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GAO Releases Report on State Housing Credit Program Administration

Despite its title, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Some Agency Practices Raise Concerns and IRS Could Improve Noncompliance Reporting and Data Collection, the report finds that states are administering the program in a manner largely consistent with federal laws and regulations, and in many cases, going above and beyond their requirements. The report is based on GAO’s review of all agencies’ 2013 Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) and site visits to and more extensive reviews of eight state agencies and one subrecipient agency.

HUD Proposes Broadband Infrastructure Requirement for Multifamily Housing

HUD published a proposed rule on May 18, Narrowing the Digital Divide Through Installation of Broadband Infrastructure in HUD-Funded New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation of Multifamily Rental Housing that would require owners and developers of HUD-funded multifamily housing to install broadband infrastructure at the time of construction or if the property undergoes substantial rehabilitation.

HUD Seeks to Amend ConPlan Regulations to Address the Digital Divide and Climate Change

On May 18, HUD published a proposed rule, Modernizing HUD’s Consolidated Planning Process to Narrow the Digital Divide and Increase Resilience to Natural Hazards, that would require jurisdictions to consider broadband access and resilience to natural hazard risks, including hazards that may result from climate change, in their Consolidated Plans (ConPlan).

HUD Housing Counseling Advisory Committee Includes HFA Representative

HUD announced earlier this week the members of its inaugural Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee (HCFAC). The Committee, which was authorized under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, will advise HUD about how it can best utilize its resources to provide more borrowers with HUD-approved counseling services.

NCSHA President Tom Gleason Makes the Case for Housing Bonds at House and Senate Briefings

MassHousing Executive Director Emeritus and NCSHA President Tom Gleason on June 2 participated as NCSHA’s representative in two panel briefing sessions on Capitol Hill—one for House staff and the other for Senate staff—on the importance of tax-exempt municipal bonds. The Municipal Bonds for America (MBFA) coalition, in which NCSHA participates, sponsored the briefings to educate congressional staff about how bonds work, the many uses of bonds, and why they are critical to state and local governments.

Representatives Urge Regulators to Reassess Fannie and Freddie Capital Standards

Thirty-two congressional Democrats sent a letter earlier today to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew expressing concerns about a current policy that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce the amount of capital they hold. The letter, which was drafted by House Financial Services Committee member Michael Capuano (D-MA), asks the regulators to reassess this policy.

HFAs to Receive Over $10 Million for Foreclosure Prevention Counseling

NeighborWorks® America announced yesterday that it has awarded nearly $40 million in funding to support counseling for struggling homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program. The recipients include twenty-one HFAs that combined will receive almost $10.8 million. Funding will also be distributed to 19 HUD Counseling Intermediaries and 60 local NeighborWorks affiliates. A list of all the grants awarded is available here.

Representative McCarthy Introduces Moving to Work Expansion Bill

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced April 29 The Moving to Work Reformation and Expansion Act of 2016, H.R. 5137, which would remove the cap on the number of public housing agencies (PHAs) that can participate in Moving to Work (MTW) and change the status of MTW from a demonstration to a program. H.R. 5137 also would authorize HUD to provide technical assistance to PHAs participating in MTW and evaluate housing reforms undertaken by MTW participants to identify replicable program models.

HUD Affirms HFAs’ Ability to Provide Down Payment Assistance with FHA Loans

Yesterday afternoon, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing and Head of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Ed Golding issued a statement reaffirming that loans that include HFA down payment assistance (DPA) are eligible for FHA insurance. The statement also says that HFA DPA programs are legal and consistent with federal housing law.

USDA Allows State RD Offices to Reallocate Unused Rental Assistance

The USDA Rural Development (RD) office on May 24 published an "Unnumbered Letter" allowing state RD offices to reallocate unused rental assistance (RA) within their states without approval from the national office, reversing a policy in place since 2013 requiring state offices to return unused RA to the national office to be recaptured.

House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2017 HUD Funding Bill

The House Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill by voice vote yesterday afternoon. The full Committee did not modify HUD program funding levels from those reported by the THUD Subcommittee on May 18.

Bipartisan Policy Center Releases Report Highlighting Housing and Health Care Troubles Facing American Seniors

Earlier this week, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) published a report about America’s expanding senior population and the challenges it will bring to the country’s existing health care and housing networks.