As we predicted on July 20th, H.R. 3700/ S. 3083 (also known as the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016), the bipartisan housing legislation that passed through Congress without receiving a single “no” vote, was signed into law by President Obama on Friday, July 29th.
The new law will reform HUD’s Section 8 housing voucher program (and any other family rental assistance programs) by requiring public housing agencies (PHAs) to develop new systems to properly review the incomes of families receiving assistance, to cease assisting families with assets exceeding $100,000, and a cap on project-based vouchers (those vouchers tied to the unit, not the tenant).
The FHA mortgage insurance eligibility requirements have also been changed. The FHA has now been instructed to make recertification of eligible condominiums less burdensome and to lower the required percentage of units occupied by owners in a development from 50% to 35% in order to qualify.
Loan approval authority for the USDA Rural Housing Service’s single family housing guaranteed loan program will now be made available to preferred lenders, streamlining this program.
As noted earlier, we predicted that this legislation would pass due to its broad bipartisan support and common sense reforms to important government policies and programs. We supported the legislation, as did the National Association of REALTORS®, California Association of REALTORS®, California Association of Mortgage Professionals, and other professional organizations. The reforms to FHA condominium approval processes are particularly promising and have the opportunity to open up more affordable housing opportunities for Americans while incentivizing the development of more housing, something we desperately need.