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Housing Recovery Continuing, According to HUD Housing Scorecard

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Treasury released the July Housing Scorecard earlier this month. The report says higher sales of new and previously owned homes, a lower mortgage rate, and higher home prices show that the housing market recovery is continuing.

President Signs Housing Assistance Reform Bill Into Law

On July 29, President Obama signed into law H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA), which will streamline and reform several federal housing assistance programs. NCSHA and a broad coalition of housing stakeholders have strongly advocated for this bipartisan legislation over the past year.

CFPB Releases Loss Mitigation Principles

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) yesterday released a set of suggested principles for foreclosure prevention activities. The guidelines are not legally binding but are intended to act as guidance for mortgagees’ and investors’ loss mitigation efforts.

CFPB Proposes Expanding RESPA Disclosure Exemption for HFA Loans

Earlier today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a proposed rule that would make several changes to CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID). The proposal includes a provision designed to make it easier for lenders to participate in HFA down payment assistance programs by exempting more such programs from onerous disclosure requirements.

HUD Proposes New Administrative Fee Formula for Housing Choice Vouchers

Earlier this month, HUD published a proposed rule that would substantially change the formula it uses to determine how much funding public housing agencies (PHA) receive to administer the Housing Choice Voucher (voucher) program. With this new formula, HUD aims to better capture the costs of administering the voucher program and therefore more accurately compensate administering PHAs.

Fannie Mae Announces Enhancements to HFA Preferred, HomeReady Products

Fannie Mae announced Tuesday that it will be making several adjustments to its affordable HomeReady product that it believes will allow the product to serve more low- and moderate-income borrowers. Fannie Mae has informed NCSHA that these adjustments will also be incorporated into its HFA Preferred Products.

Interactive Tool Shows Why Building Affordable Housing Absent a Government Subsidy is Uneconomic

The Urban Institute, in partnership with the National Housing Conference, has released a new online tool entitled, The Cost of Affordable Housing: Does it Pencil Out?, illustrating the gap between the cost of constructing and maintaining rental housing affordable to low-income households and the rents those families can afford to pay. The tool shows that without relying on government subsidies—in particular the Housing Credit program—it is often impossible to build and maintain housing for low-income households.

USDA’s Rural Housing Service Releases Housing Data And User-Friendly Tool

On July 21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) released data on the agency’s single-family, multifamily, and community facilities programs. RHS also demonstrated how the data can be accessed via a new interactive visualization tool, created by PolicyMap, designed to make the data publicly attainable and more useful.

Castro Details HUD Actions to Address Lead Poisoning

At a July 20 event hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro outlined steps HUD is taking to protect children from lead exposure, including developing procedures to contain lead hazards more effectively, improving lead-prevention policies, and partnering with other leaders and agencies to protect residents from lead poisoning. When asked why a lead problem still exists in 2016, Castro responded, "we have not dedicated the kind of resources that ought to be dedicated to the problem."

FHA Issues Guidance on Insuring Properties with PACE Assessments

On July 19, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued a mortgagee letter clarifying the conditions in which it will insure mortgages on properties that have Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) assessments.

Congress Passes Bipartisan Housing Assistance Reform Bill

Late yesterday, the Senate passed by unanimous consent H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA), to streamline and reform several federal housing assistance programs. While there was a Senate version of this bill, as NCSHA reported on June 23, Senate passage of the House-passed version expedites the process and now H.R. 3700 is headed to the President's desk to be signed into law.

Cantwell and Hatch Introduce Comprehensive Housing Credit Legislation

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on July 14 introduced S.3237, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016. This comprehensive bill builds on Housing Credit legislation the two Senators introduced together in May, S.2962 (also titled the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016).