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New Federal Stimulus Package Passed by Congress

NAR’s Federal Advocacy team has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure the interests of REALTORS®, their families, consumers, and the entire real estate industry are protected in any federal action in response to COVID-19.

On December 21, Congress passed a COVID-relief package, which also included an Omnibus spending bill for FY21, and some tax extenders. Below is a summary of the major provisions of that bill impacting REALTORS®:

COVID-RELATED PROVISIONS

Unemployment Assistance

Extends the maximum number of weeks individuals may receive unemployment benefits, from 39 weeks to 50 weeks.
Extends all unemployment assistance, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation from December 26, 2020- March 14, 2021.
Limits payment of retroactive PUA benefits to weeks of unemployment after December 1, 2020, and PUA requests end on March 14, 2021.
Eligible individuals may receive PUA benefits until April 5, 2021 as long as the individual has not reached his or her maximum number of weeks of unemployment.
Extends Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at $300 per week for 10 weeks. This provides supplemental unemployment benefits for individuals receiving PUA or regular unemployment compensation for weeks after December 26, 2020 until March 14, 2021.
Extends Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) for a maximum of 24 weeks for eligible individuals.
Phases out the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and ends the program on April 5, 2021.
Extends interest-free loans to states to keep their unemployment insurance trust funds running.
Reimburses states at 50 percent for the first week of compensable regular unemployment benefits for states with no waiting period.
Provides individuals seeking unemployment benefits with the right to appeal any state determination or redetermination regarding rights to PUA.
Provides a repayment waiver for individuals who received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), but who were not entitled to receive PUA, if the PUA payment was the fault of the individual and repayment would be “contrary to equity or good conscience.” State labor agencies must make all individual determinations regarding one’s repayment or waiver status.
Requires individuals to continue to re-certify weekly with the state that the individual’s loss of income is due to a Covid-related reason or issue and the individual is unemployed for a such week.
Adds additional program measures requiring individuals seeking unemployment to provide documentation of earnings and employment to state agencies as a mechanism for states to verify the identity of individuals seeking unemployment benefits.
Imposes “return to work” reporting requirements for states to provide a way for employers to report when someone turns down a job and to notify claimants of the requirement to accept suitable work, unless there is a good cause for refusal.

Paycheck Protection Program

Appropriates $284.45 billion for PPP loans and $20 billion for EIDL Grants.
Certain eligible businesses may receive second-draws of PPP loans of up to $2 million: 300 employees or fewer (or meets alternative SBA size standards) and saw at least a 25% drop in gross receipts in 2020 to a comparable quarter in 2019.
The maximum loan amount a business can get (for both first- and second-draw PPP loans) is $10 million within 90 days.
PPP borrowers who receive $150,000 or less in PPP loan money may submit a one-page forgiveness form online certifying their compliance with the program requirements.
Extends the deadline for PPP “covered periods” (the 8- or 24-week period from which a borrower has to use their PPP funds) through September 30, 2021.
Expands allowable expenditures of PPP funds to cover purchasing PPE for employees;
501©(6) organizations can access PPP funds if they have 300 employees or fewer, do not receive more than 15% of their receipts from lobbying activities and lobbying activities do not comprise more than 15% of their activities, and the cost of the lobbying activities of the organization did not exceed $1,000,000 during the most recent tax year.
PPP funds cannot be used for lobbying activities of any kind.
Repeals the requirement that borrowers who receive both an EIDL advance grant and a PPP loan deduct the forgiven amount of the EIDL grant from the forgivable amount of their PPP loan.

PPP Tax Forgiveness

Allows for deductibility of business expenses paid for with forgiven PPP loans.

Eviction Moratorium & Rental Assistance

Provides $25b through September 30, 2022 for rental assistance. The monies will be allocated to states through the Department of Treasury.
States allocation will be based on population, no state will receive less than $200 million.
Allows landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants.
Includes payments for rent in arrears as well as utilities and “and other expenses related to housing.”
States should prioritize families with incomes below 50% of area median income (but no set % of funds distributed is required).
Rental assistance will not be included in recipient’s income for federal tax purposes.
Extends CDC moratorium through January 31, 2021.

