The new law, H.R. 3700: the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act gives state and local housing agencies, and private owners, more flexibility to help meet national standards in reducing homelessness, improving homeownership and access to higher-opportunity neighborhoods, and addressing repair needs in public housing.
The law will improve existing housing assistance programs by streamlining the inspection protocol for rental assistance units, simplifying the income recertification policies for all assisted households, modifying Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements for mortgage insurance for condominiums, clarifying homeless assistance program requirements, delegating rural housing loan approval authority, and providing limited flexibility between public housing operating and capital funds.
“Section 8 is consuming a larger part of HUD’s budget because more people are participating in the program and new participants have lower incomes than legacy participants,” states the committee report to accompany H.R. 3700. “Many fear that unless the Section 8 program is reformed, it will soon drain resources from other HUD programs or it will require significant increased funding notwithstanding diminishing program effectiveness.”
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said:
“Our committee has achieved a solid record of passing bipartisan legislation, including this important bill that modernizes outdated housing rules and regulations that in some cases have not been updated in over a generation.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.”
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) President Tom Salomone said in February:
“There is tremendous demand for affordable housing, and H.R. 3700 offers fresh opportunities for creditworthy borrowers to become homeowners when they choose to,” said Salomone. “NAR thanks Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo, for introducing the bill, as well as leaders in the House for making it a priority. We look forward to working with our partners at all levels to advance this legislation in support of homeownership.”
Read the H.R. 3700 Fact Sheet here.