IREM’s Federal Housing Advisory Board Meets with Policymakers in D.C.

On April 9 and 10, members of IREM’s Federal Housing Advisory Board traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with the following federal Committee’s and agencies to discuss federal housing issues: House and Senate Appropriations Committee staff, Democratic and Republican staff for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Rural Housing Service, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

One of the issues discussed with the Appropriations Committee’s and HUD focused on increased costs of property and casualty insurance in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas. The last several hurricane seasons have revealed a problem for owners of affordable properties. After a major storm events, annual premiums have gone up 50% to 400% and the number of firms offering complete coverage going forward is declining.

The FHAB discussed including language in the 2020 appropriations bill to allow HUD to grant year to year increases in rents to cover increased insurance costs.  This rent adjustment would not be permanent, rather it would be reviewed annually and adjusted upward or downward in relation to actual costs incurred by the property for its insurance package.

Another issue discussed with policymakers included Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The law provides housing protections to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking across federal housing programs. Reauthorization of VAWA recently passed in the House but still needs to be passed in the Senate. The FHAB requested that lawmakers pass language which was included in the 2013 VAWA reauthorization.

 

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