HUD Proposed Rule on HOTMA Provisions

Last month, HUD published in the Federal Register a proposed rule for the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). The proposed rule alters the United States Housing Act of 1937, including changing requirements pertaining to income reviews for public housing and HUD’s Section 8 program and setting maximum limits on assets allowed for families in public housing and in Section 8-assisted housing. For consistency, other HUD programs that have adopted regulations of programs that are based on stautory provisions amended by the proposed rule would also change. These include the HOME Investment Partnership Program, the National Housing Trust Fund, and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS program. Comments on the proposed rule are due by November 18.

NCSHA Identifies $44 Billion in Anticipated Opportunity Zone Investment

Investment capital targeted to economically distressed communities designated as Opportunity Zones continues to increase, according to analysis of NCSHA’s latest Opportunity Zone Fund Directory, released today. The 183 funds listed in the current directory expect to raise more than $44 billion for Opportunity Zone investment, nearly triple the amount projected at the start of the year. The directory’s latest edition includes 22 new Opportunity Funds and details on the size and geographic and investment focuses for all funds.

Listed funds range in size from $1 million to $10 billion, with an average fund size of $242 million. Nearly one-third of the funds (58/183) plan to invest nationwide, while the remaining two-thirds (125/183) are targeting specific states or regions. The West/Southwest region continues to experience investment growth, with 9 of the 22 new funds targeting this region, including funds investing in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

The vast majority of Opportunity Funds (164/183) anticipate investment in some form of commercial real estate, including multifamily residential, student housing, mixed-use, hospitality, or other commercial development. The number of funds planning to invest in community revitalization, affordable housing, or workforce housing is up to 63 percent (115/183), while 54 percent (99/183) plan to invest in economic or small business development, and 23 percent (43/183) plan to invest in infrastructure or renewable energy projects. Nearly all of the 183 funds plan to invest in multiple categories.

NCSHA will continue to update the directory as additional Opportunity Funds are announced. To add a fund to the directory, please complete this form.

Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act Passes House

On September 10, the Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019 (H.R. 3620) passed in the House by voice vote.The bill is cosponsored by lead Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO-01), original cosponsor Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-05), and three other cosponsors including Reps. Cynthia Axne (D-IA-03), Al Lawson (D-FL-05), and David Scott (D-GA-13). The bill would permanently authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization program, expand the use of USDA vouchers, and establish an advisory committee to help the agency create and implement a plan to preserve rural multifamily housing backed by USDA loans. The proposal includes an authorization of $1 billion over 5 years to carry out the program. Read more about this legislation in Enterprise’s Adrienne Norwood’s blog post.

STATE FISCAL YEAR 2020 PUBLIC HEARING

Date & Time: October 30, 2019, 2:00 PM

Location: Metro Technology Center (Springlake Campus) 1900 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73111

Economic Development Center (Room 123)

General program information and relevant changes regarding the five (CDBG, ESG, HTF, HOME, HOPWA) programs covered under the FY 2020 State Consolidated Plan will be at both the State Consolidated Plan Public Input Session and Public Hearing. Written comments regarding the FY 2020 State Consolidated Plan will be accept3ed until December 2, 2019. Questions regarding the State Consolidated Plan can be addressed by phone or email to steven.hoover or 405-227-3984.

NOTICE: As noted above, the Consolidated Plan is a five-year planning document, consisting of a five-year strategic plan and annual updates. The FY 2019 State of Oklahoma State Consolidated Plan marked the start of a five-year strategic plan cycle running until FY 2023. As part of the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) requirement, a copy of the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice reflective of the five-year (FY 2019 – FY 2023) Consolidated Plan has been prepared and is available for public review at the link below. Questions regarding the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice can be addressed by phone or email to steven.hoover or 405-227-3984.

Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice OKLA 5YR 2019 to 2023

ACTION Campaign Monthly Call on Friday, October 4

The ACTION Campaign’s monthly call will be on Friday, October 4 at 2:00 pm EST. Call-in information:

  • Phone number: 866-469-3239
  • Access Code: 625 036 783 #

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Surpasses 100 Cosponsors in the House

Last week, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) reached its 100th cosponsor in the House thanks to the tireless efforts of our ACTION members and partners. In large part because of your support, the House bill (H.R. 3077) has reached 104 bipartisan cosponsors in the less than four months since its introduction on June 4. Sixty-four percent of House Ways and Means Committee members have now signed on to the bill. The Senate bill (S. 1703) has reached 18 cosponsors, with 9 Democrats, 8 Republicans, and 1 Independent all signed on in support of the legislation.

October ACTION Advocacy Push!

