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MarketWatch , Wednesday, February 10, 2016
(RECAP: Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday sounded a bit more cautious about the outlook for the U.S. economy but did not back away from expectations for additional, gradual, interest-rate hikes. In testimony prepared for delivery to the House Financial Services panel later in the morning, Yellen said that financial conditions “have become less supportive to growth.” The Fed chairwoman did not come out and say anything about the U.S. central bank’s own forecast, made in December, that it would raise interest rates four times in 2016. She stressed the Fed was not in automatic tightening mode.)
Affordable Housing Finance, Wednesday, February 10, 2016
(RECAP: The multifamily housing market will remain strong despite facing economic headwinds this year, according to the new Freddie Mac Multifamily Outlook. The sector is coming off a year in which rental housing demand kept pace with a big wave of new units that was delivered in 2015. Approximately 306,000 multifamily units entered the market—the most in a single year since 1989—and the level of new supply is expected to remain elevated over the next few years. That’s creating concern that the market is taking on too much supply, but renter demand is expected to absorb the new units being built. Much of the demand is fueled by favorable demographic trends and reduced affordability of owning a home.)
The Wall Street Journal , Wednesday, February 10, 2016
(RECAP: Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen fielded questions in Congress on Wednesday about whether negative interest rates are legal. Aside from a 2010 memo released last month, and her testimony today, the Fed has been all but mum on the topic. “This is too important for the legal issues to be argued only in an opaque way within the Federal Reserve system,” said Miles Kimball, an economist at the University of Michigan who has advocated for negative rates. Leaving aside for now the question of whether it’s appropriate economic policy, there are four key considerations at stake.)
Affordable Housing Finance, Wednesday, February 10, 2016
(RECAP: According to Make Room, a nationwide campaign giving voice to struggling renters, the overall population of seniors 65 and older increased by 25%—from 22.5 million to 28.1 million—while the number of seniors paying more than half of their income toward rent and utilities increased by 34%, from 1.4 million to 1.8 million. The proportion of seniors experiencing severe rent burdens over the last decade also grew by the largest amount in mid-sized cities that are known to be more affordable, including the Richmond, Va., region.)
The Daily Progress , Wednesday, February 10, 2016
(RECAP: Central Virginia is on the road to job recovery, according to an economic update. Richmond Federal Reserve Bank Vice President Ann Battle Macheras discussed Wednesday the Charlottesville-area economy, the national economy and monetary policy at an event sponsored by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. Mancheras said the state economy still is working on recovering from the recession and federal government spending cuts because Virginia is one of the top states for federal contracting. “But since then, the good news is employment growth has been catching up, inching closer to being back on par with U.S. growth,” she said. “I’m pretty optimistic, seeing that trend.”)
The New York Times , Tuesday, February 09, 2016
(RECAP: After making progress in reducing homelessness among veterans, the Obama administration is turning to the larger and more complicated challenge of homelessness among families with young children. In his 2017 budget, to be presented on Tuesday, President Obama will propose spending $11 billion over the next 10 years to fight family homelessness, a phenomenon that is closely linked to the dearth of affordable housing in New York and other big cities. Of that amount, $8.8 billion would go to housing vouchers and $2.2 billion to more short-term assistance.)
Multi-Housing News , Tuesday, February 09, 2016
(RECAP: Another organization is stepping up to combat the affordable housing issue in the United States, this time with a formal policy platform. Enterprise Community Partners Inc., a national nonprofit focused on creating opportunity for low- and moderate-income individuals through affordable housing, has just launched “An Investment in Opportunity,” which lays out federal, state and local policy recommendations that the organization hopes will transform U.S. housing policy.), Tuesday, February 09, 2016
(RECAP: HUD today unveiled President Obama’s proposed HUD Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 which is focused on helping Americans to secure and maintain, affordable housing, ending homelessness, making our communities more resilient from natural disasters and protecting people from housing discrimination. HUD’s work is critical to the Administration’s efforts to strengthen communities, bolster the economy, and improve the quality of life of the American people. HUD’s 2017 Budget includes $48.9 billion in gross discretionary funding and $11.3 billion in new mandatory spending over ten years.)
The Washington Post , Tuesday, February 09, 2016
(RECAP: The Virginia Senate approved a bill Tuesday to restrict what local governments can ask homebuilders to do to offset the impact of their developments, setting up far-reaching reforms to the state’s so-called proffer system. The bill passed 29 to 8 after a heated debate between the bill’s sponsors and senators from Northern Virginia, who argued that it would interfere with local efforts to keep new development from overwhelming some communities. The Senate bill will next be reconciled with a House version of the legislation that also passed last week — with the final product headed to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office to be signed into law.)
Affordable Housing Finance, Tuesday, February 09, 2016
(RECAP: The Federal Reserve voted to raise short-term interest rates at the end of 2015, and there’s strong opinion that rates could inch up several more times this year. That could be a problem for a number of low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) deals. Higher interest rates can create funding gaps and other challenges, so syndicators are keeping a close eye on what happens. Rising rates will be the first real test to the limits of the influence of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) on LIHTC investment decisions, according to Joseph Jones, director of equity funds for the Virginia Community Development Corp.)
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