PPP Flexibility Act. Yesterday, the US House passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act by a vote of 417-1. The bill modifies the prior requirements of PPP by:
  • extending the program through 12/31/20
  • expanding the covered period for loan use from 8 weeks to 24 weeks
  • expanding  maturity from 2 years to 5 years for new loans and permitting the borrower and lender to mutually agree to later maturity
  • Providing new forgiveness provisions
    • easing requirements based on inability to rehire former or similarly qualified employees, or inability to return to operations levels
    • revising the 75%/25% rule to 60%/40%
  • Deferring payments of principal, interest, and fees until either the date the lender receives payment for forgiven amount of loan or 10 months after the end of the covered period
  • Making PPP participants eligible for employer payroll tax deferral (CARES Act Sec. 2302)

A bill close to a vote in the Senate would double the covered period of PPP spending to 16 weeks but would not change the 75% payroll cost requirement. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has maintained support for the 75% threshold.

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Releases Affordable Housing Priorities, Including Minimum 4 Percent Housing Credit Rate

On May 22, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) released an outline of affordable housing priorities he will pursue in the next coronavirus response bill. The six priorities are focused on preserving and expanding affordable housing and, in particular, on supporting Housing Credit properties.

The proposal would expand incentives for new production by enacting a minimum 4 percent housing credit rate and providing basis boosts for bond-financed projects and developments in rural areas.
CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Homeless
The CDC has interim guidance for homeless shelter providers as well as guidance on unsheltered homeless living in encampments. The shelter services guidance includes facility layout considerations. With the goal of preventing community transmission, the interim guidance on unsheltered homelessness  continues to advise that communities “allow people who are living unsheltered or in encampments to remain where they are” if individual housing options are not available. As noted in the interim guidance: “clearing encampments can cause people to disperse throughout the community and break connections with service providers. This increases the potential for infectious disease spread.”


GOFERR. The Governor’s Office on Emergency Relief and Recovery has announced close to $595 million in relief programs, including a $400 million Main Street Relief Program for small business and a $60 million nonprofit relief fund. Housing and homeless shelter proposals were considered by the GOFERR’s Legislative Advisory Board on May 18. In addition, the Stakeholder Advisory Board submitted recommendations to the GOFERR that included rent stabilization, foreclosure prevention and homeless shelter adaptation as “highest need” and urged “immediate” attention. The Legislative Advisory Board is expected to discuss the housing proposals at their next meeting on June 3. 
NH House. The Speaker of the NH House of Representatives announced in today’s calendar that public hearings will resume next week. The calendar includes information on remote hearings that includes call-in information and testimony submission links. The calendar also advises that more information is forthcoming on the House sessions that are moving to the Whittemore Center on the UNH Durham campus to allow for social distancing.