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NALHFA Member Spotlight: City of Austin Neighborhood Housing

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 10, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing with the Multifamily Excellence award in recognition of Aldrich 51.

 

Aldrich 51 is an innovative partnership between Austin Housing Finance Corporation and DMA Development Company. The 240‐unit affordable rental housing development is ideally situated within the 700 acre Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (RMMA) redevelopment. Aldrich 51 provides a unique opportunity for low‐ and moderate‐income households to readily access jobs, transportation choices, parks and recreation facilities, fresh healthy foods options, and numerous other amenities. Of the 240 units, 85% or 204 units are affordable to households at or below 60% MFI.

 

The development was primarily financed through the 4% non‐competitive LIHTC program. In order to ensure a viable project – one that combined deep affordability with high quality construction in a desirable urban location, it was clear that development was going to require multiple partners and financing sources.

 

In the late 1980s, in anticipation of the closing of Robert Mueller Municipal Airport (RMMA), the City of Austin began to contemplate reuse and redevelopment of the 700 acre property, which is situated less than three miles from downtown and two miles from the University of Texas at Austin. After two decades of an inclusive citizen‐driven effort, the Mueller Master Development Agreement (MDA) was inked, memorializing the partnership between the City of Austin, Catellus Development Corporation (Master Developer), and the citizens of Austin. The guiding principles of the redevelopment included an ambitious affordable housing component: at least 25% of all homes at Mueller are required to be affordable to households at or below 80% MFI (ownership) and 60% MFI (rental). All affordable units were to be generally distributed throughout the 700‐acre development, thereby ensuring a vibrant, inclusive, mixed‐income community.

 

Today, the Mueller development is approximately 75% built‐out and includes a mix of commercial, retail, and residential. Homes range from small apartments to townhomes to condominiums to live‐work spaces. Commercial development includes the Dell Children’s Hospital, medical offices, the Thinkery Children’s Museum, AISD’s performing arts space, Texas Mutual Insurance, and Austin Energy’s headquarters (soon to break ground). Retail ranges from small business to “big box” retail such as HEB Grocery, Home Depot and Best Buy.

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NALHFA Member Spotlight: Allegheny County Residential Finance Authority

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Updated: Monday, June 3, 2019

During its 2019 Annual Conference, NALHFA presented the Allegheny County Residential Finance Authority with the HOME Excellence award in recognition of Forest Hills Veterans Housing.

 

The Forest Hills Veterans Housing is the rehabilitation of a previously vacant and blighted structure in the Borough of Forest Hills into 41 units of affordable housing for seniors and veterans. 21 units have a preference for veterans and 20 units have a preference for seniors, with all units restricted to tenants with incomes below 60% area median income. 

 

The building sat vacant for nearly 10 years until ACTION-Housing, along with the support and encouragement from the local community, elected officials, and community partners, proposed the plan to transform this highly visible building into a community asset. Southwestern Pennsylvania has a higher concentration of both seniors and veterans, and affordable housing for these groups is in high demand, with little supply. Forest Hills Veterans Housing aims to help alleviate both of these shortages with units for both seniors and veterans. The building houses 33 one-bedroom units, 8 two-bedroom units, a community room, computer rooms, laundry, offices and a garage below ground. Supportive services are provided by the Veterans Leadership Program designed specifically to help veterans develop the ability to live independently and self-sufficiently. 


In summary, Forest Hills Veterans Housing combines a rare affordable housing opportunity within a prosperous, suburban community, supports tailored to veterans and seniors, an exemplary of the adaptive reuse of a vacant, blighted building, and finishes and systems throughout designed to deliver a calming sensory experience for all residents.

 

 

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House THUD Subcommittee Releases FY 2020 Spending Bill

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Today, the House Committee on Appropriations released their draft of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 spending bill for the House Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee in advance of tomorrow’s mark-up. The THUD bill provides a total of $50.1 billion for HUD, which is $5.9 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level and $13.4 billion above the President’s budget request.
 
Programs in the bill include:
  • $8.6 billion for the Office of Community Planning and Development, $917 million above the 2019 enacted level and $5.7 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • $3.6 billion for Community Development Block Grants, $300 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
  • $1.75 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, $500 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
  • $32.7 billion for the Office of Public and Indian Housing, $1.7 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $6.9 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • $23.8 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance, $1.2 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $1.6 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • $13.7 billion for the Office of Housing, $1.1 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $846 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $12.6 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, $843 million above the 2019 enacted level and $570 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $803 million for Housing for the Elderly, $125 million above the 2019 enacted level and $159 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $259 million for Housing for Persons with Disabilities, $74 million above the 2019 enacted level and $102 million above the President’s budget request.
 
The subcommittee is expected to take up the bill this week, with a full committee vote after the Memorial Day congressional recess. NALHFA will continue to advocate for budget increases for HUD programs in both the House and the Senate Appropriating Committees. Please contact Katelynn Harris with any questions. 

