January 17, 2017

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

Senate Banking Committee Holds Nomination Hearing for HUD Secretary-Designate Ben Carson 

HUD Secretary-Designate Dr. Ben Carson appeared before the Senate Banking Committee for his nomination hearing. He released this statement, commenting on the strong connection between housing and health, stressing the importance of deregulation, praising homeownership, and supporting continued efforts to tackle homelessness. His statement says, "we need to shore up our nation's housing finance sector, and HUD plays a crucial role in the housing finance system through FHA and Ginnie Mae..." He also mentions the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and suggests he would look for ways to improve it, saying that, "it's important for all HUD programs to be evaluated so we know what works and what doesn't and where we can cut red tape."

Carson Pushes Increased Private-Sector Role in HUD Programs

Ben Carson detailed his vision for the Department of Housing and Urban Development: One that integrates government assistance programs with “holistic” solutions and greater involvement of businesses and faith groups. Carson, during his secretariat confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, suggested several times that the private sector should play a larger role in addressing poverty and systemic inequities, investing in “human capital” as a means of both increasing quality of life and profits. “The programs that have been enacted in HUD over the year, you know, they’re good programs. But in and of themselves they’re not bringing about the elevation of large numbers of people. And that’s what we’re looking for,” Carson said. “We don’t want it to be a way of life, we want it to be a Band-Aid and a springboard to move forward.” In another instance, Carson said he would like to work with faith and business groups to help people whose residences are now worth less than their mortgages.

New MBA Report Forecasts Strong Year for Commercial and Multifamily Lending 

A new survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) of the nation’s top commercial and multifamily mortgage origination firms is offering an optimistic forecast for lending in 2017.
Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of the survey’s respondents predicted originations will increase this year, with one-quarter (26 percent) expecting an increase of five percent or more. Fifty percent of the respondents expected their firms to enjoy a five percent or higher increase in origination activity.

Affordable Housing: Top Trends to Watch in 2017

There’s no question that there is a tremendous need for this product type in the United States. According to a 2016 report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, more than a third of U.S. households pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent. Of this third, 16.5 percent of households allocate more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
As the demand for affordable housing continues to outpace supply in markets across the nation, many multifamily investors are eyeing this asset class with renewed interest. The question is: how can investors best capitalize on current trends in order to achieve strong returns? As an owner of 41

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