The National Association of Realtors is urging the Senate to act quickly to approve House legislation passed recent to extend loan commitment authority under the Rural Housing Service program to help families purchase homes in rural areas. The present commitment is expected to expire Friday, April 30.
The House bill, H.R. 5017, the Rural Housing Preservation and Stabilization Act of 2010, would provide additional commitment authority under Section 502, Rural Housing Service (RHS) Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
"Fast passage is critical to our nation's rural citizens, and needs immediate congressional attention. The Senate's failure to act in a timely manner would create a gap in the home buying process and unnecessarily burden poor families in rural areas," said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz.
"As private mortgage markets have dried up, many rural families will be left out in the cold without these guaranteed loans. Increasing the commitment authority will assist rural families, support local housing markets, create jobs and generate new tax revenues," Golder said.
She also praised House leaders for moving the bill as quickly as possible through that chamber, and sponsors Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
In FY09, the 502 program guaranteed 116,000 rural families' affordable, safe home loans. These loans can be used to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities. The loans are funded by private lenders, and simply insured by the RHS.