We pulled this directly from a C.A.R newsletter:
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the Economic Recovery Package, by a 244 to 188 vote. Amid all the negative economic news we’re hearing on a daily basis, this is good news, as the bill contains a number of issues critical to REALTORS® and the industry, including extending all 2008 Metropolitan Statistical Areas’ (MSAs’) Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA loan limits through the end of this year.
The extension prevents an MSA’s 2008 loan limit from being reduced in 2009 for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA. Language in the bill also specifies that if an MSA’s loan limit is set to change, it can increase, but is prohibited from declining.
The proposed legislation also will eliminate an existing payback requirement on the first-time home buyer tax credit for qualified buyers who purchase a home between Dec. 31, 2008, and July 1.
Congress included these provisions as a direct result of the grassroots efforts put forward by REALTORS®, and the advocacy efforts of both NAR and C.A.R. Congress elected not to include numerous housing provisions beyond those previously mentioned. It looks like Congress will begin to address other housing issues next week when the Financial Services Committee meets.
The legislation also contained a laundry list of appropriations for various affordable housing programs, neighborhood stabilization programs, and other housing and/or real estate-related issues, including:
Public Housing Capital Fund
Native American Housing Block Grant
Home Investment Partnership Program
Self-help & assisted homeownership
Elimination of lead paint in homes
Repairing leaking underground storage tanks
Low-income home energy assistance
Rural Housing Insurance Fund
In addition to tax credits for individuals and married couples, other provisions in the bill include funds for increasing access to high-speed and broadband Internet; highways and roads; railroads; alternative energy incentives; unemployment insurance; Medicaid insurance; health care technology upgrades; childcare; education; and low-income and affordable housing programs.
The Senate now is working on its version of the stimulus legislation, and is expected to vote on it next week. Congress would like to get a bill to the President’s desk by President’s Day, Feb. 16.
So what next? More importantly, what kind of impact will this have for San Francisco? Here’s your chance to go on record and compare the power of your crystal ball to that of other readers.