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NALHFA Announces Leadership Team for 2019-2020

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA) is pleased to announce that its 2019-2020 leadership team was installed last week at the association's Annual Conference in Denver, CO. At the annual business meeting, the NALHFA membership re-elected Richard Froehlich, First Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the New York City Housing Development Corporation as the association's 2019-2020 President.

 

"Throughout the past year NALHFA has been at the forefront representing the legislative and regulatory interests of the local housing finance industry and its members," said Froehlich. "NALHFA remains committed to providing high value services in the areas of advocacy, networking and education for the membership."

 

"I look forward to maintaining a close relationship with Rich as we continue moving NALHFA forward, growing membership, and advancing the priorities of the association," said NALHFA Executive Director Jonathan Paine. "His experience and leadership will help drive NALHFA forward as we build on last year's growth and successes to advocate on behalf of our members and the affordable housing industry." 

 

In addition to Froehlich, the other members of the 2019-2020 NALHFA Executive Committee are:

  • Vice President: Dawn Luke, Chief Executive Officer, Invest Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
  • Treasurer: Vivian Benjamin, Assistant Director, Mortgage Finance Division, Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission (Kensington, MD)
  • Secretary: Cheree Gulley, Executive Director, Housing Finance Authority of Miami-Dade County (Doral, FL)
  • Immediate Past President: Ron Williams, Executive Director, Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation (Houston, TX)

The following six individuals were elected to the Board of Directors for a two-year term expiring in May of 2021:

  • **William Brewer, Executive Director, Nevada Rural Housing Authority, (Carson City, NV)
  • Damon Burns, President and CEO, The Finance Authority of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
  • Tom Cummings, Director, Dept. of Housing, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) 
  • **Jonah Lee, Director of Portfolio Management & Preservation San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development ( San Francisco, CA)
  • W.D. Morris, Executive Director, Orange County Housing Finance Authority (Orange County, FL)
  • **Melissa Taphorn, Deputy Executive Director, Washington County Community Development Agency (Woodbury, MN)

**Denotes new board members elected

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Legislative Alert: FHA Clarifies Rules for Mortgage Lending Program, Requests Feedback

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 10, 2019
In an effort to provide clarity and streamline mortgage lending program requirements, FHA is seeking public feedback on proposed changes to its loan-level certifications, annual lender certifications, and the Defect Taxonomy. The proposed updates are posted on the Single Family Housing Drafting Table and are available for public comment for a 30-day period from May 9th – June 8th.
 
Loan-Level Certifications
FHA is proposing significant revisions to the Addendum to Uniform Residential Loan Application (Form 92900-A). These proposed changes to the loan-level certifications are intended to reorganize Form 92900-A (loan-level certification) in a logical, easy to read, and understandable format, and to eliminate duplicative information collected elsewhere.
 
Annual Lender Certifications
FHA is proposing changes to its annual lender certifications to better align them with National Housing Act standards while continuing to hold lenders accountable for compliance with HUD eligibility requirements. To help stakeholders understand the proposed revisions, FHA has posted a comparison document on the Drafting Table showing the current certification statements and proposed changes side-by-side.
 
Defect Taxonomy
FHA is posting a draft of the Defect Taxonomy Version 2 for stakeholder review and feedback. The Defect Taxonomy was created in 2015 and implemented through the Loan Review System in 2017. Version 2 will provide more clarity and transparency into FHA’s existing loan-level quality assurance processes.
Proposed changes include:
  • updated Severity Tier definitions;
  • potential Remedies that align each Severity Tier;
  • revised Sources and Causes in certain Defect Areas;
  • new Defect Areas for Servicing loan reviews; and
  • HUD policy references.

Please contact Katelynn Harris with any questions.

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Legislative Alert: Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Require Reporting on OZ Investments

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 9, 2019
Yesterday, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tim Scott (R-SC), Todd Young (R-IN), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced a bill, S. 1344, that would require the Secretary of the Treasury to collect data on the investments made with the Opportunity Zone tax incentive. This legislation would also require the Treasury Secretary to submit a report on their findings no later than a year from enactment of the bill.
 
The bill would require the Secretary of the Treasury to collect information on investments held by qualified opportunity funds (QOF) including:
  • The number of QOFs;
  • The amount of assets held in QOFs;
  • The composition of QOF investments by asset class;
  • The percentage of designated Opportunity Zones that receive QOF investments; and 
  • The impacts and outcomes of zone designation on economic indicators including job creation, poverty reduction, new business starts, and other metrics as determined by the Treasury Secretary.
The Treasury Secretary would also be required to collect information about the investments themselves:
  • The total amount and date of an investment;
  • The type of investment – such as whether it is in an existing business, new business, or real estate and the location of a business or real estate investment;
  • The type of activity being supported by the investment – such as single-family or multi-family residential property or commercial property, or the economic sector in which the business operates;
  • In the case of a business investment, the approximate number of full-time employees at the time the investment was made; and 
  • In the case of a real estate investment, the approximate total square footage and approximate number of residential units.
NALHFA will continue to monitor and track the progress of S. 1344. Please contact Katelynn Harris with any questions. 

