In May, President Obama signed a broad bill into law that includes far-reaching efforts to reform the nation’s housing. Not included in the final version of the bill, however, were two amendments supported by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), which the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) says could have an imperiling impact to multifamily operators and the multifamily lending space.
Intended to protect affordable housing stock, particularly in New York City, the amendments direct the U.S. Treasury and HUD to create a loan modification program allowing for government intervention in multifamily properties considered at risk of foreclosure. That intervention could include a restructuring of existing mortgages and transference of the property through short-sale of deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Though the amendments were successfully attached to the House version of the bill (H.R. 1728), Schumer was forced to withdraw the amendments from the Senate version of the bill (S.B. 896) due to point-of-order restrictions on modifications he sought just prior to the Senate vote. Since the House passed the almost identical S.B. 896 to the President’s office rather than reconciling it with the House bill, the amendments on H.R. 1728 were not included.
“The thinking now is that [U.S. Reps.] Velazquez and Filner will probably try to get the amendments into a subsequent House bill, possibly attaching them to Section 8 voucher legislation,” says NMHC senior vice president of government affairs Jim Arbury. “It is still a definite threat.”