HUD

HUD and Justice Department Sign Interagency Memorandum on Enforcement of False Claims Act

 

On October 28, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two agencies that provides prudential guidance on the appropriate use of the False Claims Act (FCA) for violations by Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lenders. The MOU aims to bring greater clarity to regulatory expectations within the FHA program and ease banks’ worries about facing future penalties for mortgage-lending errors. HUD expects that FHA requirements will be enforced primarily through HUD’s administrative proceedings, but the MOU specifically addresses how HUD and the DOJ will consult with each other regarding the use of the FCA in connection with defects on mortgage loans insured by the FHA. In addition to the MOU, the FHA is simplifying certain certifications that lenders make in connection with the FHA program to better track statutory requirements and address materiality and culpability considerations. HUD Release. DOJ Release.

White House and HUD Publish Opportunity Zone Implementation Plan

 

On April 17, the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council (Council) published its Implementation Plan, a detailed work plan for how the Council chaired by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson will accomplish the goals specified in Executive Order 13583 of December 12, 2018. The Implementation Plan explains the various subcommittees of the Council, as well as describes the strategy to implement administrative reforms and initiatives that will target, streamline, coordinate and optimize federal resources in economically distressed communities, including Opportunity Zones. Release.

FHA Expands Pilot Program to Accelerate Financing of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Projects

 

On February 21, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced a significant expansion of a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) pilot program that streamlines FHA mortgage insurance applications for affordable housing developments that have equity from the sale of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program, the nation’s primary source of affordable housing production. Release.

HUD Proposes Rule to Clarify Equal Participation of Religious Organizations in HUD Programs

On August 5, HUD announced that it would amend its existing regulations regarding the equal participation of faith based (religious) organizations in HUD programs.  The amendments are being undertaken to implement Executive Order “(EO) 13559”.  EO 13559 sets forth principles clarifying that religious providers are welcome to compete for Federal funding without loss of their religious identity, and providing protections for program beneficiaries, including a referral process for beneficiaries who object to the religious character of an organization that operates a program with direct Federal funds.  Release.

HUD and Census Bureau Announce New Residential Construction Activity in February

On March 19, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for February 2015: (i) BUILDING PERMITS: Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,092,000. This is 3.0 percent (±1.7%) above the revised January rate of 1,060,000, but is 7.7 percent (±2.0%) above the February 2014 estimate of 1,014,000.  Release.

Joint Federal Regulators Approve Final Risk Retention Rules

On October 21 and 22, the Fed, HUD, FDIC, FHFA, OCC, and SEC jointly approved final risk retention rules.  The final rules, which implement Section 941 of Dodd Frank, generally follow the re-proposed rules issued in August 2013, mandating that sponsors retain at least 5% of the credit risk in asset-backed securities transactions.  Generally, risk may be retained by holding either a horizontal or avertical slice of issued securities, while additional options are available for specific types of securitizations.  The rules will apply toresidential mortgage-backed securities one year after publication in the Federal Register, and will apply to all other asset classes two years after publication.  Final Rules.  Joint Release.

Housing Survey Takes Deep Dive into U.S. Housing Stock

On October 16, HUD released the American Housing Survey (AHS), which takes a deep look at the U.S. housing stock including detailed information on housing costs and quality. The 2013 AHS includes new information about neighborhood social life, use of public transportation, and the extent to which American families are prepared for disaster. Release. Survey.