All posts by Thom Amdur

Thom joined National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) in 2004 and currently serves as its as Executive Vice-President and Executive Director. NH&RA is a national trade association and peer-network for affordable housing and tax credit developers and related professionals including: investors, lenders, public agencies and professional advisers. Thom directs the association’s day-to-day operations including legislative and regulatory advocacy, committee activities, conferences and events, publications, financial management and strategic planning.

Thom also serves as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Developers Council, a state-wide trade association for affordable housing developers and professionals active in Tennessee. In 2013 he spearheaded the launch of NH&RA’s Preservation through Energy Efficiency Project, a major educational initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Thom also serves on the Board of Directors for International Center for Appropriate & Sustainable Technology (iCAST) as well as the Advisory Board for its ResourceSmart program, a turn-key, cost-effective, green rehab provider for multifamily affordable and market-rate housing communities and nonprofit facilities.

Thom is a frequent speaker at affordable housing, sustainable development and tax credit industry events and has been published in a variety of industry journals including Tax Credit Advisor, Independent Banker, and the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credit Housing. Thom also serves as the Associate Publisher of Tax Credit Advisor, a monthly magazine for tax credit and affordable housing professionals and is an Executive Vice-President at Dworbell Inc., a boutique association management and communications firm in Washington, DC.

Thom was previously employed at a national lobbying firm focusing on financial services and technology issues. Prior to moving to Washington, Thom worked in media relations in the New York State Assembly and as a research assistant for New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Thom graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University with a double major in Political Science and History.

Economic & Fixed Income Insights, June 20, 2018

Presented by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.

Housing starts ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 1.35 million rate in May, according to the Commerce Department. The reading edged past the forecast among most economists. At a 1.35 million pace, housing starts saw the fastest activity since 2007. One weak spot in the report was building permits, which foreshadow future activity. They were at a 1.3 million pace, down 4.6% for the month. In other housing news, weekly mortgage application volume increased 5.1% last week, according to Mortgage Bankers Association. The gain was driven primarily by applications to refinance home loans, which rose 6% for the week.  Turning to the markets, bond yields fell on reignited trade tensions between the US and China. Treasuries rallied with other safe havens leading both the 10-year and 30-year UST yields 6 basis points lower for the week.   In line with their taxable counterparts, municipal bond yields also trended downward.  The 10-year MMD finished 2 basis points lower to yield 2.46% while the 30-year MMD was 4 basis points lower to 2.96%.

Interest Rate Observations

Source: Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg. The table above reflects market conditions as of June 19, 2018.

Important Disclosures

This material was prepared by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel”). This material is for informational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy discussed herein. The information contained is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by Stifel as to accuracy or completeness. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Stifel does not provide accounting; tax or legal advice and clients are advised to consult with their accounting, tax or legal advisors prior to making any investment decision.

 

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated is a broker-dealer registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member FINRA, NYSE & SIPC. © 2018

 

Economic & Fixed Income Insights, June 13, 2018

Presented by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.

The Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark short-term interest rate 0.25% this afternoon and indicated that two more increases are likely in store ahead. The move pushes the fed funds target rate to 1.75%-2.0%. In other economic news, the Producer Price Index for final demand rose 0.50% in May, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices advanced 0.10% in April and 0.30% in March. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index moved up 3.10% for the 12 months ended in May, the largest 12-month increase since climbing 3.10% in January 2012. In the bond markets, yields were largely flat for the week leading up to the Fed’s rate decision. The benchmark 10-year UST climbed 3 basis points to yield 2.96%, and the 30-year UST finished just 1 basis point higher to yield 3.09%.  Municipal bonds showed slightly more volatility with the 10-year MMD 4 basis points higher for the week, and the 30-year MMD 6 basis points higher to 3.00%.

Interest Rate Observations

Source: Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg. The table above reflects market conditions as of June 12, 2018.

