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Congress Suspends Debt Limit Until March 2015

Today, the Senate passed by a vote of 55 to 43 the Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act, S. 540. The bill suspends the federal debt limit until March 16, 2015. The House passed the bill yesterday by a vote of 221 to 201 and the President is expected to sign it soon.

Charles Coulter to Leave HUD at the End of February

In an email sent to industry stakeholders this afternoon, Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Carol Galante announced that Charles Coulter, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single Family Housing at HUD, will leave the agency at the end of this month.

Charles Coulter to Leave HUD at the End of February

In an email sent to industry stakeholders this afternoon, Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Carol Galante announced that Charles Coulter, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single Family Housing at HUD, will leave the agency at the end of this month.

Senator Baucus Confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China

The Senate today confirmed Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’s (D-MT) nomination to be U.S. ambassador to China by a vote of 96-0.

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

On February 4, the Senate 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. The House passed the bill on January 29 and the President is expected to sign it soon.

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.