Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Making the most of summer

by Chris Estes, National Housing Conference 

I hope you had a restful, safe and celebratory Independence Day. The Wire took last week off in deference to the national holiday. The news here in Washington continues to be a fair amount of activity on the regulatory front (see below for more information on the opportunities). On the legislative side bills on non-housing issues and the gravitational pull of the election has led to a growing recognition that the appropriations bills are likely to not get passed and we are headed for another continuing resolution. As we move closer to the fall we will begin forecasting what this means for housing funding.

While progress on getting appropriations for housing programs passed in regular order remains doubtful, we have been encouraged by the strong bipartisan support for the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act and are hopeful that past bipartisan support on homelessness issues will ensure renewed funding for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

After a significant amount of discussion around the issue of principle reduction, FHFA announced in April that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer principal reduction to certain seriously delinquent underwater borrowers. Today they launched an interactive map on FHFA.gov that highlights the top 10 states where these potentially eligible borrowers live. The map can be sorted by MSA or ZIP code.

In addition to focusing on funding and regulatory issues at the federal level, NHC is working to develop the agenda and fill out the speaker lineups for our next two convenings: How Housing Matters on December 13 and Solutions for Affordable Housing on December 14.

In June, NHC elected six new members to its Board of Governors. I wanted to again welcome them to the board:
  • Dan Soliman, Director, Housing Impact Area, AARP Foundation.
  • Diane Yentel, President and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition.
  • Kirsten Johnson-Obey, Senior Vice President of Policy and Legislative Affairs, NeighborWorks® America.
  • Sandra Henriquez, Director of Operations, Rebuilding Together.
  • David Adame, President and CEO, Chicanos Por La Causa, Phoenix, Arizona.

In addition, the following were appointed to the Board of Governors by NHC regional affiliates the New York Housing Conference and the California Housing Consortium:
  • Marc Jahr, Consultant with Community Development Futures, LLC.
  • Carol Galante, I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy and the Faculty Director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

Our full Board of Trustees and Board of Governors rosters are available on our website.

As always, thanks for being a member of NHC.

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