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Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
News from Washington I By Quinn Mulholland
Brown, Waters, Heck introduce rental assistance bill

Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act , which would provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance. House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives. The $100 billion provided under the bill can be used for short- and medium-term rental assistance, as well as housing relocation and stabilization activities. At least 40% of the funds must go to households with incomes below 30% of area median income. NHC has signed onto a National Low Income Housing Coalition letter in support of the bill.

Also, NHC joined 43 groups spanning the housing industry for a letter to congressional leaders outlining broadly agreed-upon principles for rental assistance. In a Politico Pro article on the letter, NHC’s David Dworkin shared, “In order to actually get rental assistance enacted into law, the industry, from conservative industry groups to progressive advocates, have got to be on the same page.”

A national survey by found that 95% of renters reported needing help paying their rent in April, and according to the National Multifamily Housing Council Rent Payment Tracker’s latest survey , 80% of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by May 6.
FHFA launches tool to help renters find out if they’re protected from eviction

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on Monday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have created online multifamily property lookup tools to help renters find out if they are protected from evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tools allow renters to determine if the property they live in is financed by one of the GSE and thus included in the eviction moratorium under the CARES Act. States and cities, meanwhile, which have passed their own eviction moratoriums, are grappling with what will happen to renters when those moratoriums end , and they once again face eviction for nonpayment of rent. Colorado’s eviction moratorium will last until the end of May , Texas’s will last until May 18 , and in Idaho, eviction hearings have already resumed . Local lawmakers across the country, including Pennsylvania to New York , are working to extend eviction moratoriums to give renters more time to get caught up on their rent payments.
New York’s decision to close subways sparks concern from homeless advocates

As part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to close New York City’s subway system for daily cleaning between 1 and 5 a.m., city officials removed many individuals experiencing homelessness from the subways on Wednesday. The decision sparked concern from many homeless people and advocates, as the subway serves as a refuge for many in New York’s homeless community, which is at greater risk of contracting Coronavirus. According to New York’s Department of Homeless Services, 650 homeless individuals have contracted COVID-19 and 50 have died from the disease. With the subway closed at night, Mayor Bill de Blasio reported that 139 of the 252 homeless people removed from the subway moved into shelters. But advocates for the homeless decried the decision to remove homeless people from the subway, with Coalition for the Homeless policy analyst Jacquelyn Simone telling Reuters , “Increasing the number of outreach professionals and police officers is not going to address the problem if we don't give people somewhere safe to go.”
Senate Banking Committee holds nomination hearing for HUD nominee

On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to consider the nominations of Brian Miller to be the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery at the Department of Treasury and Dana Wade to be the Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at HUD. In his opening remarks , Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) praised Wade, saying, “I am confident that Mrs. Wade will provide exactly the type of leadership that is needed during this critical time.” In a pool report following the hearing, Crapo told reporters that a vote to confirm Wade and Miller could come soon, but did not give a date. Wade previously served as Acting Federal Housing Commissioner and General Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing. If confirmed, Wade will succeed Brian Montgomery, who was recently nominated by President Trump to serve as Deputy Secretary of HUD, and is also awaiting confirmation.
Chart of the Week
Fannie Mae reports lowest consumer confidence in housing since November 2011

Fannie Mae released its latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index on Thursday, showing a decrease of 17.8 points in April to 63.0, its lowest reading since November 2011. “The 17.8-point decrease reflected consumers’ deepening concerns about both their incomes and the housing market,” said Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Doug Duncan.
What we're reading
Politico published a Q&A with San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly on Thursday focusing on the Fed’s reponse to the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m still eagerly looking at what the data tell us about, is there a need to do more, are the things we’ve done working? But I think those quick aggressive actions have put us in the best position to move forward,” Daly said. Read the full Q&A here .

On Tuesday, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Brookings Institute published the first in a four-part series on innovations in design and construction summarizing findings from a report published by Harvard and NeighborWorks America. The report focused on ways to reduce the costs of building apartments, including materials and building type. Read the report here .

The Washington Post recently published a deep dive into the looming housing crisis posed by many renters’ and homeowners’ inability to make rental and mortgage payments. “The last foreclosure crisis was a slow-moving train; the impact in terms of people was over the course of several years,” National Community Reinvestment Coalition CEO Jesse Van Tol told the Post. “Whereas the current moment, it’s all happening pretty quickly, 25 million, 30 million unemployed in a manner of a few weeks.” Read the article here .

The Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets recently released a new paper calling for the private-label securities (PLS) industry to collaborate on a set of best practices in the provision of forbearance relief to struggling homeowners. The paper focuses on the contractual rules and challenges and competing priorities that PLS stakeholders must navigate to deliver meaningful consumer relief. Read the paper here .
The week ahead
The National Housing Conference has been defending the American Home since 1931. We believe 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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