On July 15, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed House Resolution 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016. The bill received unanimous passage by the U.S. House months ago but languished in the U.S. Senate. In mid June, the National Association of REALTORS® launched a Call-for-Action (CFA) to spur movement in the Senate.
Nearly 140,000 REALTORS® from across the nation contacted their Senators, encouraging them to get to work for future homebuyers by passing H.R. 3700. Georgia’s grassroots resulted in almost 4,000 members participating in the CFA and we applaud the efforts of our members which had a successful impact on moving this legislation forward. Additionally, GAR commends the leadership of REALTOR® Champion, Senator Johnny Isakson, who became a co-sponsor of the bill and fought strongly for its passage.
House Resolution 3700 will implement much needed reforms to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) condo loan program, easing access to lending and expand market entry to consumers that cannot afford a single-family residence. REALTOR® related components of the legislation include:
Reducing the FHA condo owner occupancy ratio to 35%.
Directing the FHA to streamline the condo re-certification process.
Provide more flexibility for mixed use buildings.
Mirror the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) rules regarding private transfer fees for FHA condo lending.
Provide permanent authority for direct endorsement for approved lenders to approve Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans.
Condominiums account for about nine percent of the housing inventory, yet make up only 4.1 percent of the FHA’s portfolio. The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act provides common-sense reform to expand housing options and saves taxpayers money through the promotion of more efficient agency practices. The CFA united the REALTOR® voice and together, passed measures that will support the real estate industry and the business of our members.