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Legislative Alert: Senate Votes Down Rescission Cuts to Affordable Housing Programs

Posted By Administration, 10 hours ago

Earlier today, the Senate voted down the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act in a vote of 48-50. This legislation, which passed in the House, would have cut millions of previously approved funds for affordable housing programs including almost $40 million from public housing, $40 million from rural rental assistance, and $141 million from the Capital Magnet Fund.

 

The measure specifically targeted the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) program, which would have prevented public housing authorities from hiring service coordinators to help residents access important resources in their communities. Additionally, the cuts would have affected rural rental assistance programs through USDA, preventing the agency from fully renewing existing contracts and harming rural families across the country. Finally, the Capital Magnet Fund would have seen significant cuts, reducing investments in affordable housing and community development.

 

Thank you for reaching out to your senators and urging a “no” vote on this harmful legislation. Your advocacy efforts have helped prevent millions of dollars in cuts to important affordable housing programs.

 

For a breakdown of the final vote count, click here

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NALHFA Member Spotlight: Home At Last—A Program of Nevada Rural Housing Authority

Posted By Administration, Friday, June 15, 2018
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2018

During its 2018 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the Nevada Rural Housing Authority with the Single-Family Excellence award in recognition of Home At Last™. This innovative program provides a customizable and robust set of homeownership options for rural Nevadans.

 

From homelessness to homeownership, the Nevada Rural Housing Authority (NRHA) has been getting Nevadans home since 1973. Their mission is to promote, provide, and finance affordable housing opportunities for all rural Nevadans. Home At Last provides a wide variety of services ranging from statewide homebuyer education workshops to covering pet adoption fees so homeowners can adopt a pet from a local shelter.

 

The Home At Last program analyzes the barriers homebuyers face, across the nearly 110,000 square miles of rural Nevada, and makes adjustments to what the program offers in order to meet the needs of most low to moderate income homebuyers. Some of these innovative initiatives include the following.

 

Manufactured Housing

In 2017, Home At Last opened the door to manufactured home financing for HFA programs nationwide by working with U.S. Bank on an agreement with Fannie Mae to purchase loans with “Ineligible” findings after an increase to 105% combined-loan-to-value (CLTV) caused loan processing delays with Desktop Underwriter.

 

“HAL Pals” Pet Adoption

Home At Last recently launched the “HAL Pals” Pet Adoption program that provides homebuyers with down payment assistance and pet adoption. By offering a pet adoption fee to prospective homeowners, the “HAL Pals” program promotes responsible pet ownership that begins with adopting a homeless pet from a local shelter and brings a key benefit to homeownership as many renters are unable to adopt pets due to lease restrictions.

 

Homebuyer 101 Workshops

Like many places in the country, purchasing a home has many challenges due to lack of affordable housing inventory, market demands, and strong buyer competition. The Home At Last homebuyer workshops provide prospective homebuyers with comprehensive education to help them successfully transition from renter to homeowner, and learn how to navigate the complex homebuying process. Home At Last, in collaboration with Lender and Realtor partners, provides expert guidance through Homebuyer 101 workshops, offered in both English and Spanish, throughout Nevada.

 

Options for Homebuyers

Home At Last also provides a robust number of options for homebuyers, including exclusive features for veterans and multiple enhancements tailored for rural homebuyers. These programs are designed to benefit homebuyers, lenders and real estate agents, especially as the region faces a significant spike in housing costs.

 

“NRHA’s focus is to remove barriers to homeownership,” said Gary Longaker, NRHA executive director. “The staff at NRHA is doing just that by opening doors to help thousands of families in rural Nevada achieve their homeownership dreams. We are honored that NALHFA recognizes the mission-driven passion and accomplishments of the agency and its dedicated staff.”

 

Congratulations to NRHA for their outstanding work on the Home At Last program!

 

Does your organization have a success story to share? Email NALHFA Policy Director, Heather Voorman at hvoorman@nalhfa.org.

 

 

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Legislative Alert: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Strong HUD Funding for FY19

Posted By Administration, Friday, June 8, 2018

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to approve the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) spending bill. The bill provides $1.1 billion in increased spending above FY2018 enacted levels and sailed through the committee with a vote of 31-0.

