(Washington DC) – Today U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Keeping Families in Their Home Act, legislation that would allow banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer long-term leases for foreclosed homes. The legislation is designed to give families an opportunity to stay in their homes and ease the pressure that foreclosures put on home values.
By allowing banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer long-term leases for foreclosed homes to the prior homeowner, the Home Act provides some relief for families working to regain their financial footing and allows their children to stay in their school. It also reduces the risk that foreclosed homes are left vacant and prevents neighborhood blight.
“With the opportunity to rent their homes, families may not have to move out of their neighborhoods and children can stay in their same school. While this bill is not the silver bullet to ending Nevada’s housing crisis, it is a positive step that I hope will make a difference Nevadans can feel,” said Senator Dean Heller.
By reducing the number of homes entering the housing inventory, the Home Act will restore confidence in the housing market and stabilize home prices.
“As the nation’s leader in foreclosures, no state understands the consequences of falling home values more than Nevada. Something has to be done to stop home prices from falling and help put an end to this crisis. This legislation would help stabilize home prices, preserve our neighborhoods and allow families a chance to stay in their homes,” added Heller.
Senator Heller will speak about the bill on the Senate floor today at 10:30 am ET/7:30 am PT.
Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) introduced a similar bill in the House of Representatives in July 2011 with bipartisan support.
The Keeping Families in Their Home Act:
- Authorizes banks and any other depository institution or affiliate to enter into a lease for up to five years, including lease with an option to purchase or first right of refusal, with the prior homeowner or any individual.
- Allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lease real-estate owned (REO) properties for up to five years.
- Directs the Federal Housing Finance Agency to set standards for determining if a property is eligible for leasing. The standards for leasing eligibility are charged with considering lessening losses to the taxpayer and stabilizing home prices.
- Permits banks to sell their property to the renter once the rental lease runs out.