NAR issues Call For Action about expanding FHA condo opportunities

NAR graphic 3Illinois REALTORS® – Ask your U.S. senator to bring H.R. 3700 to the floor of the U.S. Senate for a vote so that changes can be made to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) condominium loan program, federal assisted housing programs and the Rural Housing Service loan programs.

That’s one of the most important messages in today’s National Association of REALTORS®’ Call For Action on the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016.” But, it is not the only important message of this Call for Action.

Other important messages include:

  • thanking your U.S. representative for approving H.R. 3700 in the U.S. House of Representatives (the vote was unanimous); and
  • sign up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts online or text “REALTOR” to 30644.

The legislation fixes several concerns regarding FHA’s condo rules:

  • Reduces the FHA condo owner occupancy ratio to 35 percent unless FHA takes alternative action to reduce the ratio below its current level;
  • Directs FHA to streamline the condo recertification process;
  • Provides more flexibility for mixed use buildings; and
  • Mirrors the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) rules regarding private transfer fees for FHA condo lending.

Also H.R. 3700:

  • Provides permanent authority for direct endorsement for approved lenders to approve Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans; and
  • Makes reforms to federally assisted housing programs to streamline the programs.

But that’s not all. For more information, review the NAR Talking Points on this issue.

Updated State Legislation Tracking Report provides summaries on nearly 200 bills

Illinois REALTORS® can login and check the latest version of the 2016 State Legislation Tracking Report (Members only) for the latest information on nearly 200 bills considered by the Illinois General Assembly since January.

The Illinois REALTORS® Governmental Affairs team has divided up the bills into six categories so that it’s easier for you to find what you need. If the report indicates bills are “inactive,” they typically won’t be acted upon again. If the report indicates “passed” by both chambers, the bills are sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner for consideration. He has until August to decide.

The tracking report will be updated if any activity occurs on any of these bills throughout the summer months. Should any new or renewed activity occur at the State Capitol, the Governmental Affairs team will publish that news in the State Capitol Report. More information will also be provided at the Public Policy & Government Affairs Member Involvement Group meeting on June 21, in conjunction with the Illinois REALTORS® June Business Meetings, June 20-22, 2016 in Springfield.


State Capitol Report: One constitutional amendment can be on ballot

Illinois State Capitol Building InteriorIllinois voters will have the chance to decide whether transportation funds can be used for other purposes after the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives approved a proposed constitutional amendment last week.

The proposal, known as HJRCA36, needed to be approved this week by both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly in order to be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot, noted Friday’s State Capitol Report for Illinois REALTORS®. Although several other proposed constitutional changes were discussed by lawmakers – including a shift to a graduated income tax rate – this was the only one to be voted on by both the Senate and the House. Members can login and get more details.

Among the other items noted in the State Capitol Report was the citizen petition effort to get a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to establish a non-partisan, independent commission for drawing state legislative districts. Nearly 600,000 signatures were filed at the State Board of Elections Friday, which is more than twice the required amount for filing.

For more news on real estate related activities at the Capitol, read the entire issue.

Woodward to speak Wednesday at NAR Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

Bob Woodward


Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward will provide insights on the current presidential race, the inner workings of Washington, D.C., and a variety other presidential subjects when he speaks at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington on Wednesday morning.

Woodward, who has reported on eight U.S. presidents during his career, will present “The Race for the White House in 2016: Bob Woodward’s Perspectives,” as part of the NAR Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 9-14 in the nation’s capital.

Woodward will also visit the expo following his presentation, in NAR Booth #1707 and pose for selfies and autograph his book, “The Last of the President’s Men.”

Mid year NAR logoIn 1972, Woodward and Carl Bernstein reported for the Washington Post on the Watergate Scandal and co-wrote the book “All the President’s Men.” Woodward has won two Pulitzer Prizes and is currently an associate editor at the Washington Post.

For a full schedule of meetings and activities visit


Illinois REALTORS® to meet with lawmakers in D.C. next week

washington, dc

Image by Bigstock

Illinois REALTORS® will lobby members of Congress next week to protect private property rights during the NAR REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 9-14.

Meetings have already been scheduled with most of Illinois’ 20 elected officials (two U.S. senators and 18 U.S. representatives) or their staff members.

Among the issues REALTORS® hope to discuss are:

  • Support for expanding flood insurance options for homeowners;
  • Support for making mortgage debt forgiveness on taxable income permanent;
  • Support for affordable credit for first-time and millennial home buyers; and
  • Support for 1031 like-kind exchanges.