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Federal Housing News

May 9, 2016

 

National Housing Trust Fund

HUD Publishes Housing Trust Fund State Allocations of Nearly $174 Million

HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced the allocation of 2016 Housing Trust Fund (HTF) resources to each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Insular Areas on May 4.  A formal Federal Register notice listing the state allocations was published on May 5. As Secretary Castro announced at NLIHC’s 2016 Annual Policy Forum on April 4 (see Memo, 4/11), nearly $174 million is available for the HTF in 2016.

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Federal Budget

House Won’t Vote on Budget Resolution This Week, Senate Might Move THUD Spending Bill

A spokesperson for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that the House will not vote on a budget resolution when lawmakers return this week from recess. Republicans were cautiously optimistic that the budget might receive a floor vote soon, but this announcement now puts that possibility in doubt. The House is at a stalemate in advancing its proposed budget resolution approved by the Budget Committee in March in a party-line vote.

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Congress

House Bill Would Further Expand Moving to Work  

Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced H.R. 5137, “The Moving to Work Reformation and Expansion Act of 2016,” on April 29. The bill would remove the cap on the number of public housing agencies (PHAs) that can participate in Moving to Work (MTW) and change the status of MTW from a demonstration to a full program. H.R. 5137 would allow at least 25 PHAs each year to apply to become MTW agencies, at least 10 of which would have to be smaller PHAs that have fewer than 6,000 public housing units and vouchers combined.

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House Resolution Recognizes Importance of Fair Housing Act

Representative Al Green (D-TX) and 14 other Democrats introduced a resolution to support the goals and ideals of the “Fair Housing Act” (FHA) and to recognize Fair Housing Month, celebrated in April to commemorate the law’s enactment. The resolution, H. Res. 714, was introduced on April 29.

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House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on US and UK Models for Affordable Housing

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance will hold a hearing titled “The Future of Housing in America: A Comparison of the United Kingdom and the United States Models for Affordable Housing.” The Subcommittee has not yet posted who will testify during the hearing.
The hearing will be held on May 12 at 10 am ET in room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
To learn more about the hearing, go to: http://1.usa.gov/24BGZo3

 

Senate Finance Committee to Hold Hearing on Improving Outcomes for Vulnerable Families

The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing titled “Can Evidence Based Practices Improve Outcomes for Vulnerable Individuals and Families?”

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HUD

HUD Extends MTW Expansion Comment Period, Establishes MTW Advisory Committee

HUD extended to May 18 the deadline for public input regarding specific policy proposals and the research and evaluation methods to be implemented as part of the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration expansion. An April 4 Federal Register notice originally sought recommendations for 30 days (see Memo, 4/4). HUD has also announced it will establish a MTW Advisory Committee for the MTW expansion.

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HUD Issues Notice on PHA Information Collection Related to Obtaining Conviction Records 

HUD has submitted a notice of proposed information collection requirements for public housing authorities to obtain criminal conviction records from law enforcement agencies to screen out or evict from public housing or the Section 8 program people who have criminal records or who are currently engaging in criminal activity. HUD has submitted this proposal to the Office of Management of Budget (OMB) for review.

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Research

Study Identifies Barriers to Housing Choice and Mobility for Voucher Holders

A paper published in Housing Policy Debate by Erin Graves of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston titled “Rooms for Improvement: A Qualitative Metasynthesis of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program” reviews findings from twenty qualitative studies of the HCV program published between 2000 and 2014. Graves identifies key barriers found in the housing market and the voucher program itself that constrain housing choice and mobility among voucher recipients. She calls into question the assumption that voucher recipients have full freedom in choosing rental units and locations.

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Low Income, African American, and Renter Households Have Highest Energy Cost Burdens

A report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy titled Lifting the High Energy Burden in America’s Largest Cities: How Energy Efficiency Can Improve Low Income and Underserved Communities shows that low income households, renters, and African American households face greater energy cost burdens than higher income households, homeowners, and white households. The report also identifies several key strategies to reduce energy cost burdens for low income households.

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HAC NEWS

Senate Committee approves bill to hold funds steady for many HUD programs in FY17. S. 2844 would keep the HOME program at $950 million and SHOP at $10 million, would increase Section 202 and voucher funds, and would decrease amounts for homelessness programs and Native American housing. The Appropriations Committee declined to accept the Administration’s proposal to eliminate the HOME set-aside for CHDOs. The full Senate is likely to take up the bill sometime in May.


HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY15
Approp.

FY16
Approp.

 

FY17 Budget Proposal

FY17 Senate Cmte. Bill
S. 2844

Cmty. Devel. Fund
CDBG

3,066
3,000

3,060
3,000

2,880
2,800

3,000
3,000

HOME 

900

950

950

950

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

10

10

10a

10

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
VASH setaside

19,304
75

19,628
60

20,854
7c

20,432
57

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,330

10,622

10,816

10,901

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,875

1,900

1,865

1,925

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,440

4,500

4,569

4,675

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

80

125

200

80

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

700

647

Homeless Assistance Grantsb

2,135

2,250

2,664

2,330

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

330

335

335

335

202 Hsg. for Elderly

436

432.7

505

505

811 Hsg. for Disabled

135

150.6

154

154

Fair Housing

65.3

65.3

70

65

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

110

110

110

135

Housing Counseling

47

47

47

47

Local Housing Policy Grants

-

-

300d

-

a. The FY17 Administration budget, like past budget requests, proposes to make SHOP a setaside in HOME. Congress has consistently rejected that proposal. b. Includes the Rural Housing Stability Program, which is not yet operational. c. The FY17 budget proposes $7 million for a tribal VASH setaside. d. Proposed as mandatory spending.


House’s USDA spending bill would require 10-20-30 targeting.
Section 750 of H.R. 5054, the House FY17 funding bill for USDA (see HAC News, 4/20/16), would mandate at least 10 percent of RD spending be allocated to counties with 20% or higher poverty levels over 30 years (the 1990, 2000, and 2010 Censuses). At a February 11 House committee hearing on USDA’s budget, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the programs already exceed that amount.


Rural rental preservation bills introduced.
On April 12 Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced H.R. 4908 and S. 2783. The bills would “decouple” Section 521 Rental Assistance from Section 515 mortgages so RA can continue after a mortgage matures, make USDA Section 542 vouchers available to tenants in properties whose mortgages mature, authorize the MPR program (currently a demonstration), and require uniform terms for purchasers using tax credits. Neither bill is scheduled for committee action yet.


RD explains new Rental Assistance calculations.
An Unnumbered Letter dated March 18, 2016 describes the new “Obligation Tool” that is being used in FY16 to calculate RA contract renewals for each property based on a weighted average of that property’s usage rate over the preceding 12 months. Contact a USDA RD state office.


Mortgage disclosures updated for Section 502 direct.
USDA RD’s Procedure Notice (PN) 485 updates RD’s Handbook 1-3550 to implement the provisions of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. Changes impact loan processing and supporting documentation requirements. Contact a USDA RD field office.


Amendments issued to regulations for Section 502 guaranteed.
USDA’s changes expand lender indemnification authority, add a new refinance option called ‘‘streamlined-assist,’’ and incorporate the CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage definition. Contact Lilian Lipton, RD, 202-260-8012.


Register for notice of calls on Section 538 program.
RD will continue holding periodic calls or web meetings with stakeholders about the Section 538 guaranteed rental housing program. To receive notices when calls are scheduled – even if you registered for these calls in the past – contact Monica Cole, USDA, 202-720–1251.


HUD to test new inspection process for voucher housing.
Congressional report language for HUD’s FY16 appropriations told HUD to implement a single inspection protocol for public housing and voucher units. Comments are due July 5 on a proposal for the first step towards that change, a demonstration designed to test a new method of assessing the physical condition of housing assisted by HUD vouchers. Contact Daniel R. Williams, HUD, 202-475-8586. 


Distribution of Housing Trust Fund dollars announced.
HUD divided $174 million among the 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These entities must now include public participation in developing their own allocation plans, guided by HUD Notice CPD-16-07. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has developed a model allocation plan.


USDA RD updates lead paint guidance.
Administrative Notice 4800 offers guidance to RD staff on implementing an amended EPA rule. Contact a USDA RD field office.


Annual Adjustment Factors for Section 8 released.
Details are online. Contact a HUD office


GAO recommends changes in USDA’s risk management for Section 502 guarantee program.
Rural Housing Service: Actions Needed to Strengthen Management of the Single Family Mortgage Guarantee Program (GAO-16-193) discusses USDA’s process for estimating program costs and how well its policies and procedures match OMB’s standards for managing credit programs. GAO found USDA was consistent with most OMB standards and suggested making changes to become consistent with the others.

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