Weekly update from the National Housing Conference

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In this issue

October 8, 2023

Issue 92-35

· Mortgage rates near 8%, applications plunge 

· Senators reintroduce the Community Development Investment Tax Credit Act 

· $321 million in CMF awards announced 

· HUD unveils funding opportunity for expanding access to affordable homeownership

· HUD announces funding for housing discrimination, seniors, and other projects 

Chart of the week: Extreme weather raises insurance rates for over 40 million properties

Join AARP and NHC for a forum on creating livable communities for all generations

By David M. Dworkin, President and CEO

The National Housing Conference (NHC) is honored to co-host with AARP, “Building Livable Communities for All Generations,” an in-person and online event on October 31 at the National Press Club. We will discuss the importance of creating communities that are safe, accessible, and inclusive for all ages and backgrounds. This forum will delve into the principles of livable communities, exploring how they enhance personal independence, allow individuals to age comfortably and safely in their homes, and provide opportunities for all residents, regardless of background and ability, to engage fully in civic, economic, and social life.

During the forum, AARP will unveil its latest iteration of the AARP Livability Index™ platform, a dynamic tool assessing neighborhood livability nationwide. Be among the first to hear about this year’s top-performing communities and other insights about community livability gleaned from AARP Livability Index data. Then, hear from experts and community leaders as they discuss innovative strategies and best practices that can transform neighborhoods, towns, and cities into thriving, inclusive spaces where everyone can flourish.

The AARP Livability Index platform is a perfect companion to NHC’s Paycheck to Paycheck database. Affordability and livability are essential components of what makes our communities home. The Paycheck to Paycheck database, previously updated only on a quarterly basis, now offers an annual snapshot of housing affordability across the country through year over year data comparisons. This snapshot sheds light on the growing impact of rising housing costs on homebuyers and renters. The new data tool shows the income needed to purchase a typically priced home increased in 96% of the tracked homeownership markets in June 2023 compared to June 2022. The average cost for a two-bedroom rental rose by 10% or more in 56% of the markets studied.

NHC will be committing more time and resources to the needs of seniors through the coming years. As Baby Boomers age, the housing needs of seniors will be a growing focus of housing policy throughout the country. We need to ensure that we have the resources to address these needs, and that we create and support environments that are safe, accessible, and inclusive for all ages and backgrounds. There are no fees associated with this event, but space is limited! Click here to learn more about this forum and register today.

News from Washington | By Brittany Webb

Mortgage rates near 8%, applications plunge 

The average 30-year mortgage interest rate was reported as high as 7.88%, stoking concerns of surpassing 8% before the end of the month. Currently, some individuals are already facing interest rates above 8%. Freddie Mac reported an average of 7.49%, the highest rate recorded since December 2000. The rate stood at 7.31% last week, while one year ago, it was 6.66%. These reported increases are likely a result of the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, which mortgage rates typically track, reaching its own 16-year high at 4.8%. Consequently, mortgage applications have decreased 6% when compared to last week, and the pace of home sales has declined by 20% compared to last year.  

"Mortgage rates continued to move higher last week as markets digested the recent upswing in Treasury yields," said Joel Kan, vice president and deputy chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association. "As a result, mortgage applications grounded to a halt, dropping to the lowest level since 1996. The purchase market slowed to the lowest level of activity since 1995, as the rapid rise in rates pushed an increasing number of potential homebuyers out of the market."


Housing groups have consistently raised concerns about rising interest rates and the impact that is felt by first-time homebuyers and underserved populations who are pushed further away from achieving homeownership. The high rates, combined with an ongoing affordable housing supply crisis, create an even more difficult environment for affordable homeownership. Many buyers are turning to FHA and VA loans or downpayment assistance programs to afford purchasing a home, and some back out of transactions entirely. According to recently released data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the average monthly mortgage payment rose 46% from 2021 to 2022, going from $1,400 to $2,045. 


“Several factors, including shifts in inflation, the job market and uncertainty around the Federal Reserve’s next move, are contributing to the highest mortgage rates in a generation,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “Unsurprisingly, this is pulling back homebuyer demand.”

Senators reintroduce the Community Development Investment Tax Credit Act

A bipartisan group of Senators, led by U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), reintroduced The Community Development Investment Tax Credit Act, a bill that would unlock additional equity and financial capital through creation of a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) tax credit. The bill aims to promote lasting economic benefits for underserved communities by incentivizing private sector investors that make equity, equity-equivalent investments, or long-term patient capital available to CDFIs.

