Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
October 3, 2018
President's Message I By David M. Dworkin

This November will be one of the most consequential elections in recent history. Turnout is expected to set records for a midterm election, and a record number of seats in Congress are expected to change parties. Elections have consequences. I encourage all my friends and colleagues to vote. Just three weeks after the election, members from both the current Congress and the new one will be in town, and so can you. NHC will host our  Solutions for Affordable Housing 2018 convening , N ov. 27-28 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. We expect a record number of participants from Congress and the Trump administration to meet with us and discuss the critical housing policies and issues we all deal with every day, and they need to hear from you.

Join us for this year’s Solutions for Affordable Housing convening, where you can discuss housing finance reform, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, manufactured housing solutions, CRA modernization, Opportunity Zones and housing production and preservation, among others. This year’s convening will also feature NHC’s first Advocacy Day, giving you the chance to make your case for the policies your community needs in the halls of Congress, the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. You still have plenty of time to register to attend and make your travel arrangements.

Sponsorships  for Solutions for Affordable Housing 2018 are available at several levels. Your organization can join current sponsors JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and the National Association of Home Builders, among others, to make this event a big success. If you’d like to sponsor part of the convening, please reach out to  Amanda Mitchell   soon, before all of the best opportunities are taken.

David M. Dworkin
President and CEO
News from Washington I By Tristan Breaux and
Kaitlyn Snyder
Federal appropriations update

Last week, Congress and President Trump approved H.R. 6157, which funds five of the 12 appropriations subcommittees for all of FY 2019. Funds for the rest of the government, including HUD, have been temporarily funded through a continuing resolution that expires on Dec. 7, 2018. The House cancelled its October session and is now in recess until Nov. 13, after the midterm elections, which will occur on Nov. 6. This “lame duck” session of Congress could run through the end of the year before the new Congress – potentially under new leadership – takes control on Jan. 1, 2019. 
NHC’s October Restoring Neighborhoods webinar today!

Join NHC today from 2-3 p.m. EDT for a webinar presentation from Danielle Lewinski, vice president and director of Michigan Initiatives at the Center for Community Progress (CCP), and Tracey Evans, executive director of the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation, on CCP’s new report, “ Creative Placemaking On Vacant Properties: Lessons Learned from Four Cities.” The report explores emerging practices in four communities: Kalamazoo, Michigan; Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania; Newburgh, New York and Macon, Georgia and offers practical guidance for communities curious about how to leverage the power of creative placemaking to transform vacant properties. Register here.
FHA extends FFB risk-sharing initiative

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced via email it will extend the multifamily risk-sharing initiative with the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) for eligible Housing Finance Agencies through Dec. 31, 2018. The initiative was originally scheduled to stop accepting new applications on Sept. 30, 2018, but will now accept new applications through the end of the year, up to the current program maximum of $3 billion. FHA also announced it will review the effectiveness of the program to determine if it should be extended into 2019. The FFB risk-sharing initiative started in 2015 to stimulate affordable housing production in response to tightening bond markets and lack of private sector funding and liquidity that followed the financial crisis. NHC has been working with the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders and other members to extend and expand the program. On Sept. 13, we sent this letter to the Treasury Department, which led to a meeting of the National Economic Council where the extension was granted.
House passes technical fix to restore Ginnie Mae’s ability to guarantee 2,500 mortgages for veterans

Last week, the House passed the Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2018 ( H.R. 6737). The bill amends the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act ( S. 2155) by restoring Ginnie Mae’s ability to guarantee securities backed by refinanced mortgages that were issued to veterans and insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As we reported last week, a provision within S. 2155 barred Ginnie Mae from guaranteeing securities backed by refinanced VA loans until 210 days after the first monthly payment is made on the original loan or when six full monthly payments have been made, whichever is later. Because the ban took effect immediately, about 2,500 pending loans for veterans no longer qualified for a Ginnie Mae guarantee. 
New Fannie Mae healthy affordable housing innovation challenge

Fannie Mae announced a $10 million innovation challenge, which seeks proposals on healthy affordable housing. Proposals should respond to one or more of the following problem statements:

  • How might we use innovative technology and design to improve affordable homes to better support health, promote overall wellness or prevent disease and illness?

  • How might we leverage finance vehicles to incentivize the creation of affordable homes that promote health and wellness?

  • How might we foster design that promotes diverse, sustainable, multigenerational affordable communities in which all individuals can remain a vibrant part of their community through every stage of life?

The deadline to apply is Nov. 1.
Member Highlight I By Kaitlyn Snyder
NAR announces new SVP of government affairs

On Oct. 2, NHC Gold member the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) introduced Shannon McGahn as its new senior vice president of government affairs. McGahn previously worked with House and Senate leadership, senior White House aides, relevant committees and federal agencies to address and enact its legislative and regulatory priorities. She also served as counselor to the secretary of the Department of the Treasury, leading early efforts to build relationships with members of tax writing and banking committees, as well as House and Senate leadership, to develop consensus on legislative initiatives.
FHA to require second appraisal for certain reverse mortgages

Last week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it will begin requiring lenders originating new Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) to provide a second property appraisal in cases when FHA determines there may be inflated property values. This determination will be made through a risk assessment conducted by FHA. The requirement is in effect from Oct. 1, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2019, at which point FHA will decide whether to continue it. In a 2017 evaluation, HUD found that higher-than-expected losses in the HECM program could be attributed, in part, to “optimistic estimates of collateral value driven by exaggerated property appraisals when the loan was originated.”
NCRC webinar on AFFH

Join the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) on Friday, Oct. 5, from 10:30 a.m. to noon EDT for a webinar on HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. In August, HUD issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on streamlining and enhancing the AFFH rule. Comments are due on Oct. 15. The webinar will cover the history of the AFFH rule, the ANPR and sample comments. Register here
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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