CARH'S BROADCAST EMAIL - Regulatory Update

January 9, 2020


CARH’s BROADCAST EMAIL – Regulatory and Legislative Update

January 6, 2020

 

Update on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing; Community Reinvestment Act; Uniform Relocation Act; and Flood Insurance
 

 
1) HUD Request for Information
On November 22, 2019, HUD published Notice in the Federal Register on their Request for Information to Eliminate Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing. This follows up the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing, at which CARH’s Executive Director, Colleen M. Fisher attended the Council’s first meeting in November and follow-up meeting in December at HUD. Comments are due January 21, 2020. CARH expects to submit comments for more effective HOME and Section 8 program operations, but please provide any comments to share by January 14th.
 
2) Community Reinvestment Act
As we informed you in our December 16, 2019, Broadcast Email, the Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have jointly released a notice proposed rulemaking to reform the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations. The House Financial Services Committee is holding hearings starting January 14th on these proposed regulatory changes. Technically, the proposal has not been published yet. Increasingly, federal agencies are releasing regulatory proposals on their websites, which is what happened here, because the administrative steps to publication in the Federal Register can take a while to complete. The public will have 60 days from publication to submit comments. On its face, the proposal presents significant concerns to the affordable housing community. The proposal contains a list of CRA qualifying activities, and equity investments in low income housing tax credits appears limited to properties with other kinds of state or federal housing subsidies.
 
3) Uniform Relocation Act
On December 18, 2019, the Department of Transportation published in the Federal Register a Notice entitled, Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally Assisted Programs. While the Uniform Relocation Act (URA) is administered by the Transportation Department, and logically applies when federal road projects cause a displacement of homes and business, URA also applies across other federal programs, including USDA and HUD programs. HUD has been very active in administratively expanding the use of URA to project rehabilitations, at times, even where there is no displacement. This proposed rule appears to expand the regulations, more formally, and more fully place obligations on purchasers of affordable housing developments seeking to preserve those developments. Ironically, this may well create a new barrier to preservation. Comments are due March 12, 2020. CARH will review this at our upcoming Owners/Developers Committee Meeting at our Midyear Meeting in New Orleans.
 
4) Flood Insurance
The National Flood Insurance Program was renewed December 20, 2019, when President Trump signed legislation extending the program until September 30th, 2020, which is the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. Earlier in the year, H.R. 3167 was introduced and amended, which would authorize the flood program for a further five years and make programmatic changes. Another bill, S. 2187, was introduced in the Senate. Indeed, there have been several efforts over time to make long term changes in exchange for longer term reauthorization. This recent history is analyzed by the Congressional Research Service in “The National Flood Insurance Program: Selected Issues and Legislation in the 116th Congress”.
       
If you have not yet registered for CARH’s meeting in New Orleans at the end of the month it is not late. Visit www.carh.org, to download the registration form and the meeting brochure. You will not want to miss the discussions centered on many of the items touched on in this email.                                                
 
If you have any questions or comments, please contact CARH at 703-837-9001 or carh@carh.org

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