A sign of the apocalypse? Hensarling, Obama agree on housing legislation

by 04 Aug 2016
In a rare moment of bipartisanship on the housing front, President Obama and the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee have found themselves in agreement on something.

Obama has signed into law HR 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act. The act contains provisions to protect low-income renters, streamlines HUD programs and improves loan guarantee efficiencies, according to a report in Atlanta Agent Magazine.

The GOP-sponsored bill was the rare piece of housing industry legislation that was supported by Republicans, Democrats and industry groups.

“This legislation will put homeownership in reach for more families, and we applaud Congress’ work to take us there,” National Association of Realtors President Tom Salomone said in February. “There is a tremendous demand for affordable housing, and (the legislation) offers fresh opportunities for creditworthy borrowers to become homeowners when they choose to.”

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said the new law “modernizes outdated housing rules and regulations that in some cases have not been updated in over a generation.”
“By eliminating needless red tape and streamlining the delivery of housing assistance, this new law will help focus scarce resources on those with the greatest need,” he said.

In addition to streamlining and simplifying existing policies and requirements, the new law gives state and local housing agencies and private owners more flexibility in meeting objectives like reducing homelessness, improving access to “higher-opportunity neighborhoods,” and addressing repair and maintenance in public housing, according to the Financial Services Committee.
 

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