Congress has passed and the President has signed a Continuing Resolution (CR) funding the government through November 21. Assuming Congress is able to reach an agreement on spending legislation by then, it is likely the session will end in November. Thus, November may be the only time this calendar year where any tax legislation could advance. With Congress on recess for two weeks between October 1 and October 14, now is the opportunity to reach out to your members of Congress to enlist their support so that the AHCIA is well positioned to be included on any year-end tax legislation.

If your Senator or Representative has already signed-on to the AHCIA, please reach out to them to thank them and express that you would like to see the bill progress with any tax legislation that moves this year. If your Senator or Representative has not yet cosponsored, now is the time to express to them how the AHCIA would help hundreds of thousands of low-income renters across the country.

In particular, there are only a small handful of Republican members who previously cosponsored AHCIA in the 115th Congress that have yet to cosponsor again. If you work/live in these members’ states/districts, please help us with outreach this week to:

Senators:

  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
  • Tim Scott (R-SC)

Representatives:

  • Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01)
  • Ken Calvert (R-CA-42)
  • John Shimkus (R-IL-15)
  • Brett Guthrie (R-KY-02)
  • Robert E. Latta (R-OH-05)
  • Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-04)
  • Sam Graves (R-MO-06)
  • Steven M. Palazzo (R-MS-04)
  • Mark Walker (R-NC-06)
  • David Rouzer (R-NC-07)
  • Richard Hudson (R-NC-08)
  • Will Hurd (R-TX-23)

There are a number of ACTION resources online to support you in your advocacy efforts, including State and District Fact Sheets that show how the AHCIA helps in your hometown.

As always, please reach out to us if you would like any support in preparing for your meetings with members of Congress and/or their staff, either in D.C. or at home.

September New ACTION Members

ACTION now has more than 2,300 organizational members nationwide. We would like to welcome our newest national member, DMA Companies, who joined us this September!

Help us continue to grow ACTION by inviting your state and local housing partners to join our coalition! Our strength is in our numbers, and the more support we have the better we can demonstrate to members of Congress that businesses and organizations across the country support strengthening the Housing Credit.

In particular, we encourage businesses, economic development groups, and chambers of commerce to join ACTION, as housing is so critical to attracting workers and building on the economic activity in communities across the nation.

In the News…

In an August 29 article from Multi-Housing News, Nevada HAND Director of Real Estate Development David Paull discusses how he considers the “affordable housing crisis in Las Vegas to be severe and growing,” noting that the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would help alleviate the affordable housing shortage in his community.

Other Policy Updates

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Community Reinvestment Act Anticipated this Fall

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is expected to be released this fall from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) alone or in concert with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The NPR is expected following Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting’s multi-city tour to visit communities that have benefited from activities encouraged by the CRA, and which included tours of Housing Credit properties. ACTION and its partners will continue to monitor any developments with CRA modernization and will engage to ensure that any proposed regulations continue to support critical investments into low- and moderate-income communities.

Senate Appropriations Committee Advances THUD and Agriculture-FDA Legislation

Earlier this month, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved FY20 legislation on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) and Agriculture-FDA. Both pieces of legislation are now ready for floor consideration. Highlights from the new legislation include $1.25 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership program, level with FY19, and $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grant program, which is also level with FY19. The THUD bill also includes $23.833 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance and $12.56 billion for Project Based Rental Assistance, both higher numbers than FY19.

House members completed their work on FY20 legislation prior to the budget deal being finalized and must now readjust their funding levels, as their drafts included higher topline numbers. Congress has passed and the President has signed a continuing resolution to fund the government through November 21. This will give Congress more time to negotiate final legislation that adheres to overall spending levels agreed to in the budget deal.

President Trump Signs Stopgap Spending Bill Funding the Government Through November 21

President Trump has signed a stopgap funding measure that averts a government shutdown and extends funding at current levels through November 21. The continuing resolution (CR) provides congressional leadership with an eight-week extension to agree on final FY20 appropriations legislation that adheres to overall spending levels approved in the budget deal. Lawmakers are now in negotiations to reconcile House spending bills – which were drafted prior to the budget deal being finalized and use higher top-line numbers – with the more recent Senate legislation.

A breakdown of proposed funding levels for critical affordable housing and community development programs can be found in this blog post by Liz Osborn, Enterprise’s Senior Director of Congressional Relations, and on Enterprise’s budget chart. Enterprise strongly encourages Congress to provide robust funding for affordable housing and community development programs in final spending bills. If you’d like to advocate for these critical programs, call you member of Congress today and voice your support for House funding levels for affordable housing in FY20.

President Trump Signs Executive Order Establishing Council Focusing on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing

On June 25, President Trump signed an Executive Order to establish the White House Council on Eliminating Barriers to Affordable Housing Development, headed by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson with members including the Secretaries or their designees from the departments of Treasury, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy, Labor, and Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, and various other senior White House officials will also participate.

