News

FY 2020 Deadline Looms, Senate Appropriations Committee Approves T-HUD Bill

Yesterday the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD) favorably reported its FY 2020 funding bill to the full committee. The full Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the bill at 10:30 am EDT on September 19 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106 and via webcast.

As of publication, the T-HUD bill has yet to be released. Overall the subcommittee received a 302(b) allocation of $74.3 billion, $3.2 billion above the FY 2019 enacted levels. HUD received $56.0 billion in total budgetary resources, which is offset by $7.4 billion in receipts from the Federal Housing Agency/Ginnie Mae for a net funding level of $48.6 billion, an increase of $2.3 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level.

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House Passes Three Housing Bills on Rural Housing Preservation, Carbon Monoxide and Homebuyer Assistance

The House has passed a set of housing-related bills, advancing these measures to the Senate. The Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019 (H.R. 3620) would permanently authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization program, and would authorize $1 billion to carry out the program. The Safe Housing for Families Act of 2019 (H.R. 1690) would authorize over $300 million over three years to fund the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide detectors in HUD’s public housing units.

Finally, the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2019 (H.R. 2852) would make it easier for homebuyers to buy a home with a Federal Housing Administration mortgage by alleviating the current shortage of certified appraisers.

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FHFA Revises Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Multifamily Loan Purchase Caps

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced new multifamily loan purchase caps of $100 million each for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020. The new caps apply to all multifamily business with no exclusions. The FHFA also directs at least 37.5 percent of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac multifamily business to mission-driven affordable housing.

FHFA Hosts Duty To Serve Listening Sessions

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco are hosting four Duty to Serve (DTS) Listening Sessions in the Fall of 2019. These listening sessions are an opportunity for the public to provide input on the Enterprises’ proposed plans for the second DTS plan cycle, 2021-2023.

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Build More Housing Near Transit Act Introduced in Congress

Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan Build More Housing Near Transit Act (H.R. 4307), legislation that aims to increase housing options near transit. This measure would amend the current rating criteria for the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program, which funds transit projects, such as commuter rail, light rail and bus rapid transit, through the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program.

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Economic and Fixed Income Insights, September 17, 2019

In a widely anticipated move, the Federal Reserve cut rates by another quarter-point, setting the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.75 – 2.00 percent.  In their summary statement, the Federal Reserve maintained a generally positive outlook of both the labor market and household consumption, but noted a decline in both exports and business spending. According to the “dot plot,” officials were split on the appropriate future path for rates. 

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Treasury, HUD Release Housing Finance Reform Plan

Last week the Department of the Treasury and HUD sent their Housing Finance Reform Plans to President Trump following his March Memorandum, which ordered the reports. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing on Housing Finance Reform: Next Steps with HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and FHFA Director Mark Calabria as witnesses.

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