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January 30, 2015
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Disparate Impact Gets Its Day in Court

Copyright: Brandon Bourdages

A case that will determine the future of disparate impact liability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on January 21. The case, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. involves the lawful allocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. 

However, the potential reach of a decision in this case extends to all housing practices that may disproportionately impact a protected class, regardless of intention to discriminate.  This means that apartment industry use of criminal background screening, credit scores and certain Section 8 voucher policies, among others, can be at risk of violating the Act.

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NMHC Insider
Hill Sets Stage for Tax Reform
Key lawmakers on Capitol Hill are setting the stage to move ahead with tax reform in 2015. Although the outlook for success is still uncertain, reform would impact every aspect of the multifamily business.
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Lawmakers Grill Watt on FHFA Changes to Single-Family
The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on January 27 with Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt.  Watt was questioned for over four hours on a variety of issues with members’ questions and criticisms almost entirely focused on FHFA’s changes to single-family programs and policies.  Of note, there was minimal discussion of multifamily or housing finance reform.
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GOP Game Plan: Reverse Obama's Immigration Action
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-AL) is likely to bring a vote to the floor next week designed to reverse President Obama’s 2014 executive order granting amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants.  Immigration is a critical issue for the multifamily industry because it is a notable driver of rental housing demand, most new immigrants in the U.S. live in rental housing, and nearly one in five renter households is headed by an immigrant.
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EPA Awards ENERGY STAR Rating to 33 Multifamily Properties
The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the ENERGY STAR rating to a total of 33 apartment properties since launching the 1-100 rating standard in September 2014.  Currently, the EPA says that more than 24,000 apartment buildings are tracking building energy performance metrics.  The awards are available for properties that receive a performance score of 75 or higher.
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Have a Minute or Two? Take This Quick Green Building Survey
The scope and scale of green building efforts continue to grow within the industry. Since multifamily firms face unique challenges, the availability of practical, cost-effective guidance would help in meeting related goals. As a result, NMHC is asking members to help in shaping and expanding industry-specific resources by taking a brief survey about their green building experiences.
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Political Guru Mark Halperin on What's Next in Washington
The 2015 Annual Meeting featured special guest Mark Halperin, managing editor of Bloomberg Politics and co-host of the daily political show With All Due Respect.  Halperin spoke about President Obama, the Republican Congress, and much more, holding participants’ close attention throughout.
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Awards Spotlight: 2014 NMHC PAC Honorees
The NMHC PAC Breakfast at the 2015 Annual Meeting kicked off by highlighting the companies and individuals who helped to ensure the PAC's success last year.
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Hill Watch
Senate Committee Hearing on "Findings of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission," Tues., Feb. 3 at 9:30 a.m.
House Committee Hearing on "Exploring Alleged Ethical and Legal Violations at HUD," Wed., Feb. 4 at 10 a.m.
House Committee Hearing on "Examining the Adequacy and Enforcement of Our Nation's Immigration Laws," Tues., Feb. 3 at 11 a.m.
Senate Committee Hearing on "Deferred Action on Immigration: Implications and Unanswered Questions," Wed., Feb. 4 at 10 a.m.
House Committee Hearing on the President's FY2016 Budget Proposal, Wed., Feb. 4 at 10:30 a.m.
Joint House Committee Hearing on "Impacts of the Proposed Waters of the United States Rule on State and Local Governments," Wed., Feb. 4, 10 a.m.
House Committee Hearing on "Final Recommendations from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission," Wed., Feb. 4 at 10 a.m.
House Subcommittee Hearing on "Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015," Wed., Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.
Senate Committee Hearings on the President's FY2016 Budget Proposal, Wed., Feb. 4 and Thurs., Feb. 5 at 10 a.m.
Media Roundup
Apartment Industry Response to President Obama's State of the Union Address
NMHC Statement
Public Housing Officials Won't Verify Whether Residents are the Truly Needy
Washington Examiner
FHA Tees Up Affordable Rental Housing Program
Origination News
Commission Pushes Military Benefits Reforms
Obama Budget Proposal Would Boost Spending Beyond 'Sequestration' Caps
Washington Post
Three Early Signs of What to Expect From Congress on Tax Issues
Senate Approves Keystone, Obama Veto Looms
The Senate Has Confirmed Loretta Lynch is Not Eric Holder. Will It Confirm Her?
National Journal
The Scoop

Just for Fun: Super Bowl Sunday by the Numbers

Did you know? About 184 million Americans will watch Super Bowl #49 on Sunday, nearly 43 million plan to host parties nationwide, and approximately 13 million will travel to a local “watering hole” to watch the game. Find out more interesting Super Bowl numbers and stats – including the jaw dropping cost of running a 30-second commercial spot during the game.

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