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October 31, 2014
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Midterm Race for Senate Control "Frighteningly" Tight

Copyright: Orhan Cam

There will be a full moon tonight for Halloween, which is extremely rare. The most recent Halloween full moon was in 2001 and before that it was way back in 1955.  This seems appropriate given the fact that this also feels like one of the longest midterm election seasons we’ve had in recent times.

However, through all the attack ads, speeches and spinning pundits, a surprising number of races in the Senate – 10 in all – remain too close to call resulting in the biggest question this election season.  Will Republicans take control of the Senate from Democrats?  Democrats currently hold 53 seats in the Senate combined with Independent Representatives Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine who caucus with them. So Republicans need to pick up six seats to gain control of the chamber.

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NMHC Insider
NMHC and NAA Officers Meet with FHFA Director Watt and Key Staff

NMHC and NAA executive officers met with Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt and key members of his team on October 15 to stress the critical role multifamily plays in meeting the nation’s housing needs.  Industry participants included NMHC’s Vice Chairman Bob Dewitt, Treasurer Sue Ansel, President Doug Bibby and staff, and NAA Treasurer Cindy Clare.

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Final Risk Retention Rule Issued

On October 21, six federal agencies concluded a two-year rule writing process for risk retention guidelines required by the Dodd-Frank Act.  While much of the proposal concerns the single-family sector, it also includes provisions that affect the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market. 

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FHFA and HUD Take Steps to Loosen Single-Family Credit

On October 20, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt and HUD Secretary Julián Castro separately announced a series of housing policy changes related to single-family that are designed to increase the flow of mortgage credit. 

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U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Disparate Impact Case

The U.S. Supreme Court on October 2 agreed to hear a case that may decide the fate of disparate impact liability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). In this case, Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Department of Housing, the allocation of tax credits is being challenged as an allegedly discriminatory practice under the FHA based on its disparate impact on minority residents.

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SBA Advocacy Arm Tells EPA to Sink Water Rule

The effort focused on stopping the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) proposed water rule gained a surprising ally from inside the Obama Administration on October 1.  Specifically, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy requested that the agencies withdraw the rule because they failed to consider its impact on small businesses.

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BIRDS Tool Evaluates Multifamily Buildings' Energy Performance

This month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) introduced a Web-based tool that evaluates multifamily and commercial projects for energy performance by analyzing energy, environmental and cost-performance data.

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HUD Releases Final Fair Market Rents for FY 2015

HUD released their final FY 2015 Fair Market Rents (FMRs) this month.  FMRs are set annually by the department and vary based on numerous factors, including local housing supply and demand, economic conditions and the size of the apartment unit.  They are set at the metro or county level for the most part. 

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Don't Miss It! 2014 NMHC Optech Conference and Exposition, November 17-19

Register today for the 2014 NMHC OpTech Conference and Exposition focused on multifamily operations and technology from November 17-19 in Orlando, FL. OpTech offers participants an unparalleled educational and networking environment with exclusive peer-to-peer roundtables and cutting-edge sessions led by industry experts.

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Register today for the Fourth Annual "Walk for Our Troops"

The Fourth Annual NMHC “Walk for Our Troops” benefiting the Semper Fi Fund will take place during the upcoming 2015 NMHC Annual Meeting at the La Quinta Resort and Club in Palm Springs, CA. The 3k walk/5k run will be held on January 22.  In 2014, our members and firms raised more than $365 thousand with over 75 companies as sponsors and 100 participants in the walk/run.  Register today to help us make this one even bigger!

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Hill Watch
The House and Senate are in Recess Next Week.
Media Roundup
The Most Wide-Open Senate Election in a Decade
If the GOP Wins the Senate, Then What?
Washington Post
Freddie Mac Announces Q-Deal, New Multifamily Securities Offering
Press Release
White House Doubts Shutdown Fight Over Immigration
The Hill
Deal to Lock in U.S. Tax Cuts is Bubbling Up on the Hill
GOP Senator Urges Withdrawal of Water Rule
The Hill
Gates: 'Huge Mistake' for Congress to End Terrorism Insurance
The Hill
Fed Looks Toward Debate on Raising Rates as Quantitative Easing Ends
Washington Post
Hensarling Gets Long-Shot Challenge for Chairmanship
"Pragmatic" Shelby Seen Helming Senate Banking
Waxman's Net Neutrality Proposal Would Harm Businesses and Consumers
The Hill
Urban Legends of Fannie and Freddie
National Mortgage News
The Scoop

White House Halloween Celebrations in History and Today
The White House has a tradition of celebrating Halloween that started with President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  However, according to Washingtonian magazine, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have become known for their elaborate child-focused parties and A-List celebrity attendees like Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. 

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