What Wall Street Reform Means for Housing
July 15, 2010
On July 21, 2010 President Obama signed into law the
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, sweeping
legislation that covers a broad range of financial and housing policy
issues. The Act contains
several key provisions of importance to homeless and low income
- The law extends the expiration date for the
Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) from
the end of 2012 to the end of 2014. PTFA ensures
that tenants living in foreclosed properties can remain in their housing
for as long as possible after the property owner / landlord is
foreclosed upon and a new party takes ownership of the property. The Law Center hopes to make PTFA permanent, but is
extremely pleased in the short term to see it extended.
- The law also
clarifies an ambiguous provision of PTFA, explaining that the date of a
"notice of foreclosure" means the date on which title to a property is
transferred by a court order or through a non-judicial foreclosure
process. Since only tenants who signed a bona fide lease can use PTFA to
remain in their homes, it was important to clarify that earlier notices did not
invalidate their original lease agreements or exempt them from protection under
The Law Center anticipates that this provision will
help keep tenants in their homes for longer periods of time, but will
continue to monitor implementation of the law, to ensure that it is
being vigorously enforced.
- In addition, the law
provides $1 billion in new funding under HUD's Neighborhood
Stabilization Program (NSP), a program that sends money to help rebuild
housing in blighted communities. This new funding
includes an ongoing requirement that 25% of NSP funds be used to
benefit low income people.
- The law creates an
Emergency Homeowners' Relief Fund at HUD, designed to provide temporary
mortgage assistance to homeowners, to help avoid foreclosures. This program is funded at $1 billion.
- And finally, the bill
sets up a HUD program to fund civil legal services to
prevent foreclosure among homeowners and eviction of tenants in
foreclosed properties. Unfortunately, the law
does not provide money for this new program, meaning that it will not
get off the ground until funds are appropriated by Congress.