November 30, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

FHLBank Atlanta’s AHP Competitive Round to Open in Early 2017

(RECAP: Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta  recently announced that its 2017 Affordable Housing Program Competitive round will open on January 3, 2017. Up to $500,000 will be awarded per project to its member financial institutions and their community housing partners through a competitive application process. The deadline for submitting applications is February 2, 2017.)

Five Approaches to Reviving Aging Mall Sites

(RECAP: Aging shopping malls—many burdened with high vacancy rates or even abandoned—are being transformed into vibrant, mixed-use destinations that are connected to their surrounding communities. By transitioning mall sites to a mix of uses, developers can help create consumer demand within the vibrant, modern micro-economies that will become the non-malls of the future.)

Baby Boomers Rapidly Becoming The New Hipsters Fueling Unprecedented Apartment Demand

(RECAP: The National Multifamily Housing Council’s research shows that aging boomers will represent a larger share of growth in the apartment market as millennials begin to marry, have children and buy homes. From affordable senior rentals to luxury living, the demand for age-qualified apartment homes is higher than ever. And with 10,000 people a day turning 65 through 2030 that demand will continue to grow.)

Land Banks & Community Land Trusts: Not Synonyms or Antonyms. Complements

(RECAP: Land banks and community land trusts (CLTs) are often perceived as “off mission” or antithetical tools that are not suited for the same environments. Conversely, they also tend be conflated as one and the same. Neither perception, however, reflects reality. In this blog post, Center for Community Progress and Grounded Solutions Network come together to help set the record straight and explore how land banks and community land trusts can coordinate to optimize equitable development outcomes.)

Affordable Housing Advisory Council at FHLBank Atlanta Seeks Maryland and Virginia Nominations

(RECAP: The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta is soliciting nominations from North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia for individuals to serve on the Bank’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council. Nominations can be made by completing and returning the nomination form and application certification to FHLBank Atlanta by 5 p.m. Thursday, December 15, 2016.)

VHDA Managing Director of Rental Housing Art Bowen currently serves on the Bank’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council, which meets quarterly to advise the Bank’s board of directors on ways the Bank can better carry out its housing finance and community lending mission. 

November 28, 2016

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

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The Nation's Housing: Congress could play The Grinch this Christmas for homeowners

Could popular deductions for mortgage insurance premiums and energy-efficient home improvements abruptly vanish? That’s the way things are shaping up in the closing weeks of the post-election lame duck congressional session. Republicans controlling the tax-writing committees in the House and Senate say they have no plans to extend expiring tax code provisions such as mortgage debt forgiveness for financially troubled owners, mortgage insurance write-offs used by moderate-income first-time buyers, and deductions for purchases of energy-saving windows, insulation and other improvements. All three benefits terminate Dec. 31. Unlike previous years, when Congress extended them, this year is different. There is strong sentiment, especially in the House, that a comprehensive overhaul and simplification of the tax code should be the priority, rather than piecemeal, end-of-the-year extensions of special interest provisions that complicate that objective.

FHFA Announces Increase in Maximum Conforming Loan Limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2017  

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2017 will increase.  In most of the country, the 2017 maximum loan limit for one-unit properties will be $424,100, an increase from $417,000.  This will be the first increase in the baseline loan limit since 2006.  In higher-cost areas, higher loan limits will be in effect. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) established the baseline loan limit of $417,000 and requires this limit to be adjusted each year to reflect the changes in the national average home price.  However, after a period of declining home prices, HERA also made clear that the baseline loan limit could not rise again until the average U.S. home price returned to its pre-decline level.  Until this year, the average U.S. home price remained below the level achieved in the third quarter of 2007 and thus the baseline loan limit had not been increased.

FDIC Releases Second Part of Affordable Mortgage Lending Guide 

Community bankers can learn more about grant and mortgage loan programs offered nationwide with the help of The Affordable Mortgage Lending Guide, Part II: State Housing Finance Agencies, recently published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This publication is focused on first-lien mortgage products, downpayment and closing assistance, mortgage tax credit certificates, and homeownership education and counseling programs that can facilitate mortgage lending by insured depository institutions. It includes individual summaries of each state housing finance agency, complete with a listing of programs offered and web links for easy reference by bankers operating in that state or territory.

