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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.

FHFA Excludes Additional Affordable Housing Lending Categories from GSEs Multifamily Caps

Earlier today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it is expanding the categories of affordable multifamily loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may purchase without having to count such activities against their annual caps on multifamily lending.

Congress Adopts Concurrent Resolution on FY 2016 Budget

For the first time in six years, both houses of Congress have adopted a concurrent budget resolution—the final product of negotiations between the Senate and House on their respective budget resolutions released earlier this spring. The Concurrent Resolution on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget (S.Con.Res.11) outlines the chambers’ Republican policy priorities, aims to eliminate the deficit over the next decade with more than $5 trillion in spending cuts without raising taxes, adheres to the FY 2016 discretionary spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), and includes procedural language that could be used to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Senators Cantwell and Roberts Introduce Housing Credit Minimum Rate Legislation

On May 5, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced S. 1193, the Improving the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Rate Act, which would permanently establish a minimum 9 percent Housing Credit rate and a minimum 4 percent Credit rate for acquisition. In addition to Senator Cantwell as lead sponsor, 21 Senators are original cosponsors of the bill.

NCSHA Submits Priority Guidance Plan Comments to IRS

On May 1, NCSHA submitted comments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on its 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan. IRS uses the Priority Guidance Plan to identify and prioritize tax issues to be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other types of administrative guidance during the coming year. NCSHA’s comments focused on several issues of importance to the Housing Credit and Housing Bond programs. Several HFAs and some of their partners submitted suggestions that NCSHA incorporated into its comments.

HUD Modifies Its FHA Distressed Asset Stabilization Program

HUD recently announced that it is making adjustments to its Distressed Asset Stabilization Program (DASP) to help more struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. Specifically, HUD will impose a 12-month foreclosure moratorium on all loans sold through DASP and create more opportunities for nonprofit organizations to participate in the program.

House FY 2016 THUD Bill Cuts Critical Housing Programs

Earlier today, the House Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee held its mark-up of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 THUD funding bill. The bill provides $55.3 billion in discretionary spending for transportation and housing programs, but 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.

FICO Announces Credit Scores Will be Available to Consumers Through Financial Counselors

Earlier this week, FICO announced that it had reached an agreement with the three main credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) that will allow housing and financial counselors to share with their clients their credit scores. This initiative, entitled the FICO® Score Open Access for Credit & Financial Counseling, will allow qualified and enrolled credit, housing, and financial counselors to provide their clients with their FICO scores along with other educational material about credit.

Financial Services Subcommittee Considers Private Sector Participation in Affordable Housing

On April 16, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing on “The Future of Housing in America: Increasing Private Sector Participation in Affordable Housing”. The hearing focused broadly on HUD programs that have the potential to leverage private dollars and featured four witnesses: Adriane Todman, Executive Director at the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA); Brad Fennell, Senior Vice President of Washington, DC area property management company WC Smith; James Evans, Director at Quadel Consulting Services; and Sheila Crowley, President and CEO at the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

Bipartisan Coalition of House Members Express Support for Municipal Bond Tax Exemption

More than 120 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed onto a letter last week urging House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to reject proposals that would eliminate or diminish the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds.

NCSHA Advocates Preserving and Strengthening Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in Statement to Finance Committee Working Group

On April 15, NCSHA submitted the attached statement to the Senate Finance Committee’s Community Development & Infrastructure Working Group in support of preserving and strengthening the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) established the Community Development & Infrastructure Working Group and four other Working Groups—each comprised of members of the Finance Committee—to analyze current tax law and examine policy trade-offs and reform options. Among other issues, Hatch and Wyden charged the Community Development & Infrastructure Working Group with housing tax issues, including the Credit and tax-exempt bonds.

FHFA Directs Fannie and Freddie to Keep G-Fees at Current Level and Drop Adverse Market Charge

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced April 17 that it has determined that the guarantee fees (g-fees) that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge lenders in exchange for insuring single-family mortgage loans should generally stay at their current level. However, the agency directed each firm to make targeted adjustments to its fees, including eliminating the upfront adverse market fee for new single-family loans and increasing the g-fees for loans with secondary financing.