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March 10, 2017
Apartment Industry Releases Letter Calling for Regulatory Reform
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The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) sent a letter in support of the Trump administration’s commitment to regulatory reform to the White House this week and outlined regulations key to the apartment industry that should be considered for reform or repeal.

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NMHC Leaders to Hit the Hill

NMHC leaders are coming to Washington next week to discuss the industry’s key priorities for tax reform, housing finance reform and flood insurance. Multifamily leaders are slated to meet with Trump Administration officials and members of the tax-writing House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees. Additional meetings are also slated with members of the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees.

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NMHC Insider
This Week in Washington

It’s been a busy few weeks in Washington. After years of campaigning against Obamacare, House Republicans have released a bill that would repeal and replace the program. Debate on the legislation is heated with fierce opposition not only from Democrats, but also from conservatives. House leadership, as well as President Trump, have expressed strong support for the legislation with Speaker Ryan saying this is the GOP’s best chance to rollback ACA.

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NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM
House and Senate Hearings Take Fresh Look at Flood Insurance

With the expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) looming in September 2017, House and Senate leaders have added reauthorization of the program to a must-do list of items for Congress. While much work has been happening behind the scenes, a hearing held this week in the House Financial Services Committee’s Housing and Insurance Subcommittee and a hearing that is scheduled for next week in the Senate Banking Committee begins the long-awaited, public process to reauthorize the NFIP. NMHC/NAA and their members have worked tirelessly to meet with and educate key stakeholders about the critical role of the NFIP to our industry and the need for a long-term reauthorization of the program. 

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NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM
Bipartisan Flood Efforts Take Shape to Foster Private Market

This week, bipartisan allies in both the House and Senate acted to increase private sector participation in the flood insurance marketplace. Representatives Dennis Ross (R-FL) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) as well as Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act,” which has been long called for by NMHC and NAA. The bipartisan bill would expand flood insurance coverage options for at-risk property owners beyond the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to the private sector.

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS
The New Tech and Telecom Landscape

Among President Trump’s slate of recent appointments was the move to make Republican Ajit Pai the new FCC commissioner, replacing Democrat Tom Wheeler. A former telecom lawyer, Pai had served as one of the FCC’s five commissioners since 2012.

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FEDERALLY ASSISTED PROPERTIES
HUD Changes Lead-Based Paint Rules for Federally Assisted Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) has updated the Lead Safe Housing Rule (LSHR) to reflect the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with regard to children’s blood lead levels for all federally assisted housing. The revised rule adopts a lower threshold for children’s blood lead levels, dropping the lead level that requires action by apartment owners from 10 ug/dl to 5 ug/dll.  Under the rule, children with an elevated blood lead level of 5 ug/dl, housing providers are required to perform a series of interventions, including notifying the HUD field office and the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes and performing a risk inspection of the child’s housing unit and the common areas serving it. It is no longer sufficient to visually inspect these areas for deteriorated paint; under the updated rule a certified risk assessor must make the determination regarding the presence of potential lead hazards.

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LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT
Cantwell and Hatch Reintroduce Bill to Expand Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 on March 7. NMHC and NAA joined the ACTION Coalition in a letter supporting the comprehensive bill that expands and strengthens the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) in order to help ensure affordable housing.

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San Francisco Mandatory Access Law Challenged

A federal challenge has been filed against a San Francisco ordinance that could significantly affect an apartment firm’s ability to manage communications services for their communities and control access to their property by broadband providers. On February 24, the Multifamily Broadband Council (MBC), a trade organization that represents independent, non-franchised competitive broadband providers to the multifamily housing industry, filed two petitions with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that seek to block the ordinance. MBC argued that the ordinance is federally preempted and conflicts with the FCC’s regulations governing inside wiring, network sharing and bulk billing arrangements for broadband service to apartment communities. MBC also contended that the San Francisco ordinance interferes with consumer rights to antenna-based services recognized in the FCC’s Over the Air Reception Devices (OTARD) rule. 

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2017 Water Wednesday Webinar Series featuring EPA's WaterSense Program

WaterSense and ENERGY STAR are teaming up to host a Water Wednesday webinar series in 2017 to help commercial and industrial facilities tackle leaks and reduce water use. Each webinar will cover ways to save water, energy, and money by making changes within different areas of a facility. Visit the WaterSense website for commercial buildings for tips on improving the water efficiency of your building.

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NMHC Meetings
Register Today: NMHC Spring Board Meeting, May 16-18 in New York

The 2017 NMHC Spring Board of Directors Meeting will be held from May 16 to 18 at the Conrad Hotel New York. Don’t miss this exclusive event that brings together senior apartment executives from the industry’s leading firms. This meeting provides NMHC Executive Committee and Board members with an invaluable opportunity to candidly share information and insight on issues of common interest. The Spring Board Meeting is open to NMHC Executive Committee and Board of Directors members only. Register now!

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Upcoming Meetings
 
NMHC PAC
Mark Your Calendar for NMHC PAC Conference Call

NMHC PAC Chairwoman Sue Ansel is excited to host the first NMHC PAC Conference call of the year. 

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Hill Watch
Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing on "Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, Part I." on Tue. Mar. 14 at 10:00 AM
House Appropriations Committee Hearing on "Department of Transportation & Department of Housing and Urban Development." on Thur. Mar. 16 at 10:00 AM
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Hearing on "The Nomination of Alexander Acosta to be Labor secretary" on Wed. Mar. 15 at 1:30 PM
Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Hearing on "Examining How Small Businesses Confront and Shape Regulations" On Wed. Mar. 15 at 10:00 AM
Capital Markets, Securities and Investments Subcommittee hearing on "The JOBS Act at Five: Examining Its Impact and Ensuring the Competitiveness of the U.S. Capital Markets" on Wed. Mar. 15 at 10:00 AM
Media Roundup
Trump Labor Nominee Andrew Puzder Withdraws, First Cabinet Pick To Fall
NPR
Housing Fears Confirmed: Trump Budget Considers $6 Billion Cut to HUD Funding
HousingWire
Congress Set for Heated Debate on Flood Insurance Program
Wall Street Journal
EB-5's Fighting Chance
The Real Deal
Federal Aid Reduced for New York City Housing Authority
Wall Street Journal
The Energy Star Program Is Good for the Climate and the Economy. Trump Wants to Kill It Anyway.
Washington Post
EB-5 Hearing: "Give Us Your Immoral, Your Degenerate, as Long as They Have Money"
The Real Deal
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: The Role of Syndicators
Novoco
Mitch McConnell Thinks Tax Reform Will Take Longer Than Trump Claimed
CNBC
GOP Faces Difficult Math on Tax Reform
Washington Examiner
4 Reasons Why Republicans Did Obamacare Repeal Before Tax Reform
CNN
Professor Paul Ryan's Healthcare Pitch: This Is the Bill
The Atlantic
The Scoop

Gucci Gulch Redux

The Dow stands on the brink of 20,000, driven in part by optimism of a major tax reform bill getting through Congress next year. While the odds of that are the best they’ve been in many years, it’s still far from a sure thing.

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