November 24, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Maggie Walker Community Land Trust Hopes to Preserve Affordable Homeownership in Richmond

(RECAP: Virginia now has two Community Land Trusts: the Thomas Jefferson Community Land Trust, which serves the Greater Charlottesville MSA (City of Charlottesville and the Counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson) and now the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust in the City of Richmond. The Maggie Walker CLT was created to help address the issue of tax delinquent properties in the City of Richmond by converting these properties into affordable homes for members of the community to purchase.)

What Planners Can Learn From Improv

(RECAP: Approaching things with an open mind, seeing opportunities rather than mistakes, and above all, maintaining a sense of humor are important lessons planners can learn from the world of improv.)

Apple Doubling Down On Accessibility

(RECAP: As tech-giant Apple rolls out its newest products, the company is placing a special emphasis on people with disabilities. Apple used the event to debut a new accessibility website highlighting various built-in options on the company’s devices and how people are applying these features in their lives.)

November 23, 2016

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

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FHA Report Says Health of Mortgage Fund Improving 

HUD released its 2016 Annual Report to Congress on the financial status of the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF). The report finds that the value of the MMIF, which funds FHA's single-family homeownership and reverse mortgage loans, grew by $3.8 billion to $27.6 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2016, its fourth consecutive annual increase. The MMIF's capital ratio is at 2.32 percent, up from 2.07 percent in FY 2015 and above the statutorily mandated capital ratio of 2 percent. The capital ratio fell below the 2 percent threshold in in FY2009, due mainly to losses related to the economic downturn, and did not climb back to the minimum ratio until FY 2015. In FYs 2012 and 2013, due to losses caused by the financial crisis, the MMIF ran a negative balance. In September 2013, HUD was forced to request funding from the U.S. Treasury to keep it actuarially solvent.

HUD Announces VAWA Final Rule 

HUD published in the Federal Register the final rule implementing housing provisions under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) as it applies to HUD programs. The rule codifies VAWA core protections across covered HUD programs to ensure individuals are not denied assistance, evicted, or have their assistance terminated because of their status as victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, or for being affiliated with a victim. The 2013 VAWA legislation and resulting final rule expands the number of HUD programs subject to VAWA protections. Previously, only residents of public housing and Section 8 tenant-based and project-based programs were covered by VAWA legislation as passed by Congress in 2005. The final rule extends VAWA protections to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the National Housing Trust Fund, Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, Section 236 Rental Program, Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities, Section 211(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, and McKinney-Vento homeless programs. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit and USDA Rural Housing properties are also subject to VAWA requirements per the 2013 reauthorization; however, Treasury and the Department of Agriculture have not yet issued regulations to implement VAWA protections under those programs.

HUD Releases New Fair Housing Guidance for RAD Program 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released PIH Notice 2016-17 (HA) to provide Public Housing Agencies (PHA), Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program Project Owners, and RAD development partners with guidance on fair housing and civil rights regulations applicable to RAD First Component Public Housing conversions. The new notice builds on prior guidance (PIH Notice 2012-32 (HA) REV-2) to further clarify when HUD will require front-end civil rights reviews and outlines which information must be submitted to HUD to facilitate reviews. The notice also covers key statutory requirements and regulation regarding tenant relocation under RAD.

November 18, 2016

Updates from the Rental Housing Division's Compliance & Asset Management Department

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News You Can Use

Want to stay informed on the latest information from VHDA's Rental Housing Division? Please sign up to receive our periodic updates that will address:

  • Changes to existing programs Changes to existing programs
  • New loan programs New loan programs
  • Modifications to processes and procedures Modifications to processes and procedures
  • Changes to loan underwriting practices and policies Changes to loan underwriting practices and policies 

Renter Income

The Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2017 is 0.3%. Use the new rate when projecting the income of applicants and residents. This affects people who receive Social Security, SSI, VA pension, Civil Service pension and Railroad Retirement.

