Federal / Agency News Category Archives

FHA Reiterates Green Building Standards Program

In 2016, the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Office of Multifamily Housing Programs introduced a voluntary green building standards program that allowed for a reduced annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) at the rate of 0.25 percent for properties that are committed to green building practices. The reduced MIP for industry-recognized green housing encouraged owners to adopt higher standards for construction, rehabilitation, repairs, maintenance and property operations.

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House Financial Services Committee Announces January Hearing Schedule

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced several updates to the Committee schedule:

January 29 at 10:00 am ET – The full Committee will convene for a hearing entitled, “The Community Reinvestment Act: Is the OCC Undermining the Law’s Purpose and Intent?”

January 29 at 2:00 pm ET – The Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance will convene for a hearing entitled, “Examining the Availability of Insurance for Nonprofits.

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HUD Publishes Proposed AFFH Rule

This week, HUD released a proposed rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AHHF) that would dramatically alter the Obama administration’s final rule published in 2015. The rule changes the definition of AFFH and eliminates the community participation and engagement requirement as well as the requirement that federal grantees complete an analysis of impediments to fair housing. Comments on the proposed rule are due 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

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Treasury and IRS Issue Final Regulations on Opportunity Zones

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final (and proposed) regulations on the Opportunity Zones (OZ) tax incentive. The regulations modify and finalize the two previous proposed regulations that were issued in October 2018 and April 2019. The Treasury notes that “the final rules provide clarity for Opportunity Funds and their eligible subsidiaries in determining qualification and levels of new investment in Opportunity Zones.”

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Freddie Mac White Paper Details Efforts to Preserve Affordable Housing as Areas of Concentrated Poverty Are Revitalized

A new white paper released by Freddie Mac details how communities can use mixed-income and social impact housing to stimulate economic growth and diversity while preserving affordable housing. The research examines properties in areas of concentrated poverty, which are areas designated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that are characterized by disinvestment, persistently high poverty levels, low economic opportunity and high housing costs relative to income.

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