The Senate Appropriations Committee included $150 million for the Federal Housing Administration’s reverse mortgage program in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s FY 2011 budget, matching the amount provided by the House.
Next the bills head to the full House and Senate for vote. If each passes, House and Senate appropriation conferees will have to reconcile their respective spending bills before each chamber votes again on a final version according to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. Both houses are tentatively scheduled to be on vacation from early in of August through September 14.
If Congress fails to reconcile the bills before the new federal fiscal year begins, lawmakers will need to pass a continuing resolution that keeps government agencies funded. “NRMLA continues to work closely with lawmakers to urge that the credit subsidy be kept in the final HUD budget,” said the association in an alert to members.
The appropriation is less than the $250 million the Obama Administration requested in its FY 2011 budget to help offset projected losses for the HECM program, but appropriators feel the $150 million is sufficient to cover expected volume. Without the subsidy, Commissioner David Stevens said during testimony earlier this year that FHA will be forced to reduce the amount of money available to seniors through the program by 21%.
Jeff Lewis, Chairman of Generation Mortgage and the leader behind the Coalition for Independent Seniors said getting the appropriation in the House and Senate is great news. “It’s an indication that we have growing support and awareness, but we have to continue our efforts to educate and bring the policy makers into the fold,” he said.