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The Town Hall Notes blog is brought to you by NVAR's Government Affairs department.

Check back often to keep up with latest on real estate issues and legislative actions.

 


Federal Issues Updates: March 29, 2019

NAR Testifies on GSE Reform

On March 27, 2019, Vince Malta, NAR President Elect, presented testimony at the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing entitled the “Chairman’s Housing Finance Outline: Part 2.” Mr. Malta emphasized the need for bipartisan congressional action on GSE reform, as it is the only way to secure an explicit government guarantee, which is a critical component of a robust U.S. housing market. NAR applauded Chairman Crapo’s (R-ID) proactive efforts to continue the conversation of housing finance reform through the introduction of his housing finance outline. While the proposal includes many positive aspects such as an explicit government guarantee and regulatory flexibility, Mr. Malta urged the Committee to also ensure that any future housing finance system has a national mission to secure Middle America’s access to affordable mortgage credit.

Read NAR's Testimony

NAR Testifies on Flood Insurance

On March 13, 2019, NAR testified before the House Financial Services Committee on draft legislation to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program.  The testimony:

  • Supports a long-term reauthorization and also underscores the urgent need for reform;
  • Supports many of the mapping and mitigation reform provisions in the draft legislation; and
  • Urges Committee members to work together and build on these provisions including to open the door to a more robust private market for flood insurance.

 

Read NAR's testimony(link is external) and press release

Watch the hearing and/or review the legislation

Actions based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Legislation was introduced on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, to amend the Fair Housing Act to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The provisions are included as part of H.R. 5, or the Equality Act, which was sponsored by Congressman David Cicillini (D-RI). NAR wrote a letter(link is external) commending the Congressman and supporting the legislation.

Download NAR's Letter

NAR Launches new Safety Initiative:

The National Association of REALTORS® is committed to the safety of our members. Through the REALTOR® Safety Network, NAR will deploy REALTOR® Safety Alerts via social media when a physical or cyberthreat to REALTORS® warrants national attention. For example:

  • A pattern of assaults against REALTORS® has been reported.
  • A REALTOR® or the immediate family member of a REALTOR® goes missing.
  • NAR learns that the association name or the names of its programs are being used fraudulently to attempt to collect money or information from REALTORS® or others.

For incidents that don’t meet the criteria for a national alert, the REALTOR® Safety Team will ensure the local association is informed.

You can learn more about this new program at: www.NAR.realtor/Safety/Network.

NAR Hosts FBI for Industry Wire Fraud Meeting

On Tuesday March 12, 2019, NAR hosted representatives of the American Bankers Association, American Land Title Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, RESPRO, and the American Escrow Agents Association together with the FBI to discuss wire fraud in the real estate industry. While the industry continues to educate their members on practices to combat wire fraud, this group is working on common messaging to raise awareness with consumers.

FHA Eliminates Inspector Roster

On March 12, 2019, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) officially eliminated the FHA Inspector Roster. In lieu of specific FHA requirements for home inspectors, FHA lenders will be able to use an inspector that has been certified by the International Code Council (ICC), such as certified Combination Inspectors (CIs) or Residential Combination Inspectors (RCIs). For areas with an insufficient supply of ICC certified inspectors, FHA will allow lenders to use a third party who is a registered architect, a professional engineer, or a trades person or contractor with a minimum of 5 years’ experience and has met the licensing and bonding requirements of the state in which the property is located.

Mortgagee Letter on FHA Inspector Roster

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