March 13, 2018

Novogradac Report: U.S. Has Shortage of 7.2 Million Affordable, Available Homes for ELI Renters

The United States has a shortage of 7.2 million affordable, available rental homes for extremely low-income (ELI)

renters, according to a report issued today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The Gap: A Shortage of

Affordable Homes” reports that only 35 affordable, available rental homes exist for every 100 ELI rental households–defined as households at or below the poverty level or 30 percent of their area median income–and that 71 percent of ELI renter households spend more than half their income on rent and utilities. In its discussion about federal policy solutions, NLIHC said it supports efforts to expand and improve the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) such as those proposed in S. 548, The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017, introduced by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Orin Hatch, R-Utah. 

March 8, 2018

Novogradac: Senate Democrats Unveil $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

A group of nine Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., unveiled a $1 trillion infrastructure plan Wednesday that includes measures from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act and proposes several renewable energy tax credits. The plan suggests strengthening the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), but doesn’t specify how to do so. The plan would also increase funding for the Choice Neighborhoods and Community Development Block Grant programs. The proposal includes $140 billion for roads and bridges, $115 billion for water and sewer systems, $115 billion for public transportation, $80 billion for energy grid innovation, $50 billion for rail infrastructure and $30 billion for ports and waterways. The infrastructure plan calls for a rollback to some changes made in H.R. 1, the tax legislation passed at the end of 2017. The changes include an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent and a return to income taxes and estate taxes for high-income earners that were present before the passage of H.R. 1.

March 6, 2018

FHFA Issues Proposed Rule Amending Federal Home Loan Banks’

Affordable Housing Program Regulation

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking comments on proposed

amendments to its regulation on the Federal Home Loan Banks' (FHLBanks) Affordable Housing Program (AHP).

The proposed amendments would authorize the FHLBanks to redesign their project selection systems and create special targeted funds, which would allow the FHLBanks more flexibility to align their AHP funds with the distinct affordable housing needs in their districts.  The amendments would also make the program easier to use, both for the FHLBanks and award recipients, by reducing regulatory requirements that are redundant with other federal programs.  In 2017 the FHLBanks' net income generated $384 million in AHP funding, and the average contribution for the last five years has exceeded $300 million per year.  

"The FHLBanks' Affordable Housing Program is a continuing success story.  Since it began in 1990, the program has awarded funds to support over one million units of housing affordable to low-income homebuyers and renters," said FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt.  "We look forward to stakeholder comments that will enable us to continue to build on the AHP's success."

FHFA invites interested parties to submit comments on the proposed rule via within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register or via mail, FHFA, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC  20219.  Additionally, FHFA will host a webinar at 2 p.m. EDT, March 27 to explain the proposed rule and answer questions.
The rest of the story... 

February 26, 2018

Affordable Housing Finance: Fannie and Freddie Return
There’s good news for affordable housing developers who build in places that sometime get neglected.

Sponsored by PNC

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are once again investing in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs). Their explicit mission is to invest in affordable housing developments that are underserved by LIHTC investors—particularly in times of uncertainty.

That could help developers who sometimes struggle to attract investors to their plans to build much-needed affordable housing. Their developments may have strong underwriting and proven demand from potential residents but may be located in places that are not favored by the big banks that have been the largest and most dependable LIHTC investors over the last decade.
The rest of the story...

February 26, 2018

Opportunity Zones: What They Are, Why They Matter
Enterprise's Lori Chatman details the newest community development program.
By Lori Chatman
As Congress considered the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year, the fight to save key affordable housing and community development programs made it easy to overlook another of its provisions, one to create a program with the potential to give a powerful boost to economically struggling communities. The next several months will be critical to the impact of this new program.
The rest of the story...

February 20, 2018

Mixed Messages on PABs: 

Fit for the Chopping Block or Cornerstone of Infrastructure Finance?

By Victoria Ozimek and Brian Teaff

Only a few months ago, the public finance industry was shaken when the U.S. House of Representatives proposed to eliminate tax-exempt private activity bonds ("PABs"), despite previous assurances that tax reform would not touch tax-exempt bonds.  Although the final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in late December retained all categories of PABs, some members of Congress continued to warn that the conversation relating to PABs was not yet over and the scope of PABs should be limited in future legislation. The rest of the story…

January 8, 2018
CohnReznick: Affordable Housing News & Views - January 2018
Happy New Year, friends and colleagues throughout the affordable housing industry.

While 2017 finished with enormous activity and change on Capitol Hill, 2018 begins with numerous industries, ours in particular, coming to grips with those changes. As the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill became closer to reality, and especially once it did, a number of us at CohnReznick, myself included, started to field a host of questions from clients and friends throughout the industry. All desired to know the same: how does this affect my business, investments, and deals, and how will I need to adjust? 

In that spirit, we are focusing 2018’s first installment of Affordable Housing News & Views solely on those issues. Foregoing the traditional format of the communication, we present four articles (and one from our friends at NCSHA) with diverging focal points to deliver insight on this momentous piece of legislation:

Capitol Connection: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 - Affordable Housing Aftermath
First, Bob Moss reviews the aftermath from H.R. 1’s passage in his latest Capitol Connection. Bob also discusses what’s next for Private Activity Bonds and possible expansion of the 9% credit.
The rest of the story…

January 4, 2018
Novogradac HUD Delays Deadline for Assessment of Fair Housing Submission
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will publish in Friday’s Federal Register a notice

that it is extending the deadline for the next Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) submission by local government consolidated plan program participants until their first AFH deadline after Oct. 31, 2020. Program participants will not be required to submit an AFH with the current Office of Management and Budget-approved tool, but must still comply with existing obligations to affirmatively further fair housing, according to the HUD notice.

December 28, 2017

Novogradac NCSHA’s Recommended Practices for LIHTC Administration
Published by Mark Shelburne
The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) today released its updated and revised “Recommended Practices in Housing Credit Administration” (RPs). Although technically not binding, the RPs are influential because they represent near consensus among allocators on low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) policy. Allocating agencies generally align their qualified allocation plans (QAPs) with the RPs wherever possible.

The revised RPs are the result of more than a year of work by NCSHA’s staff and allocating agency members, plus input from industry partners. (For example, Novogradac’s LIHTC Working Group submitted comments.) The document now combines what were separate collections of policies for

  • compliance monitoring (from 2000) and
  • allocation and underwriting (last updated in 2011)

There also are many additions. The 47-page document contains recommendations and explanatory discussions for each RP.
The rest of the story...

Articles of Interest

Texas Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies