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Passage of FY 2018 Spending Bill Critical Step for Affordable Housing Funding and Flood Reauthorization

WASHINGTON (March 23, 2018) – (RealEstateRama) — With six months remaining in the 2018 fiscal year (FY), the National Association of REALTORS® urges the passage of the “omnibus appropriations bill” agreed upon by U.S. House and Senate negotiators last night, which is designed to fund the federal government through September 30, 2018.

The 2,232-page bill contains important provisions related to housing that REALTORS® have been fighting for, including alleviating the weakening of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) from the new tax law, and extending the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through at least mid-summer. The highlights critical to the continued health of the nation’s housing market include:

  • Meaningful improvements to the LIHTC, including a significant increase in funding and a change in the average income test, which should result in hundreds of thousands of new affordable housing units.
  • An extension of NFIP until July 31, 2018. This avoids another lapse and provides several more months for the Senate to act on 5-year reauthorization and reform legislation adopted by the House last November.
  • Doubling flood map funding to $263 million, up from $177 million in the previous year and more than a 150-percent increase over the Administration’s request this year.
  • Maintains funding for the flood mitigation, proofing and elevation of properties ($175 million), as well as the Office of the Flood Insurance Consumer Advocate ($5 million) to assist homeowners with concerns over flood mapping and/or insurance ratings.

President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, says Congress must now do their part to enact the bill before the current stop-gap spending measure expires on Friday, March 23, 2018.

“In addition to extending the NFIP through July, with the goal of passing a long-term reauthorization and reform of the program soon, this spending bill contains significant improvements for providing affordable housing options for low-income households,” she said. “REALTORS® were a key part of a larger coalition that fought for these necessary changes, and we’re pleased to see the steps taken to strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to address our country’s housing needs. It’s now time for Congress step up to the plate, pass the bill and fund the government through the rest of the 2018 fiscal year.”

The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.