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Bipartisan Housing Assistance Reform Bill Introduced in Senate

Yesterday, Chairman Tim Scott (R-SC) and Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-NJ) of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development introduced S. 3083, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA), to streamline and reform several federal housing assistance programs.

17 State HFAs to Receive HUD Counseling Grants for FY 2016

HUD announced today the recipients of more than $40 million in Housing Counseling program grants for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The funding will go to 234 different housing counseling agencies, including 17 state HFAs that combined will receive $6.7 million in grants.

NCSHA and Dept. of Energy to Hold Webinar for HFAs on DOE’s Home Energy Score

At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), NCSHA will be hosting a webinar for HFAs to discuss DOE’s Home Energy Score initiative. The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

House Republicans Release Plan on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility

On June 7, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-OH) released an anti-poverty plan from the Republican Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility (Task Force). This set of proposals is part of a larger agenda entitled A Better Way: Our Vision for a Confident America that Ryan and other Republican leaders hope will provide a blueprint for what they can accomplish under a Republican president.

Representative Jordan Introduces Bill to Eliminate Means-Tested Housing Programs

On May 26, Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, introduced H.R. 5360, the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act, which would prohibit Congress from funding means-tested housing programs and in their place create a single state block grant for housing activities.

Housing Industry Groups Ask Top Regulators to Resist Altering Fannie and Freddie Capital Requirements

Earlier today, several housing industry groups sent Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew identical letters asking them to maintain their current policy regarding Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's capital standards until Congress passes comprehensive housing finance reform.

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.