In Lehman’s Terms

Remember “I’m Just a Bill” from the Schoolhouse Rock series in the 1970s?

The cartoon taught viewers—ideally kids, but probably some adults, too—how a bill is made into law in Washington, D.C. If you saw this animated classic, you’ll recall that to become a law, a bill has to be passed in both chambers of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then get the president’s signature.

But sometimes a bill gets bogged down in one chamber and doesn’t see the light of day for a while. Like right now.

A bill known as HR 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, unanimously passed the House in February but has stalled in the Senate. This surprises me because the bill is a common-sense measure that makes much-needed reforms to programs that will increase affordable homeownership options.

Here’s some of what this bill does:

  • Changes the lending rules for people who want to use Federal Housing Administration funding to purchase condos, which are an affordable option for first-time homebuyers
  • Speeds up the process for rural housing loans, saving time and reducing the burden on federal agencies
  • Reforms the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance programs to expand housing access to low-income families.

In Lehman’s terms, this bill will help more people become homeowners.

The National Association of REALTORS® has issued a call for action encouraging its 1 million members to ask their senators to bring up the bill. These elected officials need to hear from the public, too. Use these links to contact Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz right now.

Send a note encouraging them to move this important bill along so it can become a law that benefits homebuyers, taxpayers, and the real estate market. 

Mark Lehman is vice president of Governmental Affairs for the Texas Association of REALTORS®. 

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