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News Clips

RealEstateRama, Tuesday, May 26, 2015
(RECAP: HUD announced today an agreement with Roanoke, Virginia-based Retirement Unlimited, Inc. resolving allegations of discrimination against residents with disabilities in two of the company’s rental properties. The settlement requires Retirement Unlimited to pay $169,500 in damages. The case came to HUD’s attention when two residents and Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), a non-profit fair housing organization based in Richmond, Virginia, filed complaints.)
HousingWire , Tuesday, May 26, 2015
(RECAP: Do the GSEs and Ginnie Mae need some changes? Perhaps. Should we endeavor to protect the taxpayer from the potential of future mortgage industry collapse and government bailouts? Of course. But before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, let’s take a moment to recognize that the overall benefit far outweighs the harm and risk we can experience with these entities. Unless we, as a nation, have turned our back on the American Dream and the ideal that most (if not all) Americans should have access to affordable homes, we need to maintain, in large part, the role of the GSEs and Ginnie in that dream.)
HousingWire , Friday, May 22, 2015
(RECAP: As predicted by many economists, the Federal Reserve is indeed considering raising the Federal Funds Rate later this year, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Friday. The Fed is seeing widespread economic improvement and expects that improvement to continue. And if the economy improves as expected, she believes it will be “appropriate” for the Fed to raise the Federal Funds Rate this year, which in turn, would affect mortgage interest rates. Yellen said if and when the Fed raises rates, she expects the “pace of normalization” to be gradual.)
NCSHA, Thursday, May 21, 2015
(RECAP: Earlier this week, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing examining the Rural Housing Service (RHS) and the role it plays in the single-family mortgage market. During the hearing, Subcommittee members debated the findings of a 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that suggested that RHS's single-family lending programs be consolidated with similar programs administered by the FHA. Witnesses at the hearing were Tony Hernandez, the Administrator of RHS, and Mathew Scire, the Director for Financial Markets and Community Investment at GAO.)
HousingWire , Thursday, May 21, 2015
(RECAP: The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs passed “The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015" on Thursday. This is a big deal for housing and mortgage finance. Among the most significant proposals in the 216-page draft bill is a requirement raising the SIFI bank threshold from $50 billion to $500 billion, altering the $10 billion threshold, and targeting specific GSE changes. This would, in effect, free smaller lenders from the heavy capital requirements and strict oversight currently enforced against the big banks.)
The Wall Street Journal , Wednesday, May 20, 2015
(RECAP: The White House has tapped Michael Stegman, a senior Treasury official, to coordinate housing policy across the Obama administration. Mr. Stegman will join the National Economic Council as its main housing adviser this week. Mr. Stegman joined Treasury four years ago and played a key role shaping policy on a range of housing issues, including efforts to broaden access to mortgage credit and to overhaul finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The personnel move suggests major policy shifts on housing aren’t likely in the final 19 months of the administration.)
Mortgage News Daily , Wednesday, May 20, 2015
(RECAP: Earlier this week Freddie Mac asked if the housing market recovery could withstand a rate increase (the answer, with some qualification was yes). Now the economists at Wells Fargo are asking the same about household balance sheets. The banks Interest Rate Weekly concludes that should the Federal Reserve begin to increase rates as expected it will have a "muted" impact on households. Part of the balance sheet dynamic is a national shift to fixed rate mortgages.)
Bloomberg, Wednesday, May 20, 2015
(RECAP: A regulator’s decision to ease limits on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac means the agencies may finance $15 billion more in apartment lending this year than initially expected, according to Walker & Dunlop Chief Executive Officer Willy Walker. “It’s game on,” Walker said regarding Fannie and Freddie’s presence in the market after backing off from deals in April. They could both finance $40 billion to $45 billion of multifamily loans. The figures are among the first estimates of how new definitions for exempted loans may translate into real dollars.)
HousingWire , Tuesday, May 19, 2015
(RECAP: Representatives from the FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Common Securitization Solutions all said the development of single security is still years way from implementation, without specifying just how many years that might be. Robert Fishman, the senior associate director for the office of strategic initiatives at the FHFA, acknowledged the potential impact of the bill put forth by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. Shelby’s bill addresses changes to the GSEs as well as an overhaul of mortgage lending. Fishman suggested that Shelby’s bill, if passed, could expedite the development of the Common Securitization Platform (CSP).)
Fairfax Connection , Tuesday, May 19, 2015
(RECAP: With an eye toward providing workforce housing in the local area, Fairfax County recently broke ground on a 270-unit apartment complex in Fair Oaks. VHDA Executive Director Susan Dewey said her organization’s sole mission is affordable housing, and she thanked everyone involved in this project “on behalf of the 270 families who’ll live here. It’s difficult to do affordable housing; it takes a long time and a lot of people to put it all together.” Thanking the supervisors and county staff for making sure the county has affordable housing, she said, “The tax credits amounted to $26 million of equity that made this project possible.”)
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