News

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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OCC Releases CRA Proposed Rule

Last week the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released a proposed rule that would modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Regulations. The proposal would overhaul CRA assessment boundaries, criteria for eligible CRA activities, and how banks are scored overall for their performance.

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Virginia Governor Proposes $113 Million for Affordable Housing in 2020-2022 Budget

Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) announced his proposed budget will include $92 million in new funding to address housing affordability, eviction rates and supportive housing throughout the Commonwealth. The Governor’s proposed budget invests $63 million in the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (VHTF), bringing the total amount to $84 million over three years.

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Economic and Fixed Income Insights, December 17, 2018

The housing market posted strong results this week. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that housing starts rose 3.2 percent in November, pulling the annual pace up from 1,323,000 to 1,365,000, a three-month high. In other housing news, building permits unexpectedly rose 1.4 percent in November from 1,461,000 to a 1,482,000-unit pace, a more than twelve-year high.

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