sPrint Version-Recent Votes: H.R. 3221: American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act

RECENT VOTES

Housing

On Thursday, July 24, 2008, the House considered H.R. 3221: American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act. This is the comprehensive bill Congress voted on earlier to help ease the troubled housing market, but with additional measures to resolve recent concerns. H.R. 3221 expands the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) program so people in danger of losing their homes can refinance their mortgages at a more affordable level. In exchange, homeowners must pay an exit fee when they sell their home and lenders are required to take a loss on the loan. The bill also targets communities struggling with high rates of foreclosures. It provides $4 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds for rehabilitating vacant homes in order to end the ripple effects of foreclosure which can devastate neighborhoods. This bill creates an independent regulator to oversee the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and establishes a permanent affordable housing trust fund with GSE resources, not taxpayer dollars.

Given recent speculation about the GSEs' health, Rep. Barney Frank led an effort to increase Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's existing lines of credit and allow the Treasury Department to purchase stock in the companies. As the GSEs are an essential part of our housing industry, and as these provisions are temporary, I am convinced this was a necessary addition to the bill. With Rep. Frank overseeing these broader issues, it allowed me to focus more on regional needs. For example, the bill increases the GSE and FHA loan limits for single-family homes. In order to accommodate communities with a large supply of multi-family housing, like the Greater Boston area, it also increases these limits for two, three and four-family homes, a provision I've worked on for years.

I voted YES. H.R. 3221 passed in the House, and the Senate is expected to consider it this weekend. The entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

227

3

0

6

REPUBLICAN

45

149

0

5

TOTAL

272

152

0

11

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0