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March 27, 2015
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Industry Push on Like-Kind Exchanges Gets Results

Copyright: Jane0606
Research released by Ernst & Young LLP on March 17 found that eliminating like-kind exchanges would cause GDP to shrink by $8.1 billion per year – that’s even if the revenue savings were used to cut corporate tax rates. Sponsored by NMHC and the Like-Kind Exchange Coalition, the research also reveals that overall investment would fall by $7 billion, and labor income would slide by $1.4 billion, each year.

Like-kind exchanges enable the multifamily industry to efficiently distribute capital to enhance portfolios, realign property to improve operations and manage risk. But proposals by President Obama and Capitol Hill lawmakers to curb or eliminate like-kind exchanges would have a harmful effect on the value and trading of property.
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NMHC Insider
Congress Moves Forward on Data Breach
The 114th Congress took its first official action on March 25 to address data breaches when a House subcommittee marked up the discussion draft bill the “Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015.” Multifamily firms spend a great deal of time and resources protecting their businesses from data breach, and building their brands and reputations, so this is an issue that the industry continues to watch carefully.
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Important: Flood Risk Executive Order May Impact Multifamily
President Obama issued an executive order on January 30 that establishes a new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. The action requires all future federal investments in, and affecting floodplains, to meet the standard. Under the new standard, the definition of “floodplain” is expanded from the well-established 100 year flood elevation to the 500 year flood elevation – potentially impacting the multifamily industry when it comes to new construction and the substantial rehabilitation of properties.
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House Dems Bill Would Wind Down Fannie and Freddie
House Democrats introduced a bill on March 19 that would retain a government guarantee while winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in five years. The legislation includes a separate title for multifamily that recognizes its unique qualities and preserves key related characteristics of the current system.
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FCC Drops Hefty 400-Page Net Neutrality Report and Order
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its more than 400-page net neutrality report and order on March 12. This follows last month’s historic 3-2 party line vote banning paid priority for Internet traffic and prohibiting Internet providers from blocking or slowing down online content.  The apartment industry and its residents depend on the Internet for online marketing and leasing, revenue management, community amenities and more.
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House Lifts Section 8 Administrative Burdens
On March 23, the House approved the “Tenant Income Verification Relief Act of 2015,” which would streamline the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Project-Based programs.  The legislation would significantly reduce administrative burdens by allowing for the recertification of income every three years, instead of annually, for residents on fixed incomes.
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Senate Approves Energy Boost
Early this morning, the Senate passed the "Energy-Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015" in the last minutes before Congress adjourned for a two-week recess. The bill includes the Tenant Star provision that would enable residential and commercial buildings to achieve an Energy Star rating.
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Congress Overturns "Ambush" Election Rule Setting Up Veto
President Obama is expected to veto legislation passed by the House and Senate that would overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “ambush” election rule. The NLRB’s rule would shorten to as few as 14 days – down from the current median period of 38 days – the period of time between a union filing a petition for election and the election itself.
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Ever Wonder How Subsidized Rents are Set?
A new NMHC and NAA briefing entitled “How Subsidized Rents are Set” outlines the purposes and methodologies for Area Media Income Limits (AMIs) and Fair Market Rents (FMRs). Both serve as the benchmarks for HUD subsidy programs that set rent payments for assisted residents. Although they are two distinct things, AMIs and FMRs are very much related.
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NGBS: The Green Market Leader
Based on market share, the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) is now the leading standard for sustainability that is adopted by developers of housing, including multifamily housing.  This is according to data from Home Innovation Research Labs.
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NMHC PAC Springs Forward
The time isn’t the only thing springing forward this month, as NMHC PAC continues to take advantage of the momentum it gained early this year.
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Hill Watch
The Senate and House are in recess next week.
Media Roundup
Harry Reid Says He Won't Seek Re-Election
Huff Post Politics
Senate Budget Passes as Vote-A-Rama Wraps
Roll Call
House Approves GOP Budget Blueprint
Some Net Neutrality Advocates are Worried About This Small Loophole in the FCC's Rules
Washington Post
Senate's Shelby Signals Fannie-Freddie Fix Unlikely This Year
Congresswoman Wants to Put Fannie, Freddie Profits in Escrow
Housing Wire
Senate Passes 'Clean Water' Budget Amendments
The Hill
The Scoop
Congress’ $357 Million Man Seeks 50 Cent Sodas

Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) may be the richest man in Congress, but he knows where to find a 50 cent soda.  While walking through the House Press Gallery recently Issa was overheard saying that the gallery “is where the lowest cost Diet Cokes are.” Despite his wealth, he knows what many staffers already do – that the gallery does indeed have the cheapest sodas in the Capitol complex.

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