Earlier this month, the Obama Administration released the March Housing Scorecard, the latest installment in its monthly reviews of the nation's housing market. According to the report, the number of foreclosures has continued to decline, but the number of home sales has begun to stagnate as home prices stabilize.
On April 10, the House Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing to examine HUD’s FY 2015 budget request. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was the sole witness.
On April 10, the House passed by a vote of 219 to 205 its FY 2015 Budget Resolution, H. Con. Res. 96. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his FY 2015 budget plan, The Path to Prosperity: FY 2015 Budget Resolution, on April 1 and the House Budget Committee reported the budget resolution on April 2. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) has stated she will not introduce a budget resolution in the Senate this year.
On April 4, Rural Housing Service (RHS) Administrator Tony Hernandez testified on RHS’ FY 2015 budget request before the House Agriculture-Rural Development Appropriations Subcommittee. According to Hernandez’ written testimony, RHS is requesting in FY 2015 $1.22 billion in budget authority to support program levels of approximately $28 billion.
On April 2, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan testified at a House Transportation-HUD Subcommittee oversight hearing on HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing programs. The hearing included discussion about the project-based Section 8, Housing Choice Voucher, Rental Assistance Demonstration, and housing counseling programs.
On April 3, the Senate Finance Committee approved and reported legislation, the Expiring Provisions Improvement, Reform, and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act, authored by Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to extend for two years many expiring tax provisions, including a provision extending the minimum 9 percent Housing Credit rate for allocations made before January 1, 2016.
On March 27, Moody’s Investors Service released a Sector Comment analyzing how state HFA programs would be impacted under draft housing finance reform legislation recently introduced by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID). In its analysis, Moody’s concludes that the Johnson-Crapo draft contains several provisions favorable to HFAs and that, if enacted, the Johnson-Crapo draft would overall represent a credit positive for the agencies.
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.
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.
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).