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HAC News: November 17, 2017

HAC News Formats. pdf

November 17, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 23

November is Native American Heritage Month • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac approved for LIHTC equity investments • House and Senate tax bills advance • House passes flood insurance bill • USDA announces Rural Development state directors • CFPB director Cordray resigns • VA offers per diem assistance • Input requested on free access to credit scores • Section 504 handbook revised • Annual Adjustment Factors released for FY18 • Fannie and Freddie met most affordable housing goals in 2016 • 40,000-120,000 HUD Housing Choice Vouchers could be unfunded in FY18 • Research shows federal housing assistance widespread but insufficient — NEED CAPITAL FOR YOUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT? —

HAC News Formats. pdf

November 17, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 23

November is Native American Heritage Month.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac approved for LIHTC equity investments. FHFA, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has announced that, effective immediately, it will permit their limited re-entry into the LIHTC market as equity investors. The announcement said most of their investments will be used to facilitate transactions that support underserved markets and complement their Duty to Serve rural housing, affordable housing preservation, and manufactured housing.

House and Senate tax bills advance. On November 16, before adjourning for Thanksgiving, the full House approved its Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1 (see HAC News, 11/6/17), and the Senate Finance Committee approved its version of the bill. The Senate bill would keep the mortgage interest deduction and, unlike the House bill, would preserve the New Markets Tax Credit through 2019. Both bills retain the LIHTC, and the Senate – but not the House – also protects the use of private activity bonds that make 4% tax credits possible. Neither bill makes adjustments to prevent a negative impact on affordable housing investments that would be created by their substantial decrease in the corporate tax rate. In addition, aside from direct programmatic changes to housing-related programs, because the tax bills reduce revenue to the federal government they are expected to result in later funding cuts for domestic discretionary programs including housing.

House passes flood insurance bill. Passed by the full House on November 14, H.R. 2874 would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, which expires December 8, for five years. It would also make changes, including alterations intended to introduce private market competition. Senators are still negotiating terms of their own NFIP bill.

USDA announces Rural Development state directors. A complete list of state directors for RD (and for the Farm Service Agency) was announced by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

CFPB director Cordray resigns. Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since its inception, plans to leave his post by the end of the month. It is not clear yet what this will mean for the agency, created by the Dodd-Frank Act and repeatedly attacked in efforts to repeal or revise that law.

VA offers per diem assistance. Nonprofits, state and local governments, tribal governments, and faith-based and community-based organizations are eligible for Per Diem Only funds under the Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program. Applicants can apply by February 21, 2018 to continue providing Transition in Place grants or to begin a TIP housing model to facilitate housing stabilization. For more information, contact Jeffery Quarles, VA, 877-332-0334.

Input requested on free access to credit scores. To learn more about the experiences of consumers, counseling providers, and others regarding access to free credit scores, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requests comments by February 12. For more information, contact Irene Skricki, CFPB, 202-435-7181.

Section 504 handbook revised. Several changes to USDA RD’s single-family program handbook impact Section 504 home repair loans and grants for homeowners. For more information, contact an RD state office.

Annual Adjustment Factors released for FY18. HUD’s AAFs are used to adjust Section 8 contract rents on their anniversaries. Contact people vary by program and are listed in the notice.

Fannie and Freddie met most affordable housing goals in 2016. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported recently that Freddie Mac met its single-family and multifamily goals in 2016, while Fannie Mae met its multifamily goals and some of its single-family goals. (The affordable housing goals are separate from the entities’ Duty to Serve requirements.)

40,000-120,000 HUD Housing Choice Vouchers could be unfunded in FY18. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has calculated that, due to rising rents and other factors, neither the House nor Senate appropriations bills for FY18 provides enough funding to renew all HUD vouchers currently in use or lost due to shortfalls in FY17. Both bills would add vouchers for specific populations, but not enough to offset the losses.

Research shows federal housing assistance widespread but insufficient. “Federal Rental Assistance Provides Affordable Homes for Vulnerable People in All Types of Communities,” published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in partnership with HAC, covers the scope and limitations of federal rental assistance programs. The analysis uses HAC’s definition of “rural” places, which is based on Census tracts rather than on entire counties, as metropolitan and nonmetro designations are. Due primarily to funding levels for federal housing programs, the research found that, for every assisted household in the U.S., roughly three renter households pay half or more of their income for housing. Assistance is distributed proportionally, relative to need, across rural, suburban, and urban places. In rural areas, 70% of federal rental assistance is from project-based programs, while in urban and suburban places, use is evenly split between tenant-based and project-based.


