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October 11, 2016
Trump Tax Returns Spark Scrutiny
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Copyright: macgyverhh
The revelation that Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump carried forward over $900 million in tax losses has sparked many to scrutinize tax provisions used across numerous business sectors, including real estate. The provisions include partnership rules, like-kind exchanges, carried interest and depreciation. As Washington continues to debate tax reform, these and other provisions will remain in play.

NMHC and NAA are working to educate policymakers about the key role of the provisions in helping our industry to develop and operate multifamily housing, but making investments economic and efficiently allocating capital.
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Disguised Sales and Partnership Liabilities Regs Issued

Copyright: Roman Motizov

The Treasury Department on October 4 released guidance addressing disguised sales of property and the allocation of partnership liabilities. The regulations are wide ranging and come in final, temporary and proposed forms.

In the simplest terms, the regulations are concerned with tax deferral when a partnership sells assets or reorganizes.

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NMHC Insider
Hurricane Matthew National and State Resources
In light of the impending threat of Hurricane Matthew to the East Coast, NMHC urged members to take the threat seriously and make necessary preparations. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina all declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. NMHC members with properties in any of the affected areas should refer to the national and state resources that were prepared for both pre-storm planning and post-disaster response.
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Industry Applauds New Administration Housing Development Toolkit
NMHC and NAA applauded the Obama Administration’s release of a Housing Development Toolkit on September 26 that encourages local governments to remove barriers to the development of apartment homes and increases overall housing affordability. In a statement, we emphasized that the number of families renting is at an all-time high, so the need for apartments is more important than ever. Ultimately, increased multifamily development lowers the cost of housing while adding dollars and jobs to local economies.
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FTC Drives Patent Reform to Stop Trolls
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a long-awaited study of interest to the multifamily industry entitled “Patent Assertion Entity Activity” on October 6. The data confirms that patent assertion entities, so-called “Patent Trolls,” abuse the litigation system and drain critical resources from American businesses. As a result, the study calls for streamlining the patent litigation process, increasing transparency and reducing the costs for defendants like multifamily firms. That’s because our industry and others are increasingly more dependent on technology for all aspects of operations to gain efficiency. Yet, those same technologies make our industry vulnerable to possible legal action by patent trolls.
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Bipartisan Duo Lays Flood Insurance Reform Groundwork
As Congress looks toward next year and the looming September 2017 expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a bipartisan duo in the House has put forth legislation that would eliminate a major cost driver of the program. Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have introduced the Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act, which aims to reduce the financial resources expended by the NFIP, and taxpayers, on claims for properties that are flooded multiple times. Apartment owners rely on the program to not only protect their property investment, but help manage the increasing costs of providing housing.
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EB-5 Program Extension Included in Short-Term Federal Spending Bill
Before heading out for a six-week break, the House and Senate approved, and President Obama quickly signed, a short-term Federal Government funding bill on September 29 that contains an extension for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program. The measure will continue FY 2016 levels through December 9. After the elections, Congress will return to Capitol Hill for a “lame duck” session when they are expected to pass a FY 2017 funding bill that is likely to include key reforms to the EB-5 program. The program has become a vital source of investor capital for the multifamily industry.
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HUD Harassment, Domestic Violence and LEP Notices Issued
Several notices of importance related to the Fair Housing Act (FHA) were issued recently by HUD, covering new protections for victims of harassment, survivors of domestic violence and guidance for people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Specifically, HUD’s harassment final rule formalizes legal standards under the Act for sexual and other forms of harassment in housing. The domestic violence guidance is intended to provide state and local governments, and private and public housing providers, with details on how the department will assess nuisance or crime-free housing ordinances, policies or practices alleged to be discriminatory under the FHA. And finally, the Limited English Proficiency guidance addresses how the Act would apply to claims of housing discrimination brought by those who do not speak, read or write English proficiently.
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HUD Flips Switch on Utility Benchmarking for Assisted Properties
On October 4, HUD announced a proposal that would require multifamily property owners of certain HUD financed properties and Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to submit information on energy and water consumption that would be used for benchmarking their portfolio of properties. The proposal seeks to establish procedures for building owners to input utility and energy data into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s free, web-based ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®. The benchmarking would help owners and PHAs make informed decisions, reduce operating costs and improve building performance.
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NMHC and NAA Support Overtime Rule Relief
The House passed the “Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act” on September 28, which would delay from December 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017 the effective date for the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule. This legislation was considered under a closed rule that prohibited any amendments. The controversial overtime rule would impact 4.2 million executive, administrative and professional employees who are paid by the hour or earn less than the threshold.
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Americans with Disabilities Act Reform Gains More Traction
NMHC and NAA supported reform of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gained more traction in Congress on September 28. Specifically, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced a Senate companion measure to a House bill focused on amending the ADA to deter costly, frivolous lawsuits against property owners while still upholding the Act’s vital objectives. Ultimately, the legislation is narrowly tailored to target so-called “drive-by” lawsuits that are increasingly common throughout the real estate industry.
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Congress Asks for Details on HUD's Criminal Screening Guidance
Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee, along with 14 other congressional members, sent a letter to HUD Secretary Julián Castro on September 23 requesting more details on the department’s fair housing guidance on criminal screenings. Issued this spring, the guidance details how a criminal screening policy could violate the Fair Housing Act (FHA) under disparate impact theory. Specifically, the lawmakers are seeking details on how the guidance was developed, as well as asking for compliance and enforcement efforts information.
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Industry Coalition Responds to Project-Based Section 8 Conversion Debate
NMHC and NAA recently joined with a real estate industry coalition in expressing reservations about converting project-based Section 8 subsidies to tenant-based vouchers. Earlier this fall a Senate subcommittee held a hearing on housing vulnerable families where the conversion concept was outlined as one that would save taxpayer dollars given overall fiscal constraints.
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NMHC Continues to Promote Affordability Dialogue and Solutions
As part of an ongoing effort to advance discussions regarding rental housing affordability and increase exposure of this important challenge impacting many communities nationwide, NMHC sponsored and participated in the first annual American Enterprise Institute Conference on Economical, Workforce and Entry-Level Housing on October 4.  The conference included discussions on market-rate approaches for expanding housing supply with experts from industry, academia, the financial community and government.
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Yahoo's Data Breach Sparks Capitol Hill to Action
Revelations about Yahoo’s 500 million account data breach have sparked renewed interest in data security and breach notification standards on Capitol Hill recently with some reports that the company knew of the incident as early as 2014. It’s one of the largest breaches in history and could force Congress to act on the issue and try anew at finding a path forward on enacting a nationwide data breach notification standard. NMHC and NAA have been following cyber policy and regulatory developments carefully because of the highly sensitive personally identifiable information that firms and their service providers collect. This information is valuable to data thieves and those wishing to do harm to a company’s reputation or financial standing.
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Upcoming Meetings
NMHC Webinar on the New Federal Overtime Rules, October 25, 2016, 2-3:00 p.m. ET

