Tag Archive for: rural reports

HAC News: January 21, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

January 21, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 2

• State of the Union message addresses broad themes, touches on housing • President’s FY16 budget expected February 2 • Rural housing program eligibility changes effective February 2 • Congressional committee leadership takes shape • Fair housing comments reopened on one issue for small entities • EPA suggests altering lead paint training rule • HUD proposes changes for project-based Section 8 and for Section 202 • New USDA notice issued on domestic violence • USDA RD reminds staff of prepayment requirements • RD gives lead paint guidance • Map shows FHA premium cuts by county • LIHTC tenants described in HUD publication •

January 21, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 2

STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE ADDRESSES BROAD THEMES, TOUCHES ON HOUSING. President Obama’s January 20 speech began with the story of a Minnesota family who recently were able to buy their first home. A later mention of “lower mortgage premiums” apparently referred to the President’s recent action to lower HUD FHA mortgage costs (see HAC News, 1/7/15).

PRESIDENT’S FY16 BUDGET EXPECTED FEBRUARY 2. For the first time in several years, the Administration’s budget request will be released on time. The Budget Control Act’s spending caps will apply to final appropriations for FY16. Check ruralhome.org on February 2 for details.

CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP TAKES SHAPE. Chairs and ranking minority members of the housing-relevant committees in the new 114th Congress are mostly in place. In the Senate, Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have been named chairman and ranking minority member on the Banking Committee. For the Appropriations Committee those spots are held by Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). New Senate Appropriations subcommittee chairmen and ranking members are Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on Agriculture and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI) on Transportation-HUD. In the House, Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) continue as the chairman and ranking member of the Financial Services Committee. For that panel’s Housing and Insurance Subcommittee, Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) are the new leaders. Harold Rogers (R-KY) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) continue as chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) will continue as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) will be the new chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation-HUD. Ranking minority members are Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) continuing on the Agriculture Subcommittee and Rep. David Price (D-NC) as the new ranking on T-HUD.

FAIR HOUSING COMMENTS REOPENED ON ONE ISSUE FOR SMALL ENTITIES. In response to comments received on its July 2013 proposed rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, HUD is considering giving states, insular areas, small PHAs, and small entitlement jurisdictions more time than others to prepare their first Assessments of Fair Housing. Comments on this specific topic are due February 17. Contact Camille Acevedo, HUD, 202-708-1793.

EPA SUGGESTS ALTERING LEAD PAINT TRAINING RULE. Intended to reduce burdens on industry and the EPA, a proposed rule would eliminate the requirement that refresher training for renovators have a hands-on component, remove jurisdiction-specific certification and accreditation requirements, and clarify requirements for training providers. Comments are due February 13. Contact Marc Edmonds, EPA, 202-566-0758.

HUD PROPOSES CHANGES FOR PROJECT-BASED SECTION 8 AND FOR SECTION 202. Comments are due March 16. One proposed rule would amend HUD’s regulations for Management and Occupancy Reviews (MORs) at project-based Section 8 properties, and reduce payments HUD makes to owners for vacant project-based Section 8 or Section 202 units. Another would reduce the frequency of MORs. Contact Lauryn Alleva, HUD, 202-708-3730.

NEW USDA NOTICE ISSUED ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Administrative Notice 4778 (Jan. 5, 2015) clarifies and updates AN 4747 (Feb. 10, 2014) (see HAC News, 8/20/14), applying the Violence Against Women Act to USDA’s multifamily programs. Contact Barbara Chism, RD, 202-690-1436.

USDA RD REMINDS STAFF OF PREPAYMENT REQUIREMENTS. An Unnumbered Letter dated Dec. 17, 2014 tells field staff that owners of multifamily properties cannot avoid the prepayment process by intentionally defaulting on loan payments. Contact an RD state office.

RD GIVES LEAD PAINT GUIDANCE. Administrative Notice 4780 (Nov. 12, 2014) provides guidance on RD compliance with HUD’s rule on preventing lead-based paint poisoning. Contact an RD state office.

MAP SHOWS FHA PREMIUM CUTS BY COUNTY. HUD reported that recently announced premium cuts (see HAC News, 1/7/15) will save FHA borrowers an average of $900 annually. To break down that average, realty information company Realtytrac mapped data showing the savings for median priced homes in many metro counties, ranging from $118 to over $7,900. HousingWire lists the counties with the lowest and highest savings.

LIHTC TENANTS DESCRIBED IN HUD PUBLICATION. HUD compiled data from state housing agencies on Low Income Housing Tax Credit tenants’ race and ethnicity, disability status, family composition and age, household income, monthly rental payments and use of rental assistance. Understanding Whom the LIHTC Program Serves presents the information nationally and for each state.

