|Finances are fundamental, especially during unprecedented times. NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness will be hosting an all-day virtual event on Wednesday, October 7 starting at 10:00 a.m. CT (9:00 a.m. MT). Everyone is invited to register and take advantage of this opportunity to hear from leading financial experts who will offer valuable insights that will help drive strategic growth and long-term stability for their personal and business success. Sessions Include:|
· Session 1: What Keeps You Up At Night Financially?
Gain insight, answers and perhaps relief, when you hear from a Certified Financial Planner who will help you overcome common financial challenges REALTORS® face during this time.
Presented by: Rich Arzaga, Founder and CEO of Cornerstone Wealth Management
· Session 2: Helping REALTORS® With Irregular Income Manage Their Finances
Navigate through a financial shock and develop money-saving strategies.
Presented by: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, CEO and co-founder of TheMoneyCoach.net LLC
· Session 3: Retirement Planning for Independent Contractors
Determine how much you will need for the retirement you envision and how to develop a retirement strategy that maximizes your likelihood of success.
Presented by: Mike Engel, Director of Corporate Retirement and National Strategic Partner for Graystone Consulting & Jim Phillip, SVP Wealth Management Financial Advisor and Senior Investment Management Consultant
Registration for NAR members is $20.00 as part of the Right Tools, Right Now Program. Non-members are welcome at $30.00.
The first 300 registrants are eligible to win one of three $100 VISA gift cards!
To learn more about NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness click here.
No Occupancy Moratorium: At the September 15 Council meeting Rachel Friend and Aaron Brockett advocated for a resolution to allow households to exceed current occupancy limits in Boulder until May 31. Friend reminded the Council that in July Governor Polis had asked cities to temporarily suspend occupancy limits during the COVID pandemic. She referenced an email the Governor sent to the Council encouraging them to support a short-term moratorium in Boulder.
“It’s just for a few months,” said Aaron Brockett. “It’s a commonsense step for protecting safe housing.” Mark Wallach said his concern was that this could allow “profiteer landlords” to benefit. There was little discussion before the Council voted although it was clear there was tension regarding the measure and the issue of occupancy limits in general. The measure failed on a 4-4 vote (Friend, Brockett, Swetlik and Joseph voted in support) with Mirabai Nagle absent. A broader discussion on occupancy limits was then scheduled for an October study session.
Fee Reductions for Affordable Housing: The Broomfield City Council approved a resolution on September 8 that reduces building and development fees for affordable housing developments. Building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing fees, as well as plan check, use tax and Service Expansion (SEF) fees will be reduced 50 percent for developments meeting Broomfield’s criteria. Broomfield defines affordable as for-sale units for households at 80 percent or below AMI, that are deed-restricted for 30 years or rental units for households at 60 percent of AMI covenant-restricted for 40 years as affordable. The fee reductions can save developers thousands of dollars per unit.
Note: Local governments routinely offer fee waivers or reductions to incentivize affordable housing. However, growth is supposed to “pay its own way.” This means governments have to devise a way to make up the difference if affordable housing projects are charged less than free-market projects for development and permit fees in order to balance their budgets.
Windy Gap Allotment Approved: The City Council unanimously approved Loveland’s allotment contract for the Windy Gap Firming Project (WGFP). The allotment contract is a key step in formalizing the City’s participation in WGFP; planning for the project began in 2002 and allows for additional storage of Colorado-Big Thompson water that the City already owns.
The allotment contract is a perpetual agreement that commits the Cindy to providing annual funding for the project. Loveland’s share of the $600 mill cost is approximately $66.6 million. The City will have 10,000 acre-feet of water storage (11 percent) of Chimney Hollow Reservoir, west of Carter Lake.
Windy Gap has already received approval from the federal government. Construction has been delayed because of a lawsuit by Save the Colorado, led by Gary Wockner, infamous in Northern Colorado as the leader of Save the Poudre, one of the environmental groups opposing the NISP/Glade Reservoir project.
Other WGFP participants include Broomfield, Longmont, Greeley, Erie and the Little Thompson Water District, among others. On a historical note, Loveland began buying water rights in 1887.
