Voting Record on Legislation Involving Housing and Property Issues
(2010) HR 5510 Aiding Those Facing Foreclosure Act
Outcome: Bill Failed (210/145)
Authorizes the use of funds under the Troubled Assets Relief Program to provide legal assistance for homeowners that are in or are in danger of mortgage default, delinquency, or foreclosure, provided that such funds are not already committed to other purposes (Sec. 2).
Specifies that the bill does not authorize the use of funds for assisting with arrangement of legal representation for civil litigation purposes that are not directly related to the homeowner's foreclosure or mortgage default or delinquency (Sec. 2).
(2010) HR 4785 Authorizing Loans for Energy Efficiency Purposes
Outcome: Bill Passed (240/172)
Establishes the Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program, under which loans shall be offered at zero percent interest to States to support financial assistance provided by qualified financial entities for the installation of energy saving measures that meet one of the following criteria (Sec. 1):
Are published by the Secretary of Energy as part of a master list of residential energy efficiency measures determined to be cost-effective, readily available from commercial sources, permanently installed in a primary residence, and capable of supporting measurement and verification of energy savings that result from their adoption;
Are additions to the aforementioned master list that are recommended by the Secretary of Agriculture, calculated to achieve sufficient energy savings that they will achieve "a simple payback" within 10 years or less, and permanently installed in a primary residence; or
Are stipulated in a whole-house analysis that simulates energy use before and after a retrofit and are demonstrated to improve residential energy efficiency in a manner that can be determined "with confidence" to be cost-effective and to recover their own cost in savings within the term of the proposed loan.
Defines a "qualifying financing entity" as a State, political subdivision of a State, tribal government, electric utility, natural gas utility, nonprofit organization, energy service company, retailer or any other entity which meets the following qualifications (Sec. 1):
Offers a financing product whereby applicants make payments over time for the cost of installation;
Requires all financed installations to be performed by contractors in a way that meets building code requirements;
Establishes standard underwriting criteria to determine the eligibility of Home Star Loan Program applicants;
Makes efforts to make loans available in areas that have a poverty rate of 12 percent or more in a proportion that at least equals the proportion that residents of such areas make up of the total population;
Is not an entity that has an ongoing capital repayment obligation to the Department of the Treasury pursuant to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Public Law 110-343); and
Is designated as qualified by the Governor of a state.
Defines "eligible participant" as a homeowner with a gross annual household income of less than $250,000 who receives financial assistance from a qualified financing entity (Sec. 1).
Limits participation in the Home Star Energy Efficiency Loan Program to homeowners with a gross annual household income of less than $250,000 who receive financial assistance from a qualified financing entity, are not also qualified consumers under the Rural Energy Savings Program, and have not been more than 6 months delinquent in child support payments (Sec. 1).
Establishes the Rural Star Energy Savings Program for the purpose of making no-interest loans with terms of no more than 20 years to eligible entities that agree to accept the loan funds in order to make loans to qualified consumers for the purpose of implementing residential energy efficiency measures or farm efficiency measures approved by the Secretary of Agriculture (Sec. 2).
Defines an "energy efficiency measure" as a fixed structural improvement and investment in a cost-effective, commercial technology to reduce residential energy use (Sec. 2).
Defines a "farm efficiency measure" as an energy saving application that is a fixed improvement on a building or structure on a farm at a total loan value of $50,000 or less, that is not otherwise an energy efficiency measure and that would achieve enough energy savings to repay the cost of the measure in 10 years or less (Sec. 2).
Specifies that loans made to consumers under the Rural Star Energy Savings Program by eligible entities shall have terms that include, but are not limited to, the following (Sec. 2):
They may bear no more than 3 percent interest;
They shall finance only energy efficiency or farm efficiency measures for the purpose of decreasing energy usage costs by an amount such that a loan term of no more than 10 years will achieve a "simple payback" of the amount invested;
They shall be repaid through charges added to the electric bill for the property for which the efficiency measures will be implemented, except that the property owner may voluntarily prepay the loan and certain other qualifying repayment mechanisms may be used; and
They shall require an energy audit to determine the impact of proposed energy efficiency measures on the energy costs and consumption of the consumer.
Requires lenders making loans under either of the aforementioned programs to give priority to active duty members of the Armed Forces and veterans (Sec. 3).
