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June 17, 2016
Dodd-Frank, GSEs and FHA in Republican Crosshairs
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Copyright: Songquan Deng

In the latest attempt by Congressional Republicans to roll back many provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) announced a plan on June 7. Specifically, the "Financial Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs (CHOICE) Act” will be proposed as legislation later this month by Representative Hensarling who cited a number of examples of Dodd-Frank’s failure.

Among the examples outlined, he pointed out slow economic growth from the regulatory constraints of Dodd-Frank and the crowding out of small and community banks. Hensarling’s plan would significantly modify, as well as dismantle, numerous provisions in Dodd-Frank.

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NMHC and NAA Working to Turn Back Overtime Rule

Copyright: Sergey Nivens
NMHC and NAA sent a detailed comment letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 6 urging the swift approval of the “Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act,” which would overturn the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime rule issued last month. The legislation would also require that a comprehensive economic and impact analysis be conducted prior to a subsequent rule being finalized.
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NMHC Insider
Court Upholds FCC's Open Internet Order
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules on June 14, which were being challenged by several large telecommunications providers. The Open Internet Order was issued in April 2015 in an attempt to prevent internet service providers from blocking, prioritizing or degrading internet traffic. Specifically, it reclassifies both mobile and wired or “fixed” broadband service as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act, a move that allows the FCC to regulate internet service providers. Broadband is increasingly important to the apartment industry for property operations and corporate functions like marketing, revenue management, leasing and maintenance, and inadequate or unreliable service significantly impacts apartment residents.
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Register Now for the NMHC and NAA Criminal Screening Policies Webinar
On June 23, NMHC and NAA will host a webinar on our new white paper entitled, “Criminal Conviction Screening Policies: Best Practices to Avoid Disparate Impact Liability,” from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT. This in-depth white paper provides a detailed analysis of HUD’s recent fair housing guidance on criminal screening. Mike Skojec, Partner at Ballard Spahr LLP, will provide insight into the white paper, including overall best practices and screening policies, as well as additional context to the application of disparate impact theory under the Fair Housing Act.
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Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Oversight Raises GAO Concerns
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on June 8 that assesses how well state and local allocating agencies administer the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The watchdog found that while the agencies generally meet requirements for allocating credits, certain practices prompted concerns. Most notably, GAO concluded that over half of qualified allocation plans failed to explicitly mention all selection criteria mandated by the tax code.
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IRS Spells Out Debt-Income Exclusions for Real Estate Developers
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published guidance on June 10 clarifying when real estate developers may exclude cancellation of indebtedness from their gross income. An apartment building was highlighted as the first example in the detailed guidance. Specifically, taxpayers can exclude income attributable to canceled debt from real property that they develop and hold for lease in a leasing business. But the taxpayer must reduce basis in the property by the amount of canceled debt.
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HUD Doubles Down on Eliminating Lead Hazards
On June 13, HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced a series of initiatives intended to strengthen the department’s commitment to providing lead-safe housing – doubling down on eliminating lead hazards. Specifically, Castro awarded $46.5 million in grants to 15 communities for the purposes of eliminating lead and other safety hazards in 3,100 low-income homes. He also outlined a comprehensive plan to reduce lead exposure that consists of four key elements.
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Industry Calls for Full Funding of Game-Changer in Flood Mapping
On June 8, NMHC and NAA joined a coalition of advocacy groups in calling on Congress to fully fund a key U.S. Geological Survey technology program that would be a game-changer in flood risk management. Specifically, the 3DEP, or 3-D, elevation program provides consistent, high-quality topographic data and a wide range of other three-dimensional images of the nation’s natural and constructed features. Multifamily owners would benefit from the program because properties are often misclassified as being located in high-risk flood zones or Special Flood Hazard Areas under existing FEMA flood maps. Adoption of 3DEP technology by FEMA could dramatically increase the accuracy of flood zone mapping for all property owners nationwide.
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San Francisco Home Sharing Move Could Go National
A vote on home sharing last week by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors could have national implications. Like many urban locales, the city has struggled with how best to live in a changing world dominated by the sharing economy and, in this particular case, the rise of home sharing giant Airbnb. Specifically, the new rules adopted by San Francisco would require that Airbnb and similar services remove the listing for any property that is not officially registered with the city or face fines of $1,000 per property, per day.
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Proposal Would Make Changes to How HUD Sets Fair Market Rents
HUD released a proposed rule this week that would set Fair Market Rents (FMRs) by zip code for certain metropolitan areas (known as Small Area Fair Market Rents, or SAFMRs) instead of the current metropolitan area-wide standard, with an adjustment for high-cost areas.
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144 Days Until Election Day 2016!
The way November is shaping up there is nothing more certain about this election cycle than its uncertainty. This is a cycle without precedent. With the ups and downs of the Presidential nominees, no one can predict what may happen for the White House, the Senate or in the House of Representatives.
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Hill Watch
Senate Committee Hearing on "The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," on Tues., June 21 at 10 a.m.
Senate Committee Hearing on "Small Business Retirement Pooling: Examining Open Multiple Employer Plans," on Tues., June 21 at 2:30 p.m.
House Committee Hearing on "Investigating the Appropriate Role of the National Environmental Policy Act in the Permitting Process," on Wed., June 22 at 10 a.m.
Senate Committee Hearing on "Renewing Communities and Providing Opportunities Through Innovative Solutions to Poverty," on Wed., June 22 at 10 a.m.
House Committee Hearing on "Ensuring Sound Science at EPA," on Wed., June 22 at 10 a.m.
House Subcommittee Hearing on "Audits and Attitudes: Is the IRS Helping or Hurting Small Businesses?", on Wed., June 22 at 10:30 a.m.
Media Roundup
Federal Budget: Finally Meeting Low Expectations
U.S. News and World Report
House Republicans Lay Out Proposals to Rein in Presidential Power
Washington Post
Why We Need to Move Past "Recap and Release"
The Hill
Clinton Advisors' Mortgage Plan Would Tap Investors for Billions
IRS Waiting for Congress to Move First on Carried Interest
Bloomberg BNA
The Problem with Work Requirements for Federal Housing Assistance
The Atlantic
Nearly Half of Chicago Residents Can't Afford Where They Live, Study Says
Chicago Tribune
HUD Secretary Julian Castro Returns to Texas Under Vice President Rumors
ABC News
The Scoop
President Obama Leaves Iconic Celebrity “Speechless”

One of the world’s most iconic celebrities was left “speechless” last week when meeting President Obama backstage before their NBC “Tonight Show” appearances. Several must-see social media photos of the moment were snapped, including a pic of the President and Michelle Obama wearing fan t-shirts featuring the celeb. Find out who it was and check out the photos by clicking below.

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