According to Novogradac, the CDFI credit would be worth 70% distributed as 3% over the first ten credit allowance periods and 4% over the next ten. Applications for allocation of credits would be administered through the CDFI fund, with funding amounts set at $1 billion in 2023, $1.5 billion in 2024, and $2 billion for each year thereafter. The bill is supported by the American Bankers Association, Opportunity Finance Network, Local Initiatives Support Coalition, CDFI Coalition, and others.

“Our country was built by small business, but many in low-income areas have trouble accessing the financing they need to launch and grow their businesses,” said Senator Wicker in a press release. “CDFI investments play a pivotal role in bridging these gaps. The proposed tax credit in this legislation would help address the challenges faced by small business owners and provide an alternative to predatory loans.”

$321 million in CMF awards announced

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) awarded $321.2 million to 52 organizations to finance and develop affordable housing and community resources through the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF). The awards support financing for preservation, rehabilitation, development, and purchase of affordable housing; or community service facilities including daycares, workforce development centers, and health clinics. Of the awardees, 50% plan to invest a portion of their funding in rural areas, and an estimated 32,000 affordable housing units will be developed.

“The FY 2023 CMF awards will provide Community Development Financial Institutions and nonprofit housing organizations with the critical resources they need to expand the availability of affordable housing for thousands of families and individuals in need across the country,” said Acting CDFI Fund Director Marcia Sigal. “Today’s awards are projected to leverage more than $11.1 billion in private and public sector resources, all of which will be focused on addressing the shortfall in affordable housing that persists throughout our nation’s distressed and underserved communities.” 

HUD unveils funding opportunity for expanding access to affordable homeownership

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a $13.5 million funding opportunity through the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) aimed at expanding access to affordable homeownership. This initiative targets low-income individuals and families who lack opportunities to own homes, emphasizing partnerships with nonprofit organizations. SHOP grant funds can be used for land acquisition, infrastructure development, and administration costs. Eligible applicants must have experience in self-help homeownership housing programs and propose using funds in at least two states. This funding opportunity offers preference points for Climate Change and Environmental Justice, Promise Zones, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The application deadline is December 4. 


HUD announces funding for housing discrimination, seniors, and other projects

HUD is allocating over $30 million to combat housing discrimination nationwide through the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). These funds will support fair housing education, outreach, testing, and enforcement efforts. HUD annually provides resources to organizations enforcing fair housing laws and educating the public. The grants are distributed across various categories, including Education and Outreach Initiative (EOI) with $9,466,347, EOI – Test Coordinator Training with $500,000, Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI) with $3,700,000, and Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) with $16,704,250. Interested parties can apply for funding through www.grants.gov until November 30.

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs has also allocated $160.1 million in grants to non-profit organizations supporting the development and rehabilitation of affordable multifamily rental housing and project-based rental assistance for low-income seniors. These grants, provided under HUD’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program, will enable the construction of 1,262 new deeply rent-assisted units and the development of mixed-income communities, totaling 1,788 homes.

“The funding announced today shows the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in Americans at every stage in life, working tirelessly to do everything we can to make sure older adults have the resources they need to stay housed and safe, especially as we witness a troubling rise in homelessness among seniors,” said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. Recent media reports have highlighted the issue of a “silver tsunami” of rising homelessness for older Americans.

HUD has also awarded $75 million in loan guarantee commitments to the cities of Omaha, Neb., and Fresno, Oakland, and Redding in Calif., supporting diverse projects for public safety, economic development, and housing improvements. Omaha will establish a $20 million Affordable Housing Loan Pool, while Fresno plans to utilize its $20 million loan to build a Senior Activity Center. Oakland’s $34 million loan pool will enhance job creation, affordable housing and equity. Redding will allocate $2 million to improve South City Park focusing on removing mobility barriers. 

Chart of the week

Extreme weather raises insurance rates for over 40 million properties

An analysis of risk from the First Street Foundation reveals that 40.4 million properties across the US may see insurance premium hikes due to increasingly frequent extreme weather events. Of those at risk, 12 million are due to flooding risk, 24 million are due to wind risk, and 4.4 million due to wildfire risk. Many insurers are updating premiums to account for these risks, or suspending coverage completely, leaving homeowners with the choice of paying significantly more or sometimes reconsidering where they live.

