PALLONE SUPPORTS LANDMARK HOUSING LEGISLATION
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), today responded to the housing crisis by supporting landmark legislation that will help improve home values and assist Americans who are faced with losing their homes. The housing package included three bills that were approved today by the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Today, the House took a giant step in turning our nation's economy around by passing comprehensive housing legislation," Pallone said. "We simply cannot jumpstart our economy without addressing the housing crisis. Our action today will help families stay in their homes, will prevent neighborhoods from becoming ghost towns and will provide an incentive for Americans to purchase their first home. I hope President Bush recognizes the importance of this housing package, and reconsiders his veto threat."
The housing crisis has significantly impacted New Jersey with about 40,000 homes foreclosed in 2007 and close to 1.8 million homes devalued by the spillover impact of the housing crisis. The Garden State is expected to experience a loss of $19.6 billion in property values in 2008 and 2009.
The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008, H.R. 5830, is a voluntary program that would permit the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to provide up to $300 billion in new guarantees to help borrowers in danger of losing their home to refinance into lower-cost government-insured mortgages they can afford to repay. The bill will help keep families from losing their homes and will protect neighboring home values.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Act of 2008, H.R. 5818, establishes a $15 billion, Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-administered loan and grant program for the purchase and rehabilitation of vacant, foreclosed homes with the goal of occupying them as soon as possible. The legislation will allow local communities to rehabilitate foreclosed properties that currently drive down surrounding home properties so they can be placed back on the market.
The House also passed tax provisions to expand refinancing opportunities and spur home buying. H.R. 5720 gives first-time homebuyers a refundable tax credit that works like an interest-free loan of up to $7,500 to encourage home buying and stabilize the housing market. The bill will also supply states with $10 billion of additional tax exempt bond authority in 2008 to refinance subprime loans, make loans to first-time homebuyers and to finance the building of affordable rental housing.