Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the Florida Congressional Delegation, is pleased with today's vote on an important housing bill that seeks to offer remedies for American's suffering from a sluggish housing market. The final vote was 272 to 152 with Ros-Lehtinen being one of forty five Republicans to vote for the legislation.
The "Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008" will confront our housing crisis by allowing hard working American families to stay in their homes, as well as protecting neighborhoods and helping to stabilize the housing market. The Department of Housing and Urban Development will also give states grants and loans to generate activities which will stimulate their respective housing markets. Among its provisions:
Homeownership Tax Credit: Grants a $7,000 tax credit for homebuyers purchasing homes in foreclosure to be used as their primary residence.
Property Tax Deduction: Provides a standard tax deduction ($500 for single filers and $1,000 for joint) for those who pay property taxes.
FHA Modernization: Permanently increases FHA loan limits up to 110 percent of the region's median home price (maximum $550,000).
Appropriates funds for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NRC) for housing counseling.
Veterans: Grants military members returning from service additional time before lenders can start foreclosing their homes
Said Ros-Lehtinen, "Our South Florida community is in the top five metropolitan areas affected by the housing crisis so I am pleased that we are acting in a bipartisan manner to help our families in these dire economic times. The problem we are confronting is of such magnitude that to sit idly by and not take meaningful action would be a dereliction of our responsibility as problem solvers and it will turn a bad economic situation into an even graver downturn."