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November 6, 2015
Ryan Takes Speaker's Gavel
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After a contentious week spent rallying support from all corners of his party in the House of Representatives, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) finally became Speaker on October 29. The vote was not without incident, with House Democrats largely voting in support of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a small number of conservative Republicans voting for Congressman Dan Webster (R-FL), and even former Secretary of State Colin Powell receiving one vote.

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Industry Responds to House Call

Copyright: Fabrik Bilder

NMHC and NAA provided a comprehensive overview of the affordability challenges facing the country for House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) on November 1 in response to his call for solutions and a recent series of hearings on affordable housing. We emphasized that demand for apartments across the nation is outstripping supply and offered numerous related recommendations.

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NMHC Insider
Senate Votes to Throw Out EPA Water Rule
On November 4, the Senate voted 53 to 44 in favor of S.J. 22, a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval of the “Waters of the U.S.” rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers. An identical resolution (H.J. Res. 59) was introduced in the House this summer and is expected to move to the floor in the next few weeks where it is expected to easily pass. The rule would impact the multifamily industry by significantly expanding the scope of lands that will be subject to federal permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act.
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Financial Regulators Propose Margining for Multifamily Securities
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a proposed rule in October that will impact lenders and borrowers who participate in the multifamily market. The proposal will impact how mortgage backed securities, supported by Fannie Mae multifamily or Ginnie Mae multifamily project loans, are issued and settled. Specifically, it would require the establishment of a risk management process called margining between the seller and buyer of the security.
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House Passes Highway Bill with Key Housing Affordability Amendment
On November 5, the House passed a six-year $325 billion package to fund the highway and transit system in our nation. Of interest to the multifamily sector is an NMHC/NAA amendment offered by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) that encourages owners to invest in affordable properties.
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Bipartisan Budget Deal Overhauls Real Estate Partnership Audits
President Obama on November 2 signed the two-year bipartisan budget deal that sets discretionary spending levels through 2017 and increases the nation’s debt ceiling. With this overhaul, lawmakers are trying to address the fact that large real estate partnerships are audited at much lower rates than their C corporation counterparts. They have simplified the audit process in the budget deal because they believe it will capture more tax revenues.
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Obama Initiatives Provide Housing Support for Ex-Offenders
President Obama announced a series of initiatives on November 2 to help previously incarcerated individuals obtain employment and housing. Part of the plan focuses on new policies in public and federally-assisted housing to ease barriers for those with criminal histories. This includes updated policy from HUD restricting the use of arrest records. So public and federally-assisted housing providers may not use arrest records alone to deny, terminate assistance to or evict a resident. While this guidance document is focused on public and federally-assisted housing, it provides key information to private sector housing market participants on issues relating to criminal background screening.
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FEMA Issues Long-Awaited Flood Risk Guidelines
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued their long-awaited final report on flood risk mitigation that was mandated by Congress when the most recent flood insurance bill was passed in 2014. Specifically, the report establishes advisory guidelines for property owners to reduce flood risk in multifamily residential buildings that cannot take advantage of traditional mitigation options like elevation.
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Senate Passes Industry-Supported Cyber Bill
On October 27, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Cyber Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21. As we reported, the legislation provides liability protection for multifamily firms and other companies when they voluntarily share information about cyber threats with the federal government. Given the amount of personal information apartment firms collect as part of the leasing process, cyber threat information sharing legislation is a high priority for the multifamily industry.
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Voters in San Fran Reject Proposal to Reign-in Airbnb
On November 3, voters in San Francisco rejected Proposition F, a proposal aimed at reigning in Airbnb and other home sharing services. The initiative failed 55 to 45 percent and is seen as a major victory for Airbnb, which spent more than $8 million campaigning against the measure.   The proposal would have lowered the cap on rentals from 90 days per year to 75. It also would have allowed “interested parties” such as neighbors to sue companies like Airbnb or VRBO if they were known to violate the rules of the road. NMHC will hold a discussion on Airbnb at its upcoming OPTECH Conference and Exposition from November 17 to 19 in San Diego.
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House Committee Says Yes to Overturning Joint Employer Ruling
On October 28, a House committee voted along party-lines to overturn the recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision to expand the definition of a joint employer. If left unaddressed, the NLRB’s decision could have a significant impact on multifamily firms who may become liable for the actions of subcontractors, suppliers, vendors and temporary staff.
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What Your Residents Really Want Revealed @OPTECH 2015
The 2015 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Renter Preferences Study results are in! Be the very first to hear the results live @OPTECH. NMHC once again partnered with Kingsley Associates to produce the second Renter Preferences Study, and this time we have over 700 percent more respondents than in 2013! That means more data, more cities covered and more insights than ever from nearly 120,000 respondents! You won’t want to miss this interactive and fun session that’s sure to include a few surprises that will change the way you think about what our residents really want. There’s still time to register for NMHC’S 2015 OPTECH Conference and Exposition at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront from November 17-19.
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October Sees Key Leadership Changes and Action on Industry Priorities
After weeks of uncertainty on Capitol Hill, it’s official that the new Speaker of the House is Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI).  NMHC has a long history of working with Speaker Ryan, who is the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, on priority issues for the multifamily industry.
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Hill Watch
The House and Senate are in recess next week.
Media Roundup
Election 2015 Highlights: Who Won, Who Lost?
Wall Street Journal
After Bipartisan Budget Deal, Congress Again Talking Shutdown
The Hill
Could Paul Ryan Preside Over Transformative Tax Reform?
Christian Science Monitor
What Does Paul Ryan's Stand on Immigration Reform Mean for 2016?
The Atlantic
Brady to be Next Ways and Means Committee Chair
Washington Post
Compass Point: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Will Need Another Bailout
Fannie Mae to Pay U.S. $2.2 Billion on Third-Quarter Profit
Freddie Mac Swings to a Loss
Wall Street Journal
The Scoop

Ryan Focuses on Cleaning House

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has undertaken a large-scale cleaning project now that he’s moving into the suite of rooms designated for the Speaker. In particular, ozone machines and more are focused on detoxifying the expansive office space vacated by John Boehner (R-OH) last week – and taxpayers are no doubt footing the bill. But why the intense clean?

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