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NCSHA Washington Report | September 25, 2020

Published on September 25, 2020

NCSHA Washington Report September 25, 2020

In This Issue

NCSHA COVID-19 Resources and Updates

WHEDA’s Altoro Named to CFPB Advisory Council
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced last week that Joaquín Altoro, the chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and NCSHA Board Director, has been chosen to serve on CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board (CAB). The CAB, which was authorized under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, advises the CFPB Director on consumer protection, consumer financial products or services, community development, fair lending and civil rights, and serving underserved communities. Including Altoro, the CAB is composed of a dozen members representing a broad array of housing policy organizations and affordable service providers. CAB members serve two-year terms.

Boatman Patterson, Salazar Discuss HFAs’ Innovative Programs and Coronavirus Response in Industry News Features
California Housing Finance Agency Executive Director and NCSHA Board Chair Tia Boatman Patterson appears on the cover of Affordable Housing News Magazine’s just-released Summer Issue. Boatman Patterson was interviewed about some of the innovative work being done by CalHFA and its state housing partners, including its successful Mixed Income Program. Read the full article and learn more about the Mixed Income Program in this CalHFA entry to NCSHA’s 2020 Awards for Program Excellence.

The National Housing Conference featured Margaret Salazar, executive director of Oregon Housing and Community Services and NCSHA Board Secretary/Treasurer, in its September 17 Best Practices Spotlight. Salazar was interviewed about her agency’s five-year Statewide Housing Plan, its agile response to the spike in housing-related need in the wake of COVID-19, and its commitment to advancing racial equity.

House May Consider Scaled-Back $2.4 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has directed House committee chairs to begin drafting a scaled-back approximately $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief bill that the House could consider next week. The House in May passed the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act to provide supplemental coronavirus relief, including $100 billion in rental assistance, $75 billion for a Homeowner Assistance Fund, and nearly $1 trillion for state and local governments’ Coronavirus Relief Funds, as well as other housing resources. However, as we have previously reported, negotiations with the White House and Senate Republicans have not been successful. Pelosi had previously offered to trim up to $1.2 trillion from the House Democrats’ bill, bringing the overall price tag to $2.2 trillion, but White House negotiators had said their limit was $1.5 trillion, and Senate Republicans have not indicated an interest in going even that high, passing a $650 billion relief bill earlier this month. 

Many within the Democratic caucus have urged Pelosi to craft and allow a vote on a slimmed down House bill in advance of the election. It appears that they may have that opportunity now. While we currently do not know what accounts will be cut from the original HEROES Act, NCSHA will press for inclusion of our affordable housing priorities, including rental and mortgage assistance to help those impacted by the pandemic, in the scaled-back bill.

Negotiators Reach Agreement on Continuing Resolution to Keep Government Running Until Dec. 11
Congressional leaders and White House officials have reached agreement on terms for a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep federal government programs running at current funding levels after the end of the fiscal year. On Tuesday, the House passed the CR to fund the government until December 11 with a bipartisan vote of 359–57. In addition to providing funds for the government, the bill includes a one-year reauthorization for a number of programs set to expire at the end of the month, including the National Flood Insurance Program and the surface transportation program. It also includes farm payments and waivers for supplemental nutrition and school meals programs. The Senate has taken procedural steps to set up a vote on the House-passed CR next week.

CDFI Fund Announces $5 Billion Available for New Markets Tax Credit Allocations 
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund published a notice of allocation availability in the Federal Register this week for calendar year 2020 allocation of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs). The 2020 funding round provides $5 billion in NMTC allocation authority — an increase of $1.5 billion over the $3.5 billion authorized for 2019.

Federal Reserve Board Advances New CRA Proposal
The Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously on Monday to publish an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) seeking comments on possible amendments to its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations. Despite taking a different approach than the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) did in the final CRA rule it published in May, the Federal Reserve says it hopes to work together with the OCC, as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to develop a common set of regulations. More information is available in NCSHA’s blog.

Interested parties will have 120 days to comment after the ANPR is published in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly. If you have input for NCSHA to consider when crafting its comments, please email Rosemarie Sabatino.

GSEs Release Duty-to-Serve Plans for 2021, Modifications for 2020 
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking input on modifications the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are proposing to make to their Duty-to-Serve Underserved Market Plans for 2020 and new Duty-to-Serve plans for 2021. Many of the proposed changes to the GSEs’ 2020 plans are intended to respond to market disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The GSEs’ 2021 plans include increased investments and loan purchases to support rural housing, manufactured housing, and affordable housing preservation, including increased Housing Credit investments.

