CAI members impacted by Hurricane Sandy and other presidentially-declared natural disasters face high recovery costs as local governments are being denied Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement for debris removal and other disaster recovery expenses in community associations. Community associations-condominiums, homeowners' associations, and cooperatives-are a growing form of housing and represent 1 in 5 homes in America.
On July 31, 2013, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), introduced H.R. 2887 -- To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to provide assistance for condominiums and housing cooperatives damaged by a major disaster, and for other purposes.
Although this is an important bill that deserves our support, it does not address all of CAI's areas of concern. Specifically, the bill seeks to include condominiums and housing cooperatives in the list of FEMA covered entities for disaster assistance; however, homeowners associations are NOT included in the bill. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
H.R. 2887 is a big step forward for community associations receiving equitable treatment under FEMA disaster guidelines. CAI is monitoring the situation and is making preparations for the next steps in support of passage of the bill. If you have any immediate questions regarding
the legislation, please contact CAI's Michael Hedge at email@example.com .
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Does CAI consider the final regulation to be "good" for community associations and association residents?
The original FHFA draft regulation would have "banned" all private, deed-based transfer fees by cutting off federally backed mortgages to any property with such fees. As nearly half of all community associations have such fees in place, the proposal would have had a devastating effect by rendering roughly 11 million homes in community associations unable to qualify for most mortgages.
The final regulation no longer poses a threat to homeownership in community associations and provides important protections for association residents. The final rule explicitly excludes any private, deed-based transfer fees in place prior to February 8, 2011, from FHFA regulation. Any traditional transfer fees adopted by a community association on or after February 8, 2011, should also be protected under the final regulation as "excepted transfer fee covenant".
Importantly, the final regulation will protect association residents by ensuring that all funds generated from transfer fees are used to benefit their association and property. This new requirement in the federal regulation will stop a growing trend where transfer fees are paid to the original property developer and to investors who purchase rights to these developer transfer fees. Such transfer fees exclusively enrich other persons or businesses with no interest in the property or the homeowner. The final regulation stops this raid on homeowner equity and ensures that if a community association has adopted a transfer fee that the proceeds of the fee are used to directly benefit the property and community association.
New York has placed their laws under a new file system which doesn't allow a direct link. Here is the link to the main law page;
Scroll down to RPP (Real Property) and click on the link. Then scroll down to Article 9-A (Subdivided Lands) or 9-B (Condominiums) and click on that link to get to the laws.