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: November 12, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

November 12, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 23

• November is National Native American Heritage Month • Congress returns for lame duck sessionCongress returns for lame duck session • Judge strikes down HUD’s disparate impact rule • CFPB amends qualified mortgage regulation, HUD accepts some changes • Regulatory agencies propose flood insurance updates • Input requested for HUD Code changes • Farmworker incomes unchanged, averaging under $20,000 • HUD releases annual fair housing report • HUD reports reductions in homelessness • GAO recommends changes in program offering surplus federal property for homeless • HAC News takes a break • THERE’S STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE!

November 12, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 23

NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH. President Obama’s proclamation also designates November 28 as Native American Heritage Day.

CONGRESS RETURNS FOR LAME DUCK SESSION. Both the House and Senate reconvene November 12 for a post-election session. A final FY15 spending package is on the agenda, with the current stopgap continuing resolution set to expire on December 11. Most observers are predicting a full-year continuing resolution or omnibus appropriations bill through September 30, 2015. Passage may be complicated, however, by the Obama administration’s request for $6.2 billion in emergency funds to fight Ebola. As reported in a HAC post on the Rooflines blog, some important committee positions will change in the new Congress, which takes office in January. HAC will post updates as available.

JUDGE STRIKES DOWN HUD’S DISPARATE IMPACT RULE. On November 3 a federal district court judge, ruling that HUD could not extend the Fair Housing Act’s ban on disparate treatment to include disparate impact, vacated HUD’s 2013 regulation on the subject (see HAC News, 2/20/13). During its current term the Supreme Court is expected to consider a different disparate impact case.

CFPB AMENDS QUALIFIED MORTGAGE REGULATION, HUD ACCEPTS SOME CHANGES. A final Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule adopts an April proposal (see HAC News, 5/14/14), exempting some nonprofits and loans by nonprofits from some requirements and providing a way to cure some points and fees that exceed the qualified mortgage limits. Contact CFPB’s Office of Regulations, 202-435-7700. CFPB’s nonprofit exemptions will apply also to HUD’s qualified mortgage rule, but HUD is not adopting CFPB’s new points and fees cure provision, instead providing guidance to mortgagees. Contact Michael P. Nixon, HUD, 202-402-5216, ext. 3094.

REGULATORY AGENCIES PROPOSE FLOOD INSURANCE UPDATES. The federal agencies that oversee lenders, including credit unions, suggest changes to implement statutory requirements. Comments are due December 29. Contact Rhonda L. Daniels, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 202-649-5405.

INPUT REQUESTED FOR HUD CODE CHANGES. Proposed revisions to HUD’s Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards are due December 31 and will be reviewed by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee as it develops recommendations to HUD. Contact Pamela Beck Danner, HUD, 202-708-6423.

FARMWORKER INCOMES UNCHANGED, AVERAGING UNDER $20,000. A new memo from Farmworker Justice examines data from the Department of Labor’s 2011-12 National Agricultural Workers Survey. One-quarter of farmworker families live in poverty but, since the survey does not include dependents outside the U.S., Farmworker Justice believes the figure should be higher. Survey responses indicated 48% of workers lack work authorization, but that figure is probably understated as well. In 2011-12, only 17% of crop workers were migrants, compared to 27% in 2007-09 and 42% in 2001-02.

HUD RELEASES ANNUAL FAIR HOUSING REPORT. Covering fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the report provides national and state level data on complaints filed and their disposition, as well as complaints initiated by HUD. Discrimination against persons with disabilities remains the largest category of complaints received.

HUD REPORTS REDUCTIONS IN HOMELESSNESS. HUD’s 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congresssays homelessness has dropped by 10% since 2010, and the number of people living on the street has declined 25%. Veteran homelessness has fallen 10.5% since 2013 and 33% since 2010. Data are available for each state and each Continuum of Care, some of which did experience increases from 2013 to 2014.

GAO RECOMMENDS CHANGES IN PROGRAM OFFERING SURPLUS FEDERAL PROPERTY FOR HOMELESS. Federal Real Property: More Useful Information to Providers Could Improve the Homeless Assistance Program (GAO-14-739) addresses HUD’s program that makes unused federal real property available to homeless assistance providers. Contact David J.Wise, GAO, 202-512-2834.

HAC NEWS TAKES A BREAK. The next issue of the HAC News is scheduled for the week of December 8, after the Thanksgiving holiday and the HAC Rural Housing Conference 2014. Check HAC’s website for news in the meantime.

THERE’S STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE! Register online for the HAC Rural Housing Conference 2014: Retool, Rebuild, Renew, in Washington, DC, December 3-5 with pre-conference activities December 2. Contact HAC staff, registration@ruralhome.org.