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Senate HUD Appropriations Subcommittee Holds FY 2015 Budget Hearing

On April 2, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan testified before the Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee on HUD’s FY 2015 budget request. Subcommittee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) stated in her opening statement that the December 2013 budget deal she struck with House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) provides an opportunity for the appropriations committees to return to regular order and pass individual spending bills.

Guest Post: The Critical Role of Housing Finance Agencies in Sustainable Homeownership

These families who may face foreclosure this year, however, will be able to access foreclosure prevention help that research shows is effective because of more than $20 million in grants recently awarded to 29 housing finance agencies (HFAs) through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program (NFMC), a program administered by NeighborWorks America. It’s estimated that as many as 42,000 households facing foreclosure will be helped by these grant funds.

2014 Out of Reach Report Details Rental Affordability Challenges

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's 2014 Out of Reach report, there is no state in the nation where a full-time minimum wage worker can afford a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment renting for HUD’s Fair Market Rent (FMR).

Wyden and Hatch Announce Markup of Bill Extending Expiring Tax Provisions, Including 9 Percent Housing Credit Rate Floor

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced April 1 that the Committee will markup on April 3 legislation to extend for two years many expiring tax provisions, including a provision originally included in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 establishing a minimum 9 percent Housing Credit rate. We also understand that Committee members Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) plan to offer an amendment to establish a 4 percent Credit rate floor for acquisition of existing affordable housing.

Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Waters Introduces Housing Finance Reform Discussion Draft

Yesterday, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced a discussion draft outlining her vision for comprehensive housing finance reform. Waters’ draft, which is entitled the Housing Opportunities Move the Economy Forward Act of 2014 (HOME Forward Act), would gradually wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them with a lender-owned Mortgage Securities Cooperative (“the Cooperative”) that would be the sole issuer of federally backed mortgage-backed securities (MBSs). Waters also released topline and detailed summaries of the proposal, as well as a section-by-section breakdown of its provisions.

Camp Continuing Tax Reform Discussions as Senate Prepares to Extend Expiring Tax Provisions

On March 24, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) sent his Committee members a memorandum outlining his plan for pursuing tax reform and making some expiring tax provisions permanent this year.

Senators Johnson and Crapo Release Housing Finance Reform Bill Text

Yesterday afternoon, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) released the text of their comprehensive housing finance reform legislation, entitled the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014. The Senators also released the section-by-section description of the bill and a detailed summary. In their announcement, the senators indicate that they hope the Committee will consider this legislation in the coming weeks.

USDA Issues Guidance for Implementing New Definition of Rural

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently provided guidance on implementing the new definition of rural, as revised by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (commonly referred to as the Farm Bill).

Senate Approves House-Passed Flood Insurance Bill

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Senate passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, H.R. 3370, by a vote of 72-22. This legislation would roll back many of the rate increases that National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy holders have been charged or are expected to be charged shortly.

NCSHA Releases Additional Analysis of the Administration’s FY 2015 Budget

Since the Administration released its FY 2015 Budget on March 4, federal agencies have released additional details about their Budget requests. NCSHA has updated and expanded its initial preliminary Budget analysis to include additional information on proposed housing program funding levels and policies.