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HOME Coalition Requests Increased Administration Support for HOME in FY 2015

NCSHA and 21 other national organizations in the HOME Coalition sent a letter, led by NCSHA, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and HUD urging the Administration to increase its funding request for the HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) in its FY 2015 Budget.

HUD to Allow for Greater Use of Electronic Signatures on FHA Loan Documents

On January 30, HUD released Mortgagee Letter 14-03, which significantly expands lenders’ ability to accept electronic signatures on documents pertaining to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Other Federal Officials to Speak at NCSHA’s Legislative Conference

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will join hundreds of affordable housing advocates, including HFA executive directors, board members, staff, and industry partners at NCSHA's Legislative Conference this March.

Senate Passes Bill to Delay Flood Insurance Premium Increases

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate passed the Home Flood Insurance Affordability Act, S. 1926, to delay premium increases for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders that are scheduled to take effect this year. The bill, which was introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), would delay the increases for about four years.

House Approves Farm Bill Extending Rural Area Eligibility for USDA Housing Programs

On January 29, the House voted to ensure that rural communities that are currently eligible for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural housing programs and that would lose eligibility due to USDA’s use of 2010 Census data will retain their eligibility through 2020. It also voted to increase the population limit used to define areas as rural from 25,000 to 35,000.

President Obama Calls for Housing Finance Reform in State of the Union Address

In last night's State of the Union address, President Obama cited economic growth and a "rebounding housing market" as reasons for optimism and called on Congress to pass a housing finance reform bill that would "protect taxpayers" and keep "the dream of homeownership alive for future generations."

Congress Passes FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Late yesterday, the Senate passed by a vote of 72 to 26 the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 3547. The House approved the same bill the day before, 359 to 67. The President is expected to sign the bill soon. The omnibus, which includes all 12 appropriations bills, sets final FY 2014 appropriations levels and funds all federally funded agencies, including HUD and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the end of FY 2014.

Appropriators Unveil Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

On January 13, appropriators filed the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 3547. The bill includes final FY 2014 funding levels for all federally funded agencies, including HUD and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). It provides $1.012 trillion for discretionary programs, which is approximately $24 billion more than provided in FY 2013.

MSRB Proposes Standards of Conduct for Municipal Bond Advisors

On January 9, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) released a proposed rule that would establish standards of conduct and qualifications for municipal advisors who provide advice to state and local government entities, including state HFAs. MSRB’s proposal follows a final rule released last September by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that set an official definition of “municipal advisor” and established a registration system for them. The MSRB’s proposed guidelines will apply to all individuals and entities that fall under the SEC’s definition.

Watt Delays G-Fee Increases for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loans

Earlier today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it had directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to delay the implementation of increased guarantee fees (g-fees) that FHFA has previously ordered in December. New FHFA Director Mel Watt said that he will study the proposed changes and their impact on the housing market before deciding whether to go forward with them.