MBA Advocacy Update Oct. 19, 2020

Bill Killmer; Pete Mills

On Tuesday, MBA submitted comments supporting the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s proposed rule to extend the current GSE affordable housing goals by one year to allow for a better assessment of the economic landscape. In addition, MBA is continuing to work with its state and local partner associations to advocate for extension of work-from-home guidance and “no action” letters permitting state licensed staff to work remotely during the pandemic.

1. MBA Supports One-Year Extension of Current GSE Affordable Housing Goals

On Tuesday, MBA submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency supporting its proposed rule to extend the current GSE affordable housing goals by one year to allow for a better assessment of the economic landscape. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting disruption to the U.S. economy has created an environment in which there are many hopeful—yet potentially very different—pathways and timelines to economic recovery. MBA concurs that it is appropriate to maintain the current requirements for another year to gather data before establishing the next set of three-year goals.

  • Why it matters: MBA strongly supports efforts to ensure sustainable and affordable housing for low-income and very low-income households, whether through homeownership or rental housing. The GSEs’ affordable housing goals contribute to this objective.
  • What’s next: FHFA will review the public comments and publish a final rule on the GSEs’ affordable housing goals in the coming weeks.

For more information, please contact Hanna Pitz at (202) 557-2796.

2. MBA Works with State and Local Association Partners for Extension of Remote Work Flexibility

MBA continues to work with its state and local partner associations to urge governors and state regulators to extend guidance and “no action” letters to allow state-licensed staff to work from home during the pandemic, rather than from licensed locations. Many states require “licensed activity” to occur only from “licensed locations.” Working closely with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, MBA and the state associations were able to secure temporary guidance earlier this year from many states to allow work-from-home options for these employees. More recently, the CSBS issued a letter to their member state financial services regulators urging them to extend their current guidance or no action positions.

MBA is now working with state and local associations to encourage individual states to extend this flexibility at least through the end of 2021, and to consider making such changes permanent. In addition, MBA believes any end date should be accompanied with a 120-day transition period.

  • Why it matters: These guidance documents and “no action” letters allowed IMB member companies to continue to function and serve consumers during a time of critical national need.
  • What’s next: MBA will continue to work on both short and long-term solutions for remote work flexibility.

For more information, please contact William Kooper at (202) 557-2737 or Kobie Pruitt at (202) 557-2870.

3. Upcoming and Recent MBA Education Webinars on Critical Industry Issues

MBA Education continues to deliver timely 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:

MBA members can access the list of recent webinar recordings by clicking here. For more information, please contact David Upbin at (202) 557-2890.