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Federal Housing News

April 25, 2016

 

National Housing Trust Fund

Senator Shelby Requests GAO and CBO Reports on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, last week sent letters to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) requesting that the agencies provide reports to Congress on issues relating to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the government sponsored entities (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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Federal Budget

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY17 THUD Spending Bill

The Senate Committee on Appropriations passed its FY17 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) funding bill on April 21 by unanimous consent, 30 to 0. The Appropriations THUD Subcommittee had approved the bill on April 19. The Committee sailed through consideration of the bill, voting on only one bipartisan package of amendments primarily concerned with non-binding report language. The bill can now go to the Senate floor, perhaps as early as this week.

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House Appropriations Committee Passes FY17 USDA Spending Bill

The House Committee on Appropriations approved by a voice vote its FY17 spending bill for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on April 19. As we reported last week (see Memo 4/18), the bill would increase funding for USDA’s Rural Housing programs by $31 million over FY16 levels.

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Advocates Oppose Balanced Budget Amendment

NLIHC joined 268 national organizations in sending a letter to Congress opposing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The letter states, “A balanced budget constitutional amendment would damage the economy, not strengthen it. Demanding that policymakers cut spending and/or raise taxes even when the economy slows is the opposite of what is needed to stabilize a weak economy and avert recessions. Such steps would risk tipping a faltering economy into recession or worsening an ongoing downturn, costing large numbers of jobs while blocking worthy investments to stimulate jobs and growth and address urgent needs in infrastructure and other areas.” Read the letter at: http://bit.ly/1Tn4c7V

 

House Democrats Urge Colleagues to Reject Policy Riders

House Democrats urged their colleagues to advance FY17 spending bills without policy riders that threaten to derail the appropriations process. More than 172 representatives sent a letter to House leadership, stating, “At a time when our country is confronting a range of urgent challenges, it is critical that the House of Representatives works expeditiously to complete the appropriations process. We believe clean bills – free of controversial policy provisions – represent the best chance to advance appropriations legislation through ‘regular order’ and avoid another harmful political impasse.” Read the letter at: http://1.usa.gov/1MG1k6Y

 

Congress

New Bill Proposes Comprehensive Plan for Addressing Lead Poisoning

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and 28 of his Democratic colleagues introduced the “True LEADership Act” (S. 2821) a comprehensive plan to address lead poisoning, including several proposals related to housing.

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HUD

Thirty-nine MTW PHAs Get Extension until 2028

HUD announced that the 39 public housing agencies (PHAs) currently participating in the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration may continue to operate with reduced regulatory requirements until 2028.

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HUD Releases Final Report on Rapid Re-Housing Outcomes

HUD released the final evaluation report of the Rapid Re-Housing for Homeless Families Demonstration (RRHD) Program. The evaluation, conducted by Abt Associates Inc., found that families enrolled who participated in rapid re-housing had a low likelihood of returning to homelessness within 12 months of exiting the program but experienced a high degree of residential mobility during the same period.  

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HUD Resources for Coordination between Continuums of Care and ConPlan Jurisdictions

HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) released a guidebook and video designed to facilitate coordination between Continuums of Care (CoCs) and Consolidated Plan (ConPlan) jurisdictions. The guidebook and video provide an overview of the consultation requirements, identify ways that CoCs and ConPlan jurisdictions (including Emergency Solutions Grant recipients) can effectively collaborate, and assist stakeholders in understanding why and with whom they should collaborate.  The guides are at http://bit.ly/211Op1L.

 

Research

Middle Aged Homeowners Hit Hard by Foreclosure Crisis

A report by the Urban Institute titled Comparing Credit Profiles of American Renters and Owners shows that middle-aged homeowners between the ages of 36 and 55 were hit hard by the housing foreclosure crisis, accounting for 59% of the nine million foreclosures between 2003 and 2015. The foreclosure rate was 10.2% for individual homeowners between the ages of 36 and 45 and 8.6% for those between the ages of 46 and 55.

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HAC NEWS

House committee passes FY17 USDA spending bill. On April 19, the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that provides steady or increased funding levels for USDA’s rural housing programs. It increases Section 523 self-help technical assistance funding to $30 million and raises Section 502 direct to $1 billion. Section 521 Rental Assistance and Section 542 vouchers would receive amounts that, according to the Administration’s budget, will allow for renewal of all current aid, new RA for new farmworker housing properties, and new vouchers for tenants in properties leaving the Section 515 program for any reason, including mortgage maturity. It also includes Administration language that would extend voucher eligibility and allow USDA to set priorities for voucher distribution.

USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY15
Approp.

FY16
Approp.

FY17 Budget Proposal

FY17 House Cmte. Bill

502 Single Fam. Direct
Self-Help setaside

$900
5

$900
5

$900
0

$1,000
5

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

26.3

26.3

26.3

26.3

504 VLI Repair Grants

28.7

28.7

28.7

28.7

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.

28.4

28.4

33.1

35

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.

23.6

23.9

23.9

23.9

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.

8.3

8.3

8.3

8.3

521 Rental Assistance

1,089

1,390

1,405

1,405

523 Self-Help TA

27.5

27.5

18.5

30

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

3.5

3.5

0

5

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

150

150

230

200

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

17

22

19.4

22

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

7

15

18

18

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

4

4

4

4

The Committee’s report tells USDA to provide it with a list of criteria used to define ‘‘rural in character’’ in determining what places are considered rural and therefore eligible for housing program funding.


Senate subcommittee addresses FY17 HUD spending.
The Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee approved a bill on April 19. The measure’s text will not be released until the full committee considers it on April 21, but the committee did announce the bill provides $950 million for HOME and $300 billion for CDBG. The subcommittee’s top Democrat, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), released a statement supporting the bill. HAC will post updates at ruralhome.org when available.


RUS offers rural broadband loans, guarantees, and grants.
Nonprofits, for-profits, and governments or tribes can apply for Community Connect grants by June 17. Those entities as well as coops can apply for Farm Bill Broadband Loans and Loan Guarantees by July 7. For either program, contact Shawn Arner, RUS, 202-720-0800.


Indian CDBG application period opens.
CDBG for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages applications from tribes and tribal organizations are due June 14. Contact a HUD ONAP Regional Office.


Jobs Plus funds available.
PHAs with at least 200 non-elderly-only households are eligible, and the deadline is June 13. Contact HUD staff.


2016 New Markets Tax Credits combined with 2015 funding round.
The CDFI Fund will not hold a new allocation round this year. It will allocate $3.5 billion for 2015 and $3.5 billion for 2016 under its 2015 NMTC funding notice. The deadline was December 16, 2015.


Homelessness data examined at national and state levels.
The State of Homelessness in America 2016, by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, examines recent trends and also those from before the Great Recession to the present. For example, although doubled-up households fell 9% from 2013 to 2014, the number of poor people living doubled up was 52% higher in 2014 than in 2007.


Typical low-income household’s expenses exceeded income in 2014.
A Pew Charitable Trusts Issue Brief on “Household Expenditures and Income” shows that by 2014 the median expenditures of working-age households had returned to pre-recession levels, but income did not. In 2004, the typical household in the lowest one-third of income levels had $1,500 of income left over after expenses, but in 2014 their expenses exceeded income by $2,300. Housing costs for those with incomes in the lowest third grew by 50% from 1996 to 2014. (Figures were adjusted for inflation).

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