Tag Archive for: housing regulations

HAC News: August 22, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 22, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 17

• USDA to use FY12 Section 515 funds for prepayment incentives • CBS News airs story on Section 502 guarantee foreclosures • Grants offered for senior volunteers in specific places • HUD releases general section for FY13 NOFAs • Funds exhausted for Section 502 guarantee program refinances • FHFA requests comments about eminent domain for foreclosures • Public Housing Assessment System scoring process explained • CFPB proposes regulations on high cost mortgages and homeownership counseling • Some mortgage disclosures to be combined • Blueprint for better farmworker housing published • HAC Seeks Nominations for Rural Housing Awards • Register Now for the National Rural Housing Conference!

August 22,2012
Vol. 41, No. 17

USDA TO USE FY12 SECTION 515 FUNDS FOR PREPAYMENT INCENTIVES. An email message from USDA to congressional offices explains that the department has canceled its NOFA for new construction funding. A Supreme Court ruling in a different context (Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter) required the government to pay amounts to fulfill contractual obligations even if Congress did not appropriate enough funds. Owners of over 100 Section 515 properties have been on a waiting list for incentives (equity loans and/or Rental Assistance) from USDA to keep these properties in the program, so the FY12 funds will be used for those incentives.

CBS NEWS AIRS STORY ON SECTION 502 GUARANTEE FORECLOSURES. Like a May 25 Wall Street Journal article, the August 16 CBS story criticizes USDA’s collection tactics when a borrower with high medical bills fell behind on mortgage payments.

GRANTS OFFERED FOR SENIOR VOLUNTEERS IN SPECIFIC PLACES. The Corporation for National and Community Service requests letters of intent by September 10 from public agencies, tribes, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education interested in Retired and Senior Volunteer Program funding. RSVP grants can be used to cover expenses such as volunteer recruitment, training, and travel for purposes including low-income housing. Partial matching funds are required. Applications are due October 11. A draft NOFA, list of program areas, information about technical assistance calls, and more are posted on CNCS’s site.

HUD RELEASES GENERAL SECTION FOR FY13 NOFAS. The general section’s information applies to next year’s NOFAs and does not itself offer funding. Contact HUD’s grants management office, 202-402-4802.

FUNDS EXHAUSTED FOR SECTION 502 GUARANTEE PROGRAM REFINANCES. USDA has used all its FY12 money for this program. Lenders can submit loan applications reflecting FY13 fees (upfront guarantee fee of 2% and annual fee of 0.4%) to USDA, which will hold them until FY13 funding becomes available. Contact an RD office.

FHFA REQUESTS COMMENTS ABOUT EMINENT DOMAIN FOR FORECLOSURES. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank system, is considering taking action on its “significant concerns” about the impact on lenders when local governments use eminent domain powers to seize properties before foreclosure in order to provide affordable housing. Comments are due September 7. See Federal Register, 8/9/12. Contact FHFA, eminentdomainOGC@fhfa.gov.

PUBLIC HOUSING ASSESSMENT SYSTEM SCORING PROCESS EXPLAINED. HUD provides additional information about the process for issuing scores under the Physical Condition Indicator of the PHAS under a February 23, 2011 notice, applicable to HUD-assisted multifamily and public housing properties. See Federal Register, 8/9/12 or HUD’s site. Contact Claudia J. Yarus, HUD, 202-475-8830.

CFPB PROPOSES REGULATIONS ON HIGH COST MORTGAGES AND HOMEOWNERSHIP COUNSELING.Comments are due September 7 on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau changes to implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that expand the types of mortgage loans subject to the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994, revise triggers for HOEPA coverage, impose other restrictions on HOEPA mortgages, including a counseling re-quirement, and impose homeownership counseling requirements in connection with the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. See CFPB’s site or regulations.gov. Contact Paul Seja, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

SOME MORTGAGE DISCLOSURES TO BE COMBINED. To implement another Dodd-Frank provision, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes to combine some of the disclosures and forms required by the Truth in Lending Act and RESPA. Comments are due November 6. See CFPB’s site or regulations.gov. Contact David Friend, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

BLUEPRINT FOR BETTER FARMWORKER HOUSING PUBLISHED. The report summarizes policy and research changes identified at a California Rural Legal Assistance forum, and a working group on health and housing will continue the effort. Contact spodesta@crla.org.

HAC SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR RURAL HOUSING AWARDS. Nominations are due September 28 for the Cochran/Collings Award for national rural housing service and the Skip Jason Community Service Award. The honors will be presented at the National Rural Housing Conference in December. Complete the online form to submit a nomination or contact Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600, lilla@ruralhome.org to request a paper form.

HAC has opened registration for the 2012 National Rural Housing Conference, which will take place December 6-7, with pre-conference activities on December 5, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Register now to take advantage of the special early bird discount! Start networking in advance – join the conference LinkedIn group. Questions? Contact Dan Stern, HAC, dan@ruralhome.org or 202-842-8600.

HAC News: August 8, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 8, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 16

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

August 8, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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