November 23, 2016

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

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.

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