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FHFA Seeks Input on Establishing a Common GSE Security

Yesterday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a Request for Input seeking public comments on its proposal for forming a single mortgage-backed security (MBS) that would be issued and guaranteed by both Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The establishment of a single MBS to be used by both GSEs

Galante to Leave FHA

Earlier today, Federal Housing Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing Carol Galante announced in a letter to stakeholders that she will be leaving HUD this fall. Galante has served in her current position since the end of 2011, having first joined the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in 2009 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing.

Moody’s Sees HFA Strength in Bond Market, Declining Variable Rate Debt

According to two reports released last week by Moody’s Investors Service, HFAs are continuing to benefit from changes in the mortgage finance market.  In the reports, Moody’s predicts that HFA single-family bond financing will soon become a more significant portion of HFA mortgage funding and that HFAs will continue to benefit from declining amounts of

NABL Releases Paper To Help Issuers Comply with SEC’s MCDC Initiative

Earlier this week, the National Association of Bond Lawyers released a paper designed to help state HFAs and other municipal issuers determine whether they should consider self-reporting misleading statements they may have made in their bond offering documents as part of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation initiative (MCDC).

Congress Begins August Recess with FY 2015 Appropriations Work Unfinished

Congress has departed Capitol Hill for a five-week recess period without passing any FY 2015 appropriations bills. It is expected that Congress will approve in September a short-term continuing resolution (CR) funding all federally funded agencies until after the mid-term elections and possibly into December. The new fiscal year begins on October 1.

SEC Delays MCDC Self-Reporting Deadline for Municipal Issuers to December 1

Last night, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced an extension of the deadline for municipal bond issuers, including state HFAs, to report voluntarily possible disclosure violations through its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative to December 1, 2014. The original deadline was September 9.

Final HUD Rule on Excess Multifamily Claims Adopts NCSHA-Recommended Changes

HUD published today a final rule requiring mortgagees participating in FHA multifamily mortgage insurance programs to return to FHA excess bond funds remaining after an FHA payment is used to satisfy bonds issued to finance the project.

House Budget Committee Chair Releases Proposal to Reform Federal Anti-Poverty Programs

On July 24, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a discussion draft, Expanding Opportunity in America, proposing reforms to federal anti-poverty programs. One of the proposals is a pilot program called the Opportunity Grant. The pilot would begin in a limited number of states and would consolidate several federal means-tested programs, including Housing Choice Vouchers (vouchers), Section 8 project-based rental assistance, Pubic Housing, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance.

June Housing Scorecard Shows Continuing Progress

According to the Administration's June Housing Scorecard, released earlier this month, the housing market has continued to show signs of progress as sales of new and existing homes continue to rise and foreclosure starts and completions continue to fall. Home equity has also shown strong gains for homeowners, reaching the highest level in seven years.

Three House Democrats Release Housing Finance Reform Bill

On July 10, House Financial Services Committee members John Delaney (D-MD), John Carney (D-DE), and Jim Himes (D-CT) introduced comprehensive housing finance reform legislation. The bill, entitled the Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act of 2014, H.R. 5505, would wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and authorize Ginnie Mae to provide an explicit federal guarantee on mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

Senate Confirms Donovan’s Nomination to Head OMB

The Senate yesterday confirmed former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s nomination to be the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by a vote of 75-22. Donovan is filling the vacancy left by former Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who is now the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Senate Confirms Julian Castro as HUD Secretary

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was confirmed by the Senate as HUD Secretary today by a vote of 71-26. The Senate is expected to confirm current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s nomination to replace Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) later this month, although a date for the confirmation vote has not been set.