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Shaheen Unveils Affordable Housing & Economic Security Package

**Shaheen’s 3-bill Package Legislation Would Protect Low-Income NH Families in Rural Communities from Losing their Homes, Empower Manufactured Home Owners & Cap FHA Mortgage Insurance Payments**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) unveiled an affordable housing and economic security package today, which is comprised of three bills that would protect low-income families in rural communities from eviction, empower manufactured homeowners and make it easier for first-time and low-income families to own a home.

“Having a roof over their heads shouldn’t be out of reach for New Hampshire’s working families, but unfortunately, that’s a reality that too many Granite Staters experience every day. As access to affordable housing continues to be a prevalent problem in communities throughout our state – and country – Congress can and should act to provide relief to those who need it,” said Shaheen. “My housing and economic security package would make meaningful reform to federal programs that help families in rural communities access rental assistance, empower manufactured housing residents to stay in their homes and cap FHA mortgage insurance payments to help incentivize more Americans to become homeowners. Improving access to affordable housing and encouraging homeownership is a boon to our economy, our growing communities and the livelihoods of the American people.” 

Shaheen reintroduced the Rural Housing Preservation Act, which would protect access to affordable housing for families that are largely elderly, disabled and live in rural areas, who are at risk of losing rental assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service. To protect rural families, the bill would maintain rental assistance by providing rural housing vouchers to residents in properties with prepaid or maturing mortgages. The bill would also permanently authorize the Multi-Family Preservation and Revitalization Restructuring Program to operate in the future, and create a new tool for communities to maintain affordable housing by allowing the USDA to continue rental assistance to residents even if there is no longer a USDA loan on the property. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) is a cosponsor of Shaheen’s legislation.

Senator Shaheen also reintroduced the Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act, which would encourage manufactured home park owners who are interested in selling their property to sell the land to their residents, rather than another landlord or a developer. More than 17 million Americans live in manufactured homes across the country, typically located in communities commonly known as “manufactured home parks.” While residents of these communities frequently own their home, they often do not own the land under their homes. This situation has led to displacement due to community closure and rising rents. Eviction or closure of manufactured home communities is very disruptive to residents. Specifically, Shaheen’s bill would create a 75 percent federal tax credit when the property is sold to a resident-owned cooperative.  This economic incentive would help create more of these empowered communities and keep more families in their homes, while protecting the long-term viability of this important sector of our nation’s affordable housing market.

The final piece of the affordable housing and economic security package is Shaheen’s FHA Loan Affordability Act, which would terminate FHA mortgage insurance payments once the loan balance reaches 78 percent of the home’s purchased value. This effectively repeals FHA’s outdated policy that requires the owner to pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan, causing many borrowers to incur significant and unnecessary costs. Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 

Bill text of the Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019 can be found here.

Bill text of the Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act of 2019 can be found here.

Bill text of the FHA Loan Affordability Act of 2019 can be found here.