Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
April 10, 2018
President's Message I By David M. Dworkin
Dear Friend,

Congress returns to Washington this week with much to accomplish before the next recess in August: reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, appropriations for FY 2019, confirmations of many Trump administration appointees and housing finance reform, to name a few of interest to NHC members. Next Wednesday, the House will hold a Members Day hearing on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations, giving all members of Congress the opportunity to weigh in on FY 2019 appropriations for HUD.

These activities take on great weight as we mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Fair Housing Act this week. As I have shared in previous editions of the Member Brief, the African-American homeownership rate is lower now than it was in 1968, which is a national tragedy. We can and should do much better, though sustained advocacy, fact-based policy development and a thorough understanding of how to effectively market responsible mortgage products in minority communities.

We also need to be prepared to make the best case to policy makers and the public at large. At the closing plenary of Solutions for Housing Communications next week, we will discuss how advocates can find new avenues for our messages, build alliances outside of the housing sector and help community leaders and elected officials alike understand the negative impact of America’s affordable housing shortage—and what to do about it. There’s still time to register, and I hope to see you there.

David M. Dworkin
President and CEO
News from Washington I By Kaitlyn Snyder
ICYMI: CRA report webinar

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released its report on the modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). NHC held a members-only webinar after the release, providing an overview of the report, a discussion about ways to improve the CRA and next steps for CRA modernization. For more on the Treasury’s CRA report, check out these articles from the American Banker and Reveal that includes comments from NHC’s President and CEO David Dworkin. 
Implementation of LIHTC income averaging

NHC member Novogradac & Company LLP published this blog post on the implementation of Low Income Housing Tax Credit income averaging. The authors walk through the new requirements under income averaging, common misconceptions and possible unit mixes, and describe how income averaging would work with other federal programs like the National Housing Trust Fund and vouchers. They also raise the need for additional guidance from the Internal Revenue Service and highlight areas where the statute and existing guidance are unclear. Novogradac will host a webinar on income averaging on April 17, 2018 from 1-3 p.m. EDT. Register here
Potential use of rescission resolution to veto parts of spending bill

Some congressional Republicans and the White House are considering the use of a little known and rarely used procedure from the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to effectively line-item veto the FY 2018 omnibus bill. The impound procedure gives the president the power to reject specific spending provisions, which must be approved by a 50 percent majority in both chambers of Congress, as opposed to the standard 60 percent threshold in the Senate. The president must submit a message to Congress specifying the amount of funds the administration wants to rescind and from which accounts and programs, along with estimated fiscal and program effects and the reasons for the rescission, according to the Congressional Research Service. 

House appropriations THUD subcommittee to hold its members day hearing 

On Wednesday, April 18 at 10 a.m. EDT, the House appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies will hold its members day hearing. The hearing will be in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2358-A and webcasted here. Members must request to testify by Friday, April 13. NHC encourages our members to ask their representatives to testify at the hearing. Instructions for submitting a request to testify at members’ day and for submitting testimony for the record are available here

Member highlight Social purpose investing powers affordable housing development
By Andrea Nesby

NHC members Housing Partnership Equity Trust (HPET) and Eden Housing joined forces to purchase Quail Run, an apartment complex in San Leandro, California, where rents will be kept affordable to more than 100 families. 

HPET is the first social-purpose real estate investment trust sponsored by nonprofits and was created as a solution for members competing against commercial developers with access to cash, while they needed months, sometimes years, to raise funds to purchase properties. With the acquisition of Quail Run with Eden Housing, an HPET member, HPET's national portfolio grows to nearly 3,000 affordable rental homes.

"This shows what socially responsible investment can do in the Bay Area and across the U.S.," said Anne McCulloch, HPET's chief executive officer and NHC Board of Governors member, in a news release. “As rents rise beyond reach for working Americans, there are solutions that can preserve affordability even in the most expensive markets.”
Treasury announces Opportunity Zone designations

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced Opportunity Zone designations for 15 states and three territories. Submissions were approved for American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virgin Islands and Wisconsin. There will likely be another round of designations as states that requested an extension submit their nominations for approval. 
Nominations for Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee now open

HUD is accepting nominations for its Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee. HUD seeks nominations for eight individuals to serve on the committee; two must be from: the mortgage industry, the real estate industry and HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, as well as two consumers. Nominations can be submitted through this form and are due May 9, 2018. 
Roy Wright leaves FEMA

Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) announced the departure of the deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation, Roy E. Wright. In his role at FEMA, Wright oversaw the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Wright will begin serving as the next president and chief executive officer of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety on April 25. David Maurstad, who is currently the assistant administrator for federal insurance, will serve as acting deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation as well as the director of the NFIP. 

The FY 2018 funding bill extended the NFIP through July 31, 2018. Congress must act by then to either once again extend or reauthorize the program. NHC, through the SmarterSafer Coalition, has called on Congress several times to reform and reauthorize the program. 

Resources available on FHFA’s AHP proposed rule

Last month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency released a proposed rule modifying its Affordable Housing Program. FHFA held a webinar on the proposed changes. The transcript is available here, and the slides are available here. NHC plans to submit comments, and we encourage our members to do the same. If you would like to be involved in the comment writing process, please contact Kaitlyn Snyder or Rebekah King. Comments are due on May 14. 
Our Homes, Our Voices week of action

Our Homes, Our Voices and housing groups across the country will hold a National Housing Week of Action, May 1-8, 2018, to call for greater investments in affordable homes and communities. Check the local events page to see if an event is being planned near you or plan your own event and submit information via this form. Communities are encouraged to host an event that meets the needs of their community, be it a rally, press conference, teach-in, site visit, in-district meeting, call-in day, letter writing campaign or combination of events. 
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.
Defending our American Home since 1931
Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.