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Housing Advocates Applaud Stimulus Deal

A $900 billion economic relief package approved by the House and Senate includes several provisions for which housing advocates have been pressing, including an extension of the CDC's eviction moratorium and $25 billion funding for rental assistance, which will be vital to residential real estate investors.

About 38% of 1.4 million real estate agents belonging to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) own at least one rental property in the U.S., according to the association.

"More than 40% of rental units nationally are owned by 'mom and pop'-operated small businesses, many of which have been struggling to pay their bills and keep a roof over their tenants' heads," NAR President Charlie Oppler said. "Rental assistance helps stabilize that housing and keep families in their homes, and we're grateful that Congress could secure this and other critical relief measures in this legislation."

Members of the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) released a response to Sunday's deal, which the organization says covers multiple policy objectives championed by NAHB, including "an extension of temporary tax provisions for newly-built energy-efficient homes and for homeowners who engage in remodeling activities."

The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters says this legislation "makes a down payment on the assistance needed to help struggling families and individuals catch up on their rent and stay in their homes."

She adds that Americans will undoubtedly need more, but the $25 billion in rental assistance is "critical and historic." The FSC provided an additional paper on rental assistance and another explaining how the new stimulus bill specifically will help communities of color and lower-income residents.

Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) members applauded the package, which it says will help spur the development of an estimated 130,000 additional homes for low-income families over the next 10 years.

"The affordable housing provisions included in the year-end legislation are critical to support low-income families during the current crisis and as part of our nation’s recovery," AHTCC Executive Director Emily Cadik said.

Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, on behalf of the organization, commended Congress for passing the legislation, which he says "provides the necessary tools to protect borrowers, renters, and small businesses."

"We especially appreciate rental assistance for tenants, enhancements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help the hospitality sector, continued Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR) relief for all financial institutions, and continuation of the TALF program. Additionally, we welcome the extension of unemployment insurance and direct assistance for the millions of people who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic," Broeksmit said. "On behalf of the real estate finance industry, we look forward to continuing to work with the administration, Congress, and the Federal Reserve to support all consumers and businesses."

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at [email protected].

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