County Rewriting Subdivision Regulations: Weld County planning staff have been rewriting Chapter 24 of the Weld County Code at the request of the County Commissioners. Michael Hall, a planner with the County, said recorded exemptions have led to abuse by what he described as “land speculators.” 95 percent of the rural land in the County is zoned for agriculture, and the County Commissioners want to respect the importance of agriculture in Weld’s economy and ensure ag property remains in production.
There have been a number of problems in addition to the abuses proliferated by speculators that led up to the changes. The proliferation of recorded exemptions has also led to easement disputes and multiple driveways with access onto county roads creating traffic hazards. Water has also been an issue with unlawful use of wells and the depletion of ground water. As is too often the case, new residents used to urban environments complain about the sights and smells that result from agriculture and ranching.
In order to assist families with a genuine need, the County is creating a new “Family Farm Division” to allow a one-time land division to create a legal lot for family members or employees on an active farm or ranch that is at least 70 acres. This will replace the recorded exemption option.
Property owners will still be able to divide an unplatted property into 35-acre acres without county approval. Along with the subdivision changes, Commissioners will consider a proposed minimum lot size in the agricultural zone of 35 acres unless the lot was created prior to 1961. The County Commissioners will begin a formal review of these regulations on September 28.
Council Says No to Short-Term Rentals: Short-term rentals (STRs) are rapidly become more popular across the country and in Colorado. The City of Greeley hired a contractor to determine how many short-term rentals are currently in operation. The consultant found 88 STRs within city limits as of December 2019. The City’s Development Code does not currently address short-term rentals and staff asserted this meant that current STRs are not allowed.
Staff cited neighborhood impacts and influences on the overall housing supply as other reasons for regulating STRs. Greeley’s Housing Task Force supported the drafted by staff that would’ve allowed most mom and pop STRs in all zones with a maximum stay of 30 nights. Operators would’ve been required to provide a local contact person to respond to complaints.
Kristin Zasada said she thought the ordinance was “too much regulation.” Brett Payton argued that the fact that the current code doesn’t address short-term rentals doesn’t mean they are prohibited. “I remain a hard no on this, he said.” Ed Clark suggested that the City should “work on nuisance properties. We don’t need to look for something more to manage. I don’t think it’s a problem. I’m a no.” Tommy Butler was the only councilor to support the ordinance, saying only that he felt the 30-day limit on stays was too short. After a 6-1 vote against the ordinance, Mayor Gates said to staff, “Don’t think we don’t appreciate your work. I just don’t think this has accomplished what I wanted.”
Council Approves Cache Metro Districts: The City Council approved a service plan for eight interrelated metro districts on September 15 with Councilor Tommy Butler opposed. The property is located north of US 34 Business (10th Street), east of 95th Avenue, west of 83rd and south of CR 62. It’s the largest metro district project ever approved by the City (and may be the largest in Northern Colorado.)
Eventually, The Cache will encompass 1,050 acres, including 3,700 residential units, 30,000 SF of commercial space and 10,000,0000 SF of parks, recreation and open space. The residential component will include low, medium and high-density residential units with everything from affordable to executive homes, said project consultant Todd Johnson. The specifics will be further detailed during the review of The Cache’s development plan, which is separate from the hearing on the metro districts service plan.
The service plan caps the maximum mill levy future homeowners will pay at 70 mills for the 40-year life of the districts. According to the developer, the cost of the parcel’s infrastructure alone is over $198 million. Public improvements to be provided by the district include transportation (streets, traffic control, snow removal, etc.), water (water rights, storage, transmission and distribution, meters, etc.) storm and sewer, and amenities such as parks, recreation facilities, bike and pedestrian paths, and playgrounds. The developers, Ed Orr and Sarah Woodland, hope to begin construction in 2021 with phased development through 2040.
Tommy Butler explained his sole vote in saying without knowing the project would address Greeley’s affordable housing needs, he could not support the project. Responding to multiple questions from other councilors, Johnson said the developers hope to set the mills at lower than the 70-mill maximum set by the City of Greeley, but they need flexibility not knowing the cost of all the improvements at this time and future market conditions.
Note: The City requires a written disclosure statement that accompanies the sale of a property within a metro district and mandates “early written and recorded notice of the total tax burden” as well as the submission of an annual report to the City in an effort to ensure future residents are protected.
