Last Friday, President Obama signed The Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016 which is the first comprehensive update to the nation’s low-income housing programs in 18 years as well as requiring the FHA to reform their condo financing regulations and make low-down-payment FHA loans more available to moderate-income buyers. Both the House and the Senate passed the legislation unanimously. This bill has been in the works for 10 years. And while the bill was not earth shattering, it could be a signal that Republicans and Democrats are open to more housing reform bills – especially considering its unanimous passage.
The bill was supported by a broad range of housing groups, including:
In a joint statement, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association said “We applaud the U.S. House and Senate for the swift passage of ‘The Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act,’ which maximizes the impact of taxpayer dollars and eliminates inefficiencies in critical federal housing programs. This vital legislation streamlines the Section 8 Voucher Program’s property inspection process by allowing immediate occupancy if the apartment home has been inspected within the past 24 months. The bill will also extend the contract term for project based vouchers from 15 to 20 years.”
The National Association of Realtors said the bill “will dramatically improve long-fought restrictions on Federal Housing Administration financing for condominiums.”