Attorneys from our Affordable Housing and Real Estate group presented on hot topics in the industry. They covered regulatory and financing issues that are pertinent to those in the affordable housing and real estate space. The panelists were as follows:
- Deborah VanAmerongen, Strategic Policy Advisor
- Richard Price, Partner
- Steve Wallace, Partner
- Harry Kelly, Partner
- Rebecca Simon, Counsel
- Nate Cushman, Partner
- Chaundi Randolph, Counsel
- Sami Groff, Partner
- Alex Rosso, Partner
The panelists discussed the following:
On March 9, 2023, the president released his budget for Fiscal Year 2024, which had many implications for the affordable housing industry within it. The budget fully funded all Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers (PBVs) and Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) and included significant increases in funding across the board for affordable housing. The budget also included some of the top priorities for the low-income housing tax credit program—an increase in 9% LIHTC and a decrease on the 50% test for tax-exempt bonds to 25%. Our attorneys will continue to monitor this space as more information is released.
The White House announcement on tenant protections late last year is an initiative felt the most at HUD, the USDA, FHFB, GSEs, the FTC, and CFPB. The challenge issued by the White House asks for “best practices” for rental housing providers to support and advance.
The Omnibus Appropriations bill released last December 2022 contained a new provision to provide an alternative to the OCAF-only policy with respect to mark-to-market properties. Our attorneys worked with clients such as the Institute for Responsible Housing Preservation (IRHP) in addition to the National Leased Housing Association (NLHA) to help get the provision into the budget. We are awaiting HUD guidance to implement this provision.
The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) proposed new rule deals with the duty to take affirmative steps to improve and expand opportunities for fair housing. New rules established under the Biden administration seek to streamline analysis, as well as changing the nature of the enforcement to ensure compliance by HUD grantees.
Rural Development (RD) introduced two new pilot programs, the Transfer Pilot Program and the Inspection Pilot Program. The Transfer Pilot Program rolled out in December 2022 offers purchasers of Section 515 properties an opportunity to expedite the transfer process through RD approval using one of three new paths. The Inspection Pilot Program came out as a result of an RFP calling for contractors to carry out the pilot. Our attorneys also covered key leadership changes across RD.
We covered Section 8 updates, including the recently released Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Revised Chapter 9 to the Section 8 Renewal Guide, and the new 140% zip code rents, which were published on HUD’s website on 3/16. Section 202 updates included increased funding in the next fiscal year, and the publishing of Housing Notice H-2023-02, which expands the applicability of Supportive Services Plans for 202 PRACs.
Our attorneys went through the requirements for what needs to be done to test for radon, including the EPA’s breakdown of the country into different zones based on radon frequency. New standards published by Fannie May and Freddie Mac will come into effect on June 30, 2023, and will enhance the existing standards. Restrictions and guidelines vary state by state.
We closed out with an update on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and funds still available for financing multifamily projects. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provided $35 billion, which multifamily housing can access to facilitate green upgrades.