Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
News from Washington | By Luke Villalobos
FHFA releases Equitable Housing Finance Plans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on Wednesday that it would publish the  Equitable Housing Finance Plans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 2022-2024. The new plans both focus heavily on using Special Purpose Credit Programs that allow lending to specific demographics without violating Equal Credit Opportunity Act provisions. Fannie Mae's plan targets Black consumers, citing the homeownership gap between Black and White households. Freddie Mac's plan focuses on both Black and Hispanic/Latino communities. Housing industry advocates and practitioners, including NHC, have supported the broader use of SPCPs to address persistent racial homeownership gaps. A few days prior, FHFA also published its Mission Report for 2021, highlighting loans made through affordable homeownership programs. 
"The Equitable Housing Finance Plans represent a commitment to sustainable approaches that will meaningfully address the racial and ethnic disparities in homeownership and wealth that have persisted for generations," said FHFA Acting Director Sandra Thompson. "We look forward to working with the Enterprises, lenders, and other housing industry participants to further develop the ideas described in these plans."
FHFA announced the plans in tandem with the agency's updated Pilot Transparency policy. FHFA highlighted its commitment to transparency of pilot programs operated by the Enterprises and the vital role they play as tools for testing permanent policy. Under the new policy, active pilots will be listed with name, description, status, and scope on each Enterprise's website for public view. 
NHC issued a press release on Thursday reacting to the plans. "Sustainably increasing homeownership in underserved markets will require concerted effort and long-term investment. Ultimately, the proof will be in the performance. In the meantime, we look forward to working with both Enterprises to help them meet their objectives," said David Dworkin.
Acting Comptroller discusses CDFIs and MDIs

On Thursday, Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu delivered remarks at the 2022 Community Development Bankers Association Peer Forum. The comments highlighted the importance of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), focusing on today's housing challenges and the need for CDFIs and MDIs now more than ever. 
The remarks noted the commitments the OCC has made to revitalize CDFIs and MDIs, including Project REACH, to remove barriers that prevent full economic participation from marginalized groups. Acting Comptroller Hsu also spoke about the role of the Community Reinvestment Act and the current notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that provides incentives for banks to invest in CDFIs and MDIs. Many housing and community development organizations are currently drafting comment letters related to the CRA NPRM and have been analyzing the modernization effort. Comments are due to the regulatory agencies by Aug. 5.
Congress continues spending negotiations

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee announced the Fiscal Year 2023 markups schedule. Markups will begin on June 15 and conclude on June 30, although dates are subject to change. The most recent reconciliation package was significantly scaled-down from earlier versions, and the inclusion of key housing programs is unknown. 
"Beginning with next week's markups, the Appropriations Committee will build off those transformative investments with bills that continue to help meet the needs of working people, lower costs, and address many of the major challenges we face at home and abroad," said House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). 
HUD launches housing counselor locator tool

HUD announced on Tuesday the launch of a new tool allowing consumers to search for certified housing counseling agencies in their area, either by completing an online form or calling a new hotline maintained by the agency. The tool is available in English and Spanish, with translation services available for more than 200 languages. In addition, it allows users living in remote locations to contact national housing counseling intermediary organizations if no housing counseling agency exists in their area.
"With the increasing role of housing counselors in assisting with urgent housing issues like disaster relief and recovery and housing instability, the importance of being able to quickly connect consumers to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies is vitally important," said Office of Housing Counseling Deputy Assistant Secretary David Berenbaum. "It is thanks to a tremendous partnership between our Office of Housing Counseling and the Office of Single Family Housing that we were able to replace outdated, 25-year-old technology with a robust, comprehensive, and easy-to-use set of tools for consumers."
Federal Reserve to launch tool to help CDFIs meet CECL standard

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors announced Tuesday that it would soon release an additional tool to help community development financial institutions (CDFIs) implement the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) standard. The tool, called the Expected Losses Estimator (ELE), complements the Fed's SCALE tool, released last year, which provides the same service for less complex small financial institutions.
"The Fed's unique approach in providing CECL compliance tools for small banks, through SCALE and today's introduction of the ELE tool for more complex small banks, continue our work to tailor supervisory approaches to fit the size, risk, and business model of financial institutions. I am confident these tools will assist our smaller banks enabling them to prioritize serving the financial needs of their communities and customers," said Fed Governor Miki Bowman.

The Fed will release ELE on June 15, in conjunction with an "Ask the Fed" webinar to answer questions about the new tool.
Chart of the week
Manufactured home prices soared during the pandemic

The Washington Post graphed manufactured home prices over the previous two years, which soared during the pandemic. In addition to the climbing price of manufactured homes, the Post reports that rents in manufactured housing communities have skyrocketed, pushing one of the most reliable forms of affordable housing in the country out of reach for many.
What we're reading
The National Association of Realtors published a report titled Impact of Institutional Buyers on Home Sales and Single-Family Rentals that found that home sales and rental markets continue to suffer from low supply. In addition, the report notes that current housing market conditions have made real estate an attractive market for institutional investors to purchase property and turn them into rentals, with investors making up 13% of the residential sales market in 2021 and priced out many first-time homebuyers. 
new study by the National Wildlife Federation examines how strategic integration of onsite water reuse can benefit affordable housing properties. The study found that onsite systems helped spread climate-resilient technologies to urban populations and helped reduce water bills, increase access to green space, and ease some elements of stress with a resilient water supply. However, the authors also found that onsite reuse could contribute to gentrification and require combined anti-displacement efforts for overall success.
The week ahead
Monday, June 13
NLIHC: Our homes, our votes, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, June 14
Wednesday, June 15
Thursday, June 16
Friday, June 17
The National Housing Conference is a diverse continuum of affordable housing stakeholders that convene and collaborate through dialogue, advocacy, research, and education, to develop equitable solutions that serve our common interest.
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