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Housing is the big winner in this year’s election

It’s clear today that Housing is the big winner in this year’s election. As a result, NHC is poised to be a big winner in this year’s election, as the affordable housing crisis is a top line agenda item for many newly elected members of Congress – in part because the housing crisis is impacting so many of their constituents, from middle income families to rising evictions and growing homelessness. Housing policy is most successful and most impactful when it is inclusive and bipartisan, and nothing forces bipartisan solutions like a divided government. (more…)

All eyes are on the Senate this election

With less than two weeks until the election, all eyes are on the Senate. Will Democrats upset the odds and take back control, or will we have a divided government with Republicans in charge of the White House and the Senate, while Democrats take back the House? I know that many of my friends who are life-long Democrats still fret about the House but take it from a life-long Republican who is now an Independent – stick a fork in it, it’s done. Nothing illustrates this better than the Cook Political Report’s House Ratings Chart, which shows 29 Republicans and only one Democrat with races rated as “toss-ups.” Twelve more Republican seats lean Democrat while only one Democrat seat leans Republican. The House is going blue and no one knows it as well as my former colleagues in Republican offices who have resumes ready to go. It’s bad form to send them out now, but if you are in D.C. and have a staff of any size, you’ll be hearing from your GOP friends on the Hill come Nov. 7. (more…)

Two serious risks with rising mortgage rates

The most recent Freddie Mac mortgage survey had some sobering news for the mortgage market. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped 19 basis points to 4.90 percent, leaving rates at the highest level since April 2011. There are two serious risks with rising mortgage rates. Most immediately, higher rates increase the cost of borrowing money, both for home buyers as well as home builders. The second is that some lenders are more likely to market cash-out refinances that weaken the equity levels of existing home loans, increasing risk of default in a recession. (more…)

The personal papers of NHC’s founder, Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch

This week, I’m in Boston for the Urban Land Institute’s 2018 Fall Meeting. In addition to some thought-provoking meetings, I had a chance to visit the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. The purpose of my visit to Radcliffe was to explore the personal papers of NHC’s founder, Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch. NHC has a long and proud history of advocating for every major piece of housing legislation since the creation of the Federal Home Loan Bank System in 1932. Since then, we have successfully fought for the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934, the creation of the Federal National Mortgage Association and federally-subsidized low-income housing in 1938, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 to name a few. (more…)

There’s movement in housing finance reform

Last week, we saw the first bipartisan movement on housing finance reform in many years. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) joined Reps. John Delaney (D-Md.) and Jim Himes (D-N.Y.) to introduce the Bipartisan Housing Finance Reform Act. The approach would eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, moving most of their functions into Ginnie Mae. It would not, however, include enforceable mechanisms to serve the entire market of renters and qualified homebuyers, including underserved markets and manufactured housing.  (more…)

Why you should come to NHC’s Solutions for Affordable Housing 2018 convening

With temperatures in much of the country pushing into the 90s and beyond, it’s a good time to think about fall, which for housing advocates will be as busy as summer was hot. Here at NHC, we are already hard at work planning Solutions for Affordable Housing 2018, Nov. 27-28 at the National Press Club. Over the next few months, we expect the Trump administration to reconsider regulations on fair housing and the Community Reinvestment Act, as well as issue new regulations for Opportunity Zones. Congress will be finalizing spending bills and must reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program in November. I also expect the Trump administration to nominate a candidate to replace Mel Watt, whose term as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency ends in January. (more…)

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing ANPR

This month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on amending its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations. This is the first step in a regulatory process that will likely lead to a new set of regulations on this important civil rights legislation. (more…)

There’s a historic opportunity to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act

This week, I joined several of my affordable housing colleagues at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for a meeting with Comptroller Joseph Otting to discuss his efforts to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA). It was an excellent opportunity for us to become acquainted in advance of what will be an extensive regulatory process likely to last throughout the rest of the year and well into 2019. I expect that this process will begin soon with the release of the OCC’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), the first in a series of legal steps necessary to revise the existing CRA regulation. (more…)

My time at NHC

As the summer comes to a close, I would like to share a few words about my fantastic experience as an intern at the National Housing Conference. (more…)

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