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December 20, 2017
Congress Passes Tax Reform
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Today, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the bill will now be sent to the President for his signature. The passage of this act is the most momentous change to the tax code since the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

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Housing Finance Reform in 2018?

Reform of the GSEs is emerging as an early 2018 priority for legislators after languishing since 2014. In advance of possible action, legislators have reached out to NMHC/NAA for advice and input as staff draft multifamily-related provisions. We have reiterated our key principles, most importantly that an explicit government guarantee is necessary in any future multifamily housing finance system. 

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NMHC Insider
Congress Poised for Another Continuing Resolution with Shutdown Looming
Earlier this month, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government through December 22, largely to remove a major distraction from the tax reform negotiators. Tax reform legislation now appears ready to reach the President’s desk by the end of the week, which clears the way for policy makers to focus on passage of a bill to fund the government and extensions for other key programs important to the multifamily industry such as flood insurance, disaster funding, and EB5.
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Harvard's 2017 Rental Housing Report
The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies released their bi-annual report on that state of the rental housing industry, 2017 America’s Rental Housing report, on December 14. 
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NLRB Reverses Joint Employer Rule
On December 14, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voted 3-2 to overturn the Obama-era joint employer rule, a regulation that NMHC/NAA have long argued against because it would hold firms, including apartment firms, liable for fines if their subcontractors, suppliers, vendors and temporary staff violated Federal labor laws. 
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IRS Proposal Would Allow Partnership Push Outs
On December 15 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a proposed partnership audit regulation that addresses how partnerships can push out tax adjustments through multiple tiers of partners following an audit. Under the proposed regulations, each partnership in a tier can elect to either pay any tax adjustment at the entity level or push out that adjustment to its own partners.
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Tax Reform to Create Headline Risk for the GSEs
One unintended consequence of the tax reform bill being considered by Congress is that it will increase the probability of a GSE draw on Treasury.
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FHFA Announces 2018 GSE Multifamily Lending Caps
Late last month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced the 2018 GSE lending caps, reducing them from $36.5 billion to $35 billion based on the Agency’s belief that the GSEs 2017 market share was higher than the target it set. The caps are designed to ensure that private capital is not impeded in the multifamily market.
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FCC Approves Controversial Net Neutrality Roll Back
On December 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a 3-2 vote rolled back the Obama Administration’s 2015 net neutrality protections, which prohibited Internet service providers (ISPs) from prioritizing, slowing or blocking online content.
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Congress Urges Action on Disparate Impact
With support from NMHC/NAA, 16 members of the House Financial Services Committee requested in November that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) consider the “Disparate Impact” rule for consideration under the Administration’s Regulatory Reform Agenda which is aimed at reducing excessive regulations and eliminating compliance uncertainty.  The Congressional letter specifically addresses HUD’s 2013 “Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Discrimination Effects Standard,” stating that the rule “is inconsistent with recent Supreme Court precedents on disparate impact theory.”
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NMHC/NAA-Backed Affordable Language Implemented by HUD
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published an interim final rule on December 12 that streamlines rental assistance programs.  Specifically, public housing authorities (PHAs) and multifamily owners will now only need to conduct full income recertification every three years instead of annually for families with 90 percent or more of their income from fixed-income. In addition, this would make the procedures for families meeting the fixed-income threshold as similar as possible to families who do not have 90 percent or more of their income from fixed sources, but still have some fixed income. 
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Congress Looks to Extend Flood Program Yet Again
Congress is expected to pass another short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by December 22 as part of a larger end-of-year funding package for the federal government. The reauthorization, which has been a key priority of the multifamily industry, will provide a much-needed lifeline until January 2018 when Congress must once again renew the program.
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Upcoming Meetings
NMHC PAC Home Stretch
NMHC PAC will wrap up another successful fundraising year on December 31. Chairwoman Sue Ansel concludes her term by raising a goal-breaking $1.4 million!  Over $1.3 million was disbursed to 250 federal candidates to help prepare them for the upcoming election year. 
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Hill Watch
The House and Senate reconvene in January.
Media Roundup
FCC Repeals Net Neutrality Rules
New York Times
House Leader Budges on GSE Reform
Scotsman Guide
Breaking Down Hensarling's GSE Reform Overture
American Banker
NFIP Reauthorization Takes 'Common Sense Approach' but More Can be Done
Insurance Business
National Flood Insurance Program Set to Expire, Threatening Houston-Area Home Sales
Nation's Rental Market "Settling Into a New Normal"
Older, wealthier Americans Are the New Renters
Demand For Rental Homes is Finally Easing Across U.S., Study Says
Airbnb Apartment Complexes Could Soon be Coming to the U.S.-Thanks to a $200 Million Investment
Senate Confirms Paul Compton as HUD General Counsel
Fannie, Freddie Announce Final Plan to Serve Underserved Markets
Tax Cut Expected to Trigger Fannie, Freddie Infusion
Wall Street Journal
The Scoop
Trimming the Tree with Presidential History
At first glance it's just a beautifully bedecked Christmas tree. But look a little closer, and you'll realize that some of these trinkets tell tales straight from the White House.
One ornament depicts Santa Claus, and says, "I've come because I hear there are children in the White House." Teddy Roosevelt's six children are all depicted on the reverse of this ornament.
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