Federal / Agency News Category Archives

House Passes Infrastructure Bill

Last week the House of Representatives passed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package (H.R. 2), which includes several housing provisions. A summary of the housing provisions in the bill can be found here. The measure passed by a vote of 233 to 188, with three Republicans crossing party lines to support it and two Democrats breaking with their party to vote “no.”  The bill now heads over to the Senate for consideration and is unlikely to advance. When asked about the bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “so naturally, this nonsense is not going anywhere in the Senate. It will just join the list of absurd House proposals that were only drawn up to show fealty to the radical left.” Senate Republicans and the Trump administration are reportedly drafting their own infrastructure package.

House Appropriations Committee Passes FY-2021 HUD Funding Measure

On June 7, 2020 the House Appropriations Committee released its draft fiscal year 2021 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies funding bill. The measure was adopted by the Subcommittee on July 8, 2020.  The measure heads next to the Full Committee for an additional markup.  The bill provides a total of $50.6 billion for HUD – an increase of $1.5 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level and $13.3 billion above the President’s 2021 budget request. The measure also includes $49 billion in supplemental funding to HUD programs to support the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Highlights from the $50.6 billion in “general” HUD appropriations, include:

  • $25.8 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance, an increase of $1.9 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level and $2.4 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • $3.2 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund, an increase of $310 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
  • $4.6 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund, an increase of $100 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $405 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $250 million for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, an increase of $75 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
  • $430 million for Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS, an increase of $20 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $100 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, an increase of $100 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
  • $1.7 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, an increase of $350 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
  • $3.4 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, an increase of $638 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $642 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $13.4 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, an increase of $881 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $809 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $893 million for Housing for the Elderly (Section 202), an increase of $100 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $40 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $227 million for Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811), an increase of $25 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.

In addition, to support the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the bill provides an additional $49 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development programs to bolster communities nationwide by making robust and resilient investments in public housing, affordable housing, and community development. Highlights include:

  • $24.25 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund;
  • $300 million for the CHOICE Neighborhoods Initiative;
  • $4 billion for the Community Development Block Grant;
  • $17.5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships;
  • $750 million for capital improvements for properties receiving project-based rental assistance;
  • $750 million for the Housing for the Elderly;
  • $179 million for the Housing for Persons with Disabilities;

More details:

HUD Publishes Housing Notice Extending Moratorium on Evictions for HUD Mortgages in Forbearance

On July 1, 2020, HUD published Housing Notice (2020-7), Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Eviction Moratorium that extends the moratorium on evictions for all HUD-insured or HUD-held mortgages while under forbearance, and also provides guidance on tenant protections for multifamily properties not subject to forbearance and those with HUD-assisted units.

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SCOTUS Decision in Seila Law v. CFBP Will Likely Impact FHFA

A divided Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) recently ruled in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), that restrictions on the removal of the CFPB director are unconstitutional. Under the law that created the CFPB, the director can be removed only for “inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office.” This decision will likely impact the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has a similar structure as the CFPB and has a challenge pending in court related to its structure. The directors of the CFPB and the FHFA will likely no longer be independent regulatory agencies, but rather parts of any presidential administration that can be fired at will.

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IRS provides tax relief for the low-income housing credit and bonds for qualified residential rental projects

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service today issued Notice 2020-53 to provide tax relief to issuers, operators, owners, and tenants of qualified low-income housing projects or qualified residential rental projects financed with exempt facility bonds, and state agencies that have jurisdiction over these projects.

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IRS Issues New Proposed Rule on LIHTC Compliance Monitoring

The Internal Revenue Service issued a proposed rule on the compliance-monitoring duties of state agencies for purposes of the low-income housing credit. The proposed regulations relax the minimum compliance-monitoring sampling requirement for purposes of physical inspections and low-income certification review, providing flexibility and reduced burdens with respect to the requirements set forth in the final regulations published on February 26, 2019.

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House Uses CRA to Reverse OCC’s CRA Rule

The House of Representatives voted along party lines to pass a resolution of disapproval to nullify the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s new rule on Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Congressional Review Act of 1996 gives Congress the power to rescind administration rules within 60 calendar days. The bill (H.J. Res 90) would need to be passed by the Senate (with a simple majority) and be signed by the President, both of which seem unlikely to happen.

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GAO Report: “As More Households Rent, the Poorest Face Affordability and Housing Quality Challenges”

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) focuses on rental housing from 2001 through 2017 and analyzes the share of households that rent, the affordability of rental housing and rental housing conditions. In 2017, almost 7 million more households rented their homes than in 2001, which brought the share of households that rent from an estimated 34 percent to 36 percent.

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