News

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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FHFA, Fannie and Freddie Extend Forbearance

To help renters in multifamily properties stay in their homes and to support multifamily property owners during the Coronavirus national emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are allowing servicers to extend forbearance agreements for multifamily property owners with existing forbearance agreements for up to three months.

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House Dems $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Package Includes Affordable Housing Provisions

The House Democrats’ recently released infrastructure bill, Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), includes a myriad of housing provisions. A vote on the legislation is expected before the Fourth of July recess. While the bill is likely to pass the Democrat-led House, it will face greater resistance in the GOP-led Senate. The bill does not include any pay-fors and Republicans are already panning the bill as dead-on-arrival. However, the bill may set an important marker for future infrastructure negotiations. The Trump administration is reportedly drafting a $1 trillion infrastructure package aimed at spurring the economy.

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