State and Local Funding

Extend by one year (until Dec. 31, 2021) the availability of funds provided to states and localities by the Coronavirus Relief Fund in the CARES Act.

Individual Stimulus Payments

Provides for one-time direct payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, as well as an extra $600 per eligible child dependent.

Broadband Expansion

Provides $7 billion for broadband internet access: $285 million for connecting minority communities.
$3.2 Billion for an Emergency Broadband Benefit for Low-Income Americans
$300 Million to Promote Broadband Expansion to Unserved Americans
$65 Million for the development of new, more accurate, and more granular broadband maps

Tax Provisions (related to COVID)

The Employee Retention Tax Credit is modified by:
Increasing the credit rate from 50% to 70% of qualified wages.
The eligibility is expanded by reducing the year-over-year gross receipts decline from 50% to 20%.
Increasing the limit on per-employee creditable wages from $10K per year to $10K per quarter.
Increasing the 100-employee delineation to 500 or fewer employees.
Allowing businesses with PPP loans to qualify.
Extending the credit through June 30, 2021.
Extends payroll tax credits for paid sick and family leave enacted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through March 31, 2021.
Tax Extender Provisions

The exclusion from income for mortgage debt forgiveness is extended for five years (through 2025), but the maximum amount is reduced from $2 million to $750,000.
The energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction is extended permanently, its efficiency standards are updated, and the deduction rates are indexed for inflation.
The energy investment tax credit for solar and residential energy-efficient property tax credit is extended for two years (through 2023).
The mortgage insurance premium deduction is extended for one year (through 2021).
The energy efficient homes credit is extended for one year (through 2021).
The nonbusiness energy tax credit (for qualified energy efficiency improvements) is extended for one year (through 2021).

Other Provisions

Provides for the tax deduction of 100% of business meals (up from 50%) for 2021 and 2022.
Corrects a technical problem in depreciating residential rental housing – under certain circumstances, some real estate businesses were forced to depreciate residential rental housing over 40 years instead of 30 if they elected out of a limitation of interest deductibility under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The recovery period is corrected to 30 years in the Act.
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is enhanced by the creation of a permanent 4% floor for the portion of the LIHTC that is typically used for rehabilitation of older rental housing and the preservation of subsidized rental developments.
Requires carbon monoxide detectors in all federally-assisted rental housing.
Provides for $49.6 billion for HUD’s budget, which is $561 million above the 2020 enacted level. This bill includes:
$152 million for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and its grant programs, $7 million above the 2020 enacted level:
Funding for HUD’s fair housing grants, activities, and assistance, increased by $2.3 million to $72.5 million.
Funding for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity staffing and expenses increased by $4.8 million to $79.8 million.
$25.8 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance, $1.9 billion above the 2020 enacted level; and $13.5 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, $895 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$40 million for HUD/VA Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans (same as 2020).
$43 million for new incremental vouchers for homeless individuals and families.
$200 million for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, $25 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, $50 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$77.5 million for Housing Counseling, $25 million above the 2020 enacted level.
Reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which funds various critical water infrastructure projects in communities nationwide, including water management, flood control, drinking water and resilience. In turn, these projects make communities safer and support economic stability and growth.
Authorizes various renewable energy, energy efficiency and other energy projects, which will make energy more abundant, affordable, provide jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Bryan Greene
Vice President, Policy Advocacy
National Association of REALTORS
Washington, DC 20001

Cumberland County Commissioners Regular Meeting Update

Case 21-0004

From the Cumberland County Joint Planning Board – Text amendment for Cumberland County Zoning Ordinance, to create a new Section 112; pre-application meetings, mandating and providing direction for pre-application conference meetings prior to land development submittal.

A pre-application conference creates opportunity for staff and applicants to discuss the proposed interests of the developer or property owner with relevance to the applicable zoning code and comprehensive plan. A primary benefit of a pre-application conference is to reduce the potential for a case being continued at board meetings or hearings to allow the applicant to address additional information or concerns.

Motion: failed (voting for the change was Commissioners Adams, Boose & Stewart)

Case 21-0005

Text amendment for Cumberland County Zoning Ordinance to include new requirements for neighbor communications summary reports for all conditional zoning request applications for any agricultural or residential district that involves more than 10 acres and proposes an increase in density from what is existing or includes a zero-lot line subdivision.