Blue Book Available Now: Eleven state propositions and amendments will be considered by Colorado voters for the November 3 general election. The 2020 State Ballot Information Booklet, otherwise known as the “blue book” is available now. Drafted by the General Assembly’s non-partisan Legislative Council, it includes information on all these measures with arguments for and against each one. Download it here: http://leg.colorado.gov/publications/2020-blue-book-english
NAR Comments on Qualified Mortgage Rule Change: NAR responded to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) outlining REALTORS®’ position in response to the CFPB’s proposed replacement to the market-wide QM rule.
The QM patch, which provides all loans eligible for GSE-backing the QM status and legal protections, is set to expire in January. When that happens, all formerly QM patch loans would need to comply with the more stringent, market-wide definition which has a firm 43 percent cap on the back-end DTI and other verification requirements.
If that happens, a significant portion of the market would likely shift to the FHA, paying more, or out of the market all together. To avoid this scenario, the CFPB proposed an alternative market-wide QM rule that is based on lender pricing in relation to the average prime offer rate. Any loan priced less than 150 basis points over average prime offer (e.g. less than or equal to 5.5 percent vs an APOR of 4 percent) would be a safe harbor QM with the highest legal protections for the lender, while loans from 150 to 200 would receive rebuttable presumption designation. Loans above 200 basis points over APOR would be non-QM.
NAR’s response thanks the CFPB for its actions in avoiding the more stringent rules and requests that:
· The proposed safe harbor be expanded from 150 over APOR to 200 over APOR. In doing so, more borrowers will still qualify even if the proposed pricing rule is problematic.
· The CFPB should eliminate non-consumer credit related factors (e.g. lender’s business model, refi volume, race, etc.) from lender’s pricing measure. And,
- In time, the CFPB should transition to a better model that limits market instability and consumer impacts and which investors find appealing
CMLX2 Desgination Reciptient:
JP Pleitner; IRES MLS Product Manager
CMLX1 Designation Recipients:
Jennifer Dimiceli; IRES MLS Accounts Manager
Tiffany Thatcher; Customer Care Specialist
Delana Tjeerdsma; Marketing Specialist
Acacia Voynar; Data and Software Analyst
Alyx Yeates; Customer Relations Specialist
We’re proud of our CMLX designation recipients! Congratulations, Team!!
Note: Previous recipients are VP of Industry Relations Julie Dahl, CMLX2 and CEO Lauren Hansen, CMX3.
Data Share Part I: Behind The Curtain
Join Colby Ackerfield, CTO of RealGo, and JP Pleitner, Product Manager for IRES, as we peel back the curtain on data share. We discuss project scope, timelines, added user benefits, and more as it relates to the data share agreement between REcolorado and IRES.
What are these features?
At an individual property level, realtor.com® will offer insights into Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-categorized flood zones and a new Flood Factor™ feature, which is the result of a realtor.com® data integration with the First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research and technology group. The First Street Foundation Flood Model includes data for more than 142 million homes and properties across the U.S.
Flood FactorTM includes a flood risk score ranging from 1 (minimal risk) to 10 (extreme risk) and an indication of whether that risk is increasing, decreasing, or constant over the next 30 years.
In addition, a graph shows the cumulative risk of flooding for a property over the typical 30-year period of ownership, along with the FEMA-categorized flood zone for the property, and whether flood insurance is required. Flood insurance options, when available, are provided to realtor.com® users.
Here are some distinguishing features for both:
- Provides accurate, property-level flood risk information
- Incorporates current and future environmental changes
- Maps multiple flood zones and risk levels
- Includes more flood sources such as heavy rainfall
- Nationwide coverage and updated quarterly
- Assesses historic flood patterns and projects future risk
- Provides detailed, community-wide flood risk information
- Maps the 100-year flood zone and indicates whether a property is “in or out” of this zone
- Does not provide information specific to individual properties
- Based on site specific, engineering studies but limited to two risks (riverine and storm surge)
- Limited geographic coverage and not updated frequently
- Assesses historic flood patterns
- Used by community regulators, banks and lenders
Flood Factor™ data augments FEMA’s maps, so real estate professionals can use both tools on realtor.com® to:
- Help reduce the number of clients who buy high-risk properties by surprise or list properties before mitigating the risk
- Help reduce flood-related surprises at the closing table by helping their buyer and seller clients perform due diligence and increase confidence in real estate markets particularly where FEMA does not currently map
Agents and brokers can use the feature to provide additional context, guidance and insights to their buyer and seller clients with regard to flood conditions and potential flood risk for properties and communities across the country.
