• 19 Jul 2018 1:44 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)

    On July 17, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing entitled “The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress”. Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Jerome H. Powell delivered testimony to the full committee.

    While the hearing itself was largely focused on broader issues of monetary policy, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) did bring up during the Q&A portion the issue of the future of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Senator Tester noted his concerns about the potential economic impact of requests such as Fannie’s recent one to draw $3.7 billion from the US Treasury. Chairman Powell declined to offer up specific plans, but did acknowledge that GSE Reform was something that should be accomplished sooner rather than later.

    The comments during the hearing on GSE Reform are unsurprising, as both the Trump Administration and Members of Congress from both Caucuses have brought up the issue since President Trump took office. To that end, it is worth mentioning that President Trump’s recently released Federal Restructuring Proposal does call for GSE Reform, but no formal legislative language has resulted from it. It is unlikely, at this rate, that Congress will take up the issue of GSE Reform in the immediate future, as both Chambers still need to pass the FY 2019 Spending Bills, and the Senate still has a long list of nominees to vote on (including the nominee for HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing). However, GSE reform is still very much on the minds of lawmakers, and IRHP members should keep an eye on its progression.

    Watch the hearing

    HousingWire has a good summary of the day's events

  • 3 Jul 2018 1:24 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)
    On July 2nd and 3rd, HUD published two notices which implement a series of previously announced modifications to the RAD Program, one notice in the Federal Register, and the other a Supplemental Guidance notice. Highlights of the two notices include:

    Federal Register
    • RAD 1 unit cap is increased to 455K and the application deadline is extended to September 30th, 2024. Additionally, PHAs that previously submitted an LOI to hold their place on the waitlist now have 60 days to submit an application.
    • Commitments to enter into a HAP Contract (CHAPs), portfolio awards, and multi-phased awards awarded on or after January 1, 2019 (under RAD 1) will see rents increased to levels based on the FY 2018 RAD rent base year (as determined by modifications found in the FY 2018 Omnibus to the Capital Fund Formula).
    • PBRA conversions of Rent Supp and RAP properties under RAD 2 that are located in High Cost Areas (as identified in Housing Notice 2017-06) will have initial rents set at comparable market rents, without regard to any FMR caps. Additionally, over the 20-year term of the HAP Contract, rents will be adjusted according to Mark-Up-To-Market processes. The notice states that HUD is not prepared to issue the previously-described modification to initial contract rent setting for PBV conversions at this time.
    Supplemental Guidance
    • PHAs are now permitted to rent-bundle any non-RAD PBV to the PBV assistance provided by the RAD program, provided the PHA uses its own voucher funding to supplement rents, as no additional voucher funding for PBV rent-bundling will be provided through the RAD program. HUD will review the rents proposed for the non-RAD PBV contract to ensure the PHA does not exceed the aggregate subsidy available for all rent-bundled projects.
    • If the Contract Administrator agrees to set aside 25% of units in a property for households exiting homelessness or permanent supportive housing, HUD will permit a 25% increase in the allowable development fee, subject to the LIHTC allocating agency's limitations, if applicable.
    • Additionally, the Supplemental Guidance notice details a new, streamlined RAD conversion process for small PHAs on pages 5-9 of the document.

    Supplemental Guidance notice (streamlined RAD conversion for small PHAs on pages 5-9)

  • 26 Jun 2018 1:59 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)
    On June 20th, IRHP hosted its 2018 Mid-Year Meeting at the Offices of Nixon Peabody in Washington, DC. The day began with an update on recent events at the Federal level, as well as a discussion on the state of HUD's Mark to Market Portfolio over the next 3 to 5 years and the need for rent increases other than the OCAF. 

    The bulk of the Meeting was centered around a discussion with the Director of HUD's Office of Recapitalization, Thomas R. Davis. The discussion focused primarily on recent events surrounding the RAD program, such as the implementation of key provisions from the FY 2018 Omnibus. It is important to mention that Mr. Davis made clear that the Federal Register notice for the increase to the RAD unit cap will hopefully be published in the coming weeks, as will a Supplemental Notice making some slight adjustments to RAD 1 and Revision 4. Additionally, the Federal Register will also address the amendment in the FY 2018 Omnibus by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), which sets initial rents for RAD2 and RAP/Rent Supp properties at a comparable market rent in high-cost areas.

