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My summer at NHC

As my time at the National Housing Conference is coming to an end, I thought I’d share my reflections on my accomplishments as an intern and how I grew professionally in this role. There are so many things I could list, but I think these are the most important: (more…)

Under water markets

The nation’s severe affordable housing shortage has been the subject of much news coverage. Cities like San Francisco, New York, Washington and Boston have experienced huge increases in property values that make buying a home – especially a first home – impossible for most people. NHC’s Paycheck to Paycheck database demonstrates this very effectively. Today, a homebuyer in Washington, D.C., has to earn over $105,000 per year to afford a moderately priced home. This is significantly out of reach for nearly every teacher, legal secretary, firefighter and retail salesperson in the city. You can check housing affordability for median priced homes for purchase and for rental in your city here. (more…)

Public housing rent increases

When HUD Sec. Ben Carson testified before the House Financial Services Committee last week, an issue we had hoped was dead and buried reemerged in the public debate: Whether to raise rents on the poorest residents living in HUD-assisted households. Earlier in the month, he suggested the Trump administration was backing away from the controversial plan, which has served as a distraction from the hard work of developing sensible, bipartisan public housing reforms. But at the hearing, Sec. Carson said as many as 400,000 people would likely be impacted by the increases. (more…)

Trump’s administration’s plan for housing finance reform

Last week, the Trump administration surprised many in the housing industry by including a plan for housing finance reform, hidden deep within the Office of Management and Budget’s federal reorganization proposal. Unlike the reorganization proposal, which focused on far-right, pie-in-the-sky ideas like merging the departments of Labor and Education, the housing finance proposal was carefully written and measured. (more…)

HUD meeting on rent reform

Last week, a small group of NHC members and other experts on affordable housing had lunch with the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Pam Patenaude, and several other senior officials at HUD. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Sec. Ben Carson’s recent proposal to, in his words, “reform decades-old rent policies that are confusing, costly and counterproductive, in that the incentives they create often fail to adequately support individuals and families receiving HUD rental assistance in increasing their earnings.” Sec. Carson noted that the draft was a means to “begin a necessary conversation about how we can provide meaningful, dignified assistance to those we serve without hurting them at the same time.” It’s clear from our discussions here at NHC and with HUD that the current draft doesn’t get us there, for a wide range of reasons. (more…)

Happenings at NHC

May has been our busiest month of the year at NHC. Today, we issued a press release on the Trump administration’s gratuitous and ill-informed budget rescissions. We formed an Opportunity Zone Task Force made up of our members, which has already met once and will sit down with senior Treasury Department staff tomorrow. I met with the Office of Comptroller of the Currency to discuss CRA modernization. We hosted a webinar for our members with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on the Federal Home Loan Banks’ Affordable Housing Program, following our briefing with the Federal Home Loan Banks on that subject last week. Next week, I am going to be in Columbus, Ohio, to meet with the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. I will also address the presidents of the Federal Home Loan Banks here in Washington. The following week, I will moderate panels on affordable housing in Chicago and at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Secondary Market Conference in New York. Next month, of course, we will hold our Annual Gala and Policy Symposium, which I encourage all of you to attend regardless of your membership status, to get reacquainted with NHC and our new energy and direction. (more…)

Opportunity Zones Task Force launch

As Kaitlyn Snyder reports in this Member Brief, HUD released a legislative proposal that would change work requirements and rents for HUD-assisted households. HUD’s legislative proposal, Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018, does not have a sponsor in the House or Senate. However, the proposal is similar to a discussion draft from Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.). Rep. Ross’s proposal was the subject of a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing last week. I encourage those of you who are interested in this subject to view the hearing. It does a good job of laying out a range of opinions on this issue, free of the rancor that has come to typify most congressional debates. (more…)

Fair Housing Act 50th anniversary

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. (more…)

Treasury releases CRA report

Earlier this morning, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released its report on modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which is expected to be immediately followed by formal initiation of regulatory action by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the other CRA regulators. As we expected, the “report” was not published in the same format as past responses to President Trump’s February 3, 2017 Executive Order on Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System, but is instead in the form of a public memo to the regulators that make up the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) – the OCC, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). NHC will host a members-only webinar to review the report in detail this week. NHC members will receive webinar registration information by the end of the day. Please check your membership status here to confirm that your membership is up to date. (more…)

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