FHFA will accept comments on the plans until October 23 and will hold a series of online listening sessions to solicit stakeholder input throughout October. NCSHA intends to provide comments and participate in the listening sessions. To help inform NCSHA’s response, please send your input by October 9 to Rosemarie Sabatino.

FHFA Asks for Input on Strategic Plan
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has requested input on its Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2021–2024. FHFA’s strategic plan reflects the agency’s priorities as regulator of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and as regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA’s proposed plan updates its mission, vision, and values, as well as establishes three strategic goals and related objectives. These are ensuring safe and sound regulated entities through world-class supervision; fostering competitive, liquid, efficient, and resilient (CLEAR) national housing finance markets; and positioning FHFA as a model of operational excellence by strengthening its workforce and infrastructure. Input on the plan is due October 5.

HUD Proposes Changes to Family Self-Sufficiency Program
On September 21, HUD published a proposed rule to implement changes to the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program authorized by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018. The bill made a number of updates to the FSS program, including changes to size calculation, changes to the FSS Contract of Participation, and reduction of burden on public housing agencies and multifamily assisted housing owners. It also included clarifications to escrow account, program coordinator, and action plan requirements and expanded the program to include Project-Based Rental Assistance properties. Comments are due to HUD on November 20. NCSHA may submit comments. Please contact Yvonne Hsu by November 6 if you have comments for us to consider.

USDA Publishes Proposed Rule on Multifamily Direct Loan Programs
USDA’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) Wednesday published for public comments the proposed rule Rental Assistance and Asset Management for the Multi-Family Housing Direct Loan Programs. RHS is proposing to change its regulations for the Rental Assistance and Multi-Family Housing Direct Loan programs as part of a “sustainable plan,” which will provide RHS with more flexibility to administer available funding and improve efficiency within the programs. Specifically, the rule would codify the historical practice of using unused Rental Assistance obligations for Section 514 and Section 515 properties no longer in RHS’s portfolio due to matured mortgages for renewal purposes in other properties. The rule also will allow RHS to recapture unused obligations and establish allowable management fees that can be paid using a project’s general operating account. Currently, such expenses must be approved on a case-by-case basis directly by RHS. The 60-day public comment period ends November 23. Please send comments and feedback for NCSHA to consider to Glenn Gallo by November 16.

Freddie Mac, National Housing Trust Report Examines QAP Incentives for Production in Opportunity Areas
Freddie Mac Multifamily and the National Housing Trust (NHT) have teamed up to study how state Housing Credit agencies use Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) to incentivize production and preservation in high-opportunity areas and how states monitor the success of those policies over time. In the report, Spotlight on Underserved Markets: Opportunity Incentives in LIHTC Qualified Allocation Plans, Freddie Mac and NHT assessed QAPs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They found HFAs define and measure opportunity in different ways and employ various strategies to incentivize development and preservation in opportunity areas. However, there are five primary indicators agencies generally use to define opportunity areas: access to education, economic growth/jobs, income levels, access to health care, and access to transportation. The report also provides information on which states explicitly map opportunity areas and development challenges in opportunity areas.

NCSHA in the News
Altoro gains national appointment on advisory board of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (WisBusiness)
Out-of-the-ordinary secondary market deals; primer on help for borrowers from HFAs; Saturday Spotlight: Truework (Daily Mortgage News & Commentary)

Looking Ahead…

Legislative and Regulatory Activities

NCSHA, State HFA, and Industry Events

  • October 13 – 22 | Affordable Housing Investors Council Fall Summit | Virtual
  • October 20 | Technical Assistance Collaborative’s 811 PRA Institute | Virtual
    Yvonne Hsu will speak at this event.
  • October 22 | Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank Webinar on State and Local Eviction Prevention Strategies
    Stockton Williams will speak at this event.
  • October 27 – 29 | NCSHA’s 2020 Conference & Showcase | Virtual
  • November 18 – 20 | AHF Live
    Stockton Williams will speak at this event.
  • December 1 | The National Housing Conference’s Solutions for Affordable Housing Online Convening
    Stockton Williams will speak at this event.
  • December 1 – 2 | Ohio Housing Conference | Virtual
    Jennifer Schwartz will speak at this event.

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