Is Down Payment Assistance Coming Back?

New bill would prevent the controversial program from being eliminated.

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It wasn't that long ago that President Bush moved to ban the controversial seller-funded down payment assistance programs. But now, congressional supporters have moved legislation to keep such assistance alive.

From the press release:

WASHINGTON D.C. - September 16 - A Bill that would save seller-funded downpayment assistance from being eliminated on October 1 passed the House Financial Services Committee today on a voice vote amidst strong bipartisan support. The Bill, The FHA Seller-Financed Downpayment Reform and Risk-Based Pricing Authorization Act of 2008, or H.R. 6694, is expected to move to the floor for a full vote in the coming days.

"We continue to believe that reinstating downpayment assistance (DPA) will ensure that working-class families that have nowhere else to turn for help will still be able to own a home," said Scott Syphax, president and CEO of the Nehemiah Corporation of America, the largest and oldest provider of downpayment assistance. "The strong bipartisan support demonstrated during today's hearing speaks to the growing sentiment that the original Housing Bill was wrong to ban DPA. As H.R. 6694 continues to move through the House and onto the Senate, we urge members of Congress, like so many others, to vote to 'amend - not end' these important programs and correct the mistake made through the initial ban."

The October 1 ban was written into law by President Bush when he signed H.R. 3221 Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 on July 30, 2008. H.R. 6694 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Green, Miller and Shays and Congresswoman Waters on July 31, 2008. If enacted into law, it will allow downpayment assistance to continue indefinitely.

Federal Housing Administration
House of Representatives

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