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March 8, 2016
Committee Passes Flood Reform Bill in a Big Way
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In overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion, the House Financial Services Committee voted 54-0 to support the “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act” on March 2. NMHC and NAA have long called for the legislation’s passage to help increase private market competition for flood insurance coverage outside the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). That’s because the program is facing financial challenges due to several catastrophic weather events like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. Multifamily firms with federally regulated and insured mortgages on properties in high-risk areas are required by law to purchase flood insurance. 

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NMHC Insider
INDUSTRY EVENTS
Striving for 535: NMHC Joins NAA for Capitol Conference Starting Today
NMHC legislative staff is participating in NAA’s 2016 Capitol Conference today March 8 through March 9 in Washington. The conference culminates tomorrow in NAA’s annual Lobby Day where members will join together with staff from both organizations in striving to reach all 535 congressional offices on Capitol Hill. Specifically, the focus will be on three top issues that directly impact our industry, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Accessibility, the National Flood Insurance Program and its Reauthorization, and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. 
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FHA
Industry Weighs-In on Multifamily Mortgage Insurance Rate Cut
On February 29, NMHC and NAA responded to HUD’s recent decision to cut Federal Housing Administration (FHA) multifamily mortgage insurance rates in order to spur the financing of affordable housing and energy-efficient apartments. The decision is anticipated to result in the rehabilitation of an additional 12,000 units of affordable housing each year. FHA’s multifamily programs account for 9.2 percent of the total multifamily mortgage market.
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INTERNET ACCESS
Committee Bumps Broadband Bill to Full House
After successful bipartisan negotiations, a House committee marked up and approved the “Small Business Broadband Deployment Act” on February 25. This legislation would exempt small internet service providers (ISPs) from enhanced transparency requirements in the Federal Communications Commission’s new Open Internet or ‘net neutrality’ rules. The bill would significantly benefit multifamily properties and their residents by ensuring greater access to high-speed internet, particularly in non-urban core areas. 
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AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Industry Gets Behind Plan to Boost LIHTC
NMHC and NAA are encouraging lawmakers to enhance the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) by increasing program resources to promote the production of more affordable housing. The nation is short 3.9 million affordable units for extremely low-income households. We are supporting an upcoming ACTION Coalition letter that calls on Congress to expand housing credit authority by 50 percent and allow states to convert a portion of their private activity bond volume cap into housing credit authority.
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TELECOM
Senate Presses Forward on Telecom Path
The Senate Commerce Committee continued its focus on expanding broadband access and overall telecommunications policy recently in two significant moves. On March 3, the committee passed the bipartisan “MOBILE NOW Act” that aims to free up wireless spectrum currently owned by the Federal Government for private use in order to keep up with the rising demand for connectivity. Spectrum refers to a range of frequencies used for wireless transmission of data, video and sound. On March 2, five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) testified before the committee in an oversight hearing and laid out their telecom policy priorities moving forward. These issues are a priority for the multifamily industry because apartment residents increasingly want more, better and faster telecommunications services. 
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NMHC PAC
Inaugural 2016 NMHC PAC Call Features Top Political Analyst
NMHC PAC Chairman Sue Ansel led the first PAC conference call of the year on March 1. Held quarterly, the calls update committee members and industry executives on NMHC’s most current legislative and political efforts. This year’s kick off call also featured respected political analyst Celinda Lake who is one of the Democratic Party's leading strategists. She served as a senior advisor to the national party committees and dozens of Democratic incumbents and challengers at all levels of the electoral process. 
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Hill Watch
Senate Committee Hearing Entitled, "Cooperative Federalism: State Perspectives on EPA Regulatory Actions and the Role of States as Co-Regulators," on Wed., March 9 at 9:30 a.m.
Senate Subcommittee Hearing on the FY 2017 Budget for the Energy Department on Wed., March 9 at 2:30 p.m.
Senate Subcommittee Hearing on the FY 2017 Transportation, HUD and Related Agencies Budget, Thurs., March 10 at 2:30 p.m.
Media Roundup
Senate GOP to Delay Budget
Politico
Can House Republicans Pass Their Budget?
The Atlantic
Paul Ryan is Learning Why Being Speaker Sucks
Huffington Post
Mortgage Giants Headed for Crisis
The Hill
9th Circuit Rules that Fannie and Freddie are Private Companies
HousingWire
Apartment-Building Boom Looks Set to Ease
Wall Street Journal
Congress Just Unanimously Passed a Bill That Changes How We Talk About Federal Housing
Independent Journal
The Ghost Tenants of New York City
Slate
The Scoop

The “Toonosphere” Sharpens Its Pencils

No matter where you land on the political spectrum, it’s hard not to appreciate the skill and wit that the nation’s cartoonists are devoting to the raucous White House race. From last week’s Super Tuesday and the GOP debate to the SCOTUS fight, the material has never been riper. Politico collects the best from what it calls the “Toonosphere” every week. So if you love politics – and especially if you hate it – don’t miss their most recent installment below.

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