Arizona Department of Housing’s Director Carol Ditmore and Legislative Liaison Zack Goetz spent the week of March 11th in Washington, DC to attend the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) 2019 Legislative Conference. Director Ditmore and Mr. Goetz discussed federal housing policy priorities with housing agencies and stakeholders from around the country, and also heard from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson. Additionally, Director Ditmore and Mr. Goetz held meetings with the Arizona delegation to advocate for the aforementioned priorities, which included increasing the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) resource and maintaining the Arizona Department of Housing as the Performance Based Contract Administrator (PBCA) for the state. There is not yet an active bill for LIHTC cap increase, but the Department is expecting one to drop soon.
On February 1st, the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID) unveiled an outline for housing finance reform legislation. His priorities for reform included: protecting taxpayers from risk, preserving the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, increasing competition, and promoting access to affordable housing.
On March 26th and 27th, the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee held hearings on Senator Crapo’s previously released outline for reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, making them the first hearings on housing finance reform this Congress. Senator Crapo has pledged that the Committee will take up housing finance reform by 2020.
Also on March 27th, President Trump issued an executive memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Treasury and HUD to develop housing finance reform plans, specifically ordering the Treasury to remove the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from conservatorship, making them mortgage guarantors in the private sector. HUD was directed to develop proposals for reforming the housing finance programs administered by the Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae. Both the Treasury and HUD must determine whether their ideas for reform may be passed legislatively or if they can be enacted directly by the Administration.
For more in-depth information on these Federal housing issues, please follow the links below:
Chairman Crapo Releases Outline for Housing Finance Reform
President Directs Treasury and HUD to Develop Housing Finance Reform Plans
President Donald J. Trump Is Reforming the Housing Finance System to Help Americans Who Want to Buy a Home
Housing Matters | Spring 2019