Utility Allowance

Revised and clarified procedures and forms for Utility Allowance Estimates for Housing Credits (also known as LIHTC, or Low-Income Housing Tax Credits) are on VHDA's website. Please begin using them immediately.

Violence Against Women Act of 2013 (VAWA)

VAWA applies to:
HUD public housing, HUD Section 8 properties and Rural Development properties. Follow their specific instructions and use their required forms if your property is HUD or RD.
Housing Credits properties. Pending any guidance published by IRS, LIHTC properties may implement forms on VHDA's website. Until IRS guidance is received, use of the forms is optional and non-use will not result in filing of Form 8823.

Tenant Screening

Using criminal records as a screening tool for housing decisions may be a violation of fair housing law, if it creates a disparate impact for individuals who fall within a federal protected class. 

Please review and update your Tenant Selection Plan to use convictions rather than arrests. You should also take into consideration the nature and severity of the crime, as well as the timeframe within which it occurred (i.e., how much time has passed since the crime). Consult a fair housing attorney for more specific direction.

Additional Sources of Training

Mid-Atlantic Affordable Housing Management Association (AHMA) Training
If you have questions, please contact your assigned VHDA Compliance Officer for assistance.

November 16, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Lecture: Highland Park Senior Apartments: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Historic and Affordable Housing Preservation

(RECAP: On Dec. 15, 2016, learn how this recently renovated 77-unit project utilized Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) as well as state and federal Historic Tax Credits to bring new life to the old Highland Park Public School.)

Coming Soon: Policy Strategy Guide Around Housing and Schools

(RECAP: Since 2014, Housing Virginia has been a leader in the conversation surrounding the connection between housing and schools in Virginia. As a new phase of their policy research and work begins, Housing Virginia will soon release a strategy guide for localities that want to start a dialogue about the connection between housing and school policies in their own community.)

Post office alley could become a public plaza

(RECAP: Warrenton officials have begun to explore an idea for improving a blocked alley next to the Main Street post office. The vision includes a “plaza” with landscaping, lights and benches, along a walkway that would link the street to parking lots behind the red brick building, constructed in 1916.)

When Planners and Engineers Team Up, Everybody Wins

(RECAP: For complex projects, bringing a master plan to life demands more than just a bold conceptual vision. It also requires a firm grounding in the technical details of a site, an area where planners and engineers must work together to achieve success. Collaboration helps promote public buy-in by ensuring the master plan addresses environmental, public health, and traffic concerns.)

The First Principles of Urbanism: Part II

(RECAP: The future of cities depends on how quickly the public sector can integrate technology, not on how quickly entrepreneurs and firms can innovate. If we want cities to win the 21st century, it turns out urbanists had all better learn to speak technology— soon. But it also turns out that if technologists want to make cities better, rather than just different, they need to learn to speak urbanism as well.)

November 15, 2016

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

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Will Trump Tackle Housing Finance Reform?

Donald Trump's views on housing finance reform remain a complete mystery, raising questions about whether he will seek changes or defer to others in Congress. Housing was the talk of the campaign two presidential elections ago, but it stayed under the radar in the 2016 race, leaving plenty of room to speculate about President-elect Donald Trump's likely mortgage policy for the next four years. On the one hand, without a crisis, observers said there is little incentive for him to move quickly on the issue. But the unresolved question of what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – both in conservatorship since before Barack Obama's election – will loom large over the future Trump administration. Exactly how Trump would address the issue is a complete mystery. The issue was never raised on the campaign trail.

What's in Store for Housing in 2017?

The National Association of Realtors answers, gives forecast for next year
For the majority of this year, the housing market could not get past low inventory levels, which were continuously cited as the main road block to a fully healthy housing market. Next year should be better, according to the newly release forecast from the National Association of Realtors, but it’s going to take time. During the residential housing and economic forecast session at the 2016 Realtors Conference & Expo, Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, and Dennis Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, discussed the 2017 housing and economic forecast, along with the economic conditions that support the housing sector.

