On March 29, FEMA released information on changes to the policies and rates of the National Flood Insurance Program. Highlights of the changes, required under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Bill that passed in 2012, include revised premium rates, a new Reserve Fund assessment, updated rates for non-primary residences, exclusion of certain properties from receiving subsidized premium rates and no extesnions of subsidy to new policies or lapsed policies.
After a brief suspension of activity caused by HUD running out of funding for the program, the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program was restarted on March 27, 2013.
On March 21, NAR played host to a gathering of representatives of government, REALTORS®, major lenders and e-signature service providers to discuss the slow and spotty acceptance of electronic signature technology in daily real estate business.
On March 27, 2013, the U. S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development issued Administrative Notice (AN) 4711 regarding the use of 2010 Census data in the administration of direct loan, loan guarantee and grant programs across Rural Development programs.
In November 2012, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) announced REach™, a new type of accelerator program developed to introduce innovative technology companies to the real estate marketplace. REach™ is being developed through NAR’s strategic venture arm, Second Century Ventures.
Over 100 companies across the U.S. and internationally applied (deadline was January 10, 2013) for the 6 to 10 spots in the program. Garnering one of these spots will provide access to one of the world’s largest industries as well as access to NAR, one of the most powerful forces in that industry. REach™ accepts companies at all stages of growth and will be particularly useful to those just now turning a focus to the real estate ecosystem.
After a chaotic 23 hour struggle regarding the fiscal cliff, the drama in Washington came to a close late Tuesday, January 1, 2013 as the fiscal cliff deal passed the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The legislation, entitled The American Taxpayer Relief Act, was signed into law by President Obama the next day.
Though the deal averted an immediate budget crisis, it set the stage for months of renewed confrontations between Republicans and Democrats over the debt ceiling, entitlement reforms, spending cuts beyond a two-month delay of massive budget cuts, and a long-term plan for deficit reduction.