HECM Appropriation Gets One Step Closer, Heads to the House

The House Committee on Appropriations passed the FY 2011 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill on Tuesday and included $150 million to support the Federal Housing Administration’s reverse mortgage program.

While the Obama Administration requested $250 million to support the HECM program, the appropriations committee provided the $150 million to “support elderly homeowners and assist them in keeping their homes rather than forcing them to move to expensive assisted living facilities,” said David Obey (D-WI), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in a statement.  “This level of assistance will keep the program running in 2011 at expected volume levels.”

Industry analysts tell RMD the $150 million puts appropriators estimates at roughly 69,000 HECMs during FY 2011.  Without the appropriation, HUD would be forced to drastically reduce principal limits for the second year in a row.

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“We must continue our vigilance and make sure it is not taken away when the bill is brought to the floor for a vote in the full House,” said Peter Bell, President of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association in an alert to members.

Others agree that there is still work to be done to ensure both the House and Senate provide support for the HECM program.

“Passage is an indication that we have growing support and awareness,” said Jeff Lewis, Chairman of Generation Mortgage and the leader behind the Coalition for Independent Seniors. “We have to continue our efforts to educate and bring the policy makers into the fold.”

The Senate is expected to introduce its FY 2011 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill later this week.

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  • This is a definite step forward. Congratulations to all who have worked so hard on this particular appropriation.

    Merely getting two versions of the same bill with identical HECM subsidies passed, while a great and encouraging achievement will not be enough. It is all but impossible to believe that both versions will be identical if they are passed. Thus reconciliation will be required.

    Last year with almost the same majority in the House but with a filibuster proof majority in the Senate (which is not the case today), both chambers passed slightly different versions of a HUD related appropriations bill. Yet despite little opposition and clear support to reconcile the bill, because of the lingering health care bill, both versions still languish today, unreconciled.

    This year there is no health care bill clogging up the legislative process but Senate Democrats no longer have a filibuster proof majority. Let's hope there is no new legislation which will clog up the legislative process and that there is little controversy in either version of this bill. The problem is with off year elections looming, Democrats may be reluctant to pass any except the most vital and crucial appropriations bills.

    I’m afraid the real work has just started.

  • This is a definite step forward. Congratulations to all who have worked so hard on this particular appropriation.

    Merely getting two versions of the same bill with identical HECM subsidies passed, while a great and encouraging achievement will not be enough. It is all but impossible to believe that both versions will be identical if they are passed. Thus reconciliation will be required.

    Last year with almost the same majority in the House but with a filibuster proof majority in the Senate (which is not the case today), both chambers passed slightly different versions of a HUD related appropriations bill. Yet despite little opposition and clear support to reconcile the bill, because of the lingering health care bill, both versions still languish today, unreconciled.

    This year there is no health care bill clogging up the legislative process but Senate Democrats no longer have a filibuster proof majority. Let’s hope there is no new legislation which will clog up the legislative process and that there is little controversy in either version of this bill. The problem is with off year elections looming, Democrats may be reluctant to pass any appropriations bills except the most vital and crucial.

    Iu2019m afraid the real work has just started.

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