January 26, 2016

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

Virginia to receive more than $120.5 million from National Disaster Resilience Competition
~ Funding will address sea level rise and recurrent flooding ~  
Governor Terry McAuliffe joined U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julian Castro to announce that Virginia will receive more than $120.5 million through HUD’s National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC).  Virginia competed with 40 other communities nationwide affected by natural disasters in recent years for funding from HUD’s $1 billion competition. The competition will fund the implementation of innovative resilience projects to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme events, including climate change.  “This federal funding is great news for Hampton Roads and a testament to the hard work of the region’s municipalities, academic institutions like ODU and VIMS, Naval Station Norfolk, and leaders across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Tim Kaine.  “I’m proud of the bipartisan work we’ve done to address the impacts of sea level rise in Hampton Roads, and I’ll continue serving as a loud voice in the Senate on the importance of combatting climate change before its effects on our communities and military installations become even more extreme.”

McAuliffe administration seeks extra $110 million to boost services for disabled

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration is seeking an extra $110 million over the next three years to provide more services to residents with severe disabilities to comply with a federal court settlement.  The money would intensify the state’s efforts to move people off a waiting list for services that currently has about 10,100 names. It would fund 855 Medicaid waivers for residents who do not have them and pay for an overhaul of how the state awards those waivers to better prioritize services for people in immediate need of aid.  The state Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services (DBHDS) also plans to expand the services it offers to families of the disabled who are in crisis; shut four state-run institutions; and finance the construction of more homes or apartments for the disabled in communities where those facilities are in short supply.  “This will be a really significant step forward,” said Jack Barber, interim commissioner of the state agency for people with disabilities. “It will be very significant in moving us into compliance with the settlement agreement, but more importantly, providing the kinds of services in integrated settings that we want to provide.”

Virginia reaches $63 million settlement with 11 banks for RMBS fraud

RBS, Barclays, others accused of defrauding state’s retirement system
The Commonwealth of Virginia announced Friday that it reached a “record” settlement with 11 banks over allegations that the banks defrauded the state’s retirement system by allegedly misrepresenting the quality of residential mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.  According to the office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, the $63 million settlement is the largest non-healthcare-related recovery ever obtained in a suit alleging violations of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.  Herring’s office said that the settlement resolves all claims against the 11 banks that were accused of “harming” the Virginia Retirement System, Virginia’s taxpayers, and the pensioners of Commonwealth through “misrepresentation” of the quality of mortgage bonds sold to the VRS.

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