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HFAs Receive Nearly One Million in Supplemental Counseling Funds for FY 2015

HUD announced earlier today that it will award $6 million in supplemental housing counseling grants for fiscal year (FY) 2015, including over $836,000 combined to 20 state HFAs. The grants are designed to supplement the $36 million in FY 2015 HUD counseling grants HUD provided in April. NCSHA summarized the initial round of grants on its blog.

Senator Boxer Leads Letter in Support of HOME and Housing Trust Fund

On June 5, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and 30 other Senators (28 Democrats and two Independents) sent a letter to Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI), to express support for both HOME and the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and urge them to reject any effort to “reduce, divert, or eliminate funding from either program.”

House Passes FY 2016 Housing Appropriations Bill

On June 9, the House voted 216 to 210 in favor of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) funding bill (H.R. 2577). The bill provides a total of $55.3 billion in discretionary spending for transportation and housing programs, but funding under the bill for housing programs falls $1.5 billion short of what HUD says it needs just to maintain current programs in FY 2016, and is $9.7 billion less than the Administration's Budget request.

FTC and HUD Issue Warning about Section 8 Website Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are working together to alert consumers of scams aimed at people who are seeking Section 8 housing.

The Fed Proposes Classifying Some Municipal Bonds as High-Quality Liquid Assets

Last week, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Fed) released a proposed rule that would change how certain municipal bonds are classified under federal banking liquidity standards. Specifically, the proposal would allow large banks to count some of their municipal bond investments as high-quality liquid assets.

Franken and Portman Introduce Bill to Exempt Homeless Youth and Veterans from Housing Credit Student Rule

On May 21, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Senate Finance Committee member Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the Housing for Homeless Students Act, S. 1412, which would add a new exemption to the Housing Credit student rule to allow full-time students to qualify to rent a Housing Credit apartment if they were a youth experiencing homelessness at any point within the seven years prior to moving into their Housing Credit apartment (according to the definition of homeless children and youth used in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act) or if they are a veteran and were homeless at any point within the five years prior to moving into their Housing Credit apartment.

House Subcommittee Considers Consolidating the Rural Housing Service

Earlier this week, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing examining the Rural Housing Service (RHS) and the role it plays in the single-family mortgage market. During the hearing, Subcommittee members debated the findings of a 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that suggested that RHS's single-family lending programs be consolidated with similar programs administered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The witnesses at the hearing were Tony Hernandez, the Administrator of RHS, and Mathew Scire, the Director for Financial Markets and Community Investment at GAO.

Michael Stegman to Become President’s Top Housing Advisor

The Obama Administration announced today that Michael Stegman will join the National Economic Council (NEC) this week as its top housing official. In this role, Stegman will be the White House’s top advisor on housing policy.

House Appropriations Committee Passes FY 2016 THUD Bill

The House Appropriations Committee yesterday voted along party lines to pass the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill. With the exception of a handful of successful amendments unrelated to housing programs, the bill is unchanged from the version the THUD Subcommittee reported April 29. Despite the small number of changes to the bill, several Committee members expressed frustration during the markup about the difficulty of providing adequate funding for programs in the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction because of the constraints of spending limitations imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA).

Senator Shelby Introduces Comprehensive Financial Regulatory Reform Bill

Earlier this week, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) released a discussion draft of legislation that would amend a number of federal financial services standards. The legislation, entitled The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, includes changes to federal mortgage rules and also places new restrictions on the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

HUD and USDA Adopt Minimum Energy Standards for Housing Programs

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a Notice of Final Determination that establishes minimum energy standards that newly-constructed housing units must meet to be eligible for insurance through various HUD and USDA programs.

Worst-Case Housing Needs High Despite Short-Term Improvement

HUD recently released the full version of its Worst Case Housing Needs: 2015 Report to Congress following the release of its summary findings in early February. This is the 15th report in a biannual series that HUD prepares for Congress to discuss trends in and causes of worst case housing needs.