Late yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a revised version of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, cutting more than $1 trillion from the original version of the legislation the House passed in May. However, it remains to be seen whether renewed conversations among House, Senate, and White House negotiators will result in further coronavirus relief action before the election, as thus far Republicans have resisted spending as much as proposed in the revised bill.
The U.S. Federal Reserve yesterday voted unanimously to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) seeking comments on possible amendments to its Community Reinvestment Act regulations. Interested parties will have 120 days to comment after the ANPR is published in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on September 11 the third and final round of allocation of the $5 billion Congress provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in supplemental Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding (CDBG-CV).
On September 1, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a Notice announcing the allocation formula, amounts, and program requirements for the $3.96 billion in supplemental Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program funding Congress provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help states and localities respond to the coronavirus pandemic (ESG-CV). The Notice also extends the waivers and flexibilities provided for ESG-CV funds to annual ESG funds for prior fiscal years so that grantees may use annual ESG resources as part of their coronavirus response.
On September 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an emergency public health order to temporarily halt most evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
On August 10, HUD published a Notice providing guidance on program rules, waivers, and alternative requirements allowed in accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for the $5 billion in supplemental Community Development Block Grant funding Congress provided to help states and localities respond to the coronavirus pandemic (CDBG-CV). The Notice also provides flexibility and relief for annual formula CDBG grants for fiscal years (FY) 2019 and 2020, so that grantees may use regular yearly CDBG resources for those years as part of their coronavirus response.
On August 8, President Trump issued an Executive Order to address COVID-19-related challenges for renters and homeowners. The E.O. directs a number of federal agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Treasury, to consider actions to prevent eviction and foreclosure. However, it does not include specific policy changes.
HUD announced on August 3 it had awarded more than $74 million in Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities grants to 12 state housing agencies, including 10 state housing finance agencies. The awards will provide project-based rental assistance to approximately 2,400 units for up to five years.
Senate Republicans Unveil Coronavirus Relief Plan, Setting Stage for Negotiations with House Democrats
On July 27, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) began releasing a series of bills that together constitute the Republicans’ proposal for the next coronavirus relief package. The approximately $1 trillion proposal is the result of lengthy negotiations with the White House and internal discussions among Senate Republicans, yet reportedly some Republican Senators may still not support the plan.
HUD Replaces Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule with Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice Rule
On July 23, HUD issued a new Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice final rule, which repeals the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing final rule and the 1994 Analysis of Impediments requirements, returning to HUD’s pre-1994 understanding of the 1968 Fair Housing Act’s obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. The Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice rule requires HUD grantees to certify they will use HUD funds to take active steps to promote fair housing. HUD will deem sufficient a grantee’s certification so long as the grantee proposes to take any action above what is required by statute to promote the attributes of fair housing. The rule defines fair housing as “housing that, among other attributes is affordable, safe, decent, free of unlawful discrimination, and accessible under civil rights laws.” The final rule is not subject to public notice or comments and will be effective 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register.