HUD Issues HOTMA Implementation Guidance  

HUD published in the Federal Register the initial implementation guidance for the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act (HOTMA). HOTMA, which President Obama signed into law in July, makes several modifications to housing assistance programs, including streamlining Housing Choice Voucher (voucher) program inspections, simplifying the requirements for project basing vouchers, and providing public housing agencies (PHAs) greater flexibility to transfer funding between their operating and capital funds. HUD's guidance clarifies which statutory provisions went into effect immediately upon the President signing HOTMA into law and which provisions will be phased in as HUD promulgates further regulations.

New Report Recommends Renters’ Tax Credit

Carol Galante — former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development — and her colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation last week released a new report, commissioned by the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families.  As Will Fischer discusses, it proposes three options for a tax credit to help renters struggling to make ends meet, an idea that has received growing support from policy experts and others.

HUD Flood Plan Provokes Battle Between Home Builders, Environmentalists

"If we're serious about protecting people and property from flooding, we have to think differently than we did 40 years ago," said HUD Secretary Julian Castro. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's proposed guidance for the construction of new homes located in flood plains is sparking a fight between homebuilders and environmentalists. The agency released a plan last week that would stipulate that newly constructed homes financed by the Federal Housing Administration would have to be elevated two feet above the 100 year-based flood level. That prompted an outcry from the National Association of Home Builders, which said the plan is inconsistent with the federal flood insurance program and most building codes.

Serious Delinquencies at Lowest Point in Nine Years: CoreLogic

The number of seriously delinquent mortgages declined 24.8% in September from one year prior, as the number of loans more than 90 days late is at its lowest since August 2007, according to CoreLogic. "This improvement is continued evidence of the recovery in the housing market, especially given that the decreases were fairly uniform in most cities across the country," said CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

November 11, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Next Steps for the Rural Housing Network

(RECAP: Housing Virginia has wrapped up the rural housing provider discussion forums around the state, carried out in partnership with local Realtors® Associations, and has begun work on a final report. This report, the preliminary findings of which will be released at the Governor's Housing Conference in November, tracks the changes in a range of data points to present the new picture of rural housing in Virginia.)

House calls: Finding shelter for local homeless vets

(RECAP: It’s been almost one year since Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia was the first state in the U.S. to functionally end homelessness among veterans—and while it may not seem that way when residents drive through Charlottesville and see people begging, evolving housing programs are having positive effects on the city and surrounding counties. Partnerships between Veterans Affairs medical centers, programs that support veterans families and local homeless organizations such as The Haven continue to piece together a complex, and often sensitive, puzzle.)

The Next Generation of Model Planning, U.S. Zoning Legislation

(RECAP: States and their local governments have practical tools to help combat urban sprawl, protect farmland, promote affordable housing, and encourage redevelopment. They appear in the American Planning Association's Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook: Model Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change. The Guidebook and its accompanying User Manual are the culmination of APA's seven-year Growing Smart project, an effort to draft the next generation of model planning and zoning legislation for the United States.)

U.S. incomes increasing, but school workers still struggle to afford housing

(RECAP: “Paycheck to Paycheck 2016: A Snapshot of Housing Affordability for School Workers” focuses on five school-related occupations: bus drivers, social workers, daycare teachers, groundskeepers and high school teachers. In many metropolitan areas across the country, the salaries of these workers don’t allow them to live in the communities that they serve.)

November 10, 2016

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

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FHFA Releases 2016 Housing Report 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its Annual Housing Report for 2016. The report examines Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's affordable housing activities for 2015.
The bulk of the report focuses on Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's performance under their 2015-2017 Affordable Housing Goals. It finds that, while each firm met its affordable multifamily goals in 2015, they did not meet all of their single-family goals. Specifically, they did not meet the goal requiring that at least 24 percent of the single-family loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each year be made to low-income consumers (those making 80 percent or less of area median income, or AMI). According to FHFA, such loans accounted for 23.5 percent of Fannie Mae's loan purchases, and 22.3 percent of Freddie Mac's loan purchases.  Both firms also failed to meet the goal requiring that at least 6 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's single-family loan purchases be loans for very low-income consumers (those at 50 percent or less of AMI). The report states that such loans accounted for 5.6 percent of Fannie Mae's loan purchases and 5.4 percent of Freddie Mac's loan purchases.

