Real Estate Legislation – Nationally
Dr. Ben Carson to lead HUD!
In early December, President-Elect Donald Trump announced that Dr. Ben Carson has accepted a Cabi- net Position as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. With an annual budget of almost $50 Billion, over 8,000 employees, responsibility for insuring 16% of new home purchases, and housing over 1 million American families, the impact of HUD domestically is unparalleled. Recent changes and vacillations in fair housing enforcement have called into question the direction and consis- tency of HUD. The April 4th ruling by HUD regarding the universal ban of criminal background checks was softened when even the San Francisco Chronicle called out the hypocrisy. Additionally, the blatant social re-engineering occurring through a federal override of local zoning by means of the Disparate Impact Analysis has caused communities across the country to galvanize in response while also questioning the need for participating in Community Development Block Grants. The CDBG funds have long been a staple seed-fund for redevelopment in transitioning communities. Now the grants are being called in to question due to the strings attached: Westchester, NY is a prime example of the federal overreach.
These and many other issues including, insuficient funding of housing authorities, an antiquated housing infrastructure, and programming that tends to create generational housing rather than short term safety nets with opportunities for improvement, are all politically at odds with the policy perspectives of the Presidency, and the ruling majority in Congress. Dr. Carson has a vast policy and implementation battle- ship to turn around, and every day of delay results in more Americans losing out on the American Dream. At MassRealEstate.net we wish Dr. Carson the best and look forward to working with HUD as resource.
Short Sale Tax Waiver – expired at the end of 2016
The Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act of 2015, which was extended through 2016, expires at the end of the year. Those who participate in Short Sales need to be aware of this expiration. Until a 2017 bill is introduced (and passed), hopefully with at least a 10 year timeframe, all forgiven funds from the bank will be treated like income for the seller. MassRealEstate.net was instrumental in implementing the last waiver and is dedicated to address the issue yet again.
Department of Energy rule on Furnaces
MassRealEstate.net is supporting a second request of the Department of Energy to oppose the rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces. The rule proposes a mandate that all furnaces over 55K BTU meet a 92% e ciency rating by 2021. Yes, that means all. The cost of complying with such a regulation could be very costly for many property owners. The prospect of retrofitting to current standards all of those furnaces in older buildings is monumental. Needless to say, the wastefulness of removing and throwing out all the perfectly fine furnaces can only be described as governmental in its sheer capacity for wastefulness. Additional signers include the National Multifamily Housing Council, the National Apartment Association, the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, the National Leased Housing Association, and the Leading Age.
As this rulemaking process continues, please consider participating in an advocacy effort to modify this rule in the near future! Until then, we’ll keep working on your behalf.