The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance on October 21 held a hearing entitled “The Future of Housing in America: Federal Reforms that Create Housing Opportunity,” focused on the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, H.R. 3700, which Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) introduced earlier in October.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies held a hearing titled “Review of Rural Development in 21st Century America” on October 21. Witnesses in the two-panel hearing included US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) officials and industry stakeholders. The hearing focused on RD programs including Rural Utilities Service and Rural Housing Services (RHS).
Seven presidential candidates—Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former New York Governor George Pataki, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky—each individually addressed the Summit to discuss how they would address the affordable housing crisis if elected president.
Earlier today, the Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Procedure 2015-53, which outlines the inflation adjustments for nearly 50 federal tax provisions, including the amount of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) authority and Private Activity Bond (PAB) authority each state will receive.
Earlier this week, HUD released its most recent Report to the Commissioner on Post-Sale Reporting on the FHA Single Family Loan Sale (SFLS) program. The report, using data through August 3, 2015, found that the SFLS program continues to meet its intended goals of contributing to the Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) fund, providing homeowners who have exhausted FHA’s loss mitigation options a second chance to stay in their homes, and reducing taxpayer risk.
House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) introduced last week the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2015, H.R. 3700. The bill incorporates several previously proposed policy changes to improve HUD assistance programs that enjoy bipartisan support and are relatively noncontroversial. In his press release announcing the bill, Luetkemeyer states that “these reforms will help to put our nation’s housing programs on a path to maximize effectiveness and deliver more opportunity for both people in need and the organizations that serve them.”
Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) recently-released HFA financial medians report concludes that HFA financial profiles demonstrated solid improvement in FY 2014. The report predicts that national wage growth and lower unemployment, which have caused an increase in household formations, will enable HFAs to retain their strong financial positions in the future.
Late yesterday, HUD’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a second Audit Report finding that a lender violated Federal Housing Administration (FHA) policy by originating FHA-insured loans that included down payment assistance grants from a government entity that the OIG says utilized “premium pricing” to pay for the grants. The report focuses on loans originated by loanDepot, LLC, a California-based mortgage lender, which included down payment assistance from a program administered by the Golden State Finance Authority (Golden State).
Late September 30, President Obama signed a continuing resolution (CR) funding government programs through December 11, thereby forestalling a government shutdown. Both the Senate, by a vote of 78 to 20, and the House of Representatives, by a vote of 277-151, passed the CR earlier that day.
NeighborWorks Report Illustrates the Ongoing Success of National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program
On September 24, NeighborWorks America released its eleventh Congressional Report on the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program. According to the report, NFMC participants, including 40 HFAs, have provided 1.9 million homeowners foreclosure mitigation counseling since the program was launched in December 2007.
Earlier today, Enterprise Community Partners and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) released Projecting Trends in Severely Cost-Burdened Renters: 2015–2025, which examines how demographic and economic trends over the next decade are likely to affect the near record number of renters with severe housing cost burdens—that is, paying more than half their income in rent.
House Financial Services Chairman Seeks Recommendations for Restructuring HUD and Improving the Delivery of Housing Resources
In commemoration of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s 50th anniversary, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has issued a call for ideas to reform HUD and modernize the delivery of federal housing assistance. Hensarling argues that HUD has not lived up to the expectations set for the agency by President Lyndon Johnson when he created the department, stating, “instead of marshaling federal resources towards the goal of addressing America’s housing needs, HUD has come to symbolize the dashed hopes of the Great Society vision that mistook centralization for coordination and spending for compassion.”