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Ryan Wins House Speakership, Leaving Open Ways and Means Chairmanship

The House of Representatives today elected Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Speaker of the House. Ryan received 236 votes, while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) received 184 votes. Nine House members voted for Representative Daniel Webster (R-FL), and Representatives Jim Cooper (D-TN) and John Lewis (D-SC) and retired General Colin Powell each received one vote.

House Passes Budget Deal Allowing Increased Discretionary Spending and Lifting Debt Limit

Last night, the House passed HR 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, by a vote of 266 to 167. The yay votes included all 187 Democrats and 79 Republicans. The nay votes were all Republicans.

HOME Coalition Report and Briefing Raises HOME’s Profile in Congress

Earlier today, the HOME Coalition, which NCSHA chairs, unveiled its just-released report, Building HOME: The HOME Investment Partnerships Program’s Impact on America’s Families and Communities, at a briefing on the Hill for members of Congress and their staff. The first-of-its kind report analyzes HOME’s housing and economic impact at the national and state levels.

House Housing Subcommittee Considers Chairman’s Housing Reform Bill

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.

Rural Development Hearing Highlights Rental Assistance Contract Challenges

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).

Presidential Candidates Address Affordable Housing at New Hampshire Housing Summit

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.

IRS Releases 2016 Inflation Adjustments for Housing Credits and Bonds

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.

HUD Report Shows Continued Success of Single Family Loan Sale Program

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 Chair Introduces Housing Assistance Reform Bill

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 Report Indicates HFAs Will Continue to Experience Strong Financial Performance

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.

HUD Inspector General Releases Second Report on Housing Agency Down Payment Assistance Programs

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).

Government Shutdown Averted

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.