January 23, 2018

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

Federal Housing Policy

What a Government Shutdown Means for Housing

A summary of shutdown impacts on the mortgage industry. Despite substantial reductions in HUD staffing, most key federal mortgage market functions would continue, but some mortgage closings could be significantly delayed.

What Does a Shutdown Mean for Washington Region’s Economy?

An economic and housing market data analysis to gauge the potential economic impacts of government shutdowns of varying durations.

Federal Housing Trust Fund

Housing Trust Fund at Risk Due to Tax Reform 

Due to unintended impacts from the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” signed into law in December, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) have announced they will likely need an advance from the U.S. Treasury – a move that, under current Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) policy, risks a suspension of the Enterprises’ statutorily required funding for the national Housing Trust Fund.

Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) Reform

Is the Senate Planning to Move Fannie, Freddie into Receivership?

The Senate is examining a plan from the Federal Housing Finance Agency that could turn Fannie and Freddie into utilities with access to an explicit government guarantee against catastrophic loss.  However, the Senate bill would differ significantly from the FHFA’s proposal.  It would replace the GSEs with at least 10 private-market guarantors.

Rental Housing Programs

Fannie Mae Wants Affordable Housing Developers to Focus on Resident Wellbeing

Last year, Fannie Mae launched a program designed to increase the development of healthy living options for residents of affordable, multifamily rental properties. The program, called Healthy Housing Rewards, targets developers and offers them an incentive to include healthy design features, like including common spaces, community gardens, playgrounds, into the design of newly constructed or rehabilitated affordable, multifamily rental properties. Now, Fannie Mae is rolling out a new feature of the program that encourages developers to focus more on the health and wellbeing of their residents..

Seven Predictions for the Multifamily Sector in 2018

“Stable” is the word that encapsulates the anticipated state of the multifamily sector this year.  Little change is expected by most market experts.

Apartment Rent Gains Slow

U.S. multifamily rents held steady in December, finishing 2017 at $1,359 on average--up 2.5 percent for the year.  "While that represents a solid gain, it also is the smallest annual increase since 2010," the YardiMatrix Rent Survey said, noting rents have grown by at least 3.3 percent every year since then, peaking at 5.4 percent in 2015 and declining to 3.4 percent in 2016.

Homeownership Programs

House Passes Bill That Eases HMDA Requirements for Smaller Lenders

The House of Representatives this week passed a bill that exempts some smaller lenders, community banks, and credit unions from the additional HMDA reporting requirements that went into effect at the beginning of this year.

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