ENERGY EFFICIENT HOUSING TECHNICAL CORRECTION ACT -- (House of Representatives - February 03, 2004)
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Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, today I join my colleague and cosponsor of this bill, the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Shays), in support of the Energy Efficient Housing Technical Correction Act.
This legislation will provide incentives for builders to include environmentally friendly additions to multi-family housing developments, by making projects eligible for 20 percent more FHA mortgage insurance. This is a noncontroversial, technical fix that corrects an oversight in the legislation enacted in the 107th Congress. This legislation is also included in the comprehensive energy bill where it received bipartisan, bicameral support.
Enactment of H.R. 3724 will allow increases in the maximum mortgage limits for FHA insurance for multi-family housing projects that choose to install solar energy systems or residential energy conservation measures. Currently, housing projects with five or fewer units are permitted FHA insurance in amounts up to 20 percent higher than the standard limit for the purpose of making environmental improvements. This legislation on the floor today allows multi-family developments with more than five units to be eligible for this same higher FHA coverage for environmental improvements. Higher FHA coverage was allowed for environmental improvements for multi-family housing prior to the 107th Congress when it was inadvertently deleted.
It only makes sense that projects with more than five units, where the environmental benefits are greater, should be eligible for the extra FHA insurance.
My colleagues who work on housing and environmental issues know that including solar energy systems and conservation measures can add significant building costs. This legislation will provide an important incentive for builders to make these additional investments that benefit their residents and communities as a whole.
It is my hope that this legislation will become law as soon as possible so that its benefits can begin to flow into the community. Whether Members represent urban, suburban or rural districts, I am certain that the benefits of this legislation will potentially be felt by many of our constituents.
Finally I want to thank the leadership of the committee, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Oxley) and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Frank) and also my colleague and friend, the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Shays) for his work on this issue. It is my pleasure to work on many important environmental causes with him. And I appreciate his dedication to clean air, clean water, and conservation.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this legislation and urge a yes vote from my colleagues.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
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