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06/21/2016 | Author: Mark Lehman

In Lehman's Terms

Remember "I'm Just a Bill" from the Schoolhouse Rock series in the 1970s?

The cartoon taught viewers—ideally kids, but probably some adults, too—how a bill is made into law in Washington, D.C. If you saw this animated classic, you’ll recall that to become a law, a bill has to be passed in both chambers of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then get the president’s signature.

But sometimes a bill gets bogged down in one chamber and doesn’t see the light of day for a while. Like right now.

A bill known as the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act unanimously passed the House in February but has stalled in the Senate. This surprises me because the bill is a common-sense measure that makes much-needed reforms to programs that will increase affordable homeownership options.

Here’s some of what this bill does:

  • Changes the lending rules for people who want to use Federal Housing Administration funding to purchase condos, which are an affordable option for first-time homebuyers
  • Speeds up the process for rural housing loans, saving time and reducing the burden on federal agencies
  • Reforms the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance programs to expand housing access to low-income families.

In Lehman’s terms, this bill will help more people become homeowners.

The National Association of REALTORS® has issued a call for action encouraging its 1 million members to ask their senators to pass the bill. These elected officials need to hear from the public, too. Use these links to contact Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz right now.

Send a note encouraging them to move this important bill along so it can become a law that benefits homebuyers, taxpayers, and the real estate market. 

Mark Lehman is vice president of Governmental Affairs for the Texas Association of REALTORS®. 

Categories: In Lehman's Terms
Tags: in lehman's terms, governmental affairs, legislative affairs, senate, congress, homeownership


Dianna Rhodes on 06/27/2016

As a Realtor for almost 21 years, I’m not certain that loosening lending or housing requirments any more than they already have been is a good idea. I was concerned in the 1990’s befor the housing/lending crash because of this very thing. People were doing 100% and No Doc laons like crazy, which lead to the banking crisis, which lead to taxpayers bailing out the very industry we paid off. Now we are asking for loosening again. How are any of us to be certain that the very same thing will not cost the tax payers again? Don’t trust the banks or the politicans. I’m kind of glad it’s being held up. Sorry.

John Harrell on 06/24/2016

I’m a believer in home ownership being available to all who qualify. Homeowners are better neighbors, better members of the community, and the pride of home-ownership is immeasurable.  This bill employs a comment sense approach to making home ownership available to more people. And I encourage everyone to reach out to Senators Cornyn and Cruz to get this bill moving again. Take an active role in getting something accomplished together.
Thank you, Mark, for bringing this worthwhile bill to our attention.

Paul on 06/22/2016

Mark, another brilliant “in Lehmans terms” piece of work.  The fact that the bill has been stalled in the senate makes no sense at all.  Homeownership has become even more difficult over the past several years because of our struggling economy, and because of tighter lending policies.  It’s time make the American Dream a reality for so many people that aren’t able to afford to buy a home.  Again, another well written article - thanks and keep ‘em coming!

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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