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1) WH -- President Biden Announces New Actions to Ease the Burden of Housing Costs (news release) https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/05/16/president-biden-announces-new-actions-to-ease-the-burden-of-housing-costs/

Today, President Biden is releasing a Housing Supply Action Plan to ease the burden of housing costs over time, by boosting the supply of quality housing in every community. His plan includes legislative and administrative actions that will help close America’s housing supply shortfall in 5 years, starting with the creation and preservation of hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units in the next three years. When aligned with other policies to reduce housing costs and ensure affordability, such as rental assistance and downpayment assistance, closing the gap will mean more affordable rents and more attainable homeownership for Americans in every community. This is the most comprehensive all of government effort to close the housing supply shortfall in history.

The Plan will help renters who are struggling with high rental costs, with a particular focus on building and preserving rental housing for low- and moderate-income families. The Plan’s policies to boost supply are an important element of bringing homeownership within reach for Americans who, today, cannot find an affordable home because there are too few homes for sale in their communities. And it will help reduce price pressures in the economy, as housing costs make up about one-third of of the market basket for inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

Under the Plan, the Administration will:

Reward jurisdictions that have reformed zoning and land-use policies with higher scores in certain federal grant processes, for the first time at scale.

Deploy new financing mechanisms to build and preserve more housing where financing gaps currently exist: manufactured housing (including with chattel loans that the majority of manufactured housing purchasers rely on), accessory dwelling units (ADUs), 2-4 unit properties, and smaller multifamily buildings.

Expand and improve existing forms of federal financing, including for affordable multifamily development and preservation. This includes making Construction to Permanent loans (where one loan finances the construction but is also a long-term mortgage) more widely available by exploring the feasibility of Fannie Mae purchase of these loans; promoting the use of state, local, and Tribal government COVID-19 recovery funds to expand affordable housing supply; and announcing reforms to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which provides credits to private investors developing affordable rental housing, and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), which provides grants to states and localities that communities use to fund a wide range of housing activities.

Ensure that more government-owned supply of homes and other housing goes to owners who will live in them – or non-profits who will rehab them – not large institutional investors.

Work with the private sector to address supply chain challenges and improve building techniques to finish construction in 2022 on the most new homes in any year since 2006.  

Topic headings:
 
Providing Incentives for Land Use and Zoning Reform and Reducing Regulatory Barriers
Piloting New Financing for Housing Production and Preservation
Improving and Expanding Existing Federal Financing
Preserving the Availability of Affordable Single-Family Homes for Owner-Occupants
Addressing Other Constraints to Supply: Materials Costs and Labor Supply

2) HUD -- SECRETARY FUDGE HIGHLIGHTS BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION ACTIONS TO INCREASE AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUPPLY AND LOWER HOUSING COSTS (press release) https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/hud_no_22_095   

Under the Plan – which builds on the steps the Administration announced last September to build and rehabilitate 100,000 homes over the next three years – the Administration will reward jurisdictions that have reformed zoning and land-use policies; deploy new financing mechanisms to build and preserve more housing where financing gaps currently exist; expand and improve existing forms of federal financing; ensure that more government-owned supply of homes and other housing goes to owners who will live in them; work with private sector to address supply chain challenges and finish construction in 2022 on the most new homes in any years since 2006.

HUD will play a central role in carrying out these actions, including through the following immediate next steps:

Supporting production and availability of manufactured housing. HUD is making it easier to finance new units and helping manufacturers update their designs to meet changing consumer demands. This includes working to increase the usability of FHA’s Title I loan program for Manufactured Housing, supporting greater securitization of Title I loans through Ginnie Mae’s platform, updating the HUD Code to allow manufacturers to modernize and expand their production lines, and helping manufacturers respond to supply chain issues.

Advancing HOME as a key tool for the production and preservation of affordable rental and homeownership housing. HUD will update guidance to strengthen the HOME Investment Partnerships Program. Through the reauthorization of HOME, updated guidance, and robust technical assistance, HUD will advance and streamline this critical resource for the creation of affordable rental housing and promotion of homeownership.

Continuing to drive housing production through the Federal Financing Bank’s Risk Sharing Program. Last September, the Administration announced that Treasury and HUD had finalized an agreement to restart the Federal Financing Bank’s Risk Sharing program. The program provides loans at reduced interest rates to state and local housing finance agencies to create and preserve high-quality, affordable homes. Twenty-two state agencies have been approved to use FFB, and HUD has committed to guarantee more than $1.3 billion in loans representing more than 7,100 affordable units. HUD will work in the months ahead to accelerate this work by encouraging more state and local HFAs to participate and explore the development of a permanent financing mechanism for these loans through Ginnie Mae’s securitization platform.

Improving the alignment of federal funds to reduce transaction costs and duplications and accelerate development. To reduce transaction costs and duplication, and to speed development, the Administration will make changes to harmonize federal requirements across programs as much as possible – including through programs like HUD’s LIHTC Pilot Program, which streamlines FHA processing of mortgage insurance applications for projects with LIHTC equity. To encourage alignment of affordable housing subsidies, the White House, HUD, Treasury, and USDA will convene state housing agencies to discuss best practices on the alignment of applications, reviews, and funding.

Supporting new and existing affordable housing in Indian Country. HUD will award Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) funding to Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities to finance the construction of new affordable housing in Indian Country, and also make historic levels of annual IHBG formula funding available to them.

Directing supply to owner-occupants and mission-driven entities instead of large investors. Earlier this month, FHA announced it is expanding its Claims Without Conveyance of Title Process (CWCOT) to include the establishment of an initial exclusive Post-Foreclosure Sales Period for owner-occupant buyers, HUD approved non-profit, and governmental entities. FHA, FHFA, and agencies across government will accelerate efforts to direct available supply to targeted buyers by continuing to target the sale of at least 50 percent of mortgage notes to owner-occupants and mission-driven entities.

Encouraging use of CDBG for local acquisition and local sales to owner-occupants and mission-driven entities. HUD also will provide technical assistance and update guidance on the “Use of CDBG Program Funds in Support of Housing” to promote acquisition, homeownership assistance, conversion of existing structures into rental housing and “starter” homes, housing counseling, and rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Promoting modular, panelized, and manufactured housing – and construction R&D. Innovations in homebuilding, including manufactured, modular, panelized, precut, and additive construction, hold promise for increasing housing productivity and thus housing supply. HUD will highlight these and other technologies that can benefit affordable housing construction during the Innovative Housing Showcase on the National Mall in June 2022. HUD is also working to assess hurdles to modular and panelized housing posed by inconsistent state and local inspection requirements and standards, which limit economies of scale and potential cost savings.

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