 

The Senate bill provides over $12 billion more than the President’s FY19 request, over $1 billion more than the House bill, and $1.8 billion more for HUD programs than was appropriated in FY18. This action by the Committee shows a strong commitment to investing in affordable housing programs and rejects recent proposals for drastic cuts to affordable housing funding, harmful rent increases, and work requirements for HUD program recipients.

 

Funding Levels for Key Programs:

  • The HOME Investment Partnerships and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs were level funded from FY18 at $1.362 and $3.3 billion respectively;
  • The bill provides the increases necessary to continue assistance to all families and individuals currently served by rental assistance programs. These numbers include: $22.8 billion for tenant-based Section 8 vouchers; $7.5 billion for public housing; $11.7 billion for project-based Section 8; $678 million for Housing for the Elderly; and $154 million for Housing for Persons with Disabilities.
  •  Homeless assistance programs received a boost at $2.6 billion along with several provisions to better serve vulnerable populations including veterans, youth, and survivors of domestic violence.

The bill was the product of strong bipartisan cooperation, with Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI) leading the charge. The bill will soon be considered on the Senate floor.

 

NALHFA Members Take Action:

 

If you have a member of Congress on the Senate Appropriations Committee, please reach out to them and thank them for investing in affordable housing programs. A full list of Appropriations Committee members can be found here

Please also reach out to your senators and urge them to approve the bill when it comes up for consideration on the Senate floor. Click here to look up your senator’s office and call them today.

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NALHFA Member Spotlight: New York City Housing Development Corporation

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 4, 2018
Updated: Friday, June 1, 2018

 

During its 2018 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the New York City Housing Development Corporation with the Multifamily Excellence award in recognition of the Alvista Towers, also known as the Jamaica development. This innovative affordable housing development merges much needed housing with important policy goals, including transit oriented development, inclusionary zoning, permanent affordability, and access to opportunity for very low to middle-income families.

 

The development, located in the New York City neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens, provides affordable, mixed-income housing in a community facing both intense affordability needs and serious displacement pressures. In 2013, the New York University Furman Center reported that nearly half of the district’s low-income households are severely rent burdened. While Jamaica has long been considered an economically depressed community, there has been significant development over the past 10-15 years, which has driven up market rate rents. As the cost of living continues to rise, Alvista Towers ensures that residents can stay in their community thanks to a long-term regulatory agreement locking in affordability for at least 40 years.

 

The development is also a significant investment in transit oriented development, ensuring that very low to middle New Yorkers have access to job centers and economic opportunities. This mixed-income project fosters greater economic diversity and community revitalization in the transit-rich area of downtown Jamaica. The multi-modal transportation hub offers quick access to Midtown and Lower Manhattan as well as JFK Airport. Alvista Towers sits adjacent to multiple sources of transportation including the Long Island Rail Road commuter rails, Mass Transit Authority subway lines, and more than 18 bus routes.

 

Alvista Towers contain 380 mixed-income homes and will provide 95 very low- and low-income

families with homes. Residents will enjoy amenities including a lounge, children’s play room,

fitness center, courtyard, laundry room, tenant storage, and rooftop access. The development is near completion and is anticipated to be finished by mid-2018.

 

The project is financed under HDC’s Mixed-Middle (M2) Program, which combines a first mortgage, funded with proceeds from the sale of variable or fixed rate tax-exempt bonds, with a second mortgage, funded with HDC corporate reserves and a third mortgage subsidy loan from the NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). These funding sources are combined to finance multi-family rental housing affordable to a diverse spectrum of low, moderate and middle-income families. The program also requires developer equity contribution equal to a minimum of 10% of the total developments cost, which is supported by the moderate and middle income rents. The funding for Alvista Towers includes a $65.6 million HDC First Mortgage, a $30.4 million HCD Second Mortgage from Corporate Reserves and $30.4 million HPD Third Mortgage.

 

Alvista Towers is the result of a public-private partnership model. The co-developers from the private side are Artimus Construction, Inc., Phoenix Realty Company, LLC, HP 94th Avenue HDFC (NYC Housing Development Fund Company, Inc.), 94th Avenue Jamaica LLC (147-20 94th Jamaica Investors, LLC, and GSG 94 Jamaica Investor LLC (wholly owned by Goldman Sachs). These co-developers have provided equity and will build and manage the development.

 

This project is the first new construction development in the nation to participate in the HFA Federal Financing Bank Pilot Program. Under this program, at the conversion phase, the tax-exempt bond loan and accompanying bank loan will be paid off entirely with a loan funded from the Corporation’s reserves. The loan is then sold to the Federal Financing Bank (FFB). As such, the development is insured under FHA Risk Share (50/50) credit enhancement.