Important Disclosures

This material was prepared by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel”). This material is for informational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy discussed herein. The information contained is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by Stifel as to accuracy or completeness. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Stifel does not provide accounting; tax or legal advice and clients are advised to consult with their accounting, tax or legal advisors prior to making any investment decision.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated is a broker-dealer registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member FINRA, NYSE & SIPC. © 2018

Senate Committee Passes FY-19 THUD Spending Bill, Significant Increase for HUD

The US Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its FY-2019 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development spending measure (S. 3023). The Senate committee proposes an additional $4.3 billion in Tenant Based Vouchers and an additional $400 million in Project Based Rental Assistance over the House’s T-HUD funding language (which was approved by the full House Appropriations Committee on May 23). While the House would provide level funding for The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and CDBG, the Senate proposal cuts funding by $50 million and $65 million, respectively. Both measures would increase overall HUD funding, rejecting the White House request to cut funding by almost $11 billion. Neither of the bills are currently scheduled for a floor vote.

Funding Highlights include:

Economic & Fixed Income Insights, June 6, 2018

Presented by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.

Last week, while many market participants extended the long Memorial holiday weekend, a few economic reports were posted. On Wednesday, the final revisions showed the U.S. economic grew at a 2.2% pace in Q1, down from the initial estimate of 2.3%.  On Thursday, personal income rose 0.3% and personal spending rose 0.6% in April, according to Bloomberg. Also on Thursday, the personal consumption expenditures (CPE) index rose 0.2% in April, following a flat reading in March. In the bond markets, yields rose as investors digested a strong jobs report Friday and an equity rally led by technology stocks.  For the week, the 10-year UST climbed 15 basis points to yield 2.93%, and the 30-year UST finished 10 basis points higher at 3.08%.  Municipal yields were less volatile.  The 10-year MMD finished just 3 basis points higher to 2.44% while the long bond finished 7 basis points higher to 2.94%.

Interest Rate Observations

Source: Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg. The table above reflects market conditions as of June 5, 2018.

Important Disclosures

This material was prepared by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel”). This material is for informational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy discussed herein. The information contained is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by Stifel as to accuracy or completeness. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Stifel does not provide accounting; tax or legal advice and clients are advised to consult with their accounting, tax or legal advisors prior to making any investment decision.

 

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated is a broker-dealer registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member FINRA, NYSE & SIPC. © 2018

Economic & Fixed Income Insights, May 30, 2018

Presented by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.

US economic growth slowed slightly more than initially thought in the first quarter amid downward revisions to inventory investment and consumer spending, but income tax cuts are likely to boost activity this year. Gross Domestic Product( GDP) increased at a 2.20% annual rate, according to the Commerce Department on Wednesday, instead of the previously reported 2.30% pace. Political crisis in the Eurozone drove a flight for safety Tuesday that saw bond yields finish dramatically lower for the week ended May 29.  The 10-year US note fell 28 basis points to yield 2.78%, and the 30-year UST fell 23 basis points to 2.98%.  Municipal yields saw similar declines with the 10-year MMD down 14 basis points to 2.41% and the 30-year MMD 20 basis points lower to 2.87%.

Interest Rate Observations

Source: Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg. The table above reflects market conditions as of May 29, 2018.

Important Disclosures

This material was prepared by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel”). This material is for informational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy discussed herein. The information contained is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by Stifel as to accuracy or completeness. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Stifel does not provide accounting; tax or legal advice and clients are advised to consult with their accounting, tax or legal advisors prior to making any investment decision.

 

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated is a broker-dealer registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member FINRA, NYSE & SIPC. © 2018

 

 

Economic and Fixed Income Insights, May 23, 2018

Presented by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s May gathering indicated Fed officials are on track to raise rates again “soon,” and markets have priced a June hike as a near certainty.  The Committee’s view of the overall economy remains generally positive, but the sustainability of recent price pressures remains a concern for the policymakers.  Also of concern to the officials is the flattening yield curve.  Even as the 10-year UST has recently crossed the 3% threshold, the front end of the curve has outpaced the benchmark, and the spread between the 2-year and 10-year UST has tightened to just 49 basis points.  Further flattening will only evoke more unease as an inverted curve has preceded all major recessions in recent history.  Today, the 10-year US note is yielding 3.06%, and the 30-year bond stands at 3.21%.  In the tax-exempt market, both the 10-year and 30-year MMD climbed 4 basis points for the week to yield 2.55% and 3.07% respectively.

