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).
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.
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.