 

Congratulations to NYCHDC and their partners for their outstanding efforts in developing the Alvista Towers project. Does your organization have a success story to share? Email NALHFA Policy Director, Heather Voorman at hvoorman@nalhfa.org

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NALHFA Commends Senate Confirmation of Brian Montgomery as FHA Commissioner

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Senate voted today to confirm Brian Montgomery as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner. Montgomery was confirmed by a vote of 74-23. The confirmation comes after a long wait since the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee approved Brian Montgomery’s nomination to lead the Federal Housing Administration last fall. Montgomery will replace acting commissioner Dana Wade.

 

"NALHFA commends the confirmation of Brian Montgomery as FHA commissioner. During his tenure as commissioner under President George W. Bush and President Obama, FHA led legislative efforts to preserve the nation's affordable rental housing stock and to provide much needed affordable housing financing to develop more than 300,000 rental units throughout the country,” said Jonathan Paine, NALHFA Executive Director. “Montgomery brings tremendous knowledge and experience to the position and will be a true asset to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” 

 

This would be Montgomery's second time holding the position as FHA commissioner. He was previously commissioner under Former President George W. Bush and served six months into the Obama Administration. Montgomery most recently served as the vice chairman of The Collingwood Group, a business consulting, risk management, and compliance focused advisory firm located in Washington, DC.

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Legislative Alert: Brian Montgomery's Senate Confirmation Vote to Occur this Week

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Senate vote on Brian Montgomery's confirmation for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner is scheduled to occur this week. Senate leadership recently reached an agreement to allow for the nomination to move forward. No date for the vote has been released at this time, but the Senate Executive Schedule for this week states the vote will happen at a time determined by the Majority Leader.

 

NALHFA's government relations team has been working hard to advance this nomination. Montgomery is a highly qualified candidate for the position, serving as FHA Commissioner under President George W. Bush, and for six months under President Barack Obama. The advancement of this critical nomination is great news for the affordable housing industry and for NALHFA members. Please reach out to your Senators and urge them to confirm Brian Montgomery as FHA Commissioner. Click here to look up your senator’s office and call them today.

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Agreement Reached to Allow Senate Floor Consideration for Brian Montgomery's Nomination

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 18, 2018
Brian Montgomery's nomination for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner will likely receive Senate floor consideration soon. Senate leadership has reached an agreement to allow for the nomination to move forward. More information about the debate and confirmation process for Montgomery's nomination will be available early next week.
 
NALHFA's government relations team has been working hard to advance this nomination. Montgomery is a highly qualified candidate for the position, serving as FHA Commissioner under President George W. Bush, and for six months under President Barack Obama. The advancement of this critical nomination is great news for the affordable housing industry and for NALHFA members. Please reach out to your Senators and urge them to confirm Brian Montgomery as FHA Commissioner. Click here to look up your senator’s office and call them today.

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Legislative Alert: House THUD Subcommittee releases FY19 Bill, Most Housing Programs Keep Increased Funding Levels

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Last night, the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 spending bill. The bill includes a total of $43.6 billion in funding for HUD, an increase of $941 million from FY 2018 levels, and $11.9 billion above the President’s budget request. Overall the bill is a win for the affordable housing industry and shows Congressional commitment to funding these important programs. Additionally, it does not include the harmful rent increases and work requirements proposed by the Trump Administration for certain HUD renter programs. 

 

The increases are modest, however and do include some slight decreases.

  • The HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) received a small decrease going from $1.36 billion to $1.2 billion. This follows a large boost the program received in FY2018 from the $950 million level enacted in FY2017. NALHFA urges members to reach out to their Members of Congress to fully fund this program that helps local communities leverage important funds to create affordable housing with the partnership of private investors.
  • The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) saw a modest increase from $3.2 billion in FY2018 to $3.37 billion.
  • The Homeless Assistance Grants program also saw a modest increase to $2.5 billion, up $33 million from FY2018.
  • There is concern that the Housing Choice Vouchers ($20.1 billion) and the Project-Based Rental Assistance ($11.35 billion) would fall short of renewing all existing contracts. This shortfall could mean fewer families will be served by the program over the next year. NALHFA urges members to contact their Members of Congress and ask them to further increase these funding levels to fulfill all existing contracts.
  • Public housing ($2.8 billion for capital repairs and $4.6 billion for operating), Choice Neighborhoods ($150 million), and Housing for Persons with AIDs ($393 million) received slight increases.
  • Section 202 Housing for the Elderly ($632 million) and Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities ($154 million) funding levels would renew existing contracts.

