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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - August 2023

HUD published a notice in the June 23 Federal Register with proposed changes to calculate fair market rents (FMRs), which are used to determine payment standards for the housing choice voucher program and other HUD programs. HUD proposes a change in the definition of “recent mover” to include residents who have lived in their current household for 11 months or less and to retain and expand the use of rent inflation factors calculated by private-sector sources, a practice that was used to set FY 2023 FMRs. HUD also responded to comments on the publication of fiscal year 2023 FMRs. Comments on the proposed changes were due to HUD by July 24.

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Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, and several members of the House of Representatives in June reintroduced three bills that target the affordable housing crisis, homelessness and the racial wealth and homeownership gaps in the nation. Similar versions were all introduced in 2021. The Housing Crisis Response Act of 2023 would expand HUD rental assistance, invest in public housing and more to provide more than $150 billion in affordable housing investments, creating 1.4 million affordable, accessible homes, helping 300,000 households afford their rent and make a national investment in homeownership for first-generation, first-time homebuyers. The Ending Homelessness Act of 2023 would transform the housing choice voucher program into a federal entitlement, so every household that qualifies for assistance would receive it. The Downpayment Toward Equality Act of 2023 would provide $100 billion in direct assistance to help first-time, first-generation homebuyers purchase their first home. Waters also released fact sheets about each of the bills.

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Greater Dayton Premier Management, the public housing authority in Dayton, Ohio, plans to begin construction soon on Germantown Crossing, a multiphase Rental Assistance Demonstration transaction. Germantown Crossing will replace DeSoto Bass Courts, the oldest and largest public housing development in Dayton. The new property will replace a former health care property. Financing for the first, 50-apartment phase of the $15.5 million effort was awarded $12 million in LIHTCs.

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The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) June 28 published a mortgagee letter increasing the threshold for large loans to $120 million and announcing it can review the threshold on an annual basis. Mortgagee Letter 2023-14 increases the threshold for a large loan from the $75 million level at which it has been since 2014. The change will allow a greater number of transactions to use standard underwriting processes while seeking FHA multifamily insurance. Under FHA regulations, large loans have additional requirements. The FHA will also now be allowed to increase the threshold in annual increments of up to $5 million if warranted, based on inflation.

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Hawai‘i announced plans in July to create and replace 10,880 affordable apartments in seven communities across the islands of the Aloha State. The master developer plan, a decadelong endeavor named the Ka Lei Momi Redevelopment Project, will transform nine properties in ‘Aiea, Hilo, Honololu, Kapa‘a, Pearl City, Wai‘anae and Wailuku, which today total 1,187 apartments. Several of the sites are set to increase near or more than tenfold, including Kamehameha Homes in Honolulu, which is slated to grow from 221 apartments to just shy of 3,000, according to the request for qualifications for a master developer document issued earlier this year. The apartments will host those across the affordability spectrum, with more than 9,000 of the apartments to cover those earning from 0% to 120% of the area median income. Highridge Costa Development Co. will lead the redevelopment.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Authors:

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