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November 11, 2016
It's Over - and Republicans Pull Off a Clean Sweep
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Copyright: Derek Hatfield

Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States. On Friday, January 20, 2017, President-elect Trump will be sworn into power in the aftermath of an unprecedented and unparalleled election. His presidency and the 115th Congress will have a far-reaching impact on the country and the multifamily housing industry. Even at this early date, the NMHC team is working to understand the results of this election and how it will impact our members. 

No one, from pollsters and pundits, to the actual forecasting models of both candidates, predicted a Trump victory. But, because he galvanized low- and middle-income Americans from rural areas and those in the rust-belt with traditionally union and Democratic ties, and because turnout overall was lower than in recent contests, Donald Trump secured an Electoral College victory while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. 

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"Lame Duck" Congress Still Faces Critical Votes

Copyright: Modern Meta Photography

Republicans have maintained control of both houses and will now turn their attention plotting out an agenda for the Lame Duck Session and then the 115th Congress. When they return, both parties will hold leadership races and make decisions about Committee Chair and Ranking Members. It is too early to tell whether any significant proposals will be considered during the Lame Duck session, but a few dates and issues remain important.

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NMHC Insider
Administration Affirms Criminal Screening Can Violate Fair Housing Act

In a filing in a New York lawsuit this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reaffirmed the Administration’s position that some criminal screening policies used by housing providers create a disparate impact for minority applicants and are impermissible under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). 

At issue is a lawsuit alleging a property owner’s categorical prohibition on residents with negative criminal histories violates the FHA. The Administration’s statement argues that policies “that do not consider when the conviction occurred, what the underlying conduct entailed, or what the convicted person has done since then run a substantial risk of having a disparate impact.” 
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San Francisco Proposal Could Jeopardize Owners' Rights to Building Access
Earlier this month, legislation was introduced by San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member Mark Farrell that could significantly impact apartment firms. As introduced, the bill could prevent property owners from controlling access to their buildings by any city-authorized internet, cable or telecom provider (ISP) that has received a service request by an occupant of the building. The proposal covers both apartments and commercial office buildings. Under the legislation, a property owner would be entitled to “just and reasonable compensation” from a provider for its use of the owner’s property. The legislation would allow an owner to challenge the proposed compensation by a provider, and set “reasonable conditions” to access the building, but those parameters are unclear. The bill would impose a civil penalty of up to $500 per day against a property owner who does not allow access without cause.
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NMHC/NAA Weigh in with FHFA on Multifamily Production Cap
NMHC/NAA met with senior officials at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator, on October 27 to provide an update on market conditions facing the multifamily industry. We presented an analysis covering construction activity, an overview of our quarterly market survey and the status of capital markets debt sources. FHFA is analyzing whether the current $36.5 billion multifamily production cap should be adjusted based on assessments of the third quarter market conditions of this year.
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NMHC/NAA Hold Webinar on New Federal Overtime Rules
If you missed the webinar on Tuesday, October 25 highlighting the NMHC and NAA backgrounder paper entitled, “New Federal Overtime Rules and the Apartment Industry,” it’s not too late for you to watch. Authors partner Jennifer Redmond and associate Brian Fong in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at SheppardMullin LLP provided details and issues for owners, operators and developers of multifamily housing to consider as they seek to comply with the overtime rule. Click here to watch the webinar.
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HUD Issues Final VAWA Rule
On October 27, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD) published a final rule to fully implement the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). The rule prohibits housing providers from denying or terminating housing assistance on the basis that an applicant or tenant is a victim.
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New York City Breaches Keep Federal and State Officials Focused on Cyber Standards
Despite regular talk of the need for increased federal scrutiny and action on cyber and data security policy, the bulk of work has been left to state governments as Congress plots its path forward. Notably, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a proposed cybersecurity rule in September that would apply to banks, insurers and other commercial services industries that operate in the state.
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FTC Issues Data Breach Guidance for Businesses
On October 25, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued guidance for businesses that have experienced a data breach. The guide covers the real world steps that need to be taken such as securing the physical space related to the breach, contacting third party service providers, and retaining forensic and legal experts to help navigate the complex web of federal and state laws that govern this arena.
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HUD Announces New Flood Elevation Standards
On October 27, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed new standards dictating how high HUD-supported properties have to be elevated above base flood elevations. Under the proposal, most properties would have to be built two-feet above the site's base flood elevation, which is determined by existing and often changing federal flood risk maps. The rule would apply to all properties with HUD financial backing such as FHA Multifamily, CDBG, or HOME projects.
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Regulators to Propose New Private Flood Insurance Rule
On Monday November 7, Federal regulators issued a long-overdue rule on what private flood insurance policies will be acceptable for federal flood coverage requirements.

The rules are required as part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reauthorization  passed in 2012.  Among other things, the bill sought ways to foster a private market that would complement the government-backed program and lessen taxpayer exposure to flood risk across the country.
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New Report Highlights Strategies to Realize Energy and Water Savings
The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) has released a new study, “Catalyzing Efficiency: Unlocking Energy Information and Value in Apartment Buildings.”  The McArthur Foundation-funded report outlines a strategy for engaging building owners, managers, residents and financiers in an effort to tap the energy and water savings potential across 18.5 million households in apartment properties with five or more units.
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NMHC/NAA Ask Treasury to Withdraw Family-Owned Businesses Regulations
On November 2, NMHC/NAA and a coalition of real estate groups sent a letter to the Treasury Department asking it to withdraw burdensome proposed regulations regarding the valuation of interests in family-owned businesses for estate and gift tax purposes.
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Upcoming Meetings
NMHC OPTECH Conference and Exposition, November 14-16, 2016 in Dallas, TX

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

NMHC Apartment Strategies Outlook Conference, January 24, 2017 in San Diego, CA

Respected Political Analyst John Feehery Previews Election Results with NMHC PAC Members
On November 1, one week before Election Day, Chairwoman Sue Ansel held a timely NMHC PAC Conference Call featuring John Feehery. John is president of QGA Public Affairs and a highly-respected political analyst and commentator. 
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Hill Watch
The House and Senate are in recess.
Media Roundup
More Regulation Equals Higher Rents
There Are 5.6 Million Cheap Apartments in America. Not for Long
How housing would fare under Clinton, Trump
Freddie Mac Posts $2.3 Billion Profit After Loss Year Earlier
Fannie Mae to Send $3 Billion Dividend to Treasury
Wall Street Journal
More Americans Leave Expensive Metro Areas for Affordable Ones
Wall Street Journal
Going to Vote? Here Are the Top 10 Ballot Decisions for Housing
Housing Wire
Crunching the Numbers on a $76B Tax Credit for Renters
Next City
Auto-Centric Suburb Considers Making Developers Pay More for Transit, Walking
Washington Post
Schumer Sees Path to Senate Tax Deal With Clinton in White House
The Scoop
Do You Know Why We Vote When We Do?

Since 1845, Election Day has been the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Back in the 1800s, the majority of Americans made their living from farming. Spring and summer were consumed preparing fields and planting crops. By early November, the crops had been harvested and the weather was still mild and dry enough to allow folks to travel over dirt and rocky roads. So, November was the most convenient month. But why Tuesday and specifically the Tuesday after the first Monday?  For many, travel to the polls was a two-day trip and if elections were held on Monday, people would be forced to miss Sunday church. Congress also wanted to avoid Election Day falling on November 1, All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics.

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