HAC News: January 7, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

January 7, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 1

• New Congress convenes • Obama announces lower FHA mortgage insurance rate • Rural housing program eligibility changes effective February 2 • HUD proposes regulatory changes for vouchers, public housing, and other programs • Changes to BIA’s Housing Improvement Program proposed • Final credit risk retention rule defines QRM as QM • Family Self-Sufficiency Programs merged • Housing tax credit properties can achieve deep affordability without vouchers, report says • Paper explores connections between rural community and rural poverty • HAC webinar on seniors set for January 13

January 7, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 1

NEW CONGRESS CONVENES. In the new 114th Congress starting this week, some of the committee leadership posts are clear. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) continues as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) will lead the Senate appropriations panel. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) continues as head of the House Financial Services Committee, and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) will be the new chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. On the Democratic side, Reps. Nita Lowey of NY and Maxine Waters of CA will continue as the ranking minority members on House Appropriations and Financial Services. In the Senate, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will be the top Democrat on Appropriations. Other Democratic spots and most subcommittee leaders have not yet been announced. As reported in the HAC News, 12/10/14, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) will continue as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) will be the new chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation-HUD.

OBAMA ANNOUNCES LOWER FHA MORTGAGE INSURANCE RATE. The rate will drop by 0.5 percentage point from 1.35% to 0.85%. The President’s statement says the change will save an average of $900 annually for new borrowers and also reiterates support for housing finance reform.

RURAL HOUSING PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY CHANGES EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 2. USDA RD will implement a 2014 Farm Bill’s provision making places ineligible that were formerly considered rural, but have populations over 35,000 as of the 2010 Census. See RD’s “future eligible areas” maps. Applications from these places will be processed if completed before February 2. Contact an RD office or Mike Feinberg, HAC, 202-842-8600.

HUD PROPOSES REGULATORY CHANGES FOR VOUCHERS, PUBLIC HOUSING, AND OTHER PROGRAMS. Updates would put recent statutory changes into effect and would align program requirements for Housing Choice Vouchers (tenant- and project-based) and public housing. Section 202, Section 811, and other multifamily housing programs are also affected, as well as HOME, the Continuum of Care program, and HOPWA. Comments are due March 9, 2015. Contacts for each program are listed in the notice.

CHANGES TO BIA’S HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM PROPOSED. HIP provides grants to tribal members for repair, renovation, or replacement of existing housing. Comments are due March 6 on changes that are intended to align the program with other federal requirements, allow leveraging of housing funds, and expedite processing of waiting lists. BIA will host consultation sessions with tribes in February; for details, visit https://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/AS-IA/ORM/HIP/index.htm. Contact Mr. Les Jensen, BIA, 907-586-7397.

FINAL CREDIT RISK RETENTION RULE DEFINES QRM AS QM. “Qualified residential mortgages” are exempt from the Dodd-Frank Act’s requirement for lenders to retain part of the credit risk of assets that collateralize asset-backed securities. Federal regulators have adopted a definition proposed in 2013 (see HAC News, 9/25/13): a QRM is the same as a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “qualified mortgage” and need not have a 20% downpayment. Also exempt are mortgages made by state HFAs, CDFIs, CHDOs (for HOME-funded projects), small-volume nonprofits, and others. Contact Ronald P. Sugarman, FHFA, 202-649-3208.

FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAMS MERGED. Implementing a provision in its FY14 appropriations act, HUD has unified the programs, formerly separate for participants with Housing Choice Vouchers and those in public housing. Contact Anice Chenault, HUD, 202-402-2341.

HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROPERTIES CAN ACHIEVE DEEP AFFORDABILITY WITHOUT VOUCHERS, REPORT SAYS. A new National Low Income Housing Coalition publication, Aligning Federal Low Income Housing Programs with Housing Need, says Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties rarely serve extremely low-income households (at or below 30% of area median income) without vouchers, but presents five case studies of innovative strategies that do not use vouchers.

PAPER EXPLORES CONNECTIONS BETWEEN RURAL COMMUNITY AND RURAL POVERTY. “Understanding Connections between Rural Communities and Family Well-Being: A Study of Hampton, Iowa,” published by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, examines the role of “place” in shaping the futures of rural residents, particularly low-income residents.

HAC WEBINAR ON SENIORS SET FOR JANUARY 13. Register now forRural Seniors and Their Homes: Planning for a Rapidly Aging Rural America” to learn more about the demographic, economic, and housing trends of seniors and near-seniors in rural America as well as their housing options.