, 1/19/17.) For more information, contact Camille Loya, ACF, 202-401-5964.

USICH offers suggestions on opioid use and homelessness. “Strategies to Address the Intersection of the Opioid Crisis and Homelessness,” published by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, describes five strategies for communities and provides links to other resources.

Nominations open for HUD awards on healthy homes, historic preservation. ♦ Submissions are due March 15 for the HUD Secretary’s Award for Healthy Homes, offered in partnership with the National Environmental Health Association to recognize excellence in healthy housing innovation. For more information, contact hudaward@neha.org. ♦ The HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation is made in partnership with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The deadline is March 27. For more information, contact helpdesk@huduser.gov.

Rural housing is infrastructure, says HAC blog post. Investment in rural affordable housing creates jobs, benefits states and localities, and aids families, as explained in a recent post written as part of a series for the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding.

Students and communities benefit from art, including creative placemaking. In a post on Rooflines, Shelterforce’s blog, HAC staffer Stephen Sugg describes his research on arts education and the importance of creative placemaking for low-income communities.