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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - May 2013

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the 2012 Rental Housing Finance Survey in March. The survey presents data on multifamily rental properties, including property values of residential structures, characteristics of residential structures, property man agement status, ownership status and benefits received from federal, state, local and non-governmental programs. Also included is multifamily rental housing financing, financial health and the stability of multifamily housing properties. HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development Erika Poethig said that one-in-five families rent apartments in multifamily properties and that the survey fills an important gap in our understanding of who owns multifamily rental housing. The survey found that there are 2.3 million multifamily properties in the United States. The survey can be found at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD.

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In March, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo submitted the proposal for the state’s housing and business recovery programs to address the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program outlines how the available funding will be used to recover, rebuild and to stimulate the economy. In the fiscal year 2012-2013 federal budget, Congress allotted $16 billion to HUD for the CDBG-DR program. New York is to receive $1.7 billion of an initial $5.4 billion, while New York City is to receive $1.77 billion. Housing, economic development and infrastructure were assessed for damage in order to determine how best to allocate the funds. Multifamily housing is expected to receive $124 million. In order to receive CDBG-DR funds, a CDBG-DR Action Plan must be submitted to HUD no later than June 10, 2013. The state’s action plan is available from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal agency.

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H.R. 1145, the FHA Emergency fiscal Solvency Act of 2013, was reintroduced in March. Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Michael E. Capuano, D-Mass., originally introduced the bill to strengthen the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Mar. 27, 2012. Supporters say the bill would help ensure the fiscal solvency of the FHA mortgage insurance programs and for other purposes. The bill includes provisions on FHA annual mortgage insurance premiums, indemnification by FHA mortgagees, authorization to participate in the origination of FHA-insured loans and budget compliance. Waters said the legislation is an important step towards improving the FHA’s financial stability.

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released testimony entitled, “Opportunities to Improve Management of Mortgage Insurance and Rental Assistance Programs.” The document focused on the FHA and the financial and risk-management challenges the administration faces. GAO stated that HUD needs to reevaluate its risk assessments, and pinpointed options that could potentially reduce the need for new appropriations, cut expenditures or increase the number of households assisted. These options include reducing the subsidy reserves of state and local housing agencies that administer the program, streamlining administrative requirements and implementing rent reforms and consolidating voucher administration.

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In Notice H 2013-06, HUD provides updated instructions for using the Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) system. Use of the system by owners and management agents (O/As) became mandatory Jan. 31, 2010. The two sections covered in the notice are third-party verification of tenant employment and income information during recertification and to reduce administrative and subsidy payment errors in accordance with HUD administrative guidance. In addition to the mandatory use by O/As, the EIV system must also be used to monitor the O/As’ compliance with obtaining access to and using the EIV system. The notice applies to project-based Section 8, Section 101 Rent Supplement, Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Contract, Section 236, Rental Assistance Payments and other programs.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Authors:

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