Real Estate Agent Magazine Economy and Housing Market 21 Real Estate Victories in Government Spending Package

21 Real Estate Victories in Government Spending Package

On Friday, Congress unanimously passed the Omnibus bill which now goes to President Joe Biden for signature.

Congress gave final approval Friday to a bipartisan bill funding the government until Sept 30, 2023, marking one final major piece of legislation for 2018. President Joe Biden will now sign it into law. Included in the spending package are extensions for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until Sept 30 and other housing programs supported by NAR such as homebuyer tax credits and programs funded through HOME for seniors and homeless assistance programs (see here for list of NAR priorities included in spending package:).

Anti-Money Laundering: The bill provides funding to establish a beneficial ownership database with information on real estate ownership for use in anti-money laundering efforts.
Broadband: $364 Million has been allocated by Congress for use by USDA’s Rural Development Broadband ReConnect Program(link is external) in fulfilling its mission of offering loans and grants for building, improving or purchasing facilities and equipment in rural areas that support broadband service provision.
Community Development Funding: The bill allocates nearly $6.4 billion for community and economic development funding projects benefitting low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and people, including an increase of nearly $1.6 billion for CDBG grants to jurisdictions to identify and remove barriers to affordable housing production and preservation. Additionally, $324 million was designated for Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund which promotes economic and community development in low-income communities, including investments in affordable housing units.
COVID-19 Assistance Programs: There has been increased funding allocated in this bill for various pandemic-era CARES Act and American Rescue Plan programs relating to housing and rental assistance, such as those under COVID.
Disaster Assistance: Emergency funding of $27 billion has been made available for disaster-affected areas to recover from recent natural disasters, rebuild infrastructure, and prepare for future events.
Elderly housing assistance: HUD has set aside $1.4 billion to assist elderly and persons with disabilities through its Housing for Elderly and Housing for Persons with Disabilities programs.
Emergency disaster assistance: $38 billion has been designated for emergency funding to aid Americans affected by recent natural disasters in the West and Southeast, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, wildfires and tornadoes – as well as funding FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund.
Energy Assistance: $5.0 billion has been allocated for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program(link is external), which offers support to low-income families to cover energy-related costs such as home utility bills, weatherization and certain repairs related to energy.
Federal Housing Administration: This bill establishes an upper limit of $400 billion in FHA commitments for single-family loan guarantees and allocates $150 million toward administrative costs through Sept 30, 2024.
Flood Insurance: The bill extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until December of 2023, which had its current authorization set to expire Friday. Furthermore, flood map funding increases from $275 million to $313 million under this legislation.
Ginnie Mae: This bill authorizes up to $900 billion in new loan guarantee commitments and $40.4 million for salaries and expenses of the Government National Mortgage Association.
HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program(link is external): HUD is providing $1.5 billion for its HOME Investment Partnerships Program(link is external), which grants states and localities grants to support housing-related activities such as building, buying and rehabbing affordable units for rent or purchase and rental assistance assistance programs. This money could result in nearly 10,000 new units being constructed within both rental and sale markets.
Homelessness Assistance: $3.6 billion has been pledged towards homeless assistance grants, enough to assist more than one million individuals experiencing homelessness. Additionally, this provision includes funds that expand assistance for special populations like domestic violence survivors and homeless youth as well as new permanent supportive housing designed to address people experiencing homelessness.
Housing vouchers: The bill provides $130 million of new incremental funding for additional Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers – enough for an estimated 11,700 low-income households.
Infrastructure: The bill provides $62.9 billion for the Federal Highway Administration, comprising funds allocated under the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework as well as money allocated specifically to address structurally deficient bridges.
Manufactured Housing: $225 Million is being allocated towards the preservation and revitalization of manufactured housing units and communities.
Native community housing: Over $1 billion has been made available for Native communities to purchase, construct or rehabilitate housing and infrastructure in response to production demand and the growing need for higher-quality stock.
Retirement Savings: The bill revises rules relating to employer 401(k) and 403(b) plans by mandating that they automatically enroll new, eligible employees into those plans.
Rural Housing: $2 billion has been set aside for the USDA’s Rural Housing Service, an increase of $183 million over fiscal 2022 and including $40 million of rental assistance funds.
Small Business Administration programs: Over $1.2 billion has been allotted for SBA disaster loans, entrepreneurial development grants and small business development centers.
Veteran Housing: $2.7 billion has been allocated towards essential services and housing assistance for veterans.

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