The National Association of REALTORS® has issued a Call-for-Action to urge the U.S. Senate to take up and pass House Resolution 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016. H.R. 3700 received unanimous passage by the U.S. House of Representatives and was an official talking point during NAR’s Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. this past May.
House Resolution 3700 seeks to implement much needed reforms to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) condo loan program that would ease access to lending and expand market entry to consumers that cannot afford a single-family residence. Prospective buyers of condos are typically first-time homebuyers, retirees and lower-income earners.
Condominiums account for about nine percent of the housing inventory, yet make up only 4.1 percent of the FHA’s portfolio. FHA approved condo loans require that commercial space is limited to 25 percent (which includes parking garages) and that no less than 50 percent of condo units are owner occupied. These stringent parameters often limit an eligible buyer’s selection of properties. Additional provisions of the bill would authorize the Rural Housing Service (RHS) use of local endorsement lenders to approve RHS loans. Such authorization would expedite the approval process and alleviate agency burdens. Over the course of five years, the Congressional Budget Office projects that H.R. 3700 will reduce government spending by $311 million. 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.
GAR encourages all of our members who have not yet taken action to send the message to our Senators that we want H.R 3700 to be passed. Submitting your CFA will help unite the REALTOR® voice and push GAR closer to our 20 percent (4,626 members) goal. To view your local board’s participation rate, click here. This CFA will remain active until July 18. We will continue to monitor and update members on the progress of this important piece of legislation that aims to strengthen the real estate industry and federal housing programs. For more information, view the links below.