Must-read content for more context and information:
- We worked with the National Association of Realtors® to create this detailed FAQ.
- REALTOR® Magazine has published several articles:
- Is My Home in a Flood Zone?
- Don’t Fear Flood Data; Here’s How it Helps Clients
- Pivot in Place a great 3-minute video discussing the new Flood Factor feature, by NAR’s 2020 VP of Association Affairs Mabel Guzman.
If you receive additional questions, please refer them to realtor.com®’s Customer Care team at 877-909-6640.
Welcome to the debut episode of our new podcast: IRES Matters.
In Episode 1, we sit down with IRES MLS VP of Industry Relations Julie Dahl to discuss data share with REcolorado, hosting a virtual town hall, and adapting to working from home in the time of COVID-19.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did putting it together!
As a follow-up to our Virtual Town Hall last month, we’re publishing each session for your on-demand viewing pleasure.
Lauren brings up-to-date information about the system you use daily and how to make it work better for you! Learn more details on data share and some great IRES MLS-only product offers!
Topic: All Things IRES
As CEO of the Council of Multiple Listing Services, Evans has worked to strengthen communities and provide a unified voice for the MLS industry while leading an organization that includes 203 MLS providers and over 1.2 million subscribers.
Topic: 30,000 Foot View of MLSs
Listen to the unique and engaging Dr. Elliot Eisenberg. He is an internationally acclaimed economist and public speaker. Elliot brings to life economics through relevant and educational references without “boring you to death.”
Topic: Economic Update
Motivational speaker Matthew Ferrara brings the heat in the power of words. Let Matthew plant the right ideas, skills and encouragement in your mind to put wind in your sails!
Topic: YOU-Shaped Recovery
Bonus! IRES MLS Superhero Playlist!
ColoProperty.com®, your marketing partner, is busy sending leads!
Where do these leads come from?
When a consumer clicks the “Request Info” button on a ColoProperty.com® listing, that email request is sent to the Listing Agent.
Consumers expect an almost immediate response to questions they ask on the internet. In order to meet their expectations and keep your lead, we suggest you create an email filter so they are quickly brought to your attention.
How do you flag these email leads?
Create an email filter to flag these leads in your inbox. For example, the email below has been flagged with a star and has been labeled as a “Lead” in Gmail:
Every email program is different, but in order to create a filter look for the “Preferences”, “Settings”, or “Options” section.
ColoProperty.com® leads are From: email@ColoProperty.com.
Instructions for Gmail:
- Click “Settings” (gear icon at top right).
- Click “See All Settings” link.
- Click “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab.
- Click “Create a new filter.”
- Enter email@example.com in the “From” field.
- Click “Create filter”.
- Choose how you would like the email to be flagged. For instance, we selected “Apply the Label,” chose “New label,” and named our label “Lead.”
- Click “Create Filter.”
Your IRES subscription includes ListTrac reports, found under the “Reports” menu. ListTrac provides revealing statistics on listing reach. View various listings stats for Views, Inquiries, and Share. At your option, share the stats with clients weekly. As the managing broker, you can view office stats or view each agent’s individually.
ListTrac gives you an apples-to-apples comparison of listing traffic, leads, saved listings, shares, duration, viewing locations and MORE. Sites included are MySite, ColoProperty.com, and various IDX sites. If you don’t see your IDX vendor on the report, contact them to encourage their participation. In addition, automatically send the Seller Report to show your sellers how their online marketing is progressing.
You can access ListTrac from the IRESis Reports Menu. For complete information on ListTrac, please visit the IRESis Learning Center or give us a call!
July 2020 MLS Snapshot:
What Are Consumers Searching?
The $300k-$400k range is the most popular price range in July 2020 based on number of views.
The most popular bedroom count in July 2020 is 3 beds based on the number of views and leads generated.
Realtor® Wins Primary
Realtor® Marta Loachmin beat Jonathan Singer in a closely contested Democratic primary for District 2, winning the right to face Republican James Crowder in November. Considered to be a longshot by some observers, Loachmin raised far less in contributions, $7,145 as of late June. Singer, who raised $18,147 in the same time period. Loachmin received endorsements from the current commissioners although Singer was supported by other Democratic heavyweights.
