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June 27, 2014
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Election Watch

Carter Represents Industry at Capitol Hill Roundtable

NMHC Chairman Daryl Carter, Center. Copyright: SOC

NMHC Chairman Daryl Carter, founder, chairman and CEO of Avanath Capital Management, LLC, represented the apartment industry at a roundtable discussion on June 25 focused on how to stimulate infrastructure investment through public and private partnerships.  The roundtable was sponsored by members of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee. 

Only a handful of national leaders were invited to the informal discussion that included representatives from the construction, transportation and commercial real estate sectors.  Committee Chairman Senator Mark Begich, D-Alaska, led the discussion and was joined by more than a dozen Senate members.

Carter stressed the significant role that the apartment industry plays in the nation’s communities and the jobs created through apartment development, management and construction.  He went on to highlight the shortage of rental supply stressing that to keep up with demand we should be building 300,000 to 400,000 a year, yet just 185,800 were delivered last year.  Carter emphasized that federal, state and local regulations and barriers impact the industry’s ability to build affordable rental units in order to meet the changing housing paradigm.    

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NMHC Insider
Treasury Unveils Affordable Rental Housing Plan

Treasury Department Secretary Jack Lew on June 26 announced a partnership between his department and HUD that will provide financing for multifamily loans insured under the Federal Housing Administration’s risk sharing programs.  Specifically, the goal of the proposal includes creating and preserving more decent, affordable rental housing nationwide by, in part, significantly reducing the interest rate for affordable multifamily apartment buildings.

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Castro and Donovan Nominations Move Forward with Bipartisan Support

Two of President Obama’s nominees to key positions for the real estate industry passed through committee this week with bipartisan support, signaling momentum for both to clear full Senate confirmation before the August recess.  Current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was approved to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by the Budget Committee with a 15-6 margin, with four Republicans voting in support. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro received similar approval for the HUD Secretary post from the Banking Committee by a 16-6 margin, again with four Republicans voting in support.

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House Committee Advances Terrorism Insurance Bill

On June 20, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill to extend and reform the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) (H.R. 4871). Specifically, the TRIA Reform Act of 2014 passed on a strict party line vote of 32-27, moving one step closer to reauthorizing the program before it expires at the end of the year. The bill extends the program for five years and makes reforms to reduce the federal footprint and taxpayer exposure, including increasing the point at which the federal backstop is triggered from $100 to $500 million for conventional events such as 9-11. Trigger levels remain the same for events caused by Nuclear, Biological, Chemical or Radiological (NBCR) weapons.  Democratic efforts to replace the Republican measure with a ten-year extension bill were rejected.

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Military Housing "Fly-In" Lobby Day to Focus on Defense Budget Cuts

NMHC/NAA members participating in the Military Housing Privatization Initiative will meet with members of Congress about Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) funding on July 24. During this armed services “fly-in” lobby day, member firms will raise concerns about the fact that the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request includes a five percent reduction to the BAH – a core military benefit that compensates service members for their housing costs – and eliminates the stipend for renter’s insurance.

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FAA Proposal Could Negatively Impact Multifamily
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposal could negatively impact multifamily and other real estate development, as well as property values, around airports nationwide.  Specifically, FAA is seeking to modify the policies that determine whether a building or other structure poses a hazard to navigable airspace in the context of an engine failure during take-off – known as “one engine inoperative” procedures. The changes could lead to more restrictive height limitations and additional zoning requirements for buildings near airports.
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Senate to Vote on Key Census Funding

The full Senate is preparing to vote on the U.S. Census Bureau’s FY 2015 budget, which includes funding levels for both 2020 Census planning and the administration of the annual American Community Survey (ACS).  In late May the full House approved a funding measure that would make participation in the ACS voluntary, reducing the reliability of the survey and likely making it more expensive because increased effort would need to be made to ensure a representative sample. 

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Election Watch
Senator Cochran Wins Primary by Close Margin
Senator Thad Cochran, R-Miss., won his run off primary race this past Tuesday against Tea Party candidate State Senator Chris McDaniel. The race was extremely close but Cochran pulled it off with just over 6,000 votes.
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Hill Watch
The House and Senate will be in recess next week.
Media Roundup
Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies: Millennials the Key to a Stronger Housing Recovery
Boston Globe
Why Congress Can't Afford to Ignore Small Businesses This Fall
Washington Post
In Narrow Ruling, Supreme Court Invalidates Three Obama Appointments
Vice President Biden Sets Immigration Meeting
Odds Tilt Toward GOP Senate
The Hill
Boehner to Sue Obama for Executive Orders; Pelosi Says Speaker Needs to be an "Adult"
Washington Times
The Scoop

Another Big Loss in Congress:  This Time on the Baseball Field
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is fed up -- with losing to the Democrats in the Congressional Baseball Game. The GOP wants a new manager after losing this week's annual game for the 6th time in a row (yes, 6th). The Republicans got pummeled 15-6. Their manager is Representative Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, but Boehner said letting Barton go is not in his job description and he's not sure who has that authority. Read More

**Multifamily Markup will be on hiatus next week due to the House and Senate recess.

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