The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance evaluations Feb. 7 for 16 national banks and federal savings associations. Of the 16 evaluations made public in January, 15 rated as satisfactory and one rated as outstanding.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published Sept. 9 its most recent edition of its Community Development Investments newsletter, “Housing Financing in Indian Country: Spotlight on HUD’s Title VI Program.” The newsletter describes the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Title VI loan guarantee program. In addition, examples are presented of how banks have used the program to extend financing for housing in Indian Country. Also discussed are activities that may be eligible for Community Reinvestment Act consideration. The newsletter is available at www.occ.gov.
On Aug. 26, a U.S. District Court in Texas dismissed a disparate impact claim by The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) against the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) in TDHCA’s allocation of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) in the Dallas metropolitan area. The decision comes more than a year after the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in the case that disparate impact claims could be recognized under the Fair Housing Act. The 32-page decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas rules that ICP did not prove a prima facie case of disparate impact, so it could not proceed in its claim. The Supreme Court ruling was a 5-4 decision allowing complaints to be made under the Fair Housing Act based on “disparate impact,” which is when a policy that appears to be neutral has a discriminatory effect on a protected class. More information is available at www.taxcredithousing.com.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and 11 other U.S. senators introduced March 7 the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017. The legislation would include a 50 percent increase in the annual LIHTC allocation, establish a minimum 4 percent credit rate, allow income-averaging, allow states to grant a 30 percent basis boost if needed for bond-financed developments and several other provisions, including renaming the LIHTC as the “Affordable Housing Tax Credit.” The legislation was expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives. Cantwell’s office also released a report, “Meeting the Challenges of the Growing Affordable Housing Crisis,” which highlighted the impact on affordable housing of the record increase of 9 million renters in the past decade, the relatively low rate of rental housing construction, the removal of 13 percent of affordable housing homes since 2001 and stagnant wages.
On March 18, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2016-26, inviting public comments to the Department of Treasury and IRS on recommendations for items that should be included on the 2016-2017 Priority Guidance Plan. The Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy and the IRS use the Priority Guidance Plan each year to identify and prioritize the tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices and other published administrative guidance. The 2016-2017 Priority Guidance Plan will identify guidance projects that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to work on as priorities during the period from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. The notice appeared in the April 4 Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) 2016-14.