Democrat Claire Levy, a former Colorado House legislator, will face Cinda Kochen for the District 1 seat. Neither candidate faced a primary opponent.
Council Begins Review of Climate Plan
On June 30 the City Council began its review of the Longmont Climate Action Report. The recommendations were drafted by a Climate Action Plan Task Force. The entire document is over 140 pages long, so the Council will continue its work again on July 7 to consider the section devoted to resiliency and land use.
One significant recommendation is to “improve” building codes to include energy conservation measures and promote renewable energy by Adopt and implement new codes and policies by 2022. In addition to adopting the 2021 building codes for residential and commercial buildings, the task force recommends new appendices.
The new appendices, if adopted, would require solar-ready wiring for rooftop or yard installations, car charging ready wiring in garages, energy star rated appliances and updated codes for electric heaters and water heaters. The goal of the appendices is to promote all-electric buildings.
The task force said contractors and builders would benefit the most because homes with these features command a higher price on the market. At the same time, the report indicated concern for the “additional complexities and requirements that may make homes less affordable for first time home buyers and disadvantaged community members.”
The Council did not discuss or debate the recommendations, but they had time to ask questions and receive clarification. Once the entire report has been presented, staff will ask the council for direction on how to proceed with the recommendations.
County Allows Open Houses With Unique Requirement
As of June 30, Larimer County is now allowing open house events. However, unlike other counties in Northern Colorado, each Realtor® planning to hold an open house in the county must submit an indoor request online form. The form only has to be submitted once. Here’s a link to the form: https://www.jotform.com/form/201706022336140
In filling out the form, use the advice provided by your company’s attorney and/or CAR’s legal counsel Scott Peterson to ensure safety. See more advice from Peterson, below.
Surprises in Larimer Commissioner Primary Races
In the Republican primary for District 2, Bob McCluskey decisively beat Jeff Jensen by over 6,400 votes. He will face Democrat Fort Collins City Councilmember Kristin Stephens in November. Stephens had no opposition from her party in the primary.
Jody Shadduck-McNally easily beat Myles Baker and Karen Stockley in her bid to be the Democratic candidate for District 3. In November She will face Republican Ben Aste (aka Uncle Benny), who bested former Fort Collins City Councilmember Aislinn Kottwitz by 8,211 votes.
FCBR and LBAR will conduct joint county commissioner candidates on July 28. The boards of both associations will then consider recommendations for endorsement, should the interviewing team decide to recommend supporting any of these candidates.
Primary Results Defy Conventional Wisdom
It was widely believed that the Weld County Council’s decision to appoint Kevin Ross to the vacant at-large commissioner seat would give him an advantage in the Republican primary. Instead, Colorado House legislator Perry Buck beat Ross decisively with 62 percent of the votes. In November, Buck with face Democrat Paul Echternacht.
Mike Freeman beat former Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez to retain the right to run for the District 1 seat in November. Freeman will face off against Democrat John Shull, who had no primary opponent, in November.
Another House legislator, Lori Saine who represented House District 63, narrowly defeated Tommy Holton and Lynette Kilpatrick in the Republican primary. Libertarian Matthew Hess will be Saine’s only opponent in November.
Primary Races Featured Recognizable Name
Barbara Kirkmeyer, the term-limited Weld County Commissioner (District 3) beat Rupert Parchment in the Senate District 23 Republican primary. Vicki Marble who held SD 23 until term-limited this year, lost her bid to be the Republican candidate for House District 49 (formerly held by Perry Buck) to Mike Lynch.
Other incumbent legislators in our region such as Edie Hooton (SD 10), Joann Ginal (SD 14), Steve Fenberg (SD 17), Mary Young (HD 50), Hugh McKean (HD 51), Cathy Kipp (HD 52) and Jeni Arndt (HD 53) didn’t face primary opponents.
State Amends Order, Allows Open Houses
As of June 30, the State is allowing open houses with a multitude of requirements. In Scott Peterson’s latest Legal Bytes, he offered advice, which is summarized here:
Scott referenced pages 6 and 7 of the amended order. Read the Eighth Amended Public Health Order 20-28.
A maximum of 100 people is allowed at an “event,” but is challenging to meet all the requirements and have 100 people at an open house at one time. Peterson referenced the social distancing calculator (see the link, below) but advised he would focus on the maximum allowed for each room.
