Public Affairs Update

Public Affairs Update……….…………………………………………..February 24, 2016

  • Fannie Mae Downgrades Economic Forecast, Citing Lackluster Growth


  • House OKs Bill Removing VA Loan Limits


  • Cities Plagued by Shrinking Inventory; Denver in at #9


  • House Unanimously Passes Condo Bill


  • Housing Boulder Action Plan for 2016 and 2017


  • Pizza & Public Affairs Wednesday, March 2, 2016 Noon to 1:00pm at BARA


  • In Case You Missed It



Fannie Mae Downgrades Economic Forecast, Citing Lackluster Growth

Recent economic slowdowns may result in fewer rate hikes by the Fed this year than originally expected. What effect has the economy had on the forecast for housing in 2016? READ MORE [Source: 02-18-2016]


House OKs Bill Removing VA Loan Limits
The House has passed a bill that includes a provision eliminating the cap on VA loan limits. Read more about this NAR-supported legislation. [Source: NAR Weekly Report 02-18-2016]


Cities Plagued by Shrinking Inventory ; Denver in at #9
The challenge facing most U.S. real estate markets is not too many vacant homes but too few, shows a new report. Find out where inventories are tightest.


House Unanimously Passes Condo Bill

The House of Representatives passed, "Housing Opportunities through Modernization Act" with a unanimous vote of 427-0!  This legislation includes three major provisions that NAR supports:

  • The legislation solves a number of concerns regarding FHA’s condo rules:


  • Reduces owner occupancy ratio to 35%.


  • Directs FHA to streamline condo certification process.


  • Provides more flexibility for mixed use buildings.


  • Mirrors FHFA rules regarding private transfer fees.


  • The legislation provides permanent authority for direct endorsement for approved lenders to approve Rural Housing Service loans.


  • The legislation makes reforms to federally assisted rental housing programs to streamline the program.


The bill now moves to the Senate.


Housing Boulder Action Plan for 2016 and 2017  

At its 2016 Retreat, the Boulder City Council reviewed an updated Housing Boulder Action Plan, which consists of housing-related issues that will be considered and addressed as part of the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan (BVCP) Update, as well as work to:


● Develop a middle-income housing strategy and program; 

● Articulate the city's housing preservation strategy and priorities; 

● Achieve the city's existing 10 percent goal for permanently affordable housing; 

● Pilot a new approach to working with neighborhoods on specific housing issues; and 

● Explore governance models for overseeing implementation of the strategy over time. 


The proposed actions represent key areas of community consensus, as well as areas in which further analysis and discussion are needed, consistent with the preliminary themes that City Council discussed at its June 9, 2015, study session.


Next Steps

Middle Income Housing Strategy

On Feb. 23, City Council will hold a study session to discuss the development of a Middle Income Housing Strategy. The strategy is expected to provide a housing policy framework, including community priorities for action and specific tools to help meet the adopted Housing Boulder goal to "Maintain the Middle." Council will review a recently completed Middle Income Housing Study, approaches from other cities, and discuss potential areas of focus for the effort. Community engagement for the strategy will be closely coordinated with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan update.  [Source: City of Boulder]


Pizza & Public Affairs Wednesday, March 2, 2016 Noon to 1:00pm at BARA

Boulder Housing Partners (City of Boulder Housing Authority) is launching an aggressive effort to expand Boulder’s affordable housing programs and that agenda may represent challenging issues between public and private homeownership in the years ahead.


Guest Speaker

Betsey Martens, Executive Director, Boulder Housing Partners (BHP)


What She Will Present

Betsey will explain why BHP believes without action now market forces will soon overtake Boulder’s good intensions and the community will permanently lose opportunities to increase and stabilize affordable housing for current and future residents. Strategies she will discuss include:

  • Creating an Affordable Housing Benefit Ordinance


  • Creating an Affordable Housing Overlay Zone


  • Maximizing affordability on two key city-owned parcels


-The Pollard site

-Boulder Community Hospital on Broadway

  • Create an Affordable Housing Preservation Tax to maximize the preservation and expansion of housing


  • Fund the Affordable Housing program at a minimum of $12MM annually


  • Provide BHP with a Right of First Refusal on multi-family commercial sales


  • Expand the use of vouchers in Boulder by considering an income discrimination ordinance



Practitioners in the Boulder area markets need to understand these affordable housing initiatives and their potential impacts.

RSVP Today!


You’ll want to save these dates for upcoming Pizza & Public Affairs events:

  • April 6: We are going on the road for a tour of commercial and residential property at Boulder Junction and lunch at the Depot Roadhouse


  • May 4: Newly elected Council Members Aaron Brockett and Bob Yates



In Case You Missed It




    • State budget, TABOR, hospital provider fee, taxpayer refund update. More



    • City studies fees, taxes charged development to pays its share; BARA represented. More