CREF Policy Update: MBA Joins Coalition Letter to FHFA on Building Code Requirements

MBA Joins Coalition Letter to FHFA on Building Code Requirements

Last Monday, MBA joined the National Multifamily Housing Council and others in a coalition letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) urging against any proposal that would implement onerous and untimely new building code requirements for multifamily properties financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the GSEs).

• The letter was in response to a recent FHFA request to the GSEs to collect industry feedback on the potential impact of requiring that all newly constructed apartment buildings, where the GSEs provide permanent financing, comply with the latest building codes.
• In April, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published its final rule on Energy Efficiency Building Standards. MBA had previously urged HUD and USDA to reconsider the impact of their proposal on affordable housing.

Why it matters: The coalition letter stressed that building code standards are governed at the state and local levels and any new or additional requirements would increase costs and regulatory burdens for producers of affordable housing. The coalition urged FHFA to support voluntary programs that promote energy efficiency and avoid any measures that conflict with state and local requirements or create different standards for GSE vs. non-GSE-financed properties.

What’s next: MBA will update members on any further developments related to this issue. 

For more information, please contact Stephanie Milner at (202) 557-2757 or Megan Booth at (202) 557-2740.

House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee Advances Wide Ranging Data Privacy Bill

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce approved sweeping data privacy legislation by voice vote (without amendments).

• The American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 (APRA) is championed by full Energy & Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA) and the panel’s Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ). MBA joined a financial services trade association coalition letter criticizing the proposals’ failure to adequately recognize the strong privacy and data security standards already in place for the financial sector under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA).

Why it matters: MBA has additional concerns with APRA, as drafted, regarding the bill’s private right of action provision, its insufficient pre-emption of state laws, and its consumer “opt-out” of an evaluation by algorithm for “consequential decisions,” such as housing and credit opportunities. See MBA’s letter to subcommittee members here.

What’s next: MBA will continue to work with our coalition partners to advocate for changes to the APRA text before its mark-up by the full Energy and Commerce Committee – and possible House floor consideration.

For more information, please contact Rachel Kelley at (202) 557 2816, or Madisyn Rhone at (202) 557-2741.

MBA Responds to SEC Regarding CMBS Compliance Documentation

Recently, MBA and the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding Compliance & Disclosure Interpretation 111.01, Form SF-3 Eligibility Requirements, Timely Transaction Documents (the “C&DI”) published on August 30, 2023,

• The August 30 guidance requires a commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) prospectus to be filed no later than two days after the date of sale.

Why it matters: The industry sent a letter to the SEC on October 23 or last year, providing its arguments as to why the updated interpretation did not meet statutory requirements. The latest letter provides clarifying statements to the SEC, per its request, regarding the industry’s arguments for relief from the updated guidance. Investors, whom the SEC is looking to protect, agree with the industry’s perspective.

What’s next: MBA will work with industry partners to meet with the SEC to understand next steps.

For more information, please contact Mike Flood at (202) 557-2745 or Stephanie Milner at (202) 557-2757.

FHFA Releases Advisory Bulletin on Climate-Related Risk Management

Last week, FHFA released an advisory bulletin providing guidance to the GSEs on managing climate-related risks.

• The guidance states that the GSEs should establish a climate-related risk management framework as part of their existing risk management framework. The climate-related framework should include the following components: Governance, Risk Identification/Assessment/Controls, Metrics and Data, Scenario Analysis and Risk Reporting/Communication.

Why it matters: Climate change presents risks, both physical and transition, to the GSEs and their ability to serve the housing market. It is imperative that they understand and address how climate change and extreme weather can impact their resiliency.

What’s next: MBA will continue to monitor reports and bulletins from FHFA and communicate all relevant information to members.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Milner at (202) 557-2757 or Megan Booth at (202) 557-2740.

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Energy Codes, Green Building Policies

Last Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “Green Building Policies: Jeopardizing the American Dream of Homeownership.”  

• The hearing examined the impact of green building policies on housing affordability, including discussions regarding building energy codes, performance standards, and fossil fuel-use restrictions.
• Witnesses included executives from home building, building products, and energy firms, as well as a building science expert. A full summary of the hearing can be found here

Go Deeper: Republicans specifically criticized the recently finalized standards for HUD- and USDA-financed housing, in addition to plans to ban fossil fuels in federal buildings by 2030. Democrats generally supported the administration’s efforts and emphasized the need to balance affordability and energy efficiency concerns.

Why it matters: Last month, HUD published its final rule on energy-efficiency building standards to require any new construction with FHA-insured and Department of Agriculture-guaranteed (USDA) financing to use significantly newer building codes that most states have yet to adopt. Please see MBA’s summary here. The rule is effective for building permit applications starting in December 2025. 

What’s next: MBA will continue to highlight concerns with policies that impact housing costs in ongoing conversations with lawmakers and regulators alike (see first FHFA item above).

For more information, please contact Rachel Kelley at (202) 557-2816, or Madisyn Rhone at (202) 557-2741.

CFPB Announces Plan to Issue an Interim Final Rule Extending Small Business Rule Compliance Dates

Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it would issue an interim final rule extending the 1071 Small Business Reporting Rule’s compliance dates.

• In August of 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued an order blocking enforcement of 1071 by the CFPB for only members of the American Bankers Association and/or Texas Bankers Association, and then extended that order to all lenders in October of 2023.
• The order required the CFPB to extend the compliance dates following a decision by the Supreme Court in the case Community Financial Services Association (CFSA) v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Last week, the Court ruled in favor of the CFPB, upholding its funding mechanism.

Why it matters: The 1071 Rule requires some MBA members to collect and report data on commercial real estate loans. The new compliance dates will start in June 2026, with longer timelines for medium and small-volume lenders.

What’s next: MBA will update members on any further developments related to this issue. 

For more information, please contact Stephanie Milner at (202) 557-2757. 

Upcoming MBA Education Webinars on Critical Industry Issues

MBA Education continues to deliver timely single-family and commercial/multifamily programming that covers the spectrum of challenges, obstacles and solutions pertaining to our industry. Below, please see a list of upcoming and recent webinars – which are complimentary to MBA members:

Culturally Competent Marketing and Messaging for Hispanic Homebuyers and Homeowners – May 30
Automating Efficient and Empathetic Servicing Experiences for Your Borrower – June 4
Bank-Owned Mortgage Divisions: What Bankers Need to Know to Manage Mortgage Banking – June 11
Adding Reverse Mortgages to Your Business Line: The Value Proposition – June 20
Unpacking the Costs and Current State of Homeowners Insurance – June 20

MBA members can register for any of the above events and view recent webinar recordings by clicking here.  

For any questions, please contacDavid Upbin at (202) 557-2931