What we're reading

An article in The Wall Street Journal discusses how 8% mortgage interest rates may not be as unprecedented as they seem. It explains that changes in the purchasers of government-backed bonds, which in turn drive the market price of a standard mortgage, may be contributing to mortgage interest rates. The first half of 2023 saw a collective reduction of $207 billion of mortgage-backed security portfolios from big banks and the Federal Reserve, who were previously significant buyers.


The ACTION Campaign released a new series of videos explaining provisions of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA). The first set of videos cover topics like expanding the 9% Housing Credit, lowering the bond financing threshold, basis boosts, anti-NIMBY provisions, and simplifying the student rule. The videos feature Ayrianne Parks, Senior Director of Public Policy at Enterprise, and Jennifer Schwartz, Director of Tax and Housing Advocacy at NCSHA.


A blog post from the Bank Policy Institute explores what the new capital standards proposal in the Basel III Endgame banking regulation means for mortgage lending. It explains that a consequence of the rule’s potential overstatement of risk would disproportionately impact low- and moderate-income and minority homebuyers through the application of additional risk weights. 

The week ahead

Monday, October 9

2023 HERA Conference – Housing for Everyone (Housing Education & Research Association), in person in Sioux Falls, SD

Annual Convention (American Bankers Association), in person in Nashville, TN


Tuesday, October 10

2023 HERA Conference – Housing for Everyone (Housing Education & Research Association), in person in Sioux Falls, SD

Annual Convention (American Bankers Association), in person in Nashville, TN

Community Bank Network Webinar (Mortgage Bankers Association), 12 – 1 PM ET

California Legislative Session Recap 2023 Webinar (Berkeley Terner Center), 1 – 2 PM ET

Capital Fund Program (NAHRO), 1 – 4 PM ET

Preparing for Housing Assistance Payments Termination (NAHRO), 1:30 – 4 PM ET

Americas YLG: Emerging Leaders Product Council Program Open House – Unlock Your Pathway to Product Councils (Urban Land Institute), 2 – 3 PM ET

Northwest Live Broadcast Event (NAHREP), 2 PM – 4 PM ET

Southwest Live Broadcast Event (NAHREP), 2 PM – 4 PM ET

National Call on HoUSed: Universal, Stable, Affordable Housing (National Low Income Housing Coalition), 2:30 PM ET


Wednesday, October 11

WHF Lunch & Learn: 1071 – Latest Updates And Key Aspects Of The CFPB’s Small Business Lending Rule (Women in Housing and Finance), 12 – 1 PM ET

Capital Fund Program (NAHRO), 1 – 4 PM ET

Our Places of Impact: Introduction to Measuring Outcomes for Community-Led Initiatives (HUD Exchange), 1 – 2 PM ET

State of Green: Leading Real Estate Voices on the Business Case for Sustainability (Urban Land Institute), 1 – 2 PM ET

Leading Through Times of Change and Transition (NAHRO), 1:30 – 4:30 PM ET

DHRC’s Disaster Recovery Working Group (National Low Income Housing Coalition), 2 PM ET

WHF Happy Hour (Women in Housing and Finance), 5:30 – 6:30 PM ET, in person in Washington, DC


Thursday, October 12

2023 National Convention (Asian Real Estate Association of America), in person in Chicago, IL

2023 FHA Fall Roundtable (Mortgage Bankers Association), 8 AM – 4:30 PM ET, in person in Washington, DC

Calculating Change: The Continuing Conversation on Homelessness Data Reform (National Alliance to End Homelessness), 1 – 2 PM ET

Capital Fund Program (NAHRO), 1 – 4 PM ET

HOTMA Overview (NAHRO), 1 – 4 PM ET

Preservation Next: Asset Management Strategies (Enterprise Community Partners), 1 – 2:30 PM ET

Preparing for the Lease Termination, Hearing and Trial (NAHRO), 1:30 – 4 PM ET

Climate Risk and Opportunity Management (American Bankers Association), 2 – 3 PM ET

Private Credit Finance 101: A Commercial/Multifamily Overview of Debt Funds and Their Importance in the Capital Stack (Mortgage Bankers Association), 2 – 3 PM ET


Friday, October 13

Accessory Dwelling Units: Lessons From Around the Country (Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies), 12:15 PM ET

Capital Fund Program (NAHRO), 1 – 4 PM ET

Power of Home Northwest (Mercy Housing), 9 – 11 PM ET in person in Seattle, WA

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