Motion: passed (voting against the text amendment was Commissioners Adams &Keefe)

Case P21-33

Rezoning from A1 Agricultural District to R15 Residential District/Conditional Zoning District up to 104 lots (zero lot line) subdivision on 41.48 acres of land. The project is located west of NC 87 HWY and south of Ola burns Drive.

The planning board recommended denial and the staff recommended approval.

Motion: this rezoning was denied unanimously

What Was Said:

Commissioner Keefe – This is a zero lot line in a rural setting and it’s not appropriate

City of Sanford Approves New Subdivision

A new subdivision was approved this month by the Sanford City Council. The Council vote was 4 for approval and 3 in opposition.

Pinnacle Partners LLC has been approved to develop 168 acres of land. The location of the land is at Valley Road and Forestwood Park Road. The developer plans to develop around 400 residential lots.

Those voting in favor of the new subdivision were Council members Taylor, Salmon, Haire and Williams. Voting in opposition were Council members Buckels, Gaskins and Post.

There are conditions placed on the project to include drainage, storm sewer, housing density and design.

“The Can Do” Coldwell Banker Trolley System Launches in the City of Fayetteville

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: [email protected]
910-223-1089
MEDIA ALERT: THE CAN DO COLDWELL BANKER
TROLLEY SYSTEM LAUNCHES
The Cool Spring Downtown District is pleased to announce that their new trolley
system, The Can Do Coldwell Banker Trolley, will launch on Friday, October 15, 2021 to
provide free trolley rides between the Historic Haymount Hill District, The B-Street
Corridor, and downtown Fayetteville. The organization partnered with Sure Modes of
Everyday Transportation, a locally-owned transport company, to manage the day-to-day operations of the trolley system.
Currently, the Trolley will operate every Friday and Saturday from 6:00 – 10:00 PM. As
the system gathers awareness and continues to grow, the schedule will expand to
include Thursday and Sunday operations.

Thanks to the generous support of Ralph and Linda Huff, Coldwell Banker Advantage,
and the Fayetteville New Car Dealers Association, rides on the “Can Do Coldwell
Banker” Trolley are free to the general public.
If you are interested in learning more about renting the trolley for a private event or advertising opportunities, please contact Bianca Shoneman at [email protected]

GenX Public Information Meeting November 16, 2021

Public information session on November 16 about PFAS/GenX

DEQ will host a community information session remotely via teleconference Tuesday, November 16, about current actions to prevent and remediate PFAS contamination at the Chemours Fayetteville Works Facility. The public is invited to participate by phone or online.

Topics will include updates from DEQ’s air, water and waste management divisions about emission reduction requirements, upcoming permit actions, drinking water well sampling results and replacement water updates. Officials from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will provide an overview of knowledge about potential health effects and how to reduce exposure.

Event title:  GenX community information meeting
Date and Time: Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 at 6 p.m.
Phone:  US TOLL +1-415-655-0003, Access code: 2427 524 0753
WebEx Link: https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/j.php?MTID=m20e1854b10e617d07b77546e228cf776
Event Password: 1234

Following the presentations by DEQ and DHHS representatives, community members who pre-registered will have an opportunity to ask questions. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions through a chat feature in the web conferencing software.

More information about the state’s investigation can be found at: https://deq.nc.gov/news/hot-topics/genx-investigation. Information for residents can be found at: https://deq.nc.gov/news/key-issues/genx-investigation/genx-information-residents.

This event is related to

EventsPublic MeetingDivision/OfficeNCDEQ

When and Where

When:Tue, Nov 16, 2021, 6:00pm-8:00pmOnline Access:https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/j.php?MTID=m20e1854b10e617d07b77546e228cf776Contact:Laura Leonard[email protected](919) 280-0544

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Press Release from NC Dept. of Environmental Quality Regarding GenX

DEQ expands actions required by Chemours to address GenX/PFAS contamination DEQ

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is taking two actions requiring Chemours to address GenX and PFAS contamination originating from the Fayetteville Works Facility and affecting private well owners.
First, Chemours must assess the extent of contamination in downstream communities to include well sampling and provision
of replacement drinking water supplies.


