Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs – November 2019

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule Sept. 17 in the Federal Register for the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016. The proposed rule affects the United States Housing Act of 1937 and includes changes to income reviews for public housing and HUD’s Section 8 program. The proposed rule also sets maximum limits on assets allowed for families in public housing in Section 8-assisted housing. Comments on the proposed rule are due by Nov. 18.

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The Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Sept. 30 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be allowed to retain earnings of up to $25 billion and $20 billion, respectively. The government sponsored enterprises previously could retain only $3 billion in capital reserves. This change went into effect July 1 and is a first step toward releasing the enterprises from conservatorship.

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HUD issued H Notice 2019-10 Sept. 27 concerning incentives for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance for properties located in opportunity zones. Incentives include priority in underwriting queues for Section 232 residential care facilities, reduced FHA mortgage insurance application fees for Section 232 and Section 242 hospitals and annual mortgage insurance premiums for Section 232 facilities in qualified census tracts or difficult development areas under the low-income housing tax credit.

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The FHFA announced Sept. 13 a $100 million cap for multifamily loan purchase for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This cap is effective from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020, and applies to all multifamily loans with no exceptions. In addition, the FHFA also directed at least 37.5 percent of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac multifamily business to mission-driven affordable housing.

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HUD announced Sept. 18 that it is offering hands-on group learning and individualized technical assistance to multifamily assisted housing owners and management agents. The purpose of this is to help implement a Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. FSS is a HUD program that provides incentives and support to help families increase their income and reduce their dependence on public assistance programs.

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M&T Realty Capital Corporation held a grand opening for its development Stone Springs Apartment Sept. 12 in Dulles, Va. The development was financed through the HUD Section 221(d)(4) program, which provided a $19 million FHA-insured loan for construction. The FHA loan was paired with short-term tax-exempt bonds issued by the Economic Development Authority of Loudoun County, Va. The Board of Supervisors of Loudoun County also provided a $3 million Housing Trust Fund loan. The development is two four-story buildings with community amenities including a computer lab, fitness center, swimming pool and children’s playground.

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The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) announced Sept. 3 the completion of renovations at Liberty Court, a low-income public housing site in Dover, Del. Liberty Court was purchased by DSHA in 1989 and was transformed from a privately owned, market-rate apartment complex to a 108 public housing subsidized apartments. In 2015, an inspection of the buildings found a moisture problem in the wall and it was determined that major rehabilitation of the property was needed to correct the problem, and renovations began in mid-2017. HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration allowed DHSA to access more flexible funding including low-income housing tax credits and other public funds.

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The redevelopment process began Sept. 28 in a Schenectady, N.Y., public housing development. The renovations are in two separate phases and will include rehabilitating 25 apartments, the demolition of 73 apartments and the new construction of 89 apartments. As part of the first phase, 75 families were relocated and most of them worked with Schenectady Municipal Housing Authority-provided specialists to find apartments and services that met their needs including subsidized federal housing vouchers through the Section 8 program. Many families opted to stay in within the public housing system.

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HUD, with the help of local housing authorities, awarded more than $5 million Sept. 19 to four communities through the Choice Neighborhoods program: Hunstville, Ala., Omaha, Neb.; Rome, Ga., and Trenton, N.J. The grants will help local leaders draft comprehensive homegrown plans to revitalize and transform neighborhoods. 

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