Nels Atha visited Capitol Hill to meet with the offices of some of California’s members of Congress to discuss federal legislation affecting community associations, including Representative Maxine Waters (CA 43rd District) and Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein.
While the Davis-Sterling Act provides for the majority of legislation presiding over California community associations, federal housing legislation can have a very impactful influence on California communities. Taking the time to educate our legislators about what community associations are and how they function, as well as giving a voice to their constituents that belong to community associations, can have a powerful influence on the way federal legislation affects the communities we serve. A few of the federal legislative priorities that we focused on at the summit were Housing Finance Reform, Disaster Relief for HOAs, and the National Flood Insurance Program. Below is an overview of how these issues are affecting community associations:
Housing Finance Reform
After the housing crisis of 2008, Congress has been tasked with reforming the housing finance system. In 2016, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) was passed with the goal of increasing access to FHA loans. In practice however, the number of associations with FHA approval has decreased. According to CAI, only 6% of condo associations have FHA approval. The department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule in 2016 to make FHA approval more attainable by condominium associations but has not approved it.
Check out this post for a legislative update by a local industry leader in the FHA condo approval process.
You can learn more from CAI:
Did you know that community associations are not eligible for emergency relief from FEMA following a natural disaster? Although community association members pay the same federal taxes as owners of single family homes, they are not allotted the same support from FEMA following a natural disaster. You can help support CAI’s efforts to change this by contacting your representatives in Congress and asking them to support the Disaster Assistance Equity Act of 2017, H.R. 3238.
Watch this video from CAI to learn more:
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The NFIP is the largest insurer of flood risk in the U.S. and Congress votes every 5 years to extend its authority to sell insurance policies. The NFIP’s current authorization is set to expire on July 31, 2018 and has been caught up in some controversy in the Senate.
Learn more about the controversy from CAI:
Be an Advocate!
As members of CAI, our staff regularly lends our voice locally and nationally to advocate for the needs of our clients. We invite board members, owners and residents to join us and help to make our voice that much more powerful. Our representatives want to hear from you, their constituents, to take the lead on how they can better serve community associations.