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HUD Awards Housing Counseling Grants to 22 State HFAs

Earlier today, HUD released the list of housing counseling agencies that will be awarded grants through HUD’s Housing Counseling program for fiscal year (FY) 2014. HUD will award more than $38 million in such grants this year to 283 organizations, including 22 state HFAs. HUD also released a list of counseling agencies that were awarded funding and a comprehensive summary of each grant awarded.

House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2015 HUD Funding Bill

On May 21, the House Appropriations Committee reported by a vote of 28 to 21 the FY 2015 Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) appropriations bill. The House bill has a funding level of $52.03 billion, $1.2 billion more than the FY 2014 enacted funding level and $7.8 billion less than the President’s FY 2015 Budget request. However, as noted during the markup by the Committee and Subcommittee leaders, the bill’s funding level is effectively $1.8 billion less than the FY 2014 enacted level due to a decrease in receipts available from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to offset spending in the bill.

FHA Announces Housing Counseling Pilot Program

On May 15, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published a notice in the Federal Register detailing the Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) for New Homebuyers pilot program. This program is part of FHA's larger "Blueprint for Access" program, aimed at increasing underserved borrowers’ access to mortgage credit.

House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees Report FY 2015 Rural Housing Funding Bills

On May 20, both the House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Appropriations Subcommittees approved their respective FY 2015 appropriations bills, which provide funding for the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural housing programs.

Shaun Donovan to Leave HUD, According to Reports

According to several news reports, the Obama Administration will announce later this week that President Obama will nominate HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to become the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to replace Donovan as HUD Secretary. OMB's current Director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, is expected to be confirmed by the Senate as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services soon.

Moody’s Finds Decrease in HFA Delinquency Rates

On May 12, Moody's Investors Service released a special comment on state HFA delinquency rates. According to the report, delinquency rates for HFA loans 60-89 and 90+ days past-due decreased on a year-over-year basis for the first time since 2009.

Cloture Motion Fails on Senate Tax Extenders Bill

This afternoon, the Senate failed to achieve cloture on tax extender legislation, H.R. 3474. This means the Senate will not consider the bill further for the foreseeable future, which could be until after the fall midterm elections in November. While the bill enjoys strong bipartisan support, virtually all Republicans voted against cloture because of a disagreement with the Senate Democratic leadership on what and how many amendments the Republicans would be allowed to offer on the bill.

Senate Banking Committee Passes Comprehensive GSE Reform Bill

Earlier today, the Senate Banking Committee voted 13-9 to favorably report to the full Senate the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014. The bill, which was drafted by Committee Chair Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), would gradually wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them with the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (FMIC), a government agency that would provide catastrophic reinsurance for mortgage-backed securities (MBS). NCSHA previously summarized the bill in this update.

FHFA Releases Strategic Plan for GSEs; Directs Them to Strengthen Outreach to HFAs

Earlier today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its 2014 Strategic Plan for the Conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This plan, as well as the Scorecard that the agency will use to evaluate both firms’ performance in meeting the plan’s objectives, outlines the goals and responsibilities FHFA has established for the firms this year. FHFA Director Mel Watt discussed the Strategic Plan in remarks he delivered this morning at the Brookings Institution.

Housing Credit Connect to Feature Special “Housing Credit 101” Training

NCSHA’s Housing Credit Connect offers dozens of educational sessions, multiple networking events, and the largest exhibition of affordable housing products and services in the country. This year, attendees who are new to the Housing Credit program or want a good refresher will have an additional opportunity to attend a special "Housing Credit 101" track.