Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
May 22, 2018
President's Message I By David M. Dworkin
Dear Friend,

One of the great privileges of my role at NHC is the opportunity I have to connect with you, our members and your incredible work across the country. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Hal Keller and his staff at the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) and tour the Scholar House development in Columbus. I was tremendously inspired with OCCH’s community development achievements; below, you’ll find a note from Hal describing the work. Look out for a similar message from an NHC member each month in the Member Brief, because what we do matters! -David

Columbus Scholar House is a unique Low Income Housing Tax Credit community combining housing and education to expand residents’ access to opportunities for upward mobility. The model finds its origins in Kentucky, and was successfully piloted in Columbus, Ohio, through a partnership with Community Properties of Ohio, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) and the Affordable Housing Trust of Columbus and Franklin County. The original phase, which launched as a pilot in 2012, received Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding to renovate a historic building into a mixed-use space that now holds the Future Scholars Community Learning Center and 10 residential units for first-generation college students and parenting adults.

In 2016, construction was completed on Phase II of Columbus Scholar House, including 28 units financed through Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity provided by OCCH. Scholar House residents must be 18 years of age, low-income, the custodial parent of at least one child and enrolled in a degree-seeking program at an accredited college or university. Through collaboration with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, all residents are qualified for a Section 8 project-based voucher to offset their housing costs, as well as affordable on-site childcare through a partnership with the YMCA of Central Ohio, supportive services and supports that help parenting students overcome barriers to completing their degree. Private on-site amenities include a fitness room, computer room and playground with walking path.  
News from Washington I By Kaitlyn Snyder
David Dworkin moderates panel on access to credit

Today, NHC President and CEO David Dworkin moderated a panel on access to credit at the Mortgage Bankers Association National Secondary Conference with (l-r) David Battany from Guild Mortgage, Deborah Jones of Citizens Bank, Laurie Goodman from the Urban Institute and Tian Liu from Genworth Mortgage Insurance. The panel discussed the “missing 3 million homeowners” who have been left out of the market despite being well-qualified for homeownership. Goodman noted that the amount of risk present in today’s mortgage market is half of what was considered healthy during previous periods of responsible lending. Lack of affordable housing production, dire need for process reform at FHA and regulatory disincentives like the False Claims Act also play major roles.
HUD withdraws AFFH extension, tool

On Friday, May 18, HUD announced via email its intention to publish three notices in the Federal Register clarifying Consolidated Plan program participants’ legal obligation to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing. The first notice withdraws HUD’s Jan. 5, 2018, notice that extended the deadline for communities to submit Assessments of Fair Housing. The second notice advises that HUD is withdrawing the Assessment Tool for Local Governments. The third notice advises communities that the legal obligation to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing remains in effect.
FHA commissioner nomination to move forward

Last week, Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) office announced that an agreement has been reached that will allow floor consideration of Brian Montgomery's nomination as FHA commissioner. The debate and confirmation will occur at a time to be determined sometime this week. According to PoliticoPro, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) lifted her hold on all HUD nominees after HUD agreed to adjust rents for tenants forced to relocate from two Illinois housing complexes that had fallen into disrepair.
Senate Banking hearing on conservatorship

Tomorrow at 10 a.m. EDT the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing titled, “Ten years of conservatorship: The status of the housing finance system.” The Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Melvin Watt is the sole witness. The hearing will take place in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 538, and via webcast. 
Treasury designates additional Opportunity Zones

Last week, the Department of the Treasury announced Opportunity Zones in 26 additional states as well as Guam and Washington, D.C. The new designations bring the total number to 46 states and six territories. The Treasury has yet to release designations for four states: Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Utah. To view the current list of Opportunity Zones, visit this page and click “List of designated Qualified Opportunity Zones.” 
NHC sends rescission letter to Congress

On May 22, NHC sent this rescission sign-on letter to Congress asking members to oppose the administration’s harmful rescission proposal. Thank you to everyone who signed on! Today, the Government Accountability Office released its report on the rescissions package. 
FHA extends foreclosure moratorium for Hurricane Maria victims

Last week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that it is extending its foreclosure moratorium to borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages for an additional 90 days. This action will stave off foreclosures for homeowners in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands until August 16. This is the third time FHA has extended the foreclosure moratorium for Hurricane Maria victims. According to a December 2017 New York Times article, about one-third of the island’s 425,000 homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments, and some 90,000 borrowers became delinquent as a consequence of Hurricane Maria. 
Senate THUD appropriations subcommittee releases bill, reports favorably to full committee

Last week, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations subcommittee released the FY 2019 bill and favorably reported it to the full appro priations committee with no amendments. Overall, the bill provides $941 million more than the FY 2018 enacted omnibus spending bill provided for HUD. The full approrpriations committee will mark up the bill on Wednesday, May 23 at 10 a.m. EDT in Rayburn House Offfice Building, room 2118, and via webcast
President Trump announces nominee to head Ginnie Mae

Last week, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Michael Bright as the president of Ginnie Mae at HUD. Bright currently serves as executive vice president, chief operating officer and acting president of Ginnie Mae. Previously, he was the director for financial markets at the Milken Institute and senior vice president of BlackRock/PennyMac. Earlier in his career, he served as the senior financial policy advisor for Sen. Bob Corker (D-Penn.). 
Reps. Duffy, Cleaver introduce voucher bill

Chairman Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Ranking Member Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) of the House Financial Services, Housing and Insurance subcommittee introduced the Housing Choice Voucher Mobilization bill, H.R. 5793. Today at 10 a.m. EDT the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing to mark up several bills, including H.R. 5793. The bill is also included in the THUD appropriations bill. 
Everyone in America should have equal opportunity to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. The National Housing Conference educates decision makers and the public about housing policies and practices to move housing forward together. NHC convenes and collaborates with our diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, nonprofit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, real estate professionals, equity investors and more to advance our policy, research and communications initiatives to effect positive change at the federal, state and local levels. Founded in 1931, we are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
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