TO: State and Local Association Government Affairs and Communications Directors
FROM: NAR Government Affairs
RE: Economic Stimulus Bill
DATE: 12 February 2009
PLEASE NOTE ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVES WILL RECEIVE THIS EMAIL AT APPROXIMATELY 2:30 PM EASTERN TIME
The Economic Stimulus Bill (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1.) has been reconciled by the House and Senate. The details of the legislation have not been finalized but we expect the legislation to include a number of important housing provisions, including the remedies for the housing crisis that NAR prescribed at the annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.
- Homebuyer Tax Credit - a $7500 tax credit that will be available for qualified purchase of a principal residence by a first time homebuyer between January 1, 2009 and September 1, 2009. The credit does not require repayment. Individuals who purchase in 2009 using financing assistance from state and local mortgage bonds will be permitted to use the credit, as well.
- FHA, Fannie and Freddie Loan Limits - Revised loan limits for FHA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae. Specifics have not been released but reports indicate that the 2008 limits have been reinstated for 2009 except in those communities where the 2009 limits are higher. Additional increases in individual communities may also be available at the discretion of the HUD Secretary.
- Foreclosure Mitigation & Neighborhood Stabilization - Funding for states and local communities to be used for neighborhood stabilization activities for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes are authorized.
These elements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are the pillars of the NAR Housing Stimulus Plan presented to the 111th Congress. Additionally we continue to work closely with the Department of Treasury and Secretary Timothy Geithner to implement a mortgage buy-down program. NAR also recommended that the Treasury Department expand the Term Asset-Backed Loan Facility (TALF) to include commercial mortgage-backed securities as eligible collateral. The Treasury has approved this recommendation and this will encourage investment in the commercial real estate market.
The Economic Stimulus Bill (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1)
Additional Housing and Other Provisions of Interest to NAR
- Rural Housing Service - Increased funding for the Rural Housing Service direct and guaranteed loan programs.
- Low Income Housing Grants - Allow states to trade in a portion of their 2009 low-income housing tax credits for Treasury grants to finance the construction or acquisition and rehabilitation of low-income housing, including those with or without tax credit allocations.
- Tax Exempt Housing Bonds - Tax-exempt interest earned on specified state and local bonds issued during 2009 and 2010 will not be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). In addition, financial institutions will have greater capacity to purchase tax-exempt state and local bonds.
- Energy Efficient Housing - Grants for energy retrofits for federally assisted housing (section 8), funding for Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grants to states, and Increases in the residential tax credit through 2010 for certain energy efficient upgrades.
- Transportation - Spending for upgrades and repairs of road, bridges and transit facilities.
- Broadband Deployment - Grants to make broadband available in unserved communities
Make no mistake-our work with Congress and the Treasury Department is not yet completed, as the leading advocate for homeowners and the real estate industry, the National Association of REALTORS will continue to address the issues facing Americans who are trying to purchase a new home, protect their current home or preserve investment opportunities in residential and commercial properties.
NAR recognizes the efforts of the members of Congress and the Senate who understand that without a housing recovery, an overall economic recovery is impossible.