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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 7:56 pm | Fair 56º


Capps Elaborates on Conforming Loan Limits

I appreciate Greg Knowles’ Feb. 21 commentary (“Beware the Fine Print in Conforming Loan Limits Proposalm”) regarding the conforming loan limit change included in the recently enacted economic stimulus package.

The goal of the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act is to provide a timely, targeted, and temporary measure to jumpstart our economy by quickly putting money in the hands of everyday Americans and encouraging businesses to invest now.  This legislation will provide a recovery rebate to 117 million families, including 35 million families who work but do not earn enough to pay income taxes — although they do pay Social Security and Medicare taxes — and 13 million senior citizens. It also provides an average tax rebate of $887 to 13,300,000 families in California.

The economic stimulus package also addresses the mortgage crisis by assisting families who are struggling to make their mortgage payments and avoid foreclosure. The point of this assistance is to make obtaining a lower cost, federally backed loan in high-cost areas — like Santa Barbara County — more achievable. I appreciate the hard work of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors in following this aspect of the economic stimulus package and raising important concerns about the potential implementation of new conforming loan limits in the county.

To be clear, the conforming loan limits for Santa Barbara County, or any county for that matter, have not yet been finalized by the Housing and Urban Development Departmet. HUD is currently drafting these limits, and I share the concerns of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors that a low conforming loan limit would not have the intended impact of helping more families afford and keep their homes on the South Coast.

To address these concerns, my staff and I have been in touch with the Office of Housing at HUD, the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors and others to work toward achieving a higher loan level for Santa Barbara County.

I am committed to working for the best possible solution for the South Coast, and to do so in continued collaboration with our community leaders.

Rep. Lois Capps
23rd Congressional District

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