  • 26 Jun 2018 1:54 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)

    On June 21st, the White House released President Trump's proposal for Federal restructuring and reorganization, entitled "Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations". Some highlights are as follows:
    • USDA's Rural Housing Loan Guarantee and Rental Assistance Programs would be moved from USDA's authority and relocated to HUD, thus making them HUD programs. (pages 35-36 of the Proposal)
    • CDBG would be moved out of HUD's umbrella and would instead be merged into a new "Bureau of Economic Growth". The proposed "Bureau of Economic Growth" would be located within the authority of the Department of Commerce. (pages 78-80 of the Proposal)
    • Conservatorship for the GSEs (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) would be officially ended, as both certain Members of Congress and the Trump Administration have publicly wanted to accomplish for some time. (pages 75-77 of the Proposal)
    • Establishes a new "Council on Public Assistance", which would consist of all agencies which administer public benefits programs (including HUD). The proposed Council would have the authority to set certain cross-program policies. The proposal makes clear that one such policy would be setting work requirements for recipients of these benefits programs. (pages 27-28 of the Proposal)
    • Implement the Administration's previously-released Rent Reform Proposal, the "Making Affordable Housing Work Act". (page 124 of the Proposal)
    • Consolidate HUD's satellite offices in DC into the main headquarters (the Robert C. Weaver Building). (page 124 of the Proposal)
    It is important to note that the proposal does not contain any legislative text; it is the duty of Congress to approve and implement Federal restructuring plans put forward by a particular President. This is due to Congress' "power of the purse" (e.g. the sole power to approve a Federal Budget lies with Congress), as any Federal restructuring would require a new set of allocations for each Federal Agency. These new allocations, in turn, would also necessitate each Committee (and requisite Subcommittees), in both Chambers, to acquiesce to a new budget authority. This may be easier said than done- while it is easy for a Committee/Subcommittee to agree to an increased budget authority, decreasing that budget authority is another matter entirely. In short, the Trump Administration's Restructuring Proposal will have a hard time making its way through Congress. 


  • 8 Jun 2018 4:30 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)
    Over the past few days, the Senate Committee on Appropriations released the first details of the Senate's FY 2019 THUD Funding Bill through Markups by both the Full Committee on June 7th and the THUD Subcommittee on June 4th. The bill's text has, at the time of writing, just been released, and does match the information already released by the Committee. Highlights of the bill are as follows:

    -$44.5 billion to be appropriated for HUD (a $1.8 billion increase from FY 2018 Enacted Levels).
    -$678 million for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, with the funds available until 9/30/2022.
    -$260 million to reduce lead hazard exposure, with the funds available until 9/30/2020.  
    -$3.3 billion for CDBG, with the funds available until 9/30/2021.
    -$22.780978 billion for Section 8 tenant-based vouchers ($20.52 billion of which will be for renewing expiring contracts). $4 billion of this comes from previously appropriated funds from the FY 2018 Omnibus. 
    -$11.347 for Section 8 PBRA, in addition to $400 million previously appropriated in the FY 2018 Omnibus (making for a total of $11.747 billion for FY 2019).
    -$1.4 billion for HOME, with the funds available until 9/30/2022.
    -$2.775 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund, with the funds available until 9/30/2022
    -$100 million for CHOICE Neighborhoods, with the funds available until 9/30/2021

    Additionally, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a Manager's Package during the June 7th Full Committee Markup. It was added to the bill with Unanimous Consent.

    In both the Subcommittee and Full Committee Markups, the FY 2019 THUD Funding Bill enjoyed unanimous bipartisan support, with Senators from both parties going on record praising the bill, and making note of the positive impact this bill will have in their home states. It is therefore safe to assume that when the bill is put up for a vote in the Senate, it will most likely pass. On that note, it is important to mention that House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has cancelled the August Recess for the expressed purpose of passing FY 2019 spending bills, and voting on the Trump Administration's nominees for various positions.

    Read the bill

    Listen to the Full Committee Markup

    Read the Subcommittee news release with details of the bill

  • 6 Jun 2018 2:28 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)
    On June 5th, the latest edition of the Federal Register was published, and established that the latest allocations by HUD for the Housing Trust Fund are to be set at $266 million for FY 2018. Funds from this pot are to be awarded to all fifty states plus the District of Columbia and the five territories. The purpose of these funds is to increase the supply nationwide of affordable rental housing for families earning less than 30% AMI, as well as to increase rates of home-ownership for families in the extremely low and low-income brackets.