Prohibits the Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy from providing funds authorized by this bill to any contractor that employs an employee to work in a consumer's home if that employee has been convicted of or plead guilty to a crime of child molestation, rape, or any other form of sexual assault, or to any contractor that has been convicted of or plead guilty to any fraudulent offense (Secs. 4 and 7).
Prohibits loans from being provided under this bill to federal employees who meet any of the following criteria (Sec. 5):
Have a "seriously delinquent" tax debt;
Received a payment under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 but were ineligible to receive the payment; or
Have been officially disciplined for viewing, downloading, or exchanging pornography, including child pornography, on a Federal Government computer or while performing official Federal Government duties.
(2010) HR 5114 Flood Insurance Program Extension
Outcome: Bill Passed (329/90)
Increases maximum coverage limits as follows (Sec. 4):
For single-family dwellings, from $250,000 to $335,000;
For contents related to single-family dwellings, from $100,000 to $135,000; and
For business properties owned or leased and operated by "small business concerns" and church properties, including coverage for contents related to such properties, from $500,000 to $670,000.
Amends the requirement for the purchase of flood insurance in areas having special flood hazards to require the purchase of insurance 5 years after the issuance, revision, updating, or other change in flood insurance maps that designates the area as having special flood hazards (Sec. 6).
Increases the maximum allowable annual increase in flood insurance premium rates from 10 to 20 percent (Sec. 8).
Establishes the following schedule for flood insurance rates for areas required to purchase insurance 5 years after being designated as having special flood hazards (Sec. 7):
For the first year, 20 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable;
For the second year, 40 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable;
For the third year, 60 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable;
For the fourth year, 80 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable; and
For the fifth year, 100 percent of the chargeable risk premium rate otherwise applicable.
Requires the Director to establish regulations that authorize premiums for flood insurance coverage for residential property to be paid for in installments (Sec. 19).
Establishes the following minimum annual deductibles for claims filed for damage to or loss of covered properties (Sec. 18):
For any structure constructed or underwent substantial improvement on or before December 31, 1974:
$1,500 if the coverage is equal to or less than $100,000; and
$2,000 if the coverage is greater than $100,000;
For any structure constructed or underwent substantial improvement after December 31, 1974:
$750 if the coverage is equal to or less than $100,000; and
$1,000 if the coverage is equal to or greater than $100,000.
Prohibits the Director from utilizing the facilities or services of any entity to offer flood insurance coverage unless the entity enters into a written agreement not to exclude coverage for wind or other damage solely because flooding has also contributed to damage to the insured property (Sec. 26).
Establishes the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate, within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for the purposes of the following (Sec. 30):
Assisting individuals insured under the program in resolving problems with FEMA;
Identifying areas in which individuals insured under the program have problems in dealing with the agency related to such problem;
Identifying potential legislative, administrative, or regulatory changes which may be appropriate to mitigate the aforementioned problems;
Assisting communities and homeowners with interpreting, implementing, and appealing floodplain maps and floodplain map determination;
Facilitating the sharing of the "best-practices" of FEMA amongst all offices of the agency with respect to the creation and updating of floodplain maps;
Performing economic impact analyses for communities on the economic impact of floodplain maps and floodplain map determinations on small businesses, lending, real estate development, and other economic indicators with the community;
Establishing a national arbitration panel regarding flood map modernization;
Establishing a process under which scientific and engineering data will be made publicly available to individuals impacted by flood map revisions;
Establishing a process under which communities impacted by flood map revision will be provided an open community forum to consult with and ask questions of representatives of FEMA; and
Identifying ways to assist communities in efforts to fund the accreditation of flood protection systems.
Requires the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the Director of FEMA to implement a plan to verify that individuals receiving funds under the Homeowner Grant Assistance Program of the State of Mississippi or the Road Home Program of the State of Louisiana are maintaining flood insurance on the property for which such individuals receive such funds (Sec. 29).
(2010) H Amdt 684 Increasing Minimum Down Payment for Federal Housing Administration Mortgages
Outcome: Amendment Rejected (131/289)
Summary: -Authorizes the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to prohibit specific initial service charges, appraisals, inspections, or other fees or closing costs from being included in the principal obligation of Federal Housing Administration insured mortgages (Sec. 3).
(2010) H Amdt 688 Limiting Principal Obligation Amounts of Federal Housing Administration Mortgages
Outcome: Amendment Rejected (121/301)
(2010) H Amdt 686 Limiting Federal Housing Administration Mortgage Issuance