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COVID-19 Worsens Longstanding Rental Affordability Challenges According to New Harvard Report

On November 19, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) released its 2020 State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report finds that, despite low interest rates and continued growth in some sectors, the health and economic consequences of COVID-19 coupled with racial tensions and climate change across the nation have exacerbated the rental supply and affordability crises.

FHA 2020 Annual Report Shows FHA’s Impact on First-Time and Minority Homeownership

On Friday, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) released its FY 2020 Annual Report. During FY 2020, FHA endorsed more than 1.3 million home mortgage loans through its forward mortgage program, including 817,847 mortgage loans to homebuyers, 83.1 percent of whom were first-time buyers. The average forward mortgage loan amount endorsed was $232,773, a 7.4 percent increase from the FY 2019 average of $216,695. Despite robust volumes, FHA’s market share decreased from 11.56 percent in FY 2019 to 9.61 percent in FY 2020, reflective of the strong refinance activity in the mortgage market generally and FHA’s historically smaller share of refinances overall.

NCSHA Urges IRS and Treasury to Extend and Expand Housing Credit COVID-19 Relief

NCSHA sent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) a letter today urging them to extend the temporary Housing Credit relief provided by IRS Notice 2020-53 and to make other necessary program accommodations in light of the continuing disruption the COVID-19 pandemic is having on development and construction activities and the ongoing operation of Housing Credit properties. 

NCSHA Releases 2020 Election Analysis

As of this writing, who will win the presidential election and which party will control the Senate in the next Congress remain uncertain, though the mist appears to be clearing slightly. Final outcomes could be determined in the next few days or could take substantially longer, especially if Senate control depends on one, or possibly two, Georgia Senate runoff elections to be held in January. NCSHA election analysis linked here goes into more detail on the election results and our analysis of them.

IRS Publishes Average Income Test Proposed Rule

On October 29, the IRS published a notice of proposed rulemaking on the Housing Credit Average Income Test (AIT) minimum set-aside for public comment. The regulations, once finalized, would provide guidance on implementation of the AIT, as established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (2018 Act), which allows owners of Housing Credit properties (for purposes of the tax code, the “taxpayer”) to elect to serve households earning as much as 80 percent of area median income (AMI), as long as the income designations of the units in the property average no more than 60 percent of AMI. The proposed rule would modify existing Housing Credit regulations for the “next available unit rule” at Section 1.42-15 and establishes a new regulation for the AIT at Section 1.42-19.

IRS Publishes Housing Credit and Private Activity Bond 2021 Volume Cap Amounts

On October 26, the Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Procedure 2020-45, providing the 2021 per capita and small state minimum levels for the Housing Credit and Private Activity Bond (PAB) volume caps. In 2021, states will receive the greater of $2.81 per capita or $3,245,625 in Housing Credit authority.

House Leadership Issues Revised $2.2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill

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 Federal Reserve Advances a New CRA Rulemaking

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.

HUD Allocates $1.988 Billion in Final Round of CDBG-CV Funds

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).

HUD Publishes CARES Act Guidance for Emergency Solutions Grants

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.