NMHC Emerging Leaders Speaker Series, November 8, 2016 in Atlanta, GA

Register and Save! Early Bird Registration Ends October 14 for NMHC's OPTECH Conference and Exposition, November 14-16, 2016 in Dallas, TX

NMHC Annual Meeting, January 24-26, 2017 in San Diego, CA

Class is in Session: NMHC's Student Housing Conference
Attendees of the NMHC Student Housing Conference in September were briefed on the extensive work of the NMHC government affairs team. Specifically, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Cindy Chetti and the members of the government affairs team provided details on many of the key legislative issues that directly impact the multifamily industry, including student housing.
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Hill Watch
The House and Senate are in recess.
Media Roundup
NMHC Special Report: Election Forecast is Cloudy
Multi-Housing News
NMHC Featured: Some Apartment Managers Willing to Partner with Airbnb - for a Price
National Real Estate Investor
NMHC Featured: Firms Weigh-in on Home Sharing, Airbnb Reveals Partnership Details
Multifamily Executive
D.C. Mayor Targets Another $106 Million for Affordable Housing
Washington Post
Government Funding and Medical Research to Dominate Lame-Duck Session
Roll Call
A Simpler Path to Housing Finance Reform?
National Mortgage News
Fannie Mae: Consumers Begin to Show More Caution in View of Economy
Class Divide: New HBO Documentary Explores Gentrification in Chelsea
The Atlantic - CityLab
Trump and Clinton Know Nothing About Carried Interest and Taxes
Trump and Clinton Debate: Analysis
New York Times
The Scoop
Did You Know? 3 States Could Determine the 2016 Election

Three coveted battleground states could deliver the win to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the presidential election. Together, these states represent 57 votes in the Electoral College – and voters in one of them have gotten it right in every election since 1965. Find out the details below.

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