Stimulus Package Under President's Review
Both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed a housing
stimulus package last week designed to booster the economy. The
bill, H.R. 3221, now awaits President Bush's approval and signature,
which is expected.
Once signed, the bill will provide for a temporary, $7,500 first-time
homebuyer tax credit for the purchase of any home, purchased between
April 9, 2008, and July 1, 2009.
"With the U.S. financial system now under extreme duress,
H.R. 3221 represents a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to address
the housing and economic crisis facing the nation," says National
Association of Home Builders (NAHB) president Sandy Dunn, a home
builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va. "This bill is vital to restore
confidence and get housing and the economy moving again."
In addition to the first-time home buyer tax credit, the bill would
allow the Department of Treasury to purchase an equity stake in
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and would give the Federal Reserve a
supervisory role over the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).
H.R. 3221 also would:
- Modernize the Federal Housing Authority and permanently raise
its loan limits;
- Give states authority to issue an additional $11 billion in
mortgage revenue bonds;
- Reform the regulation of the GSEs and permanently increase the
conforming loan limit to help buyers in high-cost markets;
- Enhance the Low Income Housing Tax Credit;
- Provide foreclosure relief; and
- Provide tax relief for home owners who don't itemize their deductions.
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