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GA Blog: NAR

Showing blogs: 13 of 3

11.14.19 NAR Supports Suit Against Rent Control

The National Association of REALTORS®, along with several other national organizations, has backed a lawsuit to take on New York’s Rent Stabilization law.  The suit challenges the constitutionality of the law and argues that it violates the 5th and 14th Amendment.

Speaking through NAR 2020 President Vince Malta, the National Association of REALTORS® said that instead of rent control the housing crisis should be faced head on by building more affordable housing.  NAR has been constant in maintaining that rent control does not actually create a fairer housing market but instead reduces the quantity and quality of available housing, discourages new construction, and increases rent for unprotected tenants among other issues.

You can read more about the lawsuit here.

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11.11.19 HUD sends letter on unreliable service animal documentation

Last week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson sent a letter to Joseph Simons, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, and Andrew Smith, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, voicing concern over websites that offer “unreliable and unnecessary” assistance animal documentation.

Per the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal for housing providers to refuse to grant reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.  This allows for the acceptance of a service animal even though a pet restriction policy would otherwise prohibit the animal.

The concern voiced is that these websites mislead disabled individuals by representing that the documentation in which they sell is required when many times no documentation may be needed at all.  Secretary Carson states one example: “a housing provider should not request documentation if an individual is seeking to keep a dog and it is readily apparent that the dog is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” A secondary concern is also raised that able-bodied individuals may be able to buy this documentation to pass off pets as assistance animals.

NAR thanked Secretary Carson for taking action to protect hose who rely on assistance animals. You can ready NAR’s statement here and the letter from Secretary Carson here.

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8.15.19 HUD Unveils Long Awaited FHA Condo Rules

Today, the Housing and Urban Development Department published their public documents changing the financing of condos under FHA.  The new regulations are aimed to make it significantly less difficult to purchase a condo with an FHA loan.

These rules will take effect October 15th 2019 and hold three specific changes as well as noting the minimum owner occupancy percentage as 50%.  First, in a building of 10 or more condo units an individual unit may be eligible for spot approval if the entire building does not exceed the 10% FHA-insured threshold.  Second, the length of time an approved condo project is certified for has been extended from two years to three years.  Third, in mixed-use buildings commercial space can now take up to 35% of the total square footage.

These changes come after over a decade of being championed by the National Association of REALTORS®.  Of the changes, NAR President John Smaby said “We are thrilled that Secretary Carson has taken this much-needed step to put the American dream within reach for thousands of additional families.”

You can find the document itself here at the Federal Register and NAR’s press release here.

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