  • 29 May 2018 11:03 AM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)

    On May 23rd, HUD announced C. Lamar Seats as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing. Mr. Seats brings 25 years of experience through a variety of lending institutions in commercial, market, and affordable multifamily mortgage banking. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Seats was a Managing Director at M&T Realty Corporation, where he was responsible for multifamily agency loan production with the FHA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae. IRHP looks forward to working with Mr. Seats in the near future.

  • 29 May 2018 11:02 AM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)
    On May 23rd, the Senate voted to confirm Mr. Brian Montgomery as FHA Commissioner. The final vote count was 74-23. Mr. Montgomery's nomination was sent to the full Senate for a vote by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs back in November 2017. Much like other Trump Administration appointees, Mr. Montgomery's final confirmation vote was delayed for an extended period, at one point even leading to HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson expressing his frustration with the Senate's pace. Mr. Montgomery previously served as FHA Commissioner during the George W. Bush Administration (and the first six months of Barack Obama's Presidency), his tenure lasting from 2004-2009. His appoint was welcomed by many in the affordable housing industry.

  • 16 May 2018 4:14 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)

    The House Committee on Appropriations, ahead of tonight's scheduled markup in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, has released a draft of the FY 2019 THUD Spending Bill. Below are a few highlights-


    • Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance is set to receive $11.374 billion in addition to the $400 million previously appropriated, a total of $11.774 billion of available funds; FY 2018 Omnibus allocated $11.7 billion, meaning that the program would maintain similar funding levels overall.
    • Section 8 Tenant Based Rental Assistance would receive a total of $18.476 billion, in addition to $4 billion previously appropriated. Thus the total for Section 8 Tenant Based Rental Assistance would come out to $22.476 billion, and $20.106 billion is set aside in the bill specifically for Section 8 Voucher Renewals.
    • Funding for the CHOICE Neighborhoods Initiative is to remain at FY 2018 Omnibus levels ($150 million), and those funds are to remain available until September 30, 2022. As a reminder, funds allocated under the FY 2018 Omnibus are available until September 30, 2020.
    • The HOME Investment Partnerships Program is to receive $1.2 billion in funds, a slight decrease from the $1.4 billion allocated in the FY 2018 Omnibus. Funds allocated for FY 2019 are to remain available until September 30, 2022.
    • Funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund is to be maintained at the FY 2018 Omnibus level ($2.75 billion), and this funding is to remain available until September 30, 2022.
    • The funding for the Public Housing Operating Fund is to be maintained at the FY 2018 Omnibus level ($4.55 billion). Funds allocated are to remain available until September 30, 2020.
    • CDBG funding levels are to be maintained at the FY 2018 Omnibus level ($3.3 billion), and would remain available until September 30, 2021.
    • Section 202 Housing for the Elderly is set to receive a slight reduction in funds, with an allocation of $632 million (down from the $678 million allocated in the FY 2018 Omnibus). Funds are to remain available until September 30, 2022.
    • Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities would see a decrease in funding, with the proposal set at $154 million (the FY 2018 Omnibus allocated $230 million). This funding would remain available until September 30, 2022.


    It is clear that the Committee has rejected the Trump Administration's calls for deep cuts to HUD spending, and has also, it seems, chosen to disregard the proposed Rescission Package with this draft of the THUD Spending Bill. While it is not surprising to see some spending cuts, given the Majority Caucus' previous rhetoric about fiscal responsibility, overall the draft shows that key HUD programs still enjoy widespread support from both Parties in Congress.


    THUD Bill (HUD appropriations begin on page 83)

  • 8 May 2018 4:30 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)

    Today, President Trump released his long-talked about Rescission Package, urging Congress to pass his measure. The total cuts in funding amount to around $15 billion, and are, according to the Administration, targeted at programs which have not used their excess funding for an extended period, or which have funds that have been deemed unnecessary and/or unable to be used for the program's original purpose.

    Both HUD and the USDA's Rural Housing Service are slated to take a hit should the rescission pass. HUD's Public Housing Capital Fund would lose upwards of $41 million, while USDA's Rental Assistance Program would lose $40 million. Meanwhile, USDA's Rural Community Facilities Program would lose $2 million.

    It is unfortunate to see the Trump Administration continue to target key affordable housing programs for budget cuts. However, given the opposition from Members of both the House and the Senate, it is unlikely that the Rescission Package will pass. It is nonetheless important for IRHP members to contact their representatives in Congress, and urge them to protect the funding for affordable housing programs.


    Proposal (HUD on pages 19-22 and USDA Rural Housing on pages 4-5)

    White House Announcement

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