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Housing Provisions Approved in Government Spending Bill 2018

A massive $1.3 trillion, 2,232-page spending bill—which is set to keep government agencies operating through September—has been approved by the House and Senate. The House approved the bill Thursday with a 256-167 vote; members of the Senate approved the bill in a 256-167 vote on Friday. President Donald Trump tweeted concerns and possible plans to veto the bill over insufficient funding for the border wall and the absence of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation.

However, he signed the bill on Friday afternoon, stating that funding is needed to rebuild the military.

Along with measures to increase funding for the military and school safety, the bill includes provisions related to housing, such as extending the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which was weakened by the new tax law.

These provisions include:

  • Extending the NFIP to July 31, 2018 to avoid another lapse and allow the Senate more time to act on the five-year reauthorization and reform legislation enacted by the House in November
  • Doubling flood map funding from $177 million last year to $263 million.
  • Preserving funding for flood mitigation, proofing and the elevation of properties ($175 million) and for the Office of the Flood Insurance Consumer Advocate ($5 million) to help homeowners with flood mapping and insurance ratings
  • Improving the LIHTC by increasing funding and changing the average income test to allow the possibility of thousands of new affordable housing units

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) asked Congress to take swift action to enact the proposed bill before Friday, when the current stop-gap spending measure expired:

“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,” said Elizabeth Mendenhall, president of NAR, in a statement. “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 LIHTC to address our country’s housing needs.”

Article Curtesy of  Liz Dominguez, RISMedia’s associate content editor.