Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
July 17, 2018
President's Message I By David M. Dworkin
David is off this week. His column will return on July 24.  
News from Washington I By Kaitlyn Snyder &
Grant Kirkpatrick
Congress stalled on appropriations

As we approach the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2018, it seems less and less likely that Congress will be able to pass a budget deal. A recent Politco article argues that Congress and the White House continue to be unable to find common ground on appropriations for a veteran’s health program. This is the latest in a string of disagreements that has left the appropriations process stalled. Even with both the House and Senate remaining in Washington through their typical August recess, there does not appear to be enough time for both chambers to reconcile a bill before the end of the fiscal year. The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is also expected to consume considerable lawmaker attention. Another continuing resolution is likely. 
Connecting Communities to host webinar on Opportunity Zones

On Thursday, July 26 at 3 p.m. EDT, Connecting Communities will host a free webinar on the new Opportunity Zones, which were introduced in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Opportunity Zones aim to incentivize long-term investment in distressed communities by providing tax benefits on investments in these zones. Speakers will discuss how the tax incentive is expected to work and what the implementation of this new program will look like. Presenters include Rachel Reilly of Enterprise Community Partners, Eric Robertson of Community LIFT and Amanda Roberts of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Daniel Davis of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will moderate. You can register for the webinar here. Registration is free and required.

Member Highlight I By Andrea Nesby
On June 11, NHC Leadership Circle member NeighborWorks® America named Marietta Rodriguez as its new president and CEO. Rodriguez, who has been with NeighborWorks for 20 years, most recently served as interim senior vice president for national initiatives. In this position, she managed a national down payment assistance program totaling more than $300 million to support more than 17,800 new homebuyers since 2012. 

"I am honored to lead NeighborWorks® America into its next phase of serving the people and communities who need it most," Rodriguez shared in a press release. "It's a privilege to work with the top-notch housing and community development professionals at NeighborWorks® America, and the results-oriented network of nonprofits it supports. Together we can empower more individuals, create more opportunities and transform more communities."

Rodriguez will succeed Jeffrey Bryson, who has served as interim president and CEO since September. She will start her new position on Aug. 13.
Upcoming CFBP nomination hearing

On Thursday, July 19, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will hold a nomination hearing for Kathleen Kraninger, who has been nominated to be the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This hearing will take place at 10 a.m. EDT in Dirksen 538. You can watch a live stream of the nomination hearing here.
House Committee on Energy & Commerce holds hearing on the benefits of rural broadband

Today, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce held a hearing entitled, “Realizing the Benefits of Rural Broadband: Challenges and Solutions.” According to a memo from the committee majority staff, “Expanding broadband access and deployment, particularly in rural America, is a top priority for the Subcommittee to ensure its benefits are enjoyed by all Americans.” This hearing was joined by a number of private business leaders in the broadband industry, who offered their perspective on the issue. You can watch a recording of the hearing here.
Follow up: Congressional briefing on the nation's housing shortage and affordability crisis

Last Thursday, July 12, NHC member Up For Growth hosted a “Briefing on the Nation’s Housing Shortage and Affordability Crisis.” The briefing featured a diverse group of individuals within the affordable housing industry. Each panelist gave their unique insight into the challenges that face creating affordable housing. Additionally, the event was joined by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), and Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), who each acknowledged that there is a housing crisis in America and expressed their desire to work across the aisle to find common ground and implement solutions. Rep. Heck, who is particularly passionate about housing, moderated a brief Q&A session at the end in which he expressed his strong desire to bring more public attention to the issue. Without increased public attention, Rep. Heck argued that issues such as health care and higher education will continue to receive more attention than housing. 
The National Housing Conference has been defending the American Home since 1931. Everyone in America should have equal opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. NHC convenes and collaborates with our diverse membership and the broader housing and community development sectors to advance our policy, research and communications initiatives to effect positive change at the federal, state and local levels. Politically diverse and nonpartisan, NHC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
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