Freddie Trying to Find the Balance in Credit-Risk Deals

"Credit risk transfer is an efficient and good thing to do on its own, if the income you give up is relatively small verses the reduction in risk," said Freddie CEO Don Layton.  Freddie Mac's credit risk transfers come with a hefty price tag, but are ultimately still worth it, according to Chief Executive Don Layton.  The government-sponsored enterprise has completely nearly $182 billion in credit risk transfers in which a portion of its credit risk is absorbed by a third-party company either before or after the mortgages are closed. The interest and premiums the GSE pays on the transfers effectively reduced Freddie's guarantee income by roughly 33% for the transactions executed through Sept. 30.  In an interview, Layton said that such a deal still makes economic sense for Freddie under certain conditions.

How Affordable is Housing in Your Congressional District?

In looking at housing affordability across the nation’s congressional districts, home values and rents tend to be higher along the coasts and in denser, urban communities, regardless which party represents a given community in Congress. The current set of congressional districts reflect the results of the 2010 Census, so the 115th Congress will be only the second group serving under current district boundaries. By hovering over a district in the maps below, you can view the representative and party currently holding the seat, along with relevant housing data.

Widespread Credit Blemishes May Well be Holding Back Our Economic Recovery

It is commonly understood that the seven million foreclosures that occurred between 2004 and 2015 fueled the Great Recession and have held back a robust economic recovery. But the role of adverse public records during that same period is just as significant yet rarely discussed.  Nearly 35 million consumers had adverse public records between 2004 and 2015, including bankruptcies, civil judgments, and federal tax liens. Combined with the seven million foreclosures, this means more than one in six Americans with a credit record suffered an adverse event during this period.  These extensive credit problems are partly responsible for consumers’ slow recovery from the financial crisis. The lingering effects of foreclosures and adverse public records prevent consumers from obtaining mortgages and pursuing homeownership, hinder housing market recovery, limit consumers’ ability to obtain other credit (e.g., auto loans), and reduce consumers’ ability and willingness to spend, all of which weakens the economic recovery.

A Guide to House Leadership, Committee, Caucus Elections

Races will place at least 17 members in new positions of power
The race for chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee will be between Texas Rep. Roger Williams and Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers. While much speculation over House leadership changes in the 115th Congress is focused on a contentious speaker’s election that may never materialize, a long series of intraparty leadership, committee and caucus races guarantee significant turnover in top House posts next year.  Retirements, term limits and lawmakers departing for other jobs mean that at least 17 prominent roles, and likely more, will change hands. Elections to determine those new influencers are set to begin during the lame-duck session that opens the week after Election Day.

November 8, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Coming Soon: Policy Strategy Guide Around Housing and Schools 

(RECAP: Since 2014, Housing Virginia has been the leader in the conversation surrounding the connection between housing and schools in Virginia. As a new phase of our policy research and work around this topic begins, we will soon release a strategy guide for localities that want to start a dialogue about the connection between housing and school policies in their own community.)

Why (and how) localities should say yes to housing

(RECAP: One reason affordable housing is scarce is that, in a typical market, an apartment complex with rents affordable to middle-income workers costs more to build than the developers can recoup through rents. Creating affordable housing for people with below-median income is even harder. Why is this so, and how can it be changed? A substantial part of the problem and solution is in local control.)

Blight-Fighting Tactic Found to Double Nearby Real Estate Values

(RECAP: The controversial “broken window theory” of policing dictates that you go after the small crimes, and the big ones will fall. Applied to blight, that school of thought means restoring abandoned houses on otherwise intact blocks as affordable units so the surrounding neighborhood gets better — and for less money than the more common approach of building or renovating homes on a larger scale.)

