July 28, 2015

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

GAO Recommends Joint IRS-HUD Oversight of the Housing Credit Program 


The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) yesterday released its report on federal oversight of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, which concludes that there are deficiencies in the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) oversight of the program and recommends that Congress consider designating HUD as a joint administrator of the program.  GAO finds IRS oversight of HFAs and the program in general to be minimal, citing the limited number of audits IRS has conducted of HFAs and Housing Credit investors over the life of the program.  Without regular monitoring, GAO contends that IRS is unable to determine the extent to which HFAs comply with program requirements.  It also criticizes IRS for not regularly reviewing state Qualified Allocation Plans (QAP), not setting goals or assessing the program’s performance, and for having inadequate and unreliable program data.  

Provision to Rescind Hardest Hit Funds Removed From Senate Highway Bill 


Senate leaders have removed a provision that would have rescinded unobligated Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program funds from a transportation reauthorization bill (the DRIVE Act) that it is currently considering.  NCSHA summarized the now-deleted provision in a blog post published yesterday.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the change this morning on the Senate floor when he introduced an amended version of the DRIVE Act. McConnell then undertook a parliamentary procedure to effectively limit the number of amendments to the bill that the Senate may consider.  Consequently, it is all but assured that the final version of the bill the Senate votes on next week will not include language rescinding HHF funds.

Boehner Admits CR Is Fate of Appropriations


With only 16 scheduled legislative days before government funding runs out, Speaker John A. Boehner finally acknowledged Thursday that the House and Senate were headed toward funding the government through a continuing resolution.   A CR, omnibus — or even cromnibus — is not out of the ordinary. Though funding the government through appropriations bills is so-called regular order, the last time Congress actually passed all 12 spending bills on time was 1997. Despite GOP leadership’s stated goal of restoring regular order and passing appropriations bills this year, it’s long been accepted that a spending deal would be necessary at the end of the fiscal year in September. (The Senate hasn’t passed a single appropriations bill this year.)

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