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Treasury Announces Allocation of $1 Billion in Hardest Hit Funding

The U.S. Treasury Department announced today its final allocation of new funding for the Hardest Hit Fund program (HHF). Thirteen HFAs participating in HHF will receive a combined $1 billion in additional funding to support homeowner assistance and neighborhood stabilization programs. Treasury also released a FAQs document on the new funding allocations.

Senate Approves Measure to Consider Energy Efficiency in FHA Mortgage Underwriting Process

The Senate passed an amendment yesterday that would allow lenders to account for a home's energy efficiency and expected monthly utility bill savings when determining borrowers' eligibility for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured single-family loans.

Representative Kuster Introduces Bill to Preserve Rental Assistance for Certain USDA Section 515 Properties

Last week, Representative Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) introduced the Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2016, H.R. 4908, which seeks to provide relief to rural multifamily developments financed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Loan Program that will lose rental assistance in the future due to pre-paid or maturing mortgages.

Senate Banking Committee Chair Asks GAO and CBO to Examine GSEs

Yesterday, Senate Banking Committee Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL) requested that both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) compose reports on matters relating to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In a press release announcing the requests, Shelby suggests that the reports will help Congress adequately oversee FHFA and the GSEs and, “ensure that Congress takes steps to protect American taxpayers from risk.”

IRS Publishes MRB Purchase Price Limits and Safe Harbors for 2016

On April 15, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2016-25, which establishes the nationwide average purchase price limits and average area purchase price safe harbors for the Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) and Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) programs.

House Financial Services Committee Advances Bill to Subject CFPB Funding to Congressional Review

The House Financial Services Committee on April 13 voted to favorably report the Taking Account of Bureaucrats’ Spending Act of 2015, H.R. 1486, which would authorize Congress to set annual funding levels for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

FHFA Announces Limited Principal Reduction Plan for Underwater Fannie and Freddie Borrowers

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced yesterday a new program under which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will forgive certain borrowers’ outstanding mortgage principal to help them stay in their homes. The new Principal Reduction Modification program marks the first time that FHFA has allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer struggling borrowers principal reductions.

UPDATE: USDA Withdraws Final Qualified Mortgage Rule

This morning, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it was withdrawing a rule that it had inadvertently published in the Federal Register on March 29. The withdrawn rule would have established a definition of “qualified mortgage” that would apply to USDA’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) and made several other adjustments to the SFHGLP guidelines. NCSHA previously reported on the rule’s contents on our official blog.

HUD Issues Report on 2013 Housing Credit Tenant Data

On March 25, HUD released the second annual report on households residing in Housing Credit units, providing demographic and economic data submitted by Housing Credit allocating agencies. The report provides information about the race, ethnicity, family composition, age, income, use of rental assistance, disability status, and monthly rent burden of tenants living in Housing Credit properties as of the end of 2013.

NLIHC Report Finds Shortage of 7.2 Million Affordable Rental Units for Lowest Income Renters

On March 24, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released its 2016 report focusing on the gap between the number of extremely low-income (ELI; households with incomes at 30 percent of area median income or less) and the number of affordable housing units available to them. According to NLIHC’s The Affordable Housing Gap Analysis 2016, there are just 31 units affordable and available to every 100 ELI households nationwide—a shortfall of 7.2 million units.

Representative Waters Introduces Emergency Relief Legislation to End Homelessness

Last week, House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced the Ending Homelessness Act of 2016, H.R. 4888, which would provide $13.27 billion over five years to housing and services programs with the goal of ending homelessness in America. Announcing her new legislation, Representative Waters argued that homelessness is not an insurmountable problem but requires “the political will to put the necessary resources behind the solutions we know will work” and called on Democrats and Republicans to come together to end the homelessness crisis through increased resources.

Industry Experts Propose New Housing Finance Reform Plan

An independent group of housing industry experts recently released a report proposing a plan for overhauling the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The proposal was drafted by Jim Parrot of the Urban Institute, mortgage investor Lew Ranieri, former presidential advisor Gene Sperling, Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics, and Barry Zigas of the Consumer Federation of America.