“The contamination from Chemours extends down the Cape Fear River into multiple communities and Chemours’ actions to address that contamination must reach those communities as well,” said DEQ Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser. “DEQ will continue to take the necessary steps to provide relief to affected North Carolinians as the science and regulations require.”

DEQ has determined that Chemours is responsible for contamination of groundwater monitoring wells and water supply wells in New Hanover County and potentially Pender, Columbus, and Brunswick counties. Chemours is required to expand
the off-site assessment required under the 2019 Consent Order to determine the extent of the contamination.

Chemours must also conduct sampling of private drinking water wells to identify residents who may be eligible for replacement drinking water supplies. Chemours must submit plans to DEQ for approval.

Second, Chemours is required to review existing well sampling in communities surrounding the Fayetteville Works facility to determine additional eligibility for whole house filtration and public water, in light of the revised Toxicity Assessment for GenX from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Chemours has been advised that EPA will be releasing a federal drinking water health advisory level for GenX in the coming months. In Paragraph 19, the 2019 Consent Order requires Chemours to provide replacement permanent drinking water to private wells with “detections of GenX compounds in exceedance of 140 ng/L, or any applicable health advisory, whichever is lower.”

DEQ is also requiring Chemours to develop a plan to transition residents who have previously received reverse osmosis systems based on GenX results to either public water or whole house filtrations systems as appropriate under a lower
GenX health advisory level.

Sanford Mixed Use Development Approved by Planning Commission

Rezoning approved by planning commission for development

Scott Osborne, who is a baseball fan, put off watching baseball on television on Tuesday, so he could attend a special board meeting regarding a proposed housing development to be put up near his home. He was not in favor of it.

Marshall Downey, director of the city/county Planning and Development Department explains something to Scott Osborne, in regards to a proposed housing development near where Osborne lives. Residents came out Tuesday to express their views on this development through a public hearing.

A major development is one step closer to breaking ground with the city’s planning commission approving their rezoning request.

The decision came after a lengthy public hearing on the issue, Tuesday night, with numerous residents against it and those behind the development, stepping to the podium at the Wicker Civic Center to state their case. Members of the Planning Board met to discuss and decide on the rezoning after the city council approved the annexation of the property into the city limits.

The legislation called for the rezoning of three adjoining tracts of land totaling 168 acres with frontage on Valley Road (S.R. 1325), Forestwood Park Road (S.R. 1384) and Boone Trail Road/U.S. 421 Hwy. from Residential Redistricted to the Brookshire Conditional Zoning District to allow for the development of a residential subdivision with two commercial areas as illustrated on the Brookshire Subdivision Conceptual Development Plan.

The land would be broken up into five sections, three with 404 lots for single family homes of varying lot sizes, 22 acres geared toward the building of apartments and about 5 acres for commercial development.

Members of the planning board unanimously approved the rezoning of the property with some conditions they would like the city council to adhere to once construction began, but were unavailable at press time. One of the issues they wrestled with prior to making their decision was density in terms of how close the homes would be to each other.

The city council will have to vote to approve the board’s rezoning package at their next meeting which is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Terry Slate, manager for the group that makes up Pinnacle Partners LLC, which owns and wants to develop the land, said what the city is going through is difficult but it has to be addressed.

“They realize that Sanford needs housing,” he said. “They are doing a great job bringing in industry and jobs to Sanford and these people need a place to live.”

He said if the council approves the rezoning recommendation he believe they will begin construction within six to eight months.

“It’s their decision if they want the subdivision or not,” he said.

Slate said he understands residents concerns and considers it a part of the process and believes it has been very positive. In terms of the development’s potential impact on current residents he would not comment, but said, if approved by the city council, what they will develop will not be shabby.

“Certainly I want to do something I am proud of and the town of Sanford is proud of,” he said.

In other news, Fred J. McIver, member of the Sanford Planning Board, was recognized for his 23 years of on the board. He recently stepped down as a member of the board.

He was presented with a proclamation from the mayor along with a plaque in recognition of his years of service.

“Thank you to my wonderful Planning Board over the years,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to serve the citizens of Lee County.”