Consider eliminating the use of restrooms especially the sinks and toilets. Leave the doors open, tape off sinks and bathrooms, etc.
The requirements included in Appendix B for showings are still in effect. Face coverings, social distancing and gloves are still required.
Eliminate or minimize mixing people especially at entrances and exits. Use directional signs.
Ventilation must meet OSHA standards: https://bit.ly/2YQuz0X
It is critical to keep a log with every attendee’s contact information and the date in case anyone tests positive for COVID and public health officials need to trace people who could be affected.
Have a conversation with sellers and get their confirmation in writing that they authorize an open house.
Broker open houses – the same rules apply.
Social Distancing calculator: https://covid19.colorado.gov/safer-at-home/social-distancing-calculator-for-indoor-and-outdoor-events
Colorado Safer at Home Guidance for Public Health Order 20-28 updated July 1, 2020 – field services: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FcuKBB6XhmN5kCS9yJv5B3mzVaE0o7yxVWgUU5YxtxM/edit#
Congress Extends PPP
On Wednesday, July 1, the House of Representatives extended the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through August 8, 2020 (the Senate passed the extension the day before). The program had previously expired on June 30, with more than $100 billion in funds still available for borrowers, and NAR strongly advocated for its extension in both the House and Senate. This extension means that new applicants will be accepted by SBA lenders until August 8 and allows the program to continue assisting small businesses and independent contractors while Congress works on the next COVID-19 relief package.
House Passes Infrastructure Bill
NAR sent a letter supporting H.R. 2, a wide-reaching infrastructure bill last week, with a number of NAR-supported provisions. This bill combines significant investment in surface transportation and mass transit, broadband access, water infrastructure, affordable housing, and other important provisions to make these systems more resilient and sustainable.
NAR supported traditional infrastructure issues such as significant increases in direct federal investments in surface transportation and mass transit systems; an extension of the Highway Trust Fund through October 1, 2025; incentives to encourage high-density, transit-oriented development; streamlining the costly federal permitting process while continuing to provide critical environmental protections; resources for communities to develop systems to better manage, utilize, and control their water, wastewater, and drinking water resources; and resources for communities to make their transportation and infrastructure systems more resilient and sustainable.
In addition, NAR supports a number of provisions related to affordable housing including: reform and modernization of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit; private investment in community development and affordable housing through private activity bonds and the New Markets Tax Credit; and resources to preserve, protect, and expand affordable housing in rural communities.
Lastly, NAR supported expanded broadband, as well as energy efficiency measures to extend and expand the 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction and Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.
The measure passed the House largely on a partisan basis. The Senate is expected to consider an infrastructure proposal later this summer, and NAR will work to see these provisions included.
FHFA Asked to Extend Comment Period
NAR joined a coalition of housing, finance, and consumer groups requesting an extension of the FHFA’s comment period on its proposed capital rule. The proposal was made public earlier this month with a 60-day comment period that began on July 1st. The rule is an update to a 2018 proposal by the agency.
The new proposal incorporates a number of significant changes that would meaningfully raise the level of capital the GSEs must hold above the 2018 proposal and makes it harder to structure the capital. As a result, these changes would have far-reaching impacts on the GSEs’ business models and their abilities to carry out their mission. NAR and the coalition have requested an additional 60 days for analysis and comment which would make the comment due by the end of October.
NAR Supports HUD Funding
NAR sent a letter to the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee for HUD’s FY2021 budget, requesting additional funding for fair housing and housing counseling. Specifically, NAR supports increases in Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) to support private nonprofit enforcement of the Fair Housing Act (the Act), the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) and increased salaries and expenses for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), the primary federal office charged with the administration of the Act. We also support strong funding for HUD’s housing counseling program.
In January 2020, NAR launched its Fair Housing Action Plan (ACT!) in order to increase accountability, culture change, and training among the real estate profession. Increases in FHIP, FHAP and FHEO are consistent with this goal. In voicing its support for fair housing testing, NAR emphasizes that adequate funding must be made available to ensure testers are well trained, and adhere to the highest standards. Poorly-conducted tests unfairly tarnish our members and the reputations of the entire fair housing community.
The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the housing situation of so many Americans. As forbearance measures end, many homeowners may be struggling with their repayment plans. Housing counseling could be an effective tool to help them stay in their homes after the pandemic.
The House expects to finish work on the T-HUD budget bills before the August recess.