The Council will engage with state, local, and tribal leaders as well as private-sector stakeholders to identify regulations and practices that artificially raise the cost of housing development and contribute to the shortage of affordable housing. It will also seek to quantify the costs of regulatory barriers on affordable housing development; identify actions the federal government can take to minimize federal regulatory barriers; and support state, local, and tribal efforts to reduce barriers.

The Council will submit a report on its activities to the President within 12 months.

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Surpasses 100 Cosponsors in the House

This month, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 (AHCIA) reached over 100 cosponsors in the House, now totaling 104 cosponsors. Last week nine new Republican and Democratic representatives signed on, including Reps. Robert Wittman (R-VA-01), Terri Sewell (D-AL-07), Steven Horsford (D-NV-04), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Grace Meng (D-NY-06), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16), Ron Kind (D-WI-03), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-08) and Tim Walberg (R-MI-07). Continuing its track record of strong bipartisan support, the House bill has gained 58 Democratic cosponsors and 46 Republican cosponsors in the just four months since its introduction on June 4. Enterprise strongly supports the AHCIA for the positive impact it would have on access to affordable housing in low-income communities and applauds members of Congress who have cosponsored the identical legislation in either the Senate or the House (S. 1703 & H.R. 3077).

With a CR now funding the government through November 21, November holds the best chance for tax legislation to advance this calendar year. Now is the time to reach out to members of Congress to enlist their support so that the AHCIA is well positioned to be included in the event that year-end tax legislation moves. The ACTION Campaign is doing an October advocacy push, and there are a number of online resources, including State and District Fact Sheets, to support advocates in their efforts.

Please take a moment to contact your members of Congress and request they support the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 (AHCIA)!

NCSHA Washington Report

In an otherwise thoughtful overview of the housing crisis and the various proposals to address it from Democrats running for president, Vox’s Matthew Iglesias concludes, “There’s no particular reason the real estate problems facing writers in a handful of expensive coastal cities should dominate the national policy conversation,” and so, “housing looks more like a niche state and local issue that happens to be salient in the country’s main media and political circles … likely as it should be.”

As the current frontrunner among the Democrats might say, “What a bunch of malarkey.

In fact, 54 million people live in rural areas that the USDA says have a “most severe need” or “moderately severe need” for the production of more affordable rental housing. In many midwestern “legacy cities,” housing and other property vacancy is “at epidemic levels.” Metro areas throughout the Southeast see especially low rates of intergenerational mobility, which is directly linked to housing opportunity. And affordability and supply both are growing problems in many mid-sized cities in the middle of the country, nowhere near either coast.

Yes, the housing crisis manifests itself differently in different local communities — and yes, in some places the market serves most everyone pretty well — but the crisis in the sum of its local dimensions is absolutely a national one.

Better than getting annoyed at something on the internet, take advantage of the late summer lull and congressional recess to do something to help solve the problem: Ask your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 1703/H.R. 3077).

There are great examples to follow from throughout the state HFA network.

Like Kansas HRC’s Ryan Vincent, whose repeated efforts with Representative Roger Marshall (R-KS) led to him becoming one the newest co-sponsors last week. And Tennessee HDA’s Ralph Perrey, whose recent multi-day tour throughout his state secured several commitments. And Delaware SHA’s Anas Ben Addi, who bent the ear of Senator Coons (D-DE) at an event the other day.

State HFAs like Minnesota Housing and North Carolina HFA are engaging affordable housing developers and advocates in co-sponsorship outreach, through tours of Housing Credit developments in districts and visits with members in Washington when they are back in September. Michigan SHDA and MassHousing are both working on letters to their entire congressional delegations.

Just two months after introduction, 16 percent of the House and 18 percent of the Senate, including more than 40 percent of tax committee members in each chamber, have officially signed on to the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. Thirty percent of House sponsors are first-timers, including 12 freshmen and one member — Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) — who has served for more than 25 years.

That’s a great start, but there’s a lot more to do. The more successful our co-sponsorship efforts are now, the better the prospects for the bill’s passage in the months ahead. And more likely we’ll have a national response — one of many needed — to the national housing crisis.

Stockton Williams | Executive Director

Rural Development Proposed Rule Change In The Federal Register

Rural Development published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 which announces a change to 7 CFR part 3565 regulation and RD Instruction 3565. Currently the Regulation and Instruction states the amounts of the initial and annual guarantee fees that the Agency is charging. The Agency is proposing to amend the regulation by removing the language that indicates the specific amount of the initial guarantee fee and the annual guarantee fee currently being charged by the Agency. Removing the stated amounts will give the Agency the flexibility to increase or decrease the fees. There is 60-day comment period which ends on November 4, 2019. You may access the Proposed Rule here. The notice contains directions on how to submit comments on the Proposed Rule. Please note that at this time, there is no change to the current fees that are being charged by the Agency.