Weekly update from the National Housing Conference
News from Washington | By Luke Villalobos
Ways and Means discusses housing shortage

On Wednesday, a House Ways and Means Committee hearing titled Nowhere to Live: Profits, Disinvestment, and the American Housing Crisis discussed the prevailing housing crisis driven by an affordable housing shortage.
“There are few issues more complex in American urban life than the issue of housing,” said Chairman Richard Neal when opening the hearing. Neal noted that he has a particular interest in the impact of local zoning on affordable housing. 
Rising housing costs in rental and homeownership markets have significantly contributed to the nation’s overall economic health and current inflation rates. Witnesses for the hearing included Dr. Akilah Watkins, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Center for Community Progress; Dr. Christopher Herbert, Managing Director, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University; and Edward Pinto, Senior Fellow and Director of the American Enterprise Institute Housing Center.
Dr. Watkins spoke to the challenges that disinvested communities face, including hyper-vacancy and the appraisal gap. She also talked about a lack of mortgage products available for small-balance mortgages that predominately impact communities of color. Her testimony offered land banks and community land trusts as solutions to some of these issues. Dr. Herbert presented the most recent findings from the Center’s annual report, State of the Nation’s Housing 2022. The testimony highlighted record-setting gains in home prices and rents, tight market conditions driving housing prices, and lagging new construction. Finally, Mr. Pinto’s testimony focused on not repeating mistakes from the past and further exacerbating the housing supply crisis. He argues that we need more market-rate supply to stop the price spiral.
All three witnesses mentioned the need for enacting the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act as a legislative tool to help address these housing issues. NHC strongly supports Neighborhood Homes.

FHFA reports on non-performing loan sales

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a new report on non-performing loan (NPL) sales by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) on Monday. The sale of NPLs reduces the number of delinquent loans in the Enterprises’ portfolios, transferring credit risk to the private sector with a requirement from buyers to be designed to help achieve favorable outcomes for borrowers.
The report includes information about NPLs sold through December 31, 2021 and reflects borrower outcomes on NPLs sold through June 30, 2021. Highlights from the report on NPL include that NPLs in New Jersey, New York, and Florida represent 41 percent of the NPLs sold. Fannie Mae has sold 104,467 loans with an average delinquency of 2.7 years, and an average LTV of 90 percent. Freddie Mac has sold 50,505 loans with an average delinquency of 2.7 years and an average LTV of 90 percent.
Barr confirmed as Fed Vice Chair

Michael Barr was confirmed as the vice chairman for supervision for the Federal Reserve by the Senate on Wednesday. The brings central bank’s board to a full seven members, a capacity that hasn’t happened in nearly a decade. Barr was elected on a bipartisan vote.
“Today’s confirmation of Michael Barr as Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve is important progress for my plan to tackle inflation and for sound oversight as we transition to steady and stable growth,” said President Biden in a statement.
Barr had been serving as dean of public policy at the University of Michigan and has previously been an assistant Treasury secretary during the Obama administration, where he played a key role in developing the Dodd-Frank Act. He is the third addition to the Board under the Biden administration. 


HUD announces funding opportunity for veteran housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Monday a new $10.4 million funding opportunity in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The funding will go to the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program (VHRMP) for the rehabilitation of the homes of Veterans with low-incomes and disabilities. The funding is competitive and awards of up to $1 million will be granted to nonprofit organizations that primarily serve veterans.
“Every Veteran deserves a good, safe home in the country they fought and sacrificed to defend,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “This funding will go a long way toward making that happen, helping Veterans with low-incomes and disabilities by upgrading their homes to make sure they can live happily and independently. We are proud to work with HUD to serve these Vets who have served our country so well.”
The application deadline is August 24, 2022 and funds will be awarded by September 15, 2022. 
OBM Publishes latest President's Management Agenda

Last Friday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published the latest quarterly update for the President’s Management Agenda (PMA). The PMA offers a vision of the progress of the nation from the administration with three core priorities: strengthening and empowering the federal workforce; delivering excellent, equitable, and secure federal services and customer experience; and managing the business of government to build back better. The updates include several Agency Priority Goal updates, with HUD’s priority being “By September 30, 2023, make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring by reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness by 15% from 2020 levels.” Two progress updates for this agency goal were published for May and June 2022. 
NHC Seeks Marketing Associate

The National Housing Conference is currently seeking a Marketing and Communications Associate to join our team in DC. The Associate will be responsible for crafting a major part of NHC’s written communications, including our newsletter, press releases, and marketing materials.
Applicants should possess outstanding writing and editing skills, as well as familiarity with cutting-edge marketing techniques. The individual should have experience in social media and website content management systems. The ideal candidate will be a team player who is energetic, organized, creative, and self-motivated to join our busy marketing and communications department.
Interested candidates can apply on the NHC website.
NCSHA request extended flexibilities

The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Treasury urging the agencies to extend and expand certain temporary Housing Credit relief provisions last Friday. The extensions were requested as a result of a survey that NCSHA performed last month to understand which provisions from IRS and Treasury were most critical for on the ground assistance. The letter notes that not all flexibilities needed extensions, only specific flexibilities identified surrounding placed-in-service dates and casualty loss deadlines. 
Chart of the week

CoreLogic data reports that single-family homes purchased by investors increased at a record high

New data from CoreLogic shows homes purchased by investors increased in the first quarter of 2022 after a slight lag at the end of 2021. The data makes a year-over-year comparison illustrating that non-investor home purchases are down significantly while investor purchases are rising. NHC used this data to examine the major markets where investors are buying large shares of available homes. Atlanta shows the highest share of investor purchases at nearly 43% of homes sold.
What we're reading
A blog post by Fannie Mae celebrates $1 billion worth of issuance for its Single-Family Green Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) program. The program, which hit its second anniversary, finances single-family homes that exceed energy and water saving standards. Fannie Mae developed the program to help curb emissions and inefficient water use, relying on green building certifications that have strict requirements as to what constitutes an energy-efficient residence.
An article in The Atlantic discusses the implications of overturning Roe v. Wade and the potential for mass migration as a response. It explores the possibility of people moving to access abortion care as a motivator for migration. However, the article determines this as an extreme, noting that housing, jobs, and family are the most common reasons for moving. 
A new report from Freddie Mac Multifamily examines the risk and impact of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties exiting the program. Key findings in the report show that 86.8% of LIHTC properties are still in the program and subject to rent restrictions. Properties that left the program tend to have higher rents than those still in the program but remain lower than conventional market-rate units. Most remain affordable at 60% AMI.
The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing titled Better Together: Examining the Unified Proposed Rule to Modernize the Community Reinvestment Act. The hearing featured testimony from several witnesses, including Catherine Crosby, Chairperson for National Community Reinvestment Coalition. She stated, “The NPR proposed some significant improvements in test rigor but the improvements are not across the board on all aspects of exams.”
The week ahead
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.
Defending Our American Home since 1931
Copyright © 2022. All Rights Reserved.