The 5 Must-Haves Of A Successful Mixed-Use Development Project

(RECAP: While the benefits of a successful mixed-use development project are obvious to the business owners and homeowners that occupy them, the recipe for success is not so clear-cut. In most cases, the outcome of a mixed-use development is determined on a combination of factors like the location and quality of tenants, and how each use — whether residential, commercial or industrial — compliments the others.)

November 3, 2016

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

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NCSHA Recommends Further Improvements to State Fair Housing Assessment Tool 

NCSHA submitted comments to HUD on the second iteration of the proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Assessment Tool for States and Insular Areas, which HUD released for a 30-day comment period in late September. HUD initially published the proposed state assessment tool in March for a 60-day comment period, then revised the tool based on the comments it received, including those NCSHA provided in May. NCSHA commended HUD for adopting many of the recommendations NCSHA made in our comments on the first iteration of the state assessment tool. These changes make the tool more responsive to state level implementation needs, clarify to some extent what is expected of states, and reduce some of the burden on state agencies. In particular, NCSHA applauded HUD for committing to work with us and HFAs as it develops the state AFFH data and mapping tool (AFFH-T), which state will need to use in conjunction with the assessment tool to develop their Assessments of Fair Housing (AFH), and for providing a separate comment period on the AFFH-T.

FHA Implements New Occupancy Requirements for Condo Loans 

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently released a Mortgage Letter (ML 2016-15) establishing new owner occupancy requirements that condominium projects must meet for mortgages on their single-family units to be eligible for FHA insurance. The new standards take effect immediately. Under its current guidelines, FHA insures single-family condominium loans for units in existing developments where at least 50 percent of the units are owner-occupied. The Mortgagee Letter announces that FHA will be retaining the 50 percent threshold for most existing developments, but that it will lower the owner-occupancy threshold to as low as 35 percent for developments that meet certain criteria designed to demonstrate good financial health. To be eligible for FHA approval under the lower threshold, a condominium development must hold reserves representing 20 percent of its total budget and no more than 10 percent of all units in the development may be more than 60 days past due on their association dues.

IRS Releases 2017 Inflation Adjustments for Housing Credits and Bonds

The IRS published Revenue Procedure 2016-55, which outlines the inflation adjustments for nearly 50 federal tax provisions, including the amount of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) authority and Private Activity Bond (PAB) authority each state will receive. For calendar year 2017, the state Housing Credit ceiling will be the greater of $2.35 multiplied by the state's population or $2,710,000. While the multiplier remained at the same level as in 2016, the minimum increased slightly from its 2016 level of $2,690,000. The state private activity bond cap for 2017 will be the greater of $100 multiplied by the state population or $305,315,000. This represents a $3,800,000 increase to the minimum from the 2016 level of $301,515,000.

Industry Experts Reveal Details of HAMP Replacement Program

Non-crisis program will increase accessibility to loan mods
The Home Affordable Modification Program will expire at the end of this year, and experts from the industry talked about its replacement: One Mod: Principles for Post-HAMP Loan Modification at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual conference. The MBA revealed its new program proposal at the end of September. While the Federal Housing Finance Agency already created a new program to replace the Home Affordable Refinance Program, nothing is in place to take over for HAMP.

Treasury: Here’s What Housing Reform Should Look Like

“Whether they are aware of it or not, some of the most momentous decisions American families make are shaped by how the housing finance system serves them,” said U.S. Department of the Treasury Counselor Antonio Weiss and Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Karen Dynan in a recent commentary. But how is Treasury currently helping to shape the housing finance system to better serve consumers and promote homeownership? One way is through the allocation of $2 billion in the past year of additional funds for foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization through the Hardest Hit Fund. Treasury has also awarded grants through the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) to promote $900 million in affordable homeownership and rental opportunities as well as worked to create broader loss mitigation standards for borrowers who face hardship and are unable to make their monthly mortgage payment as our Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) sunsets at the end of 2016.