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Legislative Alert: HUD Issues Mortgagee Letter on Government Entities Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 22, 2019

On April 18, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued Mortgagee Letter 2019-06, “Down payment Assistance and Operating in a Governmental Capacity,” on government entities operating in their governmental capacity when providing down payment assistance insured by the Federal Housing Administrators (FHA). Under the ML, a mortgagee must properly document that an government entity funding down payment assistance for an FHA-insured mortgage is legally authorized to provide such assistance in the area in which the home is located. Within two years of the mortgag­­­­e being closed, the mortgagee must also receive a legal opinion from the government entity that funded the down payment assistance stating that the home being purchased is located within the entity’s legal jurisdiction. The new requirements apply effective immediately as of April 18.

 

Back in December, NALHFA met with FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery and his single-family housing staff. The group met to discuss the impending policy guidance regarding DPA in connection with FHA-insured mortgages. As a key industry stakeholder, NALHFA arranged the meeting to communicate the importance of preserving the ability of local HFAs to provide DPA and other secondary financing on a preferred basis with FHA single-family loans. NALHFA continues to have a strong working relationship with HUD and will continue to work with them on behalf of its members and the local housing finance industry.

 

NALHFA will be reviewing the Mortgagee Letter and would like to hear from our members on how this guidance will impact their organization. Please send any comments to Katelynn Harris at kharris@nalhfa.org

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Legislative Alert: HUD Publishes Request for Information on How HUD Can Better Serve Distressed Communities; Opportunity Zones

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 22, 2019
Concurrent with the release of the IRS regulations, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a Request for Information (RFI) on the Federal Register requesting further information on how HUD can better facilitate public private partnerships in distressed communities, including Opportunity Zones. The HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, is the chairmen of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, which was created by the President by executive order.
 
Specifically, HUD requested input on these questions:
  • How HUD should use its existing authorities to maximize the beneficial impact of public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities;
  • In what ways could HUD structure preference points for Opportunity Zones and incorporate policy objectives in the rating factors for applications in discretionary grant competitions to increase incentive to invest in Opportunity Zones;
  • What type of technical assistance should be offered through HUD;
  • How HUD should prioritize support for urban and economically distressed areas, including Opportunity Zones, in its grants, financing, and other assistance;
  • How HUD can ensure existing residents, businesses, and community organizations in Opportunity Zones benefit from the influx of investment;
  • How HUD can properly evaluate the impact of Opportunity Zones on communities;
  • How might Qualified Opportunity Fund investments support the goal of ending homelessness;
  • How HUD should interact with other stakeholders to maximize the success of the Opportunity Zone incentive; and
  • Any other aspects of Opportunity Zones that should be considered and are not addressed in this request for information.
 
Comments will be due 60 days after the posting of the RFI, which will be June 17, 2019. NALHFA will be working on putting together comments, please stay tuned for more information. Please send all comments and suggestions to Katelynn Harris at kharris@nalhfa.org

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Senate Approves Nomination of Dr. Mark Calabria to Lead Federal Housing Finance Agency

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 8, 2019

The Senate voted yesterday to approve the nomination of Dr. Mark Calabria as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Approved by a vote of 53-46, Dr. Calabria will take over the role from acting director Joseph Otting and will serve a 5-year term with FHFA.

 

Dr. Calabria served as the chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute, and as a senior aide on the Senate Banking Committee, where he helped draft the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).

 

"NALHFA congratulates Dr. Calabria on his Senate approval as the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency," said NALHFA Executive Director Jonathan Paine. "We look forward to working with Mark to advance common sense policies and to protect funding to vital programs that are necessary to combat the affordable housing crisis in the United States."

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NALHFA Releases 2019 National Policy Agenda

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 4, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA) released today its 2019 National Policy Agenda. This document is a comprehensive advocacy agenda for 2019, which outlines important policy priorities for the housing finance industry. These stated priorities are focused on preserving and expanding funding and tools that are critical to combating the affordable housing crisis that the United States is facing.
 
"As Congress and the White House work to find solutions to the affordable housing crisis, the National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies stands poised to work with policymakers on legislation and regulations that will provide communities with the tools necessary to connect households across the nation with safe and decent affordable housing options," said NALHFA Executive Director Jonathan Paine. "The 116th Congress has an opportunity to make affordable housing a top priority and advance policies and expand funding to vital programs that are necessary to combat this crisis."

The 2019 NALHFA National Policy Agenda addresses ten policy areas:

  • Private Activity Bonds & Municipal Bonds
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit
  • Down Payment Assistance Programs
  • Risk Sharing Program
  • HOME Investment Partnerships and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • Housing Choice Vouchers
  • Project-Based Rental Assistance
  • Housing as Infrastructure
  • Housing Finance Reform and Duty to Serve
  • Opportunity Zones

NALHFA's 2019 National Policy Agenda is being distributed to members of Congress and key Administration officials, and can be used by members when visiting members of Congress.

To access the 2019 National Policy Agenda, click here.

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