This week more than 200 Community Association Institute (CAI) advocates from 27 states and Washington, D.C., joined together to advocate for the community association housing model with their members of Congress.
Sponsored by Enterprise Bank and the Reserve Advisors, the 2022 Virtual Advocacy Summit saw record-breaking attendance. The virtual format meant more opportunities to share CAI’s federal priorities and get grassroots advocates in touch with their federal representatives. Our advocates participated in more than 40 meetings with 75 house and senate offices from Hawaii to Massachusetts.
The Virtual Advocacy Summit kicked off its opening session featuring Ron Perl, Esq., Fellow, CCAL, T. Peter Kristian, CMCA, LSM, PCAM, CAI President Jessica Towles, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, and CAI’s federal advocate C. Scott Canady. The group took a deep dive into the federal policies.
CAI advocates engaged lawmakers on the following CAI federal issues:
- Financing Condominium Building Repairs – CAI introduced two federal bills to help condominium homeowners and condominium associations finance building repairs:
- H.R. 7532, the SAFER Act, allows condominium homeowners to finance a building repair special assessment over 20 years through a second mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration or a new FHA-insured 30-year mortgage. Condominium homeowners can finance special assessments over 20- to 30-years to lower monthly housing costs and reduce the financial strain of major building repairs on association households.
- H.R. 8304, the Rapid Financing for Condominium Building Repairs Act, authorizes FHA insurance for loans made by private lenders to condominium associations. Lenders will be able to offer condominium associations 30-year, fixed interest rate loans without balloon notes or prepayment penalties. The bill would lower association borrowing costs and reduce the need for special assessments by spreading the expense of building repairs over 30 years.
CAI advocates asked their members of Congress to support and co-sponsor these important pieces of legislation.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Condominium and Housing Cooperative Lending Rules – New rules from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac make it more expensive and difficult to purchase units or refinance mortgages in condominiums and housing cooperatives. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac want to revise the new rules but the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the companies, is blocking any changes. CAI members asked Congress to contact the Federal Housing Finance Agency to urge Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow revisions to condominium and housing cooperative mortgage rules.
In the hours leading up to the advocacy summit, CAI proudly announced that U.S. Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) is leading a congressional sign-on letter to the Federal Housing Finance (FHFA) calling for major revisions to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac condominium and housing cooperative safety mortgage guidelines. These guidelines require boards or managers to answer questions about condominium safety outside of their scope of knowledge. Advocates asked their U.S. representative to sign Rep. Gooden’s letter in person in lieu of sending an individual letter. This greatly increases the impact of CAI’s efforts.
- Disaster Assistance in Community Associations – Our advocates informed lawmakers of the Disaster Assistance Equity Act of 2021 (H.R. 5298), which would allow community associations to be eligible for federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following a presidentially declared disaster.
If you couldn’t attend the virtual advocacy summit, you can still make a difference. Help amplify the voices of advocates in their meetings by submitting a statement of support to the offices of the members of Congress that advocates met with here.
CAI thanks each of our advocates for their hard work and commitment to our organization and its priorities. Keep the momentum going by visiting www.caionline.org/advocacy/takeaction.
If you have any questions about the 2022 CAI virtual advocacy summit, please contact CAI’s Government and Public Affairs team members at firstname.lastname@example.org.