MBA Applauds Weiner-Miller Bill to Increase FHA Multifamily Loan Limits for Elevator Properties

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 6, 2009) -  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today called for quick passage of H.R.3527, the  FHA Multifamily Loan Limit Adjustment Act of 2009 which would increase the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) multifamily loan limits for elevator properties and in extremely high cost areas.  The bipartisan bill was introduced on Friday, July 31 by Congressmen Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Gary Miller (R-CA).

"Currently, FHA's multifamily loan limits are inhibiting the financing of affordable rental housing in a number of urban areas," said Michael Berman, MBA's Vice Chairman.  "We believe there is nearly three billion dollars worth of construction that would be able to begin this year if this bill became law.  Not only would that add an estimated 11,000 units to the nation's stock of affordable rental housing, but it would also have a stimulative impact on the economy by providing jobs."

Analysis shows that there is a 45 percent difference in the construction cost between a non-elevator building and a building of eight to 24 stories.  Currently, there is a less than 10 percent difference between the loan limits for elevator and non-elevator structures.  H.R. 3527 would establish a 50 percent differential between elevator and non-elevator in each FHA insurance program and each unit size.  This will further facilitate the construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in costly urban areas like New York City and Los Angeles.