The bill also includes new housing resources through a mobility voucher demonstration program funded at $50 million that would help families with young children move to areas of opportunity, and $100 million in competitive grants for Native American communities to use on the construction and preservation of affordable rental housing.

 

This bill demonstrates the Subcommittee’s continued dedication to providing federal investment in affordable housing programs. Although these increases are greatly appreciated, more resources are needed to make up for the backlog of affordable housing needs across the country. Please reach out to your Members of Congress to thank them for their commitment to affordable housing programs, and urge them to further increase these important resources at a time when our communities need them the most. The Subcommittee’s bill is the first step in a long appropriations process. The bill will need approval from the full House of Representatives and will have to be reconciled with the Senate version of the legislation before it becomes law. NALHFA continues to advocate for increased funding for vital programs to combat the affordable housing crisis and will continue to update its members on the latest developments. 

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NALHFA Welcomes Stifel

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA) announced today that Stifel is its newest member.

 

NALHFA is the leading local affordable housing advocate, influencing the shape and content of congressional legislation and agency regulations affecting the affordable housing finance industry.

 

Stifel provides financing alternatives to state and local housing finance agencies, for-profit developers, and 501(c)(3) corporations seeking taxable or tax-exempt funding for housing projects that serve low- and moderate-income families. A national leader in publicly offered, multifamily housing bond-financed projects, Stifel offers comprehensive investment banking services, in-depth housing sector knowledge, and expansive distribution channels.

 

The Stifel affordable housing team has experience in a wide range of debt alternatives, including public bond offerings and private placements that utilize fixed and/or variable rates for new construction, acquisition, rehab, and refinancing. Stifel’s business contacts in this specialty sector of municipal finance encompass a highly experienced national network of tax credit providers, credit enhancement sources, investors, lawyers, lenders, and other professionals. Stifel’s experience, industry knowledge, professional associations, and contacts combine to provide value in helping clients achieve the best possible results.

 

In 2017, Stifel ranked No. 1 nationally with 69 multifamily housing transactions closed and No. 2 in total par amount with $1,088.8 million in multifamily housing transactions closed.  (Source: Thomson Reuters SDC as of January 1, 2018, senior managed negotiated transactions allocated to book runner.)

 

“Stifel is excited to join NALHFA because two-thirds of the issuers that used Stifel to underwrite housing bonds in 2017 were either local HFAs or local municipal conduit issuers. We look forward to working with NALHFA and its members by issuing many of the housing bonds that finance affordable multifamily housing throughout the country,” said John Rucker, head of Stifel’s Public Finance Housing Group.

 

For more information on Stifel, click here.

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NALHFA Announces Leadership Team for 2018-2019

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 11, 2018

The National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA) is pleased to announce that its 2018-2019 leadership team was installed yesterday at the association's Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. At the annual business meeting, the NALHFA membership elected Richard Froehlich, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the New York City Housing Development Corporation as the association's 2018-2019 President.

 

"Throughout the past year NALHFA has proven its effectiveness in representing the interests of the local housing finance industry and its members," said Froehlich. "Following recent tax legislation and continued uncertainty over HUD funding it is essential that our voice is heard in Washington DC. NALHFA will continue to be a leader in the fight to preserve and enhance federal affordable housing resources."

 

"I look forward to working closely with Rich as we are both deeply committed to moving NALHFA forward, growing membership, and advancing the regulatory and legislative priorities of the association," said NALHFA Executive Director Jonathan Paine. "His experience and commitment to the industry will certainly help drive NALHFA forward as we work to become an even better advocate for the industry." 

 

In addition to Froehlich, the other members of the 2018-2019 NALHFA Executive Committee are:

  • Vice President: Dawn Luke, COO, Invest Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
  •  Treasurer: Vivian Benjamin, Assistant Director, Mortgage Finance Division, Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission (Kensington, MD)
  • Secretary: Tom Cummings, Director, Department of Housing, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Immediate Past President: Ron Williams, Executive Director, Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation (Houston, TX)

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