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First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

1. First-time Homebuyer Tax Credit - an $8000 tax credit (it was changed from $7500) that will be available for qualified purchase of a principal residence by a first time homebuyer between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009. The credit does not require repayment. Individuals who purchase in 2009 using financing assistance from state and local mortgage bonds will be permitted to use the credit, as well. (See chart listed above.)

2. FHA, Fannie and Freddie Loan Limits - Revised loan limits for FHA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae. Specifics have not been released but reports indicate that the 2008 limits have been reinstated for 2009 except in those communities where the 2009 limits are higher. Additional increases in individual communities may also be available at the discretion of the HUD Secretary.

3. Foreclosure Mitigation & Neighborhood Stabilization - Funding for states and local communities to be used for neighborhood stabilization activities for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes are authorized.

These elements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are the pillars of the Housing Stimulus Plan presented to the 111th Congress. Additionally, the Economic Stimulus Bill contains a few other provisions of interest:

1. Rural Housing Service - Increased funding for the Rural Housing Service direct and guaranteed loan programs.

2. Low Income Housing Grants - Allow states to trade in a portion of their 2009 low-income housing tax credits for Treasury grants to finance the construction or acquisition and rehabilitation of low-income housing, including those with or without tax credit allocations.

3. Tax Exempt Housing Bonds - Tax-exempt interest earned on specified state and local bonds issued during 2009 and 2010 will not be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). In addition, financial institutions will have greater capacity to purchase tax-exempt state and local bonds.

4. Energy Efficient Housing - Grants for energy retrofits for federally assisted housing (section 8), funding for Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grants to states, and Increases in the residential tax credit through 2010 for certain energy efficient upgrades.

5. Transportation - Spending for upgrades and repairs of road, bridges and transit facilities.

6. Broadband Deployment - Grants to make broadband available in unserved communities

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