Interest Rate Observations

Source: Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg. The table above reflects market conditions as of May 22, 2018.

Important Disclosures

This material was prepared by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel”). This material is for informational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy discussed herein. The information contained is taken from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by Stifel as to accuracy or completeness. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. Stifel does not provide accounting; tax or legal advice and clients are advised to consult with their accounting, tax or legal advisors prior to making any investment decision.

 

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated is a broker-dealer registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member FINRA, NYSE & SIPC. © 2018

C. Lamar Seats Named DAS for Multifamily at HUD; Senate Confirms Brian Montgomery as FHA Commissioner

HUD has announced that C. Lamar Seats as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs. Lamar brings more than 25 years of experience in commercial, market and affordable multifamily mortgage banking through his previous leadership roles with various lending institutions. Immediately before beginning his Federal career with HUD, Lamar was a Managing Director at M&T Realty Capital Corporation where he was responsible for multifamily agency loan production with FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Prior to that, he was CEO of Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC, Senior VP of Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., and Senior VP of Reilly Mortgage Group, respectively.

The Senate also confirmed Brian Montgomery as commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with a vote of 74-23 on May 23, 2018. This marks Montgomery’s second term as FHA commissioner after he held the position under former President George W. Bush and for six months under President Barack Obama. Montgomery was also acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

HUD Suspends Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule Indefinitely

On May 23, HUD has issued three separate but related notices in the Federal Register indefinitely suspending the implementation of the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule and removing its Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) tool for local governments. This was achieved by withdrawing the Local Government Assessment Tool developed by HUD for use by local governments that receive Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Emergency Solutions Grants, or Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS formula funding from HUD when conducting and submitting their own Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) under the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations. HUD has indicated in the Federal Register that since its initial implementation it has become aware of significant deficiencies in the Tool impeding completion of meaningful assessments by program participants and as a result is withdrawing the Local Government Assessment Tool. Following this withdrawal of the Local Government Assessment Tool, HUD will review the Assessment Tool and its function under the AFFH regulations to make it less burdensome and more helpful in creating impactful fair housing goals. Accordingly, this withdrawal notice also solicits comments and suggestions geared to creating a less burdensome and more helpful AFH Tool for local governments.

The notices can be viewed at:

House Delays Action on White House Rescissions Affecting Prior HUD and RD Appropriations

The House has put off a vote on President Trump’s proposed rescission request, which recently passed legal muster under a Government Accountability Office study (only $134 million, all from the Transportation Department, was decided as improper to impound of the total $15.2 billion).

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated the reason is simply an already full docket of for the House to consider between now and the Memorial Day recess. Some have speculated that a delay may also be in place to allow the White House to remove some more politically sensitive issues from the document to better ensure passage in the House, where members are fully aware of elections in less than 6 months.

The effects of such rescissions would be detrimental to affordable housing and community development, clawing back millions of dollars from HUD, Rural Development, the CDFI Fund, and Capital Magnet Fund.

–May 16, 2018– The Trump Administration sent a proposal to Congress on May 8 that calls for the rescission of over $15 billion in prior appropriated federal funds. The following affordable housing and community development related programs would be affected:

  • Over $41 million – HUD’s Public Housing Capital Fund
  • $40 million – Rural Housing Service Rental Assistance Program (Dept. of Agriculture)
  • $2 million – Rural Community Facilities (Dept. of Agriculture)
  • $22.7 million – CDFI Fund (Treasury)
  • $151.2 million – Capital Magnet Fund (Treasury)

NH&RA strongly opposes this proposal and is coordinating with industry partners on a formal